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All That The Prophets Have Spoken

We are working on this project again. We started translating All That The Prophets Have Spoken years ago, but life pushed it aside. We are hoping to finish it promptly and send it off to the publisher by March 1.

All That the Prophets Have Spoken is a chronological explanation of God’s plan of redemption throughout the Scriptures, and presents the Good News in a way that people from an Islamic cultural background can understand.

Muslims believe in key prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and David, and even Jesus the Messiah. All That The Prophets Have Spoken builds on their understanding of these individuals in order to present a clear understanding of the God of the Bible.

We have already used the non-published, working text with great success both here in Guinea and in neighboring West African countries. Since Pular is written in both Roman and Arabic scripts, requests have already been received for the book in Arabic script as well.

Please pray for this important project: For accuracy in translation, for us to meet deadlines, for the people involved in the printing process, and for those for whom the book is written.

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Ramadan: Islam’s High Holy Month

Ramadan, the religion of Islam’s high holy month, begins this week for Muslims worldwide. Ramadan is a time of fasting to commemorate when the Quran was revealed to their final prophet, Muhammad.

Saum, or fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Followers believe fasting pleases Allah and helps seek his mercy. While fasting, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and all other sinful behaviors and earthly pleasures from dawn until nightfall, or when they can no longer distinguish a blue thread from a black thread. Muslims take this observance so seriously that it is common to see people spitting on the ground during daylight hours so as not to swallow their own saliva.

The three most important days during Ramadan are the first evening, the Night of Power, and Eid al-Fitr. The beginning of Ramadan is determined by the lunar calendar: when the new crescent moon of the ninth month is visible in the night sky. The Night of Power is believed by Muslims to be the holiest night of the year: the night commemorating when Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur’an. And Eid al-Fitr is a celebration marking the end of Ramadan that falls on the first day of the solar month following Saum.

If you would like to learn more about Islam, or to locate a Ramadan Prayer Guide near you, click here.

Please join millions of Christians as they appeal to heaven for Muslims. Pray for the Fulbe people as they seek God through prayer and fasting.

” ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD…” {Jeremiah 29:13- 14a}

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A Few Prayer Requests…

Hello Friends! Happy May!

Please be praying for us over the next seven weeks as some or all of us travel nationally and internationally for airport runs, meetings, to get groceries, and to pick up a small shipment of dry goods.

Also, please be in prayer for our oldest son over the next year. We are praying for God to heal a genetic condition in his hands. He’s so sweet and says he doesn’t mind because God made him special that way. But I worry how the condition will affect him as he grows.

It’s so very hot and dry here in West Africa. Wells are running dry and while we’re happy to share the water we have, it won’t last long. Please pray for rain.

Lastly, we’ve been keeping a secret from you. Watch your inbox to see the good gift God has given us and to share your thoughts about important decisions that need to be made in the coming weeks.

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Kapok

The neighbor’s kapok tree busted open and snowed fiber all over the neighborhood this week.

Part of the hibiscus family, the seed pod fiber is the softest thing I’ve ever felt: softer than bunny or kitten fur. Kapok fiber used to insulate life jackets because it’s buoyant and water resistant. Foamed plastics have since replaced kapok in the manufacturing process in personal flotation devices.

Kapok vegetable fiber is currently used as stuffing in pillows, mats, cushions, duvets, and toys; in Amazon blow guns, soaps and medicines. Kapok seeds are turned into cooking oil, and the wood of the tree can be used for carvings and dugout canoes. Since the fiber is highly flammable, it’s also a fuel source for cooking fires. Like so many other tropical plants, there is literally no waste.

The downside of this amazing tree? Kapoks bloom once every five to ten years. But when they do bloom, they produce several thousand fiber filled pods. Just 40 pods is enough to fill a standard bed pillow. What’s more, pulling kapok fiber from shells for use is labor intensive as hundreds of small, black seeds must be removed by hand.

We collected pods that hadn’t fallen from our neighbor’s tree and made a pillow. Now everyone in the family wants their own kapok pillow. Let me know if you want a kapok pillow too!

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Tabaski

Today is a special day for the Muslims of our town.  Called Tabaski (Eid al-Adha in Arabic), it is perhaps the most important Muslim holiday of the year.  On this day, they celebrate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, whom they believe to be Ishmael.  God sent his angel to intervene and provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.  Those who are financially able in our town butcher an animal, usually a goat, and divide it among their friends, family, and the needy.  Despite the discrepancies in their understanding with the biblical account, the key idea of a substitute sacrifice remains intact, and we can build upon this idea to share the Gospel.  Pray that God would grant us opportunities to share about the ultimate sacrifice who took our place, Jesus Christ.

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Spotlight: Guava and Sunday School

It’s GUAVA season! We’ve eaten them out of hand and jammed several pints. Do you like these tasty gems? Or would you rather leave them for the {fruit} bats?

We’re also hosting a Sunday School conference at our Ministry Center this week. Will you please pray for national Christians who will gather to learn about reaching and teaching children well?

 

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Gold Mining in Guinea

I shared a bit of the gold mining process with a group of young students this week and thought you may be interested in reading about it too.

Temporary Mining Town as Seen From the Road

The mineral rich country of Guinea, West Africa ranks first in world bauxite reserves. They also have iron, gold, diamond, and aluminum ore reserves.

Let’s talk GOLD and Mercury {also known as Quicksilver}
More than 34,000 pounds of gold are mined annually in Guinea. There are four official gold mining companies currently actively in country: Societe Ashanti de Guinee (SAG), the Societe Miniere de Dinguiraye (SMD), Semafo, and Cassidy Gold Corporation. However, there are thousands of artisanal and small-scale gold mining operations in Guinea. Artisanal enterprises operate outside legal, government mining frameworks.

Artisanal gold mining is dangerous and costly, but the prospect of wealth is too great an allure for those hoping to strike it rich. Miners set up temporary shanty towns made of tents and cardboard homes {pictured}. They go into the bush with metal detectors and search vast amounts of land until their detector sounds an alarm. Once gold is found in a region, workers dig shafts with shovels and handmade hoes; hauling buckets of earth to ground level to be processed. Shafts are dug down into the earth and are widened into caves following gold veins as it’s found. Sometimes new shafts and caves are dug at greater depths just under existing shafts and caves. The potential for a cave in is great.

At ground level, gold chunks are removed from surrounding rock with hammers. Amalgamation is used to extract the remaining gold and gold dust from the resulting rock debris. Amalgamation is the process of mixing mercury with gold; forming an alloy called amalgam. Mercury is poured over the work table, which mixes with and collects gold particles and dust. During this process, the gold is dissolved into the mercury. The mercury-gold amalgam is then heated to separate the two elements. Mercury vaporizes: is collected in another receptacle for reuse, while the gold is left behind to be added to the nuggets already mined.

There are physical and environmental health risks of amalgamation. Of primary concern is the health effects to the miner performing the amalgamation. Mercury is a highly toxic element that doesn’t break down in the environment. It’s merely “recycled” between land, water, and air. In animals, mercury can become concentrated in the food chain causing problems. Mercury builds up in the human body and attacks the nervous system. Because mercury vaporizes at room temperature, it pollutes homes and communities when left in open containers in the African heat, and when toxic mercury vapors are released during the amalgamation process. Mercury that’s evaporated into the air can travel great distances and be breathed by miners, their families, and others near the mining community.

Because lungs readily absorb mercury, and mercury is not easily excreted, it collects in the body causing hair loss, muscle tremors, fatigue, decreased cognitive function, and death. In the 18th century, hat makers used mercury to process felt hats. Continual low-level exposure of the mercury vapors built up in the hatter’s body until they went crazy. Hence the term, “Mad Hatter.”

Many mercury free mining techniques are available, however access to safer mining equipment is cost prohibitive for artisanal gold miners.

Barely an hour passes from the time gold is found, mined, amalgamated, and taken over the border into Mali where companies introduce it into the world market. By avoiding government mining frameworks, nationals who find gold retain more of the profit. And those who do not stand to lose their entire life’s savings. That, however is a topic for another post.

 

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2018 Scripture Calendars

Billie is compiling the 2018 Scripture calendars this week. The 2018 calendar focuses on Bible verses related to “Blessings” and will be used to share the Good News in several people groups spanning four countries in West Africa. Please pray for each component to come together quickly and accurately so she can send them to print by the deadline in June.

Thanks to Jenn Kujawa, each month will feature beautiful photography of fruit from our region. {The fruit of the coconut palm is not a nut, but rather a drupe. The coconut is known for its great versatility and when properly harvested, there is no waste.}

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Looking for Adventure?

Do you enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, swimming, cliff diving, camping, off-roading, rock climbing, rappelling, and being at one with nature? Would you like to live and work in the great outdoors? Do you eschew all things modern such as electricity, running water, grocery stores, restaurants, and processed food?

No? Then come work at our English Language Center where you can enjoy all the comforts of home while serving God.

Yes? Then come work at our English Language Center where you can enjoy all of God’s amazing creation with your friends after class.

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Ramadan Prayer Guide

Mr. B againRamadan, Islam’s high holy month of fasting to commemorate their belief that the Archangel Gabriel’s visit to Muhammad to give him the first verse of the Koran, begins today Friday, May 26 for some people in the Muslim world, and lasts through Saturday, June 24. For us, Ramadan will likely begin on Sunday. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims will pray, and abstain from such pleasures as smoking, eating food and drinking water between sun up and sun down, among others.

Please join us in prayer for the Muslim world during the next month. Ask God to work in the hearts and lives of Muslims who are sincerely seeking truth and the way to Paradise.

For a free digital copy of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, please click the link below:

https://www.worldventure.com/30days/

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