Thursday, September 30, 2010

Charting a New Course

Logo Large The Alpha for ESOL Course we hosted several months ago was a great success.  This was a special version of the Alpha Course that’s directed towards people learning English.  It provides a forum for practicing English while learning the answers to some of life’s biggest questions.  Last night, John began another Alpha for ESOL course.  We had 15 people show up for the first night.  We’re anticipating there will be more next week.  Please hold this ministry up in prayer.  The Course runs every Wednesday night for 10 weeks and begins at 6:30 pm our time (11:30 am PDST).  If you’d like more information on how you can help and/or pray, please let us know.  If you’d like to know more about Alpha or are interested in a attending a course in your area, please visit

This is an exciting ministry and John sees this becoming a bigger part of his work in Mali.

Monday, September 27, 2010

In Loving Memory

Thank you for your prayers, notes and thoughts of encouragement for Julie and her family as they grieve the loss of their mother.  Julie is disappointed about not being able to share in the services with her family. Even though the funeral was rescheduled for tomorrow, all the Air France flights leaving Mali have been booked solid for several days.  We did record a couple of songs of John playing the piano and Julie singing that will be played at the funeral.  This was a major challenge due to a loud wedding party just outside our front door yesterday.  But we were able to complete the recording at night after the party had ended. Julie also wrote a touching poem and a few words to be spoken during the service.  It’s comforting to know she can still participate despite being thousands of miles away.

Click here to listen to Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) and In the Garden.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Personal Note From Julie

Dahnke Ladies My sister Mary in California informed me three weeks ago that my mother Joyce had reached the last stages of Parkinson’s disease and was not expected to live through the month.  That prediction proved true.  My mom, Joyce Warner Dahnke died peacefully in Yorba Linda yesterday, Tuesday, September 21st around 2 pm.  She was 82 years old and had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for about six years.  Her last two years had been spent in care facilities in Orange County.

Some friends here in Mali have been praying for me that when the news of Mom’s death came, I would hear clearly from God whether I should go to California or stay here in Bamako, for I was unable to attend my father’s funeral in 2004.  Unusual circumstances here in Mali prevent me from going to California for the funeral, which will be this Saturday in Whittier.  God made it clear this morning that I am not to board a plane here.  Firstly, today is Mali’s Independence Day, a national holiday and the 50th Anniversary of independence at that.  Bamako, the capital city, is full of dignitaries, special events, and military parades.  The airport today and tomorrow is being used for state purposes and it would be very hard to get a commercial flight at all.  Secondly, there is to be an air traffic controllers’ strike in Paris tomorrow which would directly affect flights, creating another obstacle to my route.  Research on another airlines confirm that I cannot physically arrive in California in time for the funeral services Saturday.  I have spoken with my sister Mary about these circumstances.  Her words also gave me peace that God is asking me to stay in Africa.

Please remember me and my siblings Mary, Cathy, Ginnie, Amy and Tom this week in prayer as we grieve, and they make arrangements and attend the funeral service.  Overall, there is a sense of release and relief in the family with the understanding that Mom’s physical suffering has ended.  I am praising God for personal answers to prayer in this matter. I am also comforted by the knowledge that I was able to spend some special time with Mom this summer. I knew then in my heart that those would be my last visits with her and I’ve treasured those precious moments these last weeks. God can indeed “work all things to good for the sake of those who love Him.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Code of Silence

Yes!!  It really is a new update!  We’ve decided to crawl out from under our rock of silence.  We apologize for the lapse in communication.  To be quite honest, we had a difficult re-entry back to Africa.  We arrived just at the start of Ramadan and there has been a huge amount of spiritual oppression hanging over us for several weeks.  It has affected our sleep, along with several things that have been out of place both physically and emotionally.  We decided to lay low and adjust back slowly.  Thankfully, most of it seems to be behind us now and things are getting back to normal.  Thanks for sticking with us and checking up regularly.  There is a lot happening in Mali right now and we’ve got plenty to share, so stay tuned…