Monday, February 16, 2009

Senegal Nights

This past week I was busy making money for our needs on this side of the ocean (our support is too low to receive our full salary). It was kind of fun to relive the days when I did residential wiring. Two days I worked with a guy in our church that has a security systems business. Like old times, I swung from joist to joist dragging my ladder with my feet. I also cut quite a bit of firewood. That was also fun, but I certainly could tell that it has been awhile since I did those things on a regular basis. That is what we call the “poor man’s gym”. ( -;

A bright spot was that we got to meet a family headed to Gambia as missionaries with ABWE. This mission and their work in Gambia are a part of the Wolof partnership for the Senegambian region of West Africa. We hope to see this new family and perhaps host them as they come north to join us each year for those meetings. They are raising their support as well and hope to leave soon for their first term. I’m hoping that we can get together more on this side of the ocean for prayer and mutual encouragement. Maybe I can help them with their Wolof before they go.

Esther and I have been talking about having Senegal Nights here at our house. These are evenings where we would host people who would like to know more about what we hope to do in Dakar. We could eat supper Senegalese style and enjoy fellowship while talking about ministry to the university students in Dakar. If you are interested in being a part of one of these and are going to be in the Clayton area, please get in touch with us, we’d love to have you. Maybe you would like to host one and let us come and speak with your neighbors and friends. Get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to travel to you and have a Senegal Night at your house. You can call us (706) 490 3176 or (706) 782 1899 for details.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

African Chop for the Soul

Hey you guys. I just got back from a missions conference at Toccoa Falls College. I actually didn’t know about it until late in the week last week, so I didn’t get a chance to ask for prayer. At any rate, the conference went really well. I was at the school with Steve and Ann Lutz (the SIM Southeastern Regional Directors), and Joy Freeman (SIM Niger) to represent SIM and to be used by the Lord to generally cause mayhem with people’s decision to stay in the US. By God’s grace, both happened.

The conference started for us on Monday morning as we presented for an 8:00 am class on the book of Acts. Talk about sic’em to a dawg! We each took time to share about our ministry and relating it to the book of Acts. We talked about leading families to Christ, the sufficiency of Scripture (as principles for ministry strategy and truth to be communicated), and the dynamic of the Spirit of God in ministry. Those things spiced with stories of how God taught us while in Africa made for some pretty good African chop for the soul. One girl told me after the class, "Wow! That's really cool about what you guys said. I was not even considering missions until you guys spoke. Now I've got to go pray about it!" I said, "Yeah, it's kind of radical when God comes and messes up your call!"

We shared similar things in another class at 11:00 that same morning. Each day and each evening we had chapel. It was tremendous to be led by students in worship. The speaker was Dr. Steve Irvin who had been a missionary in South America. He also spoke on the move of the Spirit of God in the book of Acts. The conference went well. I was counseling kids left and right, telling them about the amazing opportunity that Senegal is. For some, they just needed someone to talk to and share the Scripture with them. Anyway, it was fun to watch God work in the hearts of these college students. I'd rather counsel people towards total submission to Jesus than ask for money any day of the week.

Speaking of money, keep praying that God will provide so we can return to Senegal. God is providing for us though. The other morning I knew that if I didn’t bring home some fire wood, we’d be snuggling under blankets that night. In fact, I wasn’t sure that Mama and the homeschoolers were going to make it through the day with heat. I also needed some money. So, in my quiet time that morning I asked the Lord for money and fire wood. By God’s goodness and brother Don at our church, I came home that night with both. He is good.

Thanks for praying for us. Keep praying too for the team of missionaries who are seeking to reach the students at the University of Dakar. Pray for us as we “hammer out” our basic strategy and philosophy of ministry. We are from different missions and we need to get on the same page. Yàlla na leen Yàlla barkeel di leen aar ci jàmm ak salam! May God bless you and guard you in peace!