Dear Friends and Partners,
WOW!! it’s hard to believe that this is issue #100! We started with issue #1 back in the spring of 2008 when we felt led to focus on our children’s ministry and African partners, after working also with the prison ministry in Egypt for the previous five years (which had developed after our return from the mission field in Mexico!). It is amazing to look back at all those years, people and experiences, and we praise God for all that we have learned!! We want to say a special THANK YOU to everyone who has “gotten onboard” with us through the years, and especially to those of you who have been so very faithful to partner with us since the beginning! How technology has changed too!
We have gone from sending out scores of newsletters by mail each month to just a handful – as now we send them by e-mail instead! Gerald and I still don’t use a smart phone, but I have quickly come to appreciate the benefits (finally!) of adding new posts to our website so that we can more easily share urgent prayer requests and news, as well as regular newsletters, my monthly Joy With Jesus kids page (in both English and Spanish), and additional posts of interest on Shirley’s blog. My most recent “blog” shares about an excellent video documentary called Poverty, Inc that I strongly encourage everyone interested in missions and developing countries to watch. I have shared a link to watch the trailer, and also several quotes and key points from the movie that I have found both encouraging and challenging.
Although we will continue to send out the newsletter by e-mail, I do suggest that you sign up on our website to “subscribe to the blog via e-mail” so that you can be notified of all new blog postings and keep more up-to-date. We would also LOVE to hear your comments, which you can also easily send via the website. As you will see from the photo below – new technology is finally making an appearance in even the most remote parts of Africa!
Be blessed, Gerald and Shirley.
Mike sent this photo from one of his coworkers in northern Kenya where he has gone several times in the past few years to minister to the Turkana people. Although these children and their families may be having their first encounter with computer technology, their lifestyle is still basically the same as it’s been for hundreds of years. Change WILL come however, and we agree with Mike that hearing the Gospel and learning to follow Jesus Christ will give them the greatest help to navigate through all that lies ahead for them! At present Mike is experiencing his very own culture shock as he arrived yesterday in Manchester, England, where he will visit for three weeks and attend a friend’s wedding (see above photo right). Thanks to a friend loaning him a tablet, he can share his experiences on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mmwaniha I wish I could be there to witness them in person! I hope England survives!! Please keep him and his family back in Kenya in your prayers over the coming weeks.
Pastor Honoré writes from C.A.R. that they have had lots of rain in recent weeks but his group of churchgoers still meets faithfully on the ministry site in spite of having just a simple roof shelter and some trees for cover! He held a baptism service recently but unfortunately underwent a big spiritual attack on his body soon after. He and his family are having to move into a different rent house soon – rental leases last 2 years and must be paid in full up front. Thankfully the “new” house is closer to the CEERCA ministry site. We pray that all goes well with the move.
Pastor Sika in Togo writes that he and his family no longer have to rent a house as they were finally able to move into their own home last month! Thanks to gifts from his family outside Africa and some special donations, they were able to buy a plot of land and build a home and also a room for meetings and teaching. It is in, quote, “a spiritually dangerous neighborhood” and right after they moved in he became very ill with amoebic dysentery for a couple of weeks. Right after that his son Frazee (10) caught malaria and is presently very ill in hospital. We do pray for complete healing for the whole family and for their protection and good health in the future. As the scripture says in Matthew 16:18: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church of Jesus Christ” and in order for that to happen we (the Church) must be willing to come up against the gates of hell! We praise God for Pastor Sika’s faithfulness there on the front lines! He plans to send us news from the Joseph Project soon, and we praise God for special donations we just received that will help pay for uniforms, school supplies and tuition for the orphans to attend the village school. This will be a new experience for several of these children and we pray they settle in well.