On the 10th of this month we celebrated our first year in Sierra Leone! How time has flown! We have watched God do MIGHTY WORKS throughout our time here, and feel such awe that He has given us this opportunity! We wouldn’t be anywhere else!
Happenings since our last update:
Our thanks to Charles Yimbo for working tirelessly on our behalf with Mohamed’s extended family, Social Welfare and the Passport Office to secure official documents for Bobo’s trip with us to Texas for medical treatment. We also express thanks to US Ambassador Michael Owen and his staff for their help with the VISA process. In addition, we are so grateful to Dr. Mark Jackson of the University of Louisville, KY Dermatology Department for their work in determining a diagnosis and making arrangements for follow-up medical appointments in Texas. Last, but not least, we are so appreciative a Texas family for the purchase of Bobo’s airline ticket!
Thanks to an Association of Sierra Leoneans and a family in Jefferson City, MO, Margaret Tucker’s 25 Orphans, with the exception on Martin who is severely disabled, are either in school or skills training. Amazing! Charles Yimbo has been instrumental in working with the oldest 6 to ensure that they are making wise decisions for future college or skills related work.
In September, we had a great meeting with the Board of Directors for Hosetta School for Children with Mental Challenges. Work continues on the dormitory structure and we are trusting God to provide funds at every stage of construction.
We were blessed to have our annual medical testing done in South Africa, and are happy to report that we are healthy and able to continue the ministry God has called us to in Sierra Leone! Our thanks to a Texas family that made the trip possible, and to Tim and Jeanne Mahoney, long-time friends and IMB missionaries, for making all arrangements for our appointments and having us in their home!
In October, we enjoyed the company of Kent Jones, chairman of our missionary sending counsel at FBC McKinney. We were able to share the highlights from 2011 and look toward to the vision God is unfolding for 2012.
In November, we welcomed Justin and Chris Duren from Jefferson City, MO, as they “walked alongside us” for a week of ministry, as well as visiting a child and caretaker family that they sponsor in the interior of SL.
Food distributions, harvests of ground nuts and rice, and skills development have continued through the fall for 244 family units in 3 communities. God seems to be opening the door for more agricultural and skills work for 2012, as well as tarp roofing structures for 85 widow families.
Young Adult Skills Development in the Jui Community will expand in 2012 as business cooperatives are being formed by existing students under the direction of their current instructors in the areas of electrical, plumbing and cosmetology.
A highlight for us this fall was to provide a no-interest microloan to a young woman desiring to escape a life of prostitution. She has opened a petty trading store to support herself and her son. We wish you could have seen her face when she came by in October to make her first payment…such a sense of accomplishment!
Above all our desire is to share the love of Christ in all that we do! We could very easily get so bogged down in the humanitarian aspect of our work that the Gospel would be completely lost. As we finish 2011, we are being more deliberate in sharing Christ as we bring several projects to a stopping place for the holidays. Jesus is why we are here! It’s all about Him!
We will travel to Texas December 9th to spend Christmas with family and friends. Even though we have a Passport and US VISA for Mohamed, we know there could be questions as we depart Freetown, pass through London and Chicago, and arrive in Dallas. Please pray that all goes well with no delays!
Please pray for new insight from doctors as to how to better control Mohamed’s skin condition.
We pray for our teammates on the ground in Sierra Leone as our absence will add extra work for them.
Teammate Gabe Herrera, Hope Centre dentist, is suffering with pain in his hands and wrists. Dental patients line up early, he works long hours, and more recently he has volunteered with Mercy Ship on his day off. He has had no rest for his hands.
While our hope in Texas is to spend as much time as possible with family and friends, we will have a few meetings to attend, vision checkups and replace eyewear, and planning, purchasing and packing of supplies for at least the first 6 months of 2012. We pray that these things will go smoothly, and we trust that God will provide for added expenses as we close out 2011.
We pray to return to Sierra Leone in January refreshed and ready for a wonderful 2012!
Praising our Lord,
Tom and Becky