Grateful for 2013

 In Billie, David, Ministry

We are grateful for all the ways that God blessed in 2013.  This year saw a number of changes for us including the addition of a new member to our family born in May.  We also saw a continual advance of the Gospel in Guinea and further growth of the ministry here.  Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement this year.  Here are some highlights of 2013:

Connecting with Ministry Partners and Future Teammates

While we were in the U.S. for our son’s birth, we had the opportunity to travel to speak in many supporting churches to update them personally on our work in Guinea. It was an encouragement to visit so many faithful praying friends. We really are grateful for the hundreds of folks back home who send us out and partner with us in so many ways.

We were also able to meet with three families headed to Guinea to help equip or encourage them for their time here. God-willing, they will be arriving over the next two years. Two families will be serving in a town nearby.  We are most excited for the couple who is actually supposed to join our organization.  For many years now, we have been the only international workers targeting Kola, the city in which we live, and having colleagues in the same town working toward a common goal will make life easier.

Guinea Field Retreat 2013

We also attended a retreat for company workers in Guinea.  We spent a few days together in team-building activities.

We met with a group of folks from a supporting church in our hometown who will be visiting in 2014 for a short term missions trip. Over a span of a few weeks, we were able to train them for service here and help them anticipate what their service will look like.

Elijah

Elijah

God added Elijah to our family in May. He is a real joy and has been a very near perfect baby. He does well here and needs only smile to endear people to himself. We pray for God to use him greatly for His Kingdom purposes.

Discipling Believers

Once back in Guinea, we reconnected with the Christians in the local moftal {church}. We were sad to find that two of the believers moved away while we were gone, but were encouraged by the spiritual growth of some of the others. Church meetings the last few months have included good times of teaching and equipping. God’s Word, the Bible is always central to the church gatherings. Most of David’s personal interaction with the men and women in the moftal are times of discipleship.

Scripture Calendars

Calendar Pic

Work on the 2014 Scripture Calendars took a great deal of Billie’s free time {not that there’s much with a new babe in the house}! This year’s theme was the I AMs of Christ. Because most Guineans are illiterate, each month’s Bible verse is written out and illustrated. The calendars are printed in five languages using Roman and Arabic script, the solar and lunar calendars, and are distributed to more than 5,000 people nationwide. We estimate the calendars easily impact quadruple that number of people each year with the Gospel. Billie will begin work on the 2015 Scripture Calendars in the next few weeks. Next year’s theme will be The Creator God. Creation and verses emphasizing God’s omnipotence will be used.

Equipping Leaders

Conference1

In November, we hosted an international discipleship training conference for Fulbe believers for the second year in a row. It was the second part of a three part series. About 15 Fulbe Christians from all over Guinea were further equipped to reach their own people with the Gospel through a series of teachings from the Bible. Conferences like this are a huge encouragement to them and greatly bolster their spiritual growth and understanding about how to plan their own churches and shepherd them well.

Conference2

Conference3

West Africa Leaders Meeting

West Africa Leaders

In December, David traveled to Bamako, Mali to attend the West Africa Field Leaders’ meeting for our board.  There he met with leaders from throughout West Africa to pray together, share ministry reports, and discuss leadership issues.  It was a valuable time of connecting and growth.

Returning from Mali, David brought our Africa Director and his wife for a visit.  We enjoyed hosting them, and they gave us much valuable feedback for our life and ministry here.

Christmas Outreach

For Christmas, our church sponsored an outreach event to share Christ with our friends and relatives.  We hosted a service with a full meal and invited many people.  With over thirty visitors present, we were able to share the reason that Jesus came and encourage them to put their trust in him.

Assisting the Needy

Billie continues to treat medical needs as called upon. Health needs in our area vary from arthritis to infections to high blood pressure to malnutrition to burns and more. Most often she can treat the needs from our limited medical knowledge and personal supply of medical care items. When the need exceeds her ability, she calls friends in the US who are nurses or doctors or pharmacists. Most often, meeting physical needs is the best way to open the door for evangelism.

Connecting with Unbelievers

The second semester of English classes will begin at the English Language and Ministry Center in January. David uses these classes as a means to share the Gospel with his students. Text comes from Christian resources including the Bible, and holidays like Christmas and Easter are explained within a Biblical worldview. Classes are kept small enough for David to interact well with each student and speak Truth into their lives where most needed.  Much work has been done on the English Language and Ministry Center this year to further prepare it for use as a conference and teaching center, and a base for short term mission teams and traveling missionaries.

Looking Ahead

As we look forward to the coming year, David’s main priority will continue to be evangelizing the lost and equipping and discipling the Fulbe believers in our home town.  Billie will continue her work on the 2015 Scripture Calendar as well as other ministry projects.

Many doors have been opening for David to expand the reach of the English Language and Ministry Center.  A never ending stream of people are expressing interest in taking classes.  Recently, a local nonprofit under the leadership of the United Nations expressed interest in David teaching an English class to workers at their office.  These classes open doors for David to share the Good News and build redemptive relationships with unbelievers.

In the spring, we will hold the annual retreat for Fulbe believers in a neighboring town. During this retreat believers pray together, worship together, have times of Bible teaching, and meaningful discussion centered around Scripture and life circumstances. The Easter retreat is a time of encouragement for believers in our area because so many of them are persecuted for their faith. At the close of our first such retreat, two believers were baptized.

In June, we plan to host a short term missions team from a supporting church in our home town. They will be here to help with a week-long English camp at the English Language and Ministry Center. We may also hold an eyeglass clinic for those who need eyeglasses. Eyeglass clinics serve about 80 people per day. Each person who comes to the clinic receives the Gospel three times: they watch the Jesus film in Pular while waiting to be seen, we share the Gospel with them after they have been cared for, and they receive Gospel recordings before they leave.

We are excited about how God will use us to bring the hearts of the Fulbe people closer to God and closer to salvation in Him this year. If you would like to be more involved in any of our ministry projects, please let us know.

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