Friday, March 17, 2017

Waiting on God

Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
(Psalms 27:14)

A guest house on Sister Deborah's property

Praises: 

  1. Our things arrived from the US without too many problems, considering what could have happened. If you want to know more about this read our other blog: The story of a box that was almost an allegory.
  2. We are almost done with our classes to teach English as a second language. By the time this blog is published we should have both turned in our final project!
  3. Last week we were all sick to some degree, but we are feeling better now and much happier for it. There is a change of seasons going on now and many times with the change of seasons comes sickness. 
  4. Though we are not asking for money, God has been blessing us with donations. We thank Him for his goodness to us and for each of you who have been so kind as to donate towards this new project in Senegal.
  5. One of the students that some of you have helped us sponsor, Lazaro Correa, is now a pastor in Guinea Bissau and has six churches. He will get married in June and has invited us to his wedding. If possible we would like to attend. Thanks so much to those who helped us help him to go to school.

Requests:

  1. A local friend of ours is helping us find a vehicle. We are praying his contacts will have just the right Toyota for our project and at an affordable price. There are more and more needs surfacing that show us that a pick up will help us help the church here more efficiently. 
  2. We are praying for the right place to live. We have several options right now and are praying that God would show us clearly the place He has for our family and where we should base our project. We need a place to live, a place for storage of health educational materials, a place for the children to play, and area to have a garden. God has just the right place and we are thankful that we can wait on Him to show us where it is. There is a place near where Sister Deborah has land in the country that would cover these needs, but it costs nearly a million dollars. It is owned by an Adventist man and he is selling about 10 acres of land. If we look for land further away from Sister Deborah the land is cheaper, but we want to be close by. Praying for wisdom.
  3. Many of you are asking when we'll be seeing Lika. We've had a scheduling conflict and won't be going till the end of March to see her. Please pray for us as well as the family she is living with as we plan out how best to help each other in this transition. 
  4. We see so many needs that we are needing God to help us learn to focus on what is important to Him and now what seems exciting or necessary. He is the one who knows everything and has the best idea of what is important. We need to be humble enough to wait and trust on Him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Road Blocks or Stepping Stones

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left."
(Isaiah 30:21)

Praises:
    The guard at the SDA school in Point E
  1. Over the last few months we have been working on an online class in order to teach English, we have finished the lessons and now have have only a lesson plan to fill out. The class has been a challenge and at times we wondered if we would ever finish, but so grateful that it is almost done. We have learned a lot through this course and look forward to using the knowledge as a way to help others.
  1. We were able to get all the paperwork necessary for our residency cards! We turned in the papers and are now waiting for the official cards to come in April. With help from our friends Pastor Jacques Mansaly, the president of the Senegal Mission, and Dr. Roger Camara we were able to get all the necessary papers handed in. The police where helpful, but seemed to always find something that we needed to get, so we spent a few days walking around Dakar trying to get everything in order.  
  1. Boaz has been walking a lot, trying to save money and also to get exercise. We are thankful for his safety and the added health benefit of exercise. 
  1. The kids are learning French and seem to be enjoying the challenge. They are making friends at church and enjoy Sabbath afternoons most of all. As they can be with their friends for several hours straight. 
Requests:
  1. Our stuff is to be delivered from the port soon. Praying that it will be in good shape and that it will stay safe from termites while we are down south to get Lika. 
  1. Praying for wisdom on when to leave for the south and how long to stay. We are looking forward to seeing our friends down there and pray that we can be a blessing. It will be hard going to Niaguis as we won't be going to stay. Praying that the village will understand and that we can find ways to practically help them. 
  1. Praying for our reunion with Lika. We have been separated for 3 years and she has forgotten much of her French. Praying that we'll be able to communicate and that she will want to go with us. It sounds like she is excited that we are coming and we are excited to go see her, but want God's blessing on the whole series of events. 
  1. Praying for wisdom as we take our next steps after we get back from the south. We are thinking about living out in the country near the outskirts of Dakar. One of our partners, Sister Deborah, has some land out there and plans to move out there soon. We like it in the country and feel it would be best for the kids and for training of young people. We are also praying for a truck so that we can have our own transport. We feel we need a truck as we want to be able to do Health Expos and other health related events and will need to have something large enough to carry supplies around. Lots of things to pray about. :) 
  1. We've known we need to register with the government to develop a NGO. But to be honest it seems like a big task and a bit scary sometimes. This week though has shown us that we don't really have a choice and need to put a lot of energy into getting local NGO status. Please pray that we will have wisdom and that we can follow God's lead in this important area, so that we can then do a better work for Him here in Senegal. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

First week in Senegal

Praises:

1. Safe traveling and arrival of us and our bags. We had a few questions at the start about our bag situation in Togo, and were worried a good share of the flight, but in the end it was all for naught. The flight from the US to Togo was not full, so we were able to stretch out and get some sleep using three seats instead of the one assigned. Thankful for God’s little surprises. 

2. Reconnection with friends is so much fun. It has been great to see how Bashir’s friends have grown up over the last three years. Many of our friends from the south are now living in Dakar to go to school and it has been wonderful to see them again. 

3. LaRae found some Melatonin powdered juice in the US that she has made each of us drink each evening. This drink has really been a blessing as it has helped us to sleep better and to wake up more refreshed. The kids have historically had problems with jet lag and when we travel they wake up early in the morning, but with this drink they have for the most part slept through the night. As we say in French “Gloire รก Dieu.” 

4. Thankful for some decent internet, even if it isn’t unlimited and for a flat rate. We are learning to use our time wisely on the internet again and are thankful for the extra time we have with friends and family. 


Prayer requests:

1. We hope to locate our Jogger (stroller) that somehow got lost after the airlines insisted on checking it to one of our layovers. Though not a necessity the jogger would be a blessing. 

2. The things we had shipped here should be arriving in port in a few days. Needing God’s wisdom and guidance to get it through customs and delivered. 


3. Though we have a place to stay with our friend, we do need to look for our own place. Asking God for guidance as to the best location and home for us within our budget. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A thought on service: 

"Take My yoke upon you," Christ said, as in human nature He lived and worked upon this earth. Constantly He wore the yoke of submission, meeting the difficulties that human beings must meet, bearing the trials that they must bear. The enemy will constantly assault as he assaulted Christ, bringing against us strong temptation. But for every one there is a way of escape. "Take My yoke upon you," Christ says, "and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." 
 
God's true workers accept their calling with an understanding of the conditions on which they serve the Master who was crucified for them. They stand ready to go where God sends them. They hold their possessions at His disposal, regarding themselves as stewards of His grace. Such Christians Christ counts worthy of a place in His kingdom. Their hearts throb in unison with the heart of Christ. Hearing the Macedonian cry, they say, "Lord, here am I; send me." Desire ripens into earnest endeavor as they move forward in His strength. They delight to testify of their loyalty to Him whose goodness they can never repay. Their hearts are filled with thanksgiving to Him whose mercies are too numerous to be numbered; and their great desire is to do something for Him who loves them and calls them His friends.

     —Ellen White, Signs of the Times, June 10, 1908


Praises:


  1. We have been traveling a fair amount these past few months to connect with family and friends. We are so thankful for God's continued protection and His watch over us. You can never be too sure when you travel by car, plane or otherwise. On one vacation to the US during our time in Senegal we had a car accident that we felt was the Devil trying to end our work. But God and His angels were there to protect us. Here is a video of the car we were in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyf0ewEKUyw We are ever grateful when we have a trip without accidents!
  2. We were able to get our Christmas letters out this year! It has been a few years since we did a project like this, happy how God has helped us with this letter. God is so good in how He brings things into our lives at just the right moments to help us. 
  3. We are almost ready to ship out to Senegal. We have our tickets to travel in January and are working on some final things that we want to get done before going. We have been blessed to have wonderful friends and family to stay with over the last few months, but it will be nice to have a place of our own again. 
  4. We are so thankful for those who have been giving towards the fund that we set up to help some Senegalese students go to school. Though we are not totally funded God has been helping a lot with this important project.
Requests:

  1. Praying for wisdom as we make final purchases etc before shipping off to Senegal in January. So many things to think about and plan. Grateful we can lean on God for His help. 
  2. Each time we have moved overseas in the past. the church moved our things for us. This time we are shipping a large wooden box full of things to Senegal, but we are doing this on our own, the church really spoiled us and we are learning a lot about working outside a large organization. Praying that it will travel well and that it will arrive in good shape. 
  3. Praying for clarity as we figure out the exact direction that God has for our family in Senegal. When you work for an organization you have a fairly clear plan of action. But going out on your own brings interesting challenges. 
  4. We are signed up to take an online course in how to teach English as a second language. The plan is to teach for the first year or so to help cover expenses. We pushed back our departure time for Senegal so that we could finish the course before leaving. Please pray that we will learn a lot, finish on time and be able to apply what we learn. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Visiting family

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.


 The New King James Version. (1982). (Je 29:11–13)

Praises:
  1. We were able to sell some of our things and some other things we are storing with some friends to be used for a house that prayerfully a Bible worker will use. LaRae's parents have a little church plant in Mora, New Mexico and they have been praying for a Bible worker. We are excited that some of our things can be used towards this project. 
  2. We had a really good trip back to Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma. We connected with family, some friends and were able to get in a seminar on herbs. We found that we did not have enough time though for the trip as there were many more friends to see, other classes to go to and things to do. Such is life though :) 
  3. We are now signed up for an ESL class and one of our dear friends from Michigan has helped us take an online course from LIGHT on herbs. We are excited about what we can learn and hope to use this information to help the work in Senegal. 
  4. Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee
  5. We are thankful for good health and safety on our trips. Many times with travel it is easy to get sick or have an accident. Thankfully we have been spared from these things. 
Requests:
  1. For the next few weeks we will be with LaRae's parents, trying to help them out and get some of the work done that we need to do. We have two online classes to do, planning for the future, shopping, etc. We need prayer that we can balance our time between everything to accomplish the most with limited time. 
  2. The little church here in Mora runs a health food store as an outreach to the community. We have been trying to help them out with some of the knowledge that we have gleaned over the last few years. Please pray that our advice would be the right advice and that the little store can get the help it needs to be a better blessing in the community. 
  3. Praying that the store can find funding to pay for a worker that speaks Spanish and has a strong desire to do ministry. They also need funding to improve the store so that it can better serve the community. Trusting that God has a plan and will come through in the right time as He has so many other times.
  4. Please pray with us that we will be able to use the last few months in the US wisely. We have some speaking appointments, family to visit, networking to do etc. We need wisdom to balance everything. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sorting stuff and networking

Something to think about:

Of families, as of individuals, the question is asked, “What doest thou here?” In many churches there are families well instructed in the truths of God’s word, who might widen the sphere of their influence by moving to places in need of the ministry they are capable of giving. God calls for Christian families to go into the dark places of the earth and work wisely and perseveringly for those who are enshrouded in spiritual gloom. To answer this call requires self-sacrifice. While many are waiting to have every obstacle removed, souls are dying, without hope and without God. For the sake of worldly advantage, for the sake of acquiring scientific knowledge, men are willing to venture into pestilential regions and to endure hardship and privation. Where are those who are willing to do as much for the sake of telling others of the Saviour?

White, E. G. (1917). The Story of Prophets and Kings as Illustrated in the Captivity and Restoration of Israel (Vol. 2, pp. 172–173). Pacific Press Publishing Association.


Praise: 
  1. We are thankful that our things came from Lebanon in pretty good condition. It has been raining quite a bit here in New Mexico where we are staying, but thankfully God answered our prayers and held the rain back while we moved our things from the truck to LaRae's parents house. All the stuff is a bit overwhelming, but we are thankful to have it here.
  2. Little b was helping to cut some wood the other day with a chop saw. He had a real life lesson in being careful with saws when one of his fingers got too close to the saw. Thankfully he only had a superficial cut. It could have been a lot worse. 
  3. We are thankful for time in nature. LaRae's parents live way off in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. Many weeks we don't leave their property except for church. We have been helping them bring in wood, we take daily walks and help around the house as much as possible. Its nice to be away from civilization for a little while and just been with God's second book. 
Requests:
  1. We have a lot of things and we need wisdom as we sort through it all. Some things will be helpful in Senegal and other things we need to sell. Pray with us that the things we put up for sale will sell and that we will have wisdom as to what to take with us. This time around we will only be taking a pallet as the church won't be sending a shipment for us. Praying to find the right company to ship our things and the right price. 
  2. We will be traveling to Tennessee and Alabama in a little over a week. There are several people we would like to connect with and we need prayer that we can fit in everything that needs to happen. We are praying that God will plan our schedule for us. 
  3. We will likely be leaving for Senegal in January. Since we don't know when we will come back to the US again little b would like to spend the holiday season with his relatives. Praying that the next few months will pass well and that we can be a blessing to our family while we are here. 
  4. In order to put food on the table and not to bleed dry our savings we plan to take some ESL classes during the time between now and when we leave for Senegal. Praying that we can do well in them and then use the knowledge to bless others. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Last Pay Check

Praises:
  1. We had a flat tire on our way home from ASI and our flat happened near some people who had just the right tools to help us. The car we were driving didn't have the right tools and we would have been in some real trouble. God is in the business of working miracles. 
  2. The other day little b and Boaz were working on getting a chain down from the zip line at LaRae's parents home. Boaz was trying to encourage little b to work hard to knock down the chain, finally he was able to get it to move. Sadly it moved too fast and fell down hitting him in his side and near his right eye. Thankfully he wasn't seriously hurt, it could have been much worse. 
  3. We have been helping LaRae's parents on their home since before we were even engaged. This time around we are helping them sort through some of their things. One day as we were going through things in the shed we had everything outside and the clouds came in and the thunder was booming in the distance. We had a quick prayer and God held back the showers for us to get everything in side in time. Then he held them back so Boaz could cut down a few dead trees for firewood for the winter and then we all had a nice bonfire to celebrate Boaz's 37th birthday. God is good.

Requests: 
  1. Praying for wisdom on when we should leave for Senegal. We have several options and not sure exactly the right timing. We need some serious guidance from Above. 
  2. At the writing of this blog post we don't have our shipment yet from Lebanon. Praying that it will come at the right time and that we will have wisdom on what to store, sell and take with us to Senegal. 
  3. We are looking at ways to put food on the table in Senegal. One way is to teach English as a second language a few days a week. We really could use some wisdom in finding the right course to take so that we can provide quality education.