Sunday, January 30, 2011

General Hospital

Julie has been feeling sick for a couple of weeks with a wide variety of changing symptoms.  We visited the doctor yesterday and after a couple of tests, he immediately admitted her to the hospital.  She has some type of infection plus Malaria.  Our family has been Malaria free for close to ten years, but it looks like our track record has come to an end.  Malaria is easily treatable at this stage, so the concern lies with her other symptoms.  The doctors are going to run some more tests on Monday morning to better determine what kind(s) of infection(s) she has.  In the meantime, she is currently receiving several IV treatments.  She has been going through cycles of feeling good and feeling miserable.

The hospital experience in Africa is VERY different from the Western world.  She is in a private medical clinic that is far better than the Malian public hospitals.  She is in a private room which has only a bed, a light fixture, and a TV that gets only the national Malian station.  Other than that, the room is bare.  There were only 4 other overnight patients over the weekend.  We spent most of the weekend at the hospital.  We’ll be visiting often to bring her meals, fresh clothes, and companionship.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on her progress over the next few days.  Please keep Julie in your prayers.  Pray that whatever she has will be healed and her health returned quickly.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Certified by Alpha

GATOn Thursday and Friday, John helped with a Global Alpha Training conference.  Unfortunately, the training materials are still stuck in Ivory Coast, but the training went on without them.  In all, 57 pastors from the Assembles of God and members of YWAM attended.  After 2 days of training, everyone received a completion certificate certifying them as Alpha leaders.  Later in the week, John and the team from the UK will be meeting with various mission leaders in Mali to discuss ways of launching the Alpha Course on a greater scale within other missions.  The Alpha Course is likely to become a much larger part of John’s ministry.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Call Now! Classes Begin This Week.

We have a great ministry opportunity coming up this week.  There is a team arriving from England on Wednesday night that will be doing an Alpha Course leader training.  This is a training program designed to introduce churches and Christian leaders to the Alpha Course and teach them how to begin hosting and leading Alpha Courses.  We have been anticipating this training and see it as an excellent opportunity to expand the Alpha Course in Mali and train people how to lead it in French.  John is closely involved with the logistics of the training and coordinating things for the training team.

Unfortunately, we’ve run into a few hurdles the past couple of days.  All the training materials are currently stuck in Ivory Coast and there’s not much hope of them arriving before the training begins on Thursday.  Also, John has lost contact with the team in England because their email system is blocking messages from Mali.  This is making it very difficult to work out last minute details.  Please be praying for this event.  We’re expecting 70 attendees and we know this has the potential of having a big impact on Mali.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

All’s Quiet On The Western Front

Update on the French Embassy bombing in Mali a few days ago:  The police have captured and interrogated the man who launched the attack.  They have determined he was acting alone and not part of any group or organized effort.  His bomb was unsophisticated and caused minimal damage to the Embassy.  They have said he was just trying to draw attention to himself.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


There was an unfortunate incident in Mali yesterday.  Someone bombed the French Embassy in Bamako.  Thankfully damage and injuries were minimal.  Details are still pretty sketchy.  The police caught and arrested the man who launched the attack.  John was in town by the Embassy yesterday several hours before the attack so this hits close to home.  Life is pretty much back to normal today, however there is a bit of tension in the air.  We’re hoping this was an isolated incident.  Please be praying for continued peace in Mali.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Time Marches On

New Year 2011Happy New Year from Mali, West Africa.  Because we’re 8 hours ahead of Pacific Time, we get to ring in the new year several hours before most of you.  This year our family chose to bring in 2011 with an intimate celebration at home with just our family.  At midnight we went on our roof and popped open a bottle of sparkling cider and watched all the fireworks our neighbors were shooting off around the neighborhood.  We then launched a few of our own skyrockets and danced with sparklers.  We’re looking forward to an exciting and fulfilling year and we wish the same for you.

This millennium begs the question of what to call this year.  Is it twenty-eleven or two-thousand-eleven?  We hope it goes the way of twenty-eleven based on our experience with French.  The French are very specific with pronouncing years for example 1996 is said as “one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-six” (in reality, French numbers above 60 are so complicated it’s actually pronounced as “one thousand, nine hundred and four twenties plus sixteen”.  What are your thoughts?  Twenty eleven or two-thousand eleven?