May news and important prayer requests
Often when preparing to share the news, it seems there is a common theme in the updates from our African partners and our own family news. This month is a case in point. The past 4-6 weeks have been quite chaotic in our family here in Maryland as Lily has had some new medical issues to deal with. After more than 3 years without any, she had two seizures; they were only short-lived but she’s experienced some other strange symptoms as well. As a result, we’ve had at least two visits each week to the doctor, emergency room or a specialist. This photo shows her and Anna during a long wait to see neurologists at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. Nothing definitive has been found so far but everyone agrees that she should see an immuno-neurologist, so hopefully we can soon get an appointment and get some answers. The poor kid is so happy to stay at home when she can, that she doesn’t even want to leave her room!
It is hard not having any answers and having so much upheaval to the daily routine, but we continue to believe that God is in control and will give strength and wisdom to all involved. We pray for Lily’s healing, yet also know that sometimes God asks His people to travel down a long and difficult road so that we can be living testimonies to others as we keep our faith in Jesus. We stand firmly on Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” and Romans 8:28: “We know all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” So it was no surprise to get the following updates from Pastor Sika and Pastor Honoré. We join together in our prayers, knowing that the Lord is right there with us – as is so wonderfully expressed by the words of this popular song by Hillsong United: “There is another in the fire standing next to me; there is another in the waters holding back the seas…. and should I ever need reminding how good you’ve been to me, I’ll count the joy come every battle ’cause I know that’s where you’ll be…..” Be blessed, Shirley.
Pastor Honoré in Central African Republic wrote this week asking for urgent prayers for his daughter, Divine, who truly needs a miracle. She is 12 and has been suffering for over six months. She has had various tests at several hospitals and clinics and surgery has also been considered. She does not have Covid, and neither does Pastor Honoré, although he just informed us that he is also feeling very bad, and is in bed with a fever! Divine is going back to the hospital where doctors continue to struggle to identify the cause and be able to reduce her constant pain and find a treatment; there is no doubt the family is fighting spiritual warfare. We pray for God’s guidance and miraculous healing soon, and for wisdom and guidance for the medical staff as they make decisions. We know and all agree that, with or without a diagnosis, God is greater and can help win the victory! Thankfully, the CEERCA church and school are going well, with 6 weeks of school vacation starting this week.
Pastor Sika in Togo wrote a couple of weeks ago to ask for urgent prayer for his wife, Lucie. She has been battling high blood pressure for some years, and on the Saturday night she went into a coma with excessively high blood pressure. She was taken to hospital and placed in intensive care (as seen in this photo). The family was really shaken and much prayer was made for Lucie. Thankfully, within a day or two, she awoke and began to speak, and has been slowly improving since then. The doctor advises massage and physical therapy for her feet, but it is hoped she will make a full recovery. We also pray that God will provide the finances for these extra medical expenses.
Pastor Sika continues to thank God for the new walls of the church within the Joseph Project compound as it has greatly inspired all the orphans, the staff and his family. The whole village appreciates and talks a lot about it. They trust that God will soon provide the money to buy windows, doors, plastering and painting etc. They are now awaiting hook-up of the electricity, which will be a HUGE asset, allowing meetings to continue after dark. He already paid the electricity subscription 3 months ago, and now has all the electrical wires and accessories for installation. We pray that there will be no hindrances to finalizing this hook-up and that God will bring much fruit from the church meetings there in the months to come.