Giving Without Sacrifice

Kroger Gift Card

***Unfortunately, Kroger has discontinued this program and this method of fundraising is no longer valid.

Do you shop at Kroger or one of its many subsidiaries throughout the United States (Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, King Soopers, Dillons, City Market, QFC, Roundy’s, Smiths, Baker’s, Gerbes, Food4Less, JayC, Owen’s, etc.)?

If you do, you can support our ministry without paying one penny out of your own pocket.  How does this work?  It’s simple.  We will send you a Kroger gift-card which is valid at Kroger and its subsidiaries.  Then, you can recharge it as often as you wish and use it for your grocery shopping, prescriptions, fuel purchases, etc.  The exciting part is that every time you recharge that gift card, 5 percent of your purchase will be donated to our ministry without adding to the cost of your purchases!

Here are a few FAQ’s about the program:

  • Can I still use my Kroger Plus Card/Rewards Card?  Yes!
  • Will I still receive my fuel points?  Yes!
  • Will my purchases cost more?  No!
  • How often can I refill my gift card?  As often as you want. Ideally, each time you make a purchase at a participating store.
  • Where do I reload my gift cards?
    • At the customer service desk before shopping
    • At checkout before you ring up your groceries
    • At the fuel kiosk by the pumps before you purchase gasoline
  • Can my church or business use these gift cards?  Yes!
  • How much money goes to your ministry?  $5 out of every $100 added to the card

To begin, simply fill out and submit the form below.  We will mail you a gift card to get you started.  Thank you for your support.

***Unfortunately, Kroger has discontinued this program and this method of fundraising is no longer valid.  The form has been removed.


Hustle & Glue

The economy of Guinea is powered by small business. A woman selling fruit from a well-balanced platter atop her head; a man leading his cow to slaughter; and a water girl running alongside vehicles as they slow to a stop at police checkpoints.
Here men turn tanned goat and sheep skin hides into leather and tire tread shoes completely fabricated by hand. Little light pours into the steamy market center where the smell of sweat mingles with hustle and glue to turn hard work into a few Guinea franc.

As with many things in African economy, there is little waste when a goat or sheep is slaughtered. The meat and organs are eaten, the bones given to dogs, and the skin tanned. Some skins are used as rugs; others turned into leather. If the skins are bound for the shoe market, all fur is removed during processing. For ties and straps, leather strips are dyed and cut with utility knives, and broad pieces are cut for insoles. Occasionally, cobblers heat metal plates over a single- eyed butane burning cylinder and press patterns into the insoles. Insoles are glued to pieces of old tire tread before the shoes are nailed to a display board; available for purchase. Shoes bought from stock are about $2 a piece and shoes made to order are about $3 each after haggling. Never pay the first price. Or the second. Always offer forty percent of the initial price and settle at half.

Pro-tip: If you’re a Bah buying from a Diallo, tell him he’s a no-good, lying thief who eats vultures and snakes for dinner. Hilarity will ensue, and you’ll get your shoes for a bargain.


Backpacks for Africa

Have your thoughts turned to back to school shopping yet? Are you wondering what to do with your gently used backpacks from last year? Send them to Africa!

We are looking forward to reaching out to a local English School this Fall by donating backpacks filled with school supplies. Contributing to this project is easy. First, using this suggested packing list as a guide, gather the supplies you wish to send. Backpacks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, and other small items are great gifts. We encourage you to follow the leading of your heart as you decide how to help, so you may include other items if you wish, as long as they are not liquids, gels {excluding toothpaste}, food, or perishable items. You should also not send batteries of any type.

Important: Pack your items as tightly in the box as you can. Do not leave extra space. We are charged by volume for shipping, so if there is empty space in the box, we pay to ship air!

New or gently used backpacks, school bags, and computer bags are greatly appreciated. Bags may have culturally appropriate logos.

It’s helpful if used bags have been emptied out and cleaned. It’s OK if you forget! We have fun looking for hidden lunch money! Here are some treasures we found in one box of donated bags. If you’re missing your locker key, please let us know and we’ll send it back to you!

Once all your supplies are gathered, let us know you’re sending a box here and mail your gifts to the consolidation location:

Africa Care Package
c/o MRBC
PO Box 15
Monclova, OH 43542

To minimize costs, several care packages are gathered together to be shipped all at once. Packages are sent on a shipping container via ocean liner. After arrival in the destination country port, goods clears customs and are prepared for distribution. We personally check, pack, and deliver bags to needy students. We also add items such as shoes and blankets that are given for children.

We cover the cost of shipping items from our consolidation location to the destination country and distributing those items to needy schoolchildren. The only cost you bear is the purchase of the specific items and shipping to the consolidation location.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions by clicking the contact link in the menu at the top of the page.


A Slow Start to Rainy Season

Guinea has seen extremely “dry” rainy seasons for the last two years. By June, the end of an intense, extended dry season, wells and rivers had run dry. Less rain affected everything from vegetation to the hydroelectric dam. Less electricity meant fewer working hours for laborers and ineffective refrigeration which negatively impacted homes and small businesses. Our town’s water source became exceedingly low and municipally supplied water became infrequent and dirty. We had to be cautious of our own well water usage so it wouldn’t dip below the pump line.

Colleagues tried drilling a well at our mountain prayer retreat. They drilled 110 meters without hitting water so they moved the rig to another location on the property and tried again the next day. A second, 110 meter well hit nothing but rock. It cost about $4000 dollars to sink these dry boreholes. Since hiring local laborers was unsuccessful, and bringing in a foreign corporation to dig a single well costs about $12,000, we will go without water at this location.

A colleague has speculated that, in addition to lower annual rainfall, one reason we’re experiencing dry wells is due to improperly dug deep wells. These forages, dug to depths of more than 350 feet, when drilled improperly, can drain the upper water table into the lower water table, he theorizes. I also think that communities are digging more wells and the level of the water table is dropping correspondingly.

After appealing for prayer via our social media sites, God answered and sent some rain. Would you please continue to pray with us for rain in Guinea?

“Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17


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.


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}


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.



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!



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.


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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