Saturday, May 29, 2010

Evangelism in Peligtanga!

After recently spending a week in the village, Sarah could not get the children and the women of the region of Peligtanga out of her heart and her mind. We started going there for weekly prayer meetings with 2 of the local pastors and their wives seeking the Lord's heart for what He wanted to do in this region. Slowly a plan of a weekly Bible Club developed in Sarah's heart and also a plan for a one day evangelism effort for the children and for the women in this region.

The man in the red hat is the tribal chief of this region. He is a believer who warmly welcomed us. The two men on the right are the two local pastors that we are working with, Pastor Samuel and Pastor Paul.

This past Thursday was the children's day. Five of our orphanage children who had been participating in the previous weeks' Bible Clubs went with us and various activities were planned for the children. About 250 children came from Peligtanga and 2 other neighboring villages.

The day started with singing and Bible stories and a skit that the children of the church of Peligtanga had prepared. When an invitation was given to ask Jesus into their hearts, 18 children responded to the call.

Then we moved into fun and games. Sarah had planned 5 different stations with 5 different activities. Everyone had a great time!

At the end, everyone received a bag of popcorn and some bee-sap to drink. (Bee-sap is a local drink that the children love that is made out of the flowers of a plant.)

Friday was the day for the women. About 160 women came and we started around 10 in the morning. The goal of this day was just to bless these village women who work so very hard just to survive and to care for their families. Many of them work in the fields and many of them work in the nearby gold mines.

The day was planned to be a day of celebration with singing and dancing and teaching and eating. We emphasized the value of the woman to God through the Scriptures by using the story of Esther and declaring the women of Peligtanga to be 'women of destiny'. When an invitation to accept Jesus was made, 4 women responded to the love of Jesus and asked Him into their hearts.

Before leaving our 'serious time' and sharing a meal together, Sarah gave a teaching on foot washing and the four of us (Brittany, Lisa, Sarah, and I) washed our local sisters feet. I have many precious memories of Burkina in my heart, but I think that these moments of feel washing will remain as one of my fondest. There were moments of weeping in the house and there were moments of rejoicing in the house. The presence of the Lord was powerful!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brittany and Miriah, our Canadian friends, have returned to spend their summer vacation with us here in Yako. This is Miriah's third visit and Brittany's second. After taking just a few days to adjust to Burkina's temperatures and ways, they have slipped right into daily life with us here at the orphanage.

Even though there are still several weeks of school left for some of our children, some of them will be finishing soon and leaving to visit their families in the village. But before everyone starts leaving for the village, the girls planned an 'end of school' party and introduced this parachute where our primary school children played several different games. Everyone was delighted!

This is Brittany on the left playing with the children.

This is a picture of Moumouni taken at the end of school party. Moumouni is a new boy to the orphanage this year. He is 14 years old but is finishing 2nd grade this year. It has been a good year for Moumouni despite all of his difficulties at home and subsequent adjustment to the orphanage. But, he is finishing strong by ranking 8th in his class.

Moumouni is a delightful boy and it is a joy to have him in the orphanage. If the Lord has been speaking to you about sponsoring a child, Moumouni is in need of a sponsor.

One part of the 'end of school' party was an activity planned by Lisa. She purchased t-shirts for each child in the orphanage and organized a t-shirt painting party. Many of the children painted their favorite Scripture verse on the back of their shirt and a design on the front. What fun!

This is a picture of Lisa and Therese working on Therese's t-shirt.

And, I cannot write these days without a photo and an update of the progress on the new school. The work is progressing as planned and as scheduled. As you can see in the picture, the walls are up and the workers will soon be installing the roof. The metal doors and windows are being made by the solderer and will soon be in place.

We praise God and thank Him for all that he is doing for the children of Yako.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

No Electricity, No Water!

We have had a very busy past few days. A storm passed through last week-end and the wind blew down 4 or 5 power poles just a bit north of Yako knocking out our source of electricity. The electric company had estimated 6 days to re-set the poles and repair the damage but thanks to the prayers of faithful friends like you, our power was restored in just 4 days.

We still have one outstanding problem in that the pump for our well is not working. We have called the electrician to come and look at it but he has been detained on another job in Ouagadougou. Hopefully this is not a major problem and this week, our well will again be providing water to the courtyard. For now, we are switched over to the city water source which is expensive. Please pray that the electrician will soon be able to come and that the pump has not suffered serious damage due to the power cut.

Here is another picture of the progress on the school. It is amazing how quickly the walls go up once the foundation is laid. In the midst of other struggles and challenges, we are praising God that we can actually see the school building taking shape.

This week we walked in the new but not yet completed classrooms praying for the teachers who will teach and the children who will learn in our school.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Our New School--

The work on the new school is progressing quickly. The bricks are now all made and stacked up in rows ready for building the walls.

In this picture, you can see the wooden forms being made to form a layer of iron-reinforced concrete. This will serve as a belt of reinforcement around the foundation of the building. After this row is completed the walls will go up very quickly.

We are beginning to pray for each of the new children who will come to our school this year. We will be recruiting 25 little first graders so please pray for these children. The Lord has already chosen then. He knows them by name and will be sending them to our gate.

Please pray also for a new teacher for first grade and for the teachers needed for our 7th grade class.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Visitors from Mississippi!

We just spent 10 wonderful days with two lovely women from Mississippi, Debbie Cook and Joyce Hall. They brought precious gifts of love and encouragement to Sarah, Lisa, and I and also tangible gifts for our children in the orphanage and in the school and for each of our workers.

One of the blessings that they brought were hand-made dolls called 'Testimony Dolls'. Each doll had 2 faces on them, one that was asleep because they had not invited Jesus into their heart and one on the other side that was awake and smiling because Jesus was living in their heart.

We gave the dolls to our second grade class and the children were captivated by the story and each one was thrilled to have their own little boy or girl doll.

We spent time together praying at the orphanage and also with a group of believers near the gold mines where Sarah is praying about starting a ministry to the children and women.

We attended a baptism where 21 new believers followed the Lord in water baptism.

Debbie and Joyce spent hours and hours just hanging out with our babies. They loved and rocked and fed and changed them.

Although it was hard to let them go, they left last night on the Air Maroc flight and may already have reached New York by now. We send out love and blessings to you Debbie and Joyce and hope that you will come back again soon!