We recently received the good news that our official Tax Exempt status has been approved. This was good news as we trusted God, followed His leading, and by faith, returned to Africa. This is encouraging news – thank you God news. We have better news than that, better news than anything else imaginable to share with all the world. The Good News, the Message that God loved and God gave and now a Right Standing, a right relationship with God – comes FROM GOD, it doesn’t come from religion, the law, effort, goodness or meeting any requirements. There is a requirement … and it has already been met on our behalf. Sin, struggle, hurt, pain, confusion, disappointment, lack of understanding, no longer has to keep us alienated or separated from God. Jesus took the barrier out of the equation and offers a right standing, a right relationship with God, which comes from God, to Everybody…to All who want it and accept it. That is The News, The Good News: that know one can figure out or discover on their own unless someone tells them. Romans 10:14-17 That is why we are here. As our granddaughter Lyric would say…we need to “Show and Tell”. Please pray with us that we could effectively live and share with the people of Ghana. Effectively “Show & Tell.”
The last month has been full; relational and wonderful – difficult, encouraging – tiring: 2 births, 2 naming ceremonies, an engagement and a wedding, friends who are hurting and struggling; some are progressing on the journey towards full devotion, others are wrestling with full surrender vs. cultural issues. Siham and two people from the fellowship volunteered at a local orphanage. We traveled a number of times out to other areas. We have had a number of movie nights, where we have people over and watch movies on the laptop: Facing the giants, Passion of the Christ, Ultimate Gift, Something to sing about, a collection of stories about Muslims who have followed Jesus under great persecution and trials, etc. We have had folks stay the night 2-3 times a week and every Sunday for 2 months.
Relational ministry is what we believe we are called to. It is mostly where we see God invite us into His work, where we watch Him work, and where we see true life change happening. It is the most wonderful and demanding lifestyle we have known. We have been reminded lately of how much we are still adjusting and how much we still need to adjust and learn.
This past Sunday we had 28 for dinner after fellowship, a lot of work, especially for Siham. 5 of our new friends are college students from California. It was a new experience for them, they said that they were coming back next Sunday and bringing more friends. Folks have been taking more ownership in our gathering, which we love, but this week was very much like a church service for church people. Please pray for us as we seek to tone down this new church-y-ness of the home fellowship without hurting or discouraging friends who are getting fired up about the Lord. We believe we are here to reach out to unchurched folks in relevant, inviting, engaging ways.
Since coming we have seen 3 people turn to the Lord, two of them attending church. Our brother who turned from another faith, continues to disciple with us and is a part of the fellowship, members of his family have also come. You are currently helping him go to a 3-month school called the Institute of Creativity. The school is part of The Widow Development Foundation, begun by 2 of our new friends who are African missionaries from Nigeria. We have visited 2 of the school locations and we are praying about helping with some of their needs. The location where our new brother meets for the I.O.C. is also a nursery through 9th grade school, which is struggling. The WDF is stepping into the management of this school facility on Sept 1, with the hope and vision to save and develop it. Please pray with us for discernment and direction in this.
- Pastor Emmanuel and students
God willing, on Sept 1, we will be taking an 11 day journey to the far North of Ghana and to the most remote and impoverished areas. We will be traveling with a family who is here from Indiana, and connecting with another missionary family up north who is working against child trafficking. There will be many off road – bush miles. Please pray with us about the details and provision for this trip.
We now eat “plenty” local food: food from friends, market, local shops, etc.. Meals are a great way to connect and break down walls and barriers. We are both feeling mostly well, with some energy level fluctuations. Siham is undergoing a series of blood work, urinalysis, etc. tests. Gary has lost over 30 lbs although he feels well and is not symptomatic. Please pray for continued health and strength. Thank you for your love, support and prayers. We could not be here without your sacrifices. We believe that our collective work and sacrifice will never be in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58 – Galatians 6:9
Gary & Siham