Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Harvest Time!

Midway through the Alpha Course, there is a special weekend retreat called the Holy Spirit weekend.  For cultural and logistical reasons, we compress the weekend into a single day retreat.  We were concerned that the terrorist events last Friday would impact attendance, but we felt it was important to go ahead on Saturday as planned without canceling or postponing it.  Throughout the day, we had a total of seventeen people show up.

Our day included three different times of teaching and discussion interspersed with games and fun activities.  We also offered a full complement of meals.  For breakfast, we had French pastries, lunch was meat sandwiches and fries, and dinner was Toh, a Malian favorite made with millet and sauce made of boabob leaves.  Everyone was very excited when they found out we were having Toh.

It was a long day that started at 9am and went until 8pm.  But everyone was very attentive and responsive.  The teaching times brought some interesting new ideas and the discussion times were lively.  At the end of the retreat, we invited people to come to us for private prayer if desired.  One man asked us to pray for him to change his life.  He was eager to accept Jesus as his personal Savior and begin a new life.  At the beginning of the Alpha Course, this man was a very devout Muslim and resistant to Christianity.  Today, he is a fellow believer in Jesus.  Please celebrate with us and hold him up in prayer as he begins his new walk with the Lord.  In addition, there are three other men that are showing more and more interest each week.  Please pray with us that the truth will be revealed and received and they too can begin a new life in Christ.

We still have four weeks left for this Alpha Course.  This course has been very productive and we’re seeing great things coming from it.  Although the soil appears hard upon first glance, seeds are being planted and are beginning to grow.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Business As Usual

imrs.phpThe weekend in Bamako passed calmly and peacefully after the tragic events at the Radisson Hotel on Friday.  Security forces we able to clear the hotel by late afternoon on Friday.  In the end, 19 people from several countries (including 1 American) lost their lives.  Please hold up their friends and family and they process the loss.

The US Embassy gave an all clear on Saturday, lifting the recommendation to remain at home.  Things in Bamako have pretty much returned to normal.  The President of Mali declared a state of emergency for 10 days.  This gives the police and military additional authority to respond quickly to potential threats.  The President also called for 3 days of mourning nationwide to remember those who died on Friday.  But for the most part, things on the street look like any other day.  Bamako is a bustling city of 3.5 million people.  Our horrible traffic jams, dust storms, crowded streets and shops, and regular power cuts are continuing as normal.

We’ve had many people ask us if we live close to the Radisson Hotel.  We are about 5 miles away from the hotel.  It is on the other side of the Niger River, so there’s an automatic buffer between us.  We have frequented the restaurant at the Radisson and it has been one of our favorite places to eat.  Stepping inside the Radisson is like stepping out of Mali and being back in the States.  We had lunch there a few weeks ago, but felt a sense that we shouldn’t go back.  We had an uneasy feeling about it.  As we look back, we can see it was a prompting from the Holy Spirit.  The picture above is Mali overlaid with the peace symbol. It is ironically in the Radisson lobby.

We want to assure you that we feel safe in Bamako.  We do have to take additional precautions, but for the most part, we can carry on with minimal impact to our ministry.  The world is a very different place now.  There really isn’t anywhere that can now be considered “safe”.  However, we have a strong call from God to be in Mali.  We are in the safest place we can be - in the center of God’s will.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Safe

This morning there was an attack at the Radisson Hotel in Bamako. 170 hostages are being held inside the hotel. Military and security forces and intervening.

*** WE ARE CURRENTLY SAFE AND SOUND ***

Please be praying for a peaceful end to this situation and for the hostages to be safely released.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

You’ve Got Questions?

We are continuing to run the Alpha Course at Go Global Mali.  We are about halfway through the course and we’re thrilled with the results we’re seeing.  15-20 people are coming each week.  Most are Muslim and have a lot of questions about Christianity.  Several of them are adamant about defending their faith, but yet they are eager to learn what Christians believe.  This is exactly what the Alpha Course is designed to do – to create a safe environment where everyone is free to share their beliefs without consequence while receiving the Good News about Jesus Christ.  In the process, many are beginning to open up to Christ as they learn more about the Truth.

Recently our topic of teaching and discussion was about the Bible and we gave each person their own copy of the Bible.  Everyone was VERY excited to receive it and eager to read it.  This has opened even more opportunities to share the Gospel.  Please continue to pray for the Alpha Course and all of our Alpha guests.