June 3, 2018
Greetings fellow sojourners and partners in ministry,
Déjà Vu! Sometimes you have to blink to know that you’re not reliving the same event or scenario a second time. But at times you could swear you’ve already been someplace or have foreseen the next events. And yet, other times things just seem familiar enough that we say “déjà vu”. Later this month the Covenant Church annual meeting is again in Minneapolis. The last time it was here, I was beginning my transition from service under Covenant World Mission to Seed Company/Wycliffe.
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go: Seems I’ve heard that tune before! Packing for Africa seems all too familiar. Tomorrow I fly off to Paris and Tuesday I arrive in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR) to encourage the national partner and projects there. I was ready leave a month ago, but had to postpone due to armed conflict in a neighborhood 1 ½ miles past the translation office of our national Bible translation partner, ACATBA. May 2nd, 15 persons were killed and another 99 wounded when a mvslim group attacked the mass at a Catholic church in retaliation for the UN troops attempt to disarm them. Tit-for-tat, AND THEN SOME!!!!! I hear now that the armed skirmishes subsided and it’s been calmer since May 9th.
Dirt and sweat: The interim past weeks have been strenuous due to yard work that just had to be completed prior to travel. Moving dirt from garage construction, digging trenches, leveling, sodding and planting a ornamental pear tree- it all took energy and time. But I am SOOOOOO glad it is nearly complete. Now, all Jill has to do is keep it all watered!
Celebration: My mother, Corrine, GRATUATED off hospice this past month. She’s much less “vulnerable” since nearly dying in the hospital last year. She is still bedridden, but gets transferred to a wheel chair for some activities and meals. She enjoys engaging in Bible study, card making and visitors. And I am blessed to visit here every other day (when not traveling).
Grateful: I don’t thank you, our partners in ministry, nearly enough for the regular prayer and financial support you give. These letters have been a balm to me, as I feel I can write from the heart. But the real blessing is receiving words of encouragement from you. you see, partnership is not just a one way street! I regret that my travel time is difficult to “share” with you. I want to communicate well, and sometimes the best way is in person, but when??? If you see any way I can connect, let me know. I want to be a ‘global ministry’ resource to you and your church. Perhaps other modes might be feasible: phone, skype, video greeting, etc.
June prayer list:
- My friend and colleague, Jeremie Laoukoura, died on his return trip from checking the NT translation of the Bokoto team. He is also the main trainer/consultant for the Story-Based Trauma Healing project (12 languages Bangui and 8 languages Bozoum). Pray that the trainees and other staff can ‘step up’ to fill this huge gap. Pray also for his family and ACATBA, where he is dearly missed.
- Praise that mom is less vulnerable health-wise and has graduated off hospice. Pray for her as immobility is a heavy burden on her.
- Pray for the next few weeks in Bangui. A Wycliffe team from the USA and Netherlands will also be there, so there will be far reaching discussions of how to help the national partner be more sustainable and effective.
- Pray for the final approvals for the oral storytelling project in Gemena (Northwest DRC). The project is focused on a practical tool of 24 Bible stories translated into 8 small languages along the DRC/CAR border. The moto is: “Tell His Story (Jesus), Tell it well, Tell it often”
Until all have access to God’s word,