Missions Moment – North Africa

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Our friends in North Africa

Wouldn’t you like to be a Stephanas? (as per I Cor. 16:15-18)

My attention was recently directed to reflect on Stephanas.  He isn’t noted as one who won many to the Lord or one who started many home fellowships or one who trained leaders, though obviously such things are critical to the body of our Lord, but interestingly enough he is well spoken of as an example by the apostle Paul as one who:

1) was devoted to the service of the saints,
2) “refreshed” the “spirit” of Paul,
3) supplied what was lacking to Paul,
4) was worthy of the service of others,
5) he was cause for rejoicing,
6) Paul desired to see such men as Stephanas recognized,
7) Paul saw Stephanas as working in a group to effectively minister to others.

As B___ and I serve to do Community Life for our associates in North Africa and the Middle East, we aspire to be like Stephanas.  Please pray with us to that end.  Thank you.

Praises:

  1. We have reengaged North Africa and the Middle East.  It feels good to be out serving our associates again.  We received a warm welcome from our landlords with food, tea time and much conversation to catch up on all the news. Local associates have included us into their weekly fellowship and prayer times together, and B___ has enjoyed being back at the hospital with the abandoned babies. Thanks to several of you church groups that gathered clothes for the babies, we were able to bring those back for several hospitals and centers.
  2. We are especially grateful for a fair number of one-time gifts that came in around the end of last year.  These gifts helped us start back in with confidence knowing we have what we need for now.
  3. We have our tickets for Cairo and Jordan purchased.  We look forward to serving our 14 associates in these two countries during this month of February.  We hope to apply a slightly different approach to serving them in this year of 2016.
  4. Last we wrote to you we had just been in PA and were getting started in Washington DC and VA visiting supporters and doing fund raising, we saw some 16 individuals and two churches.  We were blessed by our connections with our supporters and we enjoyed meeting some new people interested in our work.  And we connected with the missions chairperson of a new fellowship.
  5. We thank the Lord for His peace as we have lived these first few weeks back in a  land where ISIS threatens.  Despite a certain care needing to be taken, we know the Lord’s protection, guidance and care.
  6. The Lord has helped me develop a modified approach for our services to our associates in Community Life (member care) this year.  We are excited about proceeding.  And may we be good at what we do, strengthening and encouraging each one along the way.
  7. Our landlords walked with us through two challenges upon our return, one was to change out the water heater (which took several days because we first tried to clean it, then switch out parts and finally replaced it), the other challenge was to change out the plumbing under our bathtub because it was leaking through their ceiling (our landlords live under us).

Prayer Requests:

  1. S______ (our oldest daughter) and her family have yet to leave the US for Guinea Conakry in West Africa.  They intended to leave about when we did, but have been held up some for medical clearance and visa acquisition, but they hope they are getting close.  May they be on their way soon and be able to settle back in for another term of service bringing engagement teams to tribal groups in Guinea Conakry of West Africa.
  2. Pray for our trip through Cairo and Jordan.  In several ways we would like to contribute to a strengthening of our community in Jordan.  And we want to strengthen and encourage each associate as well.
  3. We need to determine the timing of the rest of our trips in North Africa and the Middle East, which would include Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon.
  4. We now focus on Community Life as our role, and we no longer have to do the administration, but we have a dear colleague who is taking that on. We pray the Lord will help him learn the ropes.  Please pray for T___ as our new Director of Operations for North Africa.
  5. We in ________ have had our challenges where ISIS threatens daily life in one way or another, but the country next door has it even worse.  Would you lift them up.  The Islamic State is clearly present there.
  6. We have a Tunisian sister who is seeking to marry an Egyptian brother.  It hasn’t been easy to accomplish this while maintaining their stand in faith.  May the Lord bless their union for His sake.
  7. There is a trauma counselor coming short term to serve battered women in our North African country.  Pray this young lady will be able to visit and that her stay will be a valuable and productive one.