Rosemary Walker, AIM, Tanzania. The seminary where she works is very grateful that Knox has purchased a house for staff residences. Now lots of fixing is needed.
Pray for safekeeping as we go to a prayer tent in front of
the Hariri Mosque to pray for the peace of Lebanon.
I was very encouraged by the midterm feedback writing I assigned in my Intro to Christianity course. I’m attaching response of one of my students', a self proclaimed atheist.
Background: for each lecture I include a short bible lesson from the gospels and I illustrate it with a major artwork. For this feedback assignment I put up on the screen four paintings: Corravagio’s Call of Levi, Van Gogh’s Good Samaritan, Rembrandt’s Woman at the Well, and a contemporary Prodigal Son. The students had all seen these before in the first half of the semester.
“In my opinion, the most important thing I have learned about Christianity is forgiveness. From a small forgiveness to the big forgiveness. Like the [hug the] man gave the police officer who killed his brother in the US. That also made me so surprised because killing a person, especially a member of our family, is a terrible crime, how he could the man forgive the murder so easy…I want to know more about Jesus, his work dedicated to this world…”
Congratulations, Mahoma on your Masters graduation on November 21
Dusk, and the noise and activity of the evening envelopes Hamra Street.
We’re out for a walk……..past Kababji, whose windows were broken last night by a dissident (we have often savored excellent family food there after church): it’s business as usual in there, and in all the clothing and jewelry stores along the street.
The drums and noise of a demonstration is ahead of us. We walk right through it, past the soldiers, and the army lorry, on down the street full of traffic poking their way through the demonstrators. It’s just one of the small ones. We’re headed for the tent in front of the Hariri Mosque where a bunch of church people are committed to pray for the coming week for Lebanon. After walking for more than half an hour, we haven’t arrived, and we two grandmothers call it quits and climb into a ‘service’ and head back.
The evangelical community church is meeting tomorrow. It’s located right in the middle of the largest demonstrations. You may have observed them on the news or YouTube.
The three younger members of our group head out again in a different direction to try to locate the tent. It’s 7:47, and they aren’t back yet.
The noise on the street will continue unabated until after midnight.
Nine P.M. they are back safe and sound. One shooting into the air sent everyone running, and ‘Mary’ fell face forward headlong over a rock.
She emerged unharmed and they spent a good time praying in the tent.
Sequel: a boy from Home of Hope met them, and reported that Hajar has taken up with a man who sells drugs………Pray for that girl’s rescue! God knows how to find His lost sheep.
Monday I intend to ignore Beirut and focus on finding Hoda. There’s the reliable taxi driver who picked me up at the airport, and God willing, he will ferry me around the villages where she might be found.
Meanwhile, the two women who are with us are thriving on God’s care and Word. Pray that their hearts will be found and be good soil.
For any of you who have any culinary smarts, we made enough kibbe today for about 15 people at church tomorrow (different church). There are plenty of churches to choose from!
So pray for Lebanon. It’s hard to watch it in upheaval. Maybe schools will be open Monday. (Schools were closed for Mohammed’s birthday.)
Blessings, from Lebanon,
P. S. Noah reported today (Monday) that he'd made contact with Hajar again, and told her that I am eager to find her. mj
Hello all L2L supporters. We received the sad, sad news yesterday that one of our beloved staff, Josephat Weswa, died suddenly after a brief illness. He was a key member of our Communications team and will be hard to replace. He had worked for us since 2013. Everyone who knew him loved him - from his sometimes goofy smile to his committed love for Jesus to his gentleness and love of laughter to his hard-work lifestyle - we all just loved him!
Josephat was married to Eunice and has two children - Purity (c. 13) & Charles Price (c. 9). Yes, his first son was named after his favourite L2L teacher! Eunice is currently pregnant. Two years ago she gave birth to a baby son who only lived a few hours on this earth - so they have walked hand-in-hand with grief before. Pray that the child now growing in her will be healthy.
I'm sending this email because death can often be an expensive process in Africa. There will no doubt be hospital bills to pay. The wonderfully social nature of African life means that family & friends from all over will converge on Eldoret for the funeral, many of whom will need food & lodging. Josephat's church - he was a pastor as well as serving us - and Pastor Henry's church will do all they can to help with this. But above all I don't want any residual expense to fall on the family.
Then there's the ongoing expense of helping his family survive in dignity and his children attend school as far as they're able. The L2L Board will plan for this and take responsibility. But maybe some of you would consider contributing to a fund in Josephat's name to ease the transition.
We have set up a Josephat Memorial Fund to make this happen. Every dollar given to it will go directly to Eunice and the family (but will be receiptable through L2L). Please consider giving even a small contribution. Click Listen to Learn below, click on the 'Give' button, click on 'Give Securely Now' and then choose 'Josephat Memorial Fund' from the drop-down list beside 'Select Giving Fund'.
Let's make sure that the pain of losing a husband & father is not magnified by the burden of untimely debt. Thank you for honouring this sweet, hardworking, gentle, Jesus-following man by considering this. [Josephat in orange in photo on Mount Kenya.]
Sara, rescued from family rape and delivered as emotionally destroyed is now a student at Lebanese American University supported by Beit el Hanane.
Danielle was just picked up by social sevices from abuse by her husband and brought to us screaming for her children. Now a week later, she has calmed down a little and we had a good read together in an Arch Book story of Mary and Martha. Our habit is to have a short Bible Study and prayer together in the morning.
Danielle has had about grade 10 in Lebanon and is eager to reestablish her English.
She has three children age 11, 8 and 6. She is heartbroken at being separated from them. She was married at 16, so is about 30 now.
We have it so soft in Canada.
Please contact Hanein for me and explain to her that without my cell phone, and not able to connect to the internet (yet) at Beit el Hanane. and her email bounced back Pray that those two situations will be solved.
I haven't been able contact Nancy Howard either.
Right now, as I write, a university relative is sitting telling us that the classes are
not being attended as all the students are on the street. We watch the happenings on TV all the time. However, I walk everywhere and will go food shopping this afternoon
Welcome to Lebanon!
God is on top of everything.
Please find attached our latest prayer letter for November 2019. We are truly blessed to be experiencing the Lord's favour in both our personal and working lives. Our wonderful grandchildren continue to grow and thrive, and Beth is enjoying many "present moments" as she is resident with Anne & Coleman for a few months. I am continuing to pursue numerous projects within OMF and am being reminded daily of God's hand of grace.
Without the cell phone, finding the taxi driver was a real miracle. Somehow,
his name and phone # was on a slip of paper in my wallet, and a man standing
outside the airport had a cell. He dialed for me, and the driver emerged from the
airport and we were on our way right across Hamra street.
The streets were quiet last night, but they erupted again this morning.
We are going to go by back streets to what we have to do, like everyone else.
No shooting just now.
This morning was greeted with street chanting and crowds downtown demonstrating.
The new normal? Seems so.
God bless you all, Fawzi and I are going out to see about the cell phone now.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit", says the LORD of hosts.
Don't you see them all around us?
Greetings from the village of Bulima, home of Nassa Theological College (NTC). Sorry, a thunderbolt hit our satellite pole around October 23rd, and I couldn’t send or receive messages easily until this evening, thanks to the help of computer geek friends and neighbours! I also regret not having responded personally to all the kind notes received after my last report, but all were read and much appreciated! Praise the Lord, I have been enjoying life and work immensely, and I get positive feedback from my students fairly often. Today, I gave my testimony in chapel and cited by memory 1 Peter 5:5b to 11. (We are going through 1 Peter in chapel these days, particularly focusing on the theme of holiness.)
Attached please find a brief report with a few pictures and notes for prayer and praise, plus the most recent newsletter of NTC.
We are just a few minutes’ walk from the lake, and the school has several fields near the lake, where a number of the students, and I think some staff, plant and harvest sweet potatoes, beans, some kind of lettuce, etc., when there is enough rain to do so. Praise the Lord, we have had many good rains lately, and all are grateful and rejoicing. The village is blooming like the Garden of Eden, and God’s choir is singing away in glad chorus especially around six a. m., and also during the day. I note that they are definitely early birds for going to sleep, but the tree toads seem to pick up the chorus then.
We are rejoicing in a huge answer to prayer, and a vote of thanks goes to a supporting church for helping the college (within very short order) to buy a house right next to our property. Others were offering any money to buy the property for the construction of a big mosque, but we were able to meet the owner’s deadline of the end of September and “beat them to the draw.” Now, although it is very solid and of infinite value to us, the house itself is but an empty shell, and will need a complete do-over! Maybe a few of you could come and help fix it up sometime in the next few months? And, oh yes, Pastor Ndaro, our principal, would be glad to have two more teachers to replace Natasha and me here for the third term (something like April through June of 2020). Neither of us is available for the third term. (I have to be back in Quebec by the end of June, due to medical insurance regulations.Natasha teaches Personal Spiritual Discipline, Inductive Bible Study, and other Biblical courses, while I have concentrated on English, with typing and personal testimonies thrown in.
You may remember that, with the help of our AIM Canada computer expert, Chuck Pinkerton, I was able to bring along a nice new computer (purchased with a portion of my personal support). The computer was promptly “seized and carried off” to the accountant’s office, where it was deemed the most needed, and I never saw it again! I’m sure that the accountant is happy to have a new computer to work on, and thank my dear support team for this most helpful gift to NTC.
Now that I am back in Africa, my Cup of Cold Water Fund is again open. So far, having consulted extensively with Abram Kidd, our AIM team leader here in Bulima, I have mostly been helping our students and others with school fees and medical expenditures. In days to come, I hope to contribute to the renovation of “our new house.¨ It will need a complete makeover in the months to come before becoming a rental unit for our student families. Meanwhile, the school is trying to secure the purchase of one other house (right across the road from our library and some classrooms) that could be a nuisance if one day a noisy neighbor moved in. The neighbour’s wife approached the school about selling to us, as they wish to move and build elsewhere, and NTC has already given them money for their son’s college fees (and perhaps some kind of down payment on the house). The school is now working on sharing this project with Africa Inland Churches here in Tanzania. By God’s grace, the owners of both of these houses contacted NTC to see if we wanted to buy from them before seeking other buyers. The acquisition of the second building and property would complete a “security zone” around the school property and also provide more housing for students and some income for the school in days to come.
This is my school bell every morning to get me to class on time
I arrived in Guyana on Tuesday – one week after arriving in Canada from India. I feel a bit giddy from all the movements.
Tomorrow I will LIVE on TV where I will unofficially launch my first video on the program. Check it out:
With trouble in Beirut and Lebanon at large, pray for safe and uninterrupted travel.
Pray for the hearts of the girls to be responsive to the invitation for care from servants of the Lord Jesus.
Life can get windy! Especially when sudden gusts come up! Then we realize even more how we are being held, in order to hold on—by the “nourishing sap” (Ro 11:17) flowing into us. It is the Vine that chose, birthed, guides and sustains each branch—a so precious, mysterious, organic relationship. Apart from Him we can do nothing—there’s no holding on in our own strength alone, speak less of producing fruit; even if we are giving 100% of our efforts—it’s the 100% of His that sustain!
Skylark Pastors Conferences 2019
With thankfulness to God we were able to travel to Nicaragua once again with a team of pastors to offer conferences that teach, equip and encourage Nicaraguan pastors and Christian leaders. After having to miss last year due to unrest in the county it was particularly good to be back again. Pastor Deane from Brantford and Pastor Steve from Sarnia joined me and offered much needed and much appreciated teaching on pastoral leadership, understanding the Bible and how the books connect, and on family issues such as discipline, how to live out your faith in your family, and many others.
The theme for the conferences was Following Jesus. I led morning worships and opened the theme, which Deane and Steve dove deeper with in their sessions. The Skylark worship team led lively praise and singing. I always find Spanish is a wonderful language in which to worship and declare God’s praise.
We had over 75 attending the conferences this year, the highest number we have had for many years. Each one expressed thanks for the teachers, and for the sponsors who make this ministry happen. They testify that through this ministry many, many others are touched by God’s word as they take the teaching back and share it in their churches and ministries.
Be sure to check out the video clip of one morning worship and the testimonies of two of our participants. Thanks so much for your support in helping to make this happen.
I write you this to express my deepest gratitude to our wonderful God for His providence through all of you. My immense and overwhelming appreciation for your generosity is beyond explanation. I am humbled by your love, support, and encouragement you have given me. Your support has allowed me to get bits of knowledge that will contribute to making a difference in educational institutions and communities.
To be honest, there was so much that happened during my studies at St. Augustine University. It wasn’t easy but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. I felt very homesick. I laughed, I cried, I was exhausted, I was hopeful, I was anxious. I rejoiced, I was insecure, and I was broken. I was loved. I was challenged, I was encouraged. I was reminded of God’s deep love for us. In all of that, there was never a time when I felt that the Lord wasn’t present. I was reminded that in every circumstance the Lord is by my side and He holds my future in His hands because I have said yes to His calling.
I am thankful to God. He is far larger than all the struggles my fellow scholars and I faced, and now we are equipped with the knowledge to help others. I will continue honoring you and the Lord and letting Him lead me in all that I do so that I will do the same to others.
I honestly could not achieve this level of Education without the Lord but also without every one of you who supported me. Wow! What next??? Graduation is coming soon from 20th to 21st of December 2019 which is almost the Christmas season. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have bestowed upon me. I am filled with gratitude and love for everyone who helped me on this journey.
TWO YEARS OF BEING AT ST. AUGUSTINE UNIVERSITY OF TANZANIA
The two years at the St. Augustine University of Tanzania have been a fabulous experience; I have always enjoyed a combination of teaching, research, and Education supervision and administration. This is a wonderful knowledge-rich environment where I have been humbled to meet with some great minds and interacted with some of the most relevant thinkers in teaching and Educational Leadership. SAUT has been incredibly flexible, granting me the ability to research an area beyond the usual scope of my program, and Lecturers have been supportive and collaborative in my research and studies.
My Master of Education Management and Planning (MEMP) program has helped me to communicate better; plan, manage, understand and apply ethical practices in the educational field and work effectively in a team. This program has opened many opportunities for me to travel and speak at conferences. I have presented at conferences in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya as well as to have been invited to attend workshops and forums in other countries across East Africa like YouthConnect Africa Summit that held in Rwanda. Each experience has allowed me to learn new research facets and develop a sense of confidence and academic voices.
With two years at SAUT, I have also been able to give back to the community by volunteering with staff and students group through Service – Learning Tanzania programs that have opened many opportunities for me for local and international collaboration as well as ongoing support and exchange of professional ideas in international platforms and students driven programs. I was recently awarded a Leadership Serving as a Service Learning Ambassador for outstanding dedication to promoting the mission of Service Learning Tanzania with local and international communities
Above all, I am immeasurably grateful for the range of knowledge I have exposed to in my time at SAUT, It has helped to strengthen my skills as a critical scholar and it has solidified my decision to pursue Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy) in years to come So that I can serve better in Higher Education.
I’m doing okay, I guess, but I’m all thumbs on the keyboard now. I seem to spend most of my time deleting errors and fixing them, so typing has slowed down dramatically. Hence the long delay in responding to emails. Maybe I should try to use voice recognition software and speed things up a little.
Overheard the other morning before presentation skills class: (one student, not in my intro christianity course talking in Japanese to one student who is in the course) How’s that Introduction to Christianity course?
it’s so interesting and fun. I’m sending email questions to a christian man in Dubai and he writes me really interesting answers.
Here. Let me show you. (whips out her phone and they do a sharing thing over wifi. And the next thing, they're discussing the gospel) and here I was all discouraged that no one seemed to be getting anything out of it…
The email church connection thing has been fun. Did I tell you about this part? Each student chose a country and a denomination. New Zealand Baptist, Nigerian Pentecostal, Australian Presbyterian… then went on line and found a church that matched that coupling and emailed the contact address asking if anyone at the church would be interested in being a resource contact, answering a question a week for 15 weeks. So we start out each class with a report time, sharing feedback. What’s amazing to the students is the consistency and the willingness of Christians to spend a lot of time talking about Jesus. They have no idea what a privilege it is. They also have no idea what large numbers of people are now praying for this class.
Anyway, I’m struggling to stay ahead of things. Work is demanding, and I can feel my body and brain deteriorating day by day. My back hurts all the time. Yuriko has been amazing in all this. She located a physiotherapist who specializes in helping Parkinsons patients and that’s been a huge help. But hey, that resurrection body looks better all the time. Suffering has certain benefits and one of them is how it puts everything in perspective. God is indeed very good.
We just had an invasion by children and leaders from the Christian Education department from our church. 25 people of whom most were kids ages 4 to 12.
They are learning how to show God's love in action by visiting the sick. It was so lovely and they prayed especially for our Jacky.
This year has had so many wild and wonderful things going on and my Tanzanian family had so many challenges as well as blessings that it is hard to know where to begin.
Of course one of the highlights was a visit from the kid’s favorite uncle: Uncle Don (Don Nicol) came with Alvin and we had an amazing time with everyone. Alvin fitted right in and was game to try any of the food put in front of him. Don and Alvin took Baraka and Mfaume to the Serengeti and they had an amazing time! They are always mentioning this trip when they are home.
I know that many of you are praying for my wonderful kids. Here is an update:
Jacky is still having episodes of swelling and pain in her lower limbs and loss of strength and pain in her right arm. She is in Form 3 but cannot go to school on such an irregular basis. She is getting tuition at home and hopes to write exam at her school. She is so lovely and usually she sings praises and keeps up a positive attitude.
Because of this situation I have made several extra trips to Mwanza to get her tested at a good hospital, but so far all tests have turned out negative. (An eight-hour trip one way). In the next two weeks I hope to take her for some other tests to Mwanza. We continue to pray and trust the Almighty God to perform His miracle of healing for her.
I also have had several trips to Mwanza and Kahama to take kids to and from school. I usually stay for an overnight as driving both ways is too far. Faraja is now in standard six and is doing excellent. He is quite disappointed if he does not get 100%! He also refuses to admit that he is growing…He is a bit like Peter Pan…being a kid is so much fun! In June he had to go for surgery in Mwanza and had his tonsils and adenoids removed.
Next month Christina is doing her Form 2, States exam. She will come home right after finishing the exam…..another trip to Kahama. She is more settled as she passes her puberty. Baraka is doing better now that he has settled at his Secondary school and is in Form one. He is now as tall as I am!
In February Ngassa had corrective surgery done to straighten his leg. It looks much better but at times the metal pins that were put in bother him. He is now in High school Form 5. He was chosen for the same very good Government school where Mahona also went. I was quite happy for him with this choice as it gives him better chances for a university grant if he passes. I had to make another trip to Mwanza when he had cheated at an exam! After he apologized he was been accepted back in school.
The system here is at times quite frustrating.
Mfaume had finished his course for a certificate in Pharmacy but was told that he needed Physics if he wanted to continue his studies. He finished these last year and succeeded. However, he needed to wait for over a year to get into the diploma course. While waiting he volunteered at our friend’s pharmacy which he loved. He was chosen for a university in Dar and is learning independent living besides his studies.
Mahona has succeeded with his master’s degree! He has 2 B+ and 8 A’s! Am I a proud mom?.......OH YES!!!!!!!!! We hope to attend his graduation on December 21st!
Margreth is enjoying her work very much at the orphanage. She comes home often when she has a day off. Usually Saturday’s and then she has to go back late Sunday afternoon.
This year I also had to go to Holland to attend my mom’s funeral. My mom passed away in July and I still did not have my resident’s permit which could give me problems getting back into Tanzania. I had to drive up to Mwanza and see the immigration officer there. First I needed a letter from our church, and then I needed to book and bring my flight ticket to the officer in charge. I had taken all my kid’s pictures and foster care papers with me. After seeing these, the kind officer put his stamp in my passport and on the ticket. I was able to go and come back without any problems! (And without any extra payments!)
I was so happy to be able to attend the funeral and to join my family in the preparations and service.
Again, I want to thank all of you who have prayed for me as the issue of the permit was a big one. However God’s hand was with me and everything worked out! This past week I finally was approved for my resident’s permit! Praise the Lord!
This past week I was able to collect the almost new Toyota Fortuner in Dar es Salaam. After a 14 hour bus ride and 3 extra days waiting I finally received the vehicle which is in excellent condition and a joy to drive! THANK YOU KNOX AND ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED TOWARD THIS PURCHASE!!!!
It is very good on fuel and has 7 seats. This is wonderful. The car cost $16,300/- US but has been valued at $26,500/-US. The whole process took several days due to police check, getting insurance for a month and getting plates and ownership papers. The drive back took also 14 hours.
The Manoleo/ Malumba project is coming to a close next month and the head office is planning to start an evangelistic outreach there. I am now more involved in teaching two small groups of volunteers who want to learn the Bible in order to do evangelism. They come by paying for their own transport. They get basic food but have to pay for the cook. They sleep on some mattresses in the classroom under mosquito nets. I am teaching an O.T survey and it has been good to see these students relax and feel free to ask any questions. We have had some great discussion. I am trying to help them understand the connection between the Old Testament and the New. They are enjoying the lessons and continue to come once a month for one week during which they receive different lessons which they then use on the weekend when they go out into unreached areas and bring the Gospel.
I hope to come to Canada in January 2020 and hope to thank many of you in person!
URGENT. A recurring bacterial infection around Dave’s feeding tube since the end of August may soon require daily trips to hospital for antibiotics administered intravenously. Pray for complete healing from both the bacteria and repeated antibiotics.
I am currently here doing our fall conference ministry for Nicaraguan pastors. It is going well and I hope to get a fuller update with some pics and video to Don for the website over the next few days. In the meantime here are a couple of prayer items.
Wayne & Helen Hancock Threefold Ministries Nicaragua: Give thanks to God for another successful fall conference ministry for pastors at our Skylark Centre. The Nicaraguan pastors continue to appreciate this ministry and they thank God for faithful sponsors like KWM.
Wayne travels to Mexico City this month to review the work of VELA Ministries that works with local churches to train pastors and equip for evangelism. Their goal is that by 2020, 20% of the population of Mexico will be practicing, active followers of Jesus Christ. Join them in prayer for this and pray for safe travels for Wayne.
Greetings from Beirut! We're fine even though there are demonstrations here against the government. Classes are cancelled for tomorrow for the orphans as well as for me. We're thankful for blessings we've had. Please pray for Marliese as she helps the orphans with their French and English homework. Please remember as well my language study and my desire for speaking opportunities here and later back at home.
Nestor Abdon has accepted our invitation to become our Pastor of Local and Global Mission at Knox.
Nestor grew up in the Philippines where he gained a Bachelor’s of Theology and master’s and doctorate degrees in Public Administration (MPA and PhD). He comes with significant pastoral ministry experience in multi-cultural settings, having served as mission facilitator for marketplace ministry (BAM—Business as Mission) and as an intercultural missionary developing a multicultural church paradigm. He most recently served with Peoples Church in Toronto as the Newcomers Network Pastor. Nestor will conclude his service at Peoples and begin his work at Knox on November 12.
Got home at 9 pm and after greeting everyone I went to bed!
I was exhausted after the 16-hour drive of which over one hour was over rough road. When I got home, I felt everything was still bouncing!
It is very practical with seven seats or more luggage room. I filled the tank 2 times and drove over 1000 km and still have a half tank.