Exciting August news update
As is often the case, after July’s newsletter with little news from our African friends, we have lots of important news to share this month! But first, on a more personal level, we have enjoyed a great summer and are now preparing for school to start. Having experienced Kindergarten only via video sessions last year, Levi is excited to be going to school in person at last – although with the huge rise in Covid cases again here in Maryland, he will be wearing a mask for a while at least!
Anna was recently able to enjoy a short 3-day “respite” at a lovely Virginia B & B, where she met up with 5 other moms of children with the same rare condition as Lily (see photo). Despite each case being different, it is undoubtedly a great blessing to be able to share experiences and exasperations with people who TRULY understand and relate to the 24/7 challenges that are so exhausting. It reminded me once again of how incredibly loving it was for God Almighty to send His only son to live among us on earth as a human, experiencing all the struggles, hurts, temptations and even tragedy, so that he TRULY understands and relates to each of us! Enduring the troubles of this life…. trying to overcome impossible situations…. at times feeling that we are all alone and no-one else really cares….. we’ve all been there at times. But, knowing that Jesus Christ is right there with us and can help us because of his own personal experience here on earth, brings real comfort! What a blessing!
2 Corinthians 1:4 ”He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (NLT) Praying that as you navigate the challenging pathway of life, you will always feel HIS presence and comfort. Blessings, Shirley.
Honoré in C.A.R – We are happy to report that his daughter, Divine, has now made a full recovery after months of pain and worry. Honoré sends his thanks for everyone’s faithful prayers for her. There is also great news of the CEERCA church ministry and school – both of which are growing fast. They recently held a training seminar for 12 church leaders on contemporary evangelism, and held a baptismal ceremony for 12 new believers in the church.
The school students have been on vacation, but throughout June, July and August, a unique opportunity was given to train primary school teachers. The Ministry of Education selected some private schools who have paid all the government taxes and who are doing a good work and treating their personnel well – and the CEERCA school was among them. Praise God for His favor! Two of Pastor Honoré’s sons, James and Merveille, along with two other youth from the church were recommended for the intensive training and received diplomas upon completion (see photo).
As a result they can teach in the school while continuing their university studies. Pastor Honoré’s prayer now is to build permanent classrooms for the students, separate from the church building. The following pictures show these training sessions.
Irene in Kenya – She and the children continue to hold Sunday kids services in their home and share them on their Facebook page. However, because of a Kenyan government rule that every pastor and minister must have formal training, in order to continue Mike’s ministry, Irene has had to go to school. She is able to do so locally, and is studying child development, counseling and theology, but must go to Mombasa in November to graduate. Having now passed her exams, she is praying for God to supply the funds she needs to pay the necessary fees (about $332) and the transport to Mombasa (about $93). Funds can be sent easily to her via World Remit, as was done previously to Mike – please just contact her personally via her Facebook page if you would like to help.
Pastor Sika in Togo – He recently sent out a detailed news update with several prayer requests. At the Joseph Project Orphanage they thank the Lord for helping all the orphans in the center who have succeeded in moving up to the next class in school. There are three who are moving up to high school (all locally in the village). It is that time of year again when there is an urgent need for funds to pay all the school fees, school supplies and uniforms. We pray God will quickly act to meet these needs before the deadline in September. The orphans’ education is vital for them to be able to continue to improve their lives, as is so well illustrated by the former JP resident, Kossi. He continues to excel in his apprenticeship to a mechanic in Lomé. Pastor Sika was just able to bless him with a bicycle to enable him to attend the church there in Lomé.
Afi, one of the JP girls who was able to start a hairdressing apprenticeship recently in Lomé, is having some problems because of being HIV +ve. Others at her place of work snub her. She is on two medications that she has to take daily for her heart and for HIV which has weakened her completely. Pastor Sika needs to find her a new cardiologist because her present one is doing very little. In addition, she recently suffered from shingles (see photo) which spread throughout her body due to the HIV. Please pray for this young girl who feels so stigmatized.
Pastor Sika also asks for personal prayer as he is in dire need of a complete medical examination and treatment for a variety of issues that are keeping him weak and in pain. Please pray that God will provide financial means to solve both their health problems. We also pray for a good harvest this year and for additional funds to be able to provide better food for all at the orphanage, as at times their meals are of very poor quality. We know that God can provide so that the staff and children can all grow strong and healthy, if we all do our part.