Encouraging New Year update
I wish all of you renewed vision and inspiration as you move into this new year, seeking to fulfill your part in Jesus’ Great Commission. Next Saturday (January 21st) I will be teaching a morning workshop at our church concerning this very point. It is a Missions and Outreach workshop, and in addition to teaching and sharing testimonies, it will include videos that are part of a wonderful online curriculum called MomentumYes. It is a free 6-part video course that can be completed individually or in small groups. I encourage you all to check it out through this link and I will share pictures and more details about this next month. For now, I want to share very encouraging photos and updates from our partners in Africa.
Have a blessed and happy New Year! Shirley.
Pastor Sika in Togo – He writes that after the second pastors training seminars, he focused on evangelism activities over the Christmas period, especially at the Joseph Project compound. In this first photo you can see how many local villagers attended the special services!
He reports it was a wonderful success as a whole family gave their life to Jesus – especially as the head of the family was a famous idols priest (second photo)! Last year another local idol worshipping priest was saved and continues to serve Jesus, bringing his whole family to church now. There were also about forty children and three other gentlemen who were saved this year.
One of the faithful supporters here in the USA did a fantastic job of sending lots of gifts which were distributed amongst great excitement. You can see the excitement in this short video clip.
The final photo shows a group of local widows who were also greatly blessed. This is all a wonderful testimony to the impact that the Joseph Project orphanage and church are having on the area under Pastor Tomety as local pastor and director. Sadly, we learned that he was seriously ill and hospitalized last weekend, but thanks to the Lord he is doing well and is continuing with medical care at home. We pray for complete healing for him and renewed strength. Pastor Sika says the Lomé church continues to flourish despite having to halt construction of the 2nd floor due to lack of funds. As it is New Year, we pray for God to send in the special funds needed to prepare and plant crops once again at the JP to provide the much-needed basic foodstuffs.
Pastor Honoré in Central African Republic – He sent us several pictures showing the wonderful Christmas and New Year activities at the CEERCA church and compound. The first photo shows a group of the younger children having fun at Christmas.
The second photo shows the adults enjoying New Year celebrations inside the church. Obviously, construction is still underway on the new school building, but the ministry continues to thrive and is having a big impact on the local communities. The compound is located several miles outside the capital city of Bangui in a rural area. Just one year ago, Pastor Honoré was finally able to move with his family into his newly built house in the compound.
However, we all know that when things are going well, it makes the enemy mad! Just earlier this week, we received a desperate prayer request from Pastor Honoré as, despite the presence of two security guards, his home and family were attacked by armed thugs!! At 11pm they broke into the compound, broke through the doors, and entered the house and bedrooms. They took his 13-year-old daughter, Divine, hostage and asked for money. They took the TV set, phones, laptop, motorcycle, and clothing etc. Thankfully Divine was released unharmed and the thugs fled, but he asks prayer especially for Divine and the kids who are very traumatized. Because the doors and windows are so damaged, they cannot live in the house until it has been repaired.
This photo shows Honoré and Clarisse outside their home before the attack. We pray that God will bring them peace and quickly restore all that was taken, so that they can return home. May God convict those responsible and cause them to stop and repent, so that this situation may be turned around for good somehow.