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Exciting June newsletter

Mark 16:17 is a famous passage that starts: “These signs shall follow those who believe….” And ends in verse 20 with; “And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.” (NLT).  John 13:35 says: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (NLT). Jesus often spoke of how people in the world are looking for signs and wonders – I suppose this is no surprise since people who are “lost” are often wandering through life looking for signs to guide them. Philippians 2:15 tells us that we can be lights in the darkness: “But you are living with evil people all around you, who have lost their sense of what is right. Among those people you shine like lights in a dark world, (ERV).

I was considering these verses recently and it occurred to me that although we may SAY we have faith in God’s Word and power, the PROOF is in the “signs” that confirm it in our daily lives – the love that others (even the lost) witness in our words and actions; the answers to prayer and even miracles that follow as a result of our stepping out in faith in God’s Word. Am I putting MY faith into action every day? Am I speaking up in prayer when I see a need or see someone suffering? Am I reacting with love towards those who are rejected or disdained by others? If I am lacking in “signs following”, perhaps I need to revisit my faith and become strengthened in it again.

There are many verses that encourage us in this, including this reminder about Abraham in Romans 14:9-21: “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (NIV)

This month we share some amazing testimonies of signs that are following the ministry of our faithful partners in Africa. Also, I ask your prayers for protection and wisdom as I lead a group of 16 from our church to San Juan de la Laguna in Guatemala this coming Saturday for a week. We are excited to see what God will do as we develop a relationship with a small church there in the mountains. Have a blessed summer! Shirley.

Pastor Sika in Togo – He recently sent us several wonderful reports and photos including the awesome praise report of receiving a new van donated to his ministry. This is much-needed and has been an item of prayer for a very long time. God is so good, and as seen in these photos, the van has already been put to good use to transport not only team members but also chairs, food and other needed supplies to the JP orphanage and also other villages in remote areas.

New donated vannew van in use





In recent months his team has been working especially hard in the village of Agbanake, which was historically very resistant to the Gospel. This photo shows just how much that church is growing now that the light of the Gospel has been driving out the darkness of witchcraft and idolatry. Lucie regularly teaches the children, while Pastor Sika preaches to the adults inside the church. What an amazing testimony to faithfulness and the power of the Gospel! He has also started sharing the Gospel in another very resistant village called Hlande, which is famous for witchcraft and receives many visitors seeking sacred items and cures. He spoke to about 15 people (seen in photo) with only one person responding – but then returned last week and led another 4 people to Jesus! God truly confirms His Word with signs following!

Lucie teaching kids in AgbanakePreaching in Hlande





Pastor Sika also sends this photo of the Joseph Project orphans studying with Pastor Tomety in the compound, and a photo of the widows being supported by the JP ministry (shown standing in front of the JP cornfield).

JP students studying with Pastor TometyJP widows





There are currently 15 orphans in the JP, several of whom will soon be starting apprenticeships as soon as suitable situations can be found. Pastor Sika sent a great update on the JP alumni who are currently in apprenticeships (thanks to your kind donations) – all of whom are doing well and plan to use their new expertise to benefit the Joseph Project in the future. 3 of them live with Pastor Sika, Lucie and their own 6 children.

KossiKossi (seen right) has already completed 3 of 4 years before he can become self-sufficient and help other orphans who would like to learn the same job. Kossi lives at home with Sika’s family, and is able to take care of his own personal expenses by doing extra welding jobs, and also makes house doors and kitchen utensils!

AfiAfi is a young girl who has been through a lot with HIV (her medication alone costs $100 per month) which tried to break her spirit, but she has found new strength in the JP, which has enabled her to go to school and become an apprentice as a hairdresser (being completed next year). She’s seen at work in this photo.



Matthew with Pastor SikaMatthew lost both his mom and dad to AIDS, leading him to become infected with HIV. JP registered him from primary school to high school, where he decided to learn masonry in a technical school, supported by JP through your financial aid for his enrollment and then work materials for the practice period. He’s already spent 2 years there, and in 2025 he’ll also graduate after passing his final apprenticeship exam and obtaining his diploma. He’s pictured with his new work supplies, thanks to a faithful supporter.

JulienneJulienne is a young girl who has been enrolled at the JP centre since 2015 and decided not to continue her school studies because of difficulties in the higher classes. She decided to learn sewing two and a half years ago and loves this work so much that a sewing machine was bought for her thanks to your financial support. She will be graduating next year but already sews clothes for her brothers and sisters, and she’s also starting to help the orphans at the center.

Pastor Sika asks for continued prayers and support to enable all these students to accomplish their visions – and for the orphan Agbemadon who goes to high school and has a serious desire to continue his studies through to university in 2025 if he doesn’t fail this year. To help him succeed in school, an old lady who wanted to help the JP Center, took him in two years ago, but sadly she passed away in May. Since then, the responsibility has fallen again to Pastor Sika. Let’s pray that God will provide another home and financial support so that Agbemadon can also achieve his goals!

Prayers are also asked for the couple’s conference next week (for pastors and their wives) at Kpalime-Adeta, and for another leadership conference planned for August. Pastor Sika also especially asks prayer for his country of Togo as the leader is virtually a dictator and there is now unprecedented unemployment with power cuts, recurrent internet problems, high inflation causing increased poverty and starvation, and rising unrest causing fears of a bloodbath. In addition, he asks for continued prayer for himself and his wife, Lucie, who both need tests and treatment for chronic conditions. In fact, these are only some of the many prayer requests he shared with us, but we know that God is able and can do far MORE abundantly that anything we can think or imagine, so we stand by Pastor Sika in faith as he continues this amazing ministry.

Pastor Honoré in Central African Republic – he reports that they have been experiencing a very severe heatwave that has caused him and several in his family to be ill for weeks. They are finally recovering and able to resume ministry responsibilities. These include performing a number of weddings – the result of holding several marriage seminars earlier in the year! (see couple in photo below). He and his family have had to move again because of persecution and being tracked by some people who want to kill them; they are unable to live in their own home as they can’t keep guards at the CEERCA site where his home is located. However, the ministry continues to grow, especially the school, which needs more seats and books. The school is only for orphans, abandoned children and those who are too poor to attend a regular school. Pastor Honoré asks us pray for his family’s protection, along with the continued needs of the ministry.

CEERCA couple preparing for marriageBible study group at CEERCA

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