Author: Marilyn Roughley

Nepal Update/August 2019

Nepal Update/August 2019

This past July heavy rainfall flooded areas of Nepal once again as we reported earlier. Mtelo Ministries reached out with assistance to one of the harder hit areas. With financial assistance, an Mtelo partner on the ground there, was able to purchase and distribute rice and cooking gas. 150 people received 30KG rice sacks each. Here is an excerpt of a letter from one of the benefactors.

“We are from the poor family and we used to work for other’s farm for food for the family. My husband used to work for the brick factory and bring food for the children.

In last July, immediately flood came to our village and a big river came near our small hut almost at Mid night. I immediately woke up and awoke all the children and we run to the safe place to save lives. My husband was out of home for work for 3 days.

From the floods time he is out of contact and we could not find him. It’s been almost 2 months but he is not at home. Our children are 10,7,4 and 1yrs old.

Now days most of our times spending with tears. No food at home, house damaged by the floods and 2 children are suffering from the flue after floods.

Last week I have got a 30 KG of rice sack with other community people. I was happy for I got food for the children for few weeks. Thank you.”

Mtelo Ministries is grateful to those who have sent contributions to help those in need of food and shelter.

Cooking gas given to flood victims

Sacks of rice distributed to flood victims
Flood victims with rice sacks.
The work continues at the Annex Guesthouse-Cameroon

The work continues at the Annex Guesthouse-Cameroon

John and the SIL employees of the CAM Shop are converting two guestrooms at the Annex Guesthouse into suites with their own private bathrooms.

The CAM Shop Employees with John.
Breaking up the wall to add a door into the bathroom

Fabrice and Calvin are preparing the bathroom shower walls for tile. Armstrong is building the wall that separates the private bathroom from the shared bathrooms.

Preparing the shower walls for tile.
Building a wall separating the shower stall

Tiling the private bathroom, installing the ceiling in the guest bedrooms and they are burying the plumbing in the wall of the building. The building is made of mud, bamboo, and wood framing. The construction is called pota pota here. They had the water lines under pressure for 24 hours to check for leaks before they covered it up with concrete.

Tiling the bathroom
Installing the ceiling

Finished product-job well done!

Guesthouse suite with private bathroom
Private bathroom!
Urgent Prayer Request-Cameroon!

Urgent Prayer Request-Cameroon!

Below is an excerpt from one of John and Marilyn’s prayer letters.

Dear Prayer Warriors,

  As I sit outside on our little patio area, there is a gentle breeze blowing-so welcoming-just as the people here are.  We feel at home and our enjoying wonderful reunions with Cameroonians and missionaries alike.  Despite the joyful reunions, many have a heavy heart for their loved ones living in NW and SW Cameroon.  Please read the following which will explain the heavy hearts and our prayer request.

We have an urgent prayer request for the country of Cameroon. Many of you may not know of the conflicts and bloodshed going on in the NW and SW of Cameroon. I won’t go into the politics of it all, but unspeakable atrocities are happening everyday to innocent people, like what occurred in Central Africa Republic several years ago and continues in certain regions of the country. Mission agencies in Cameroon have had to tell their missionaries serving in those regions to evacuate to a safer area of the country.  These missionaries did not want to leave not only their villages and homes but their people group that they were serving and their dear believer friends and Bible translators.  Homes are being burned, people are hiding in the bush for safety, innocent people are being killed.

Last Friday morning, we gathered together at SIL (part of Wycliffe), Cameroonians and missionaries, to worship and pray for the country. It was the most meaningful time of worship and prayer I have ever experienced!! We would read Scripture, pray, sing and pray some more. Collectively, we fell on our knees, prostrate before the Lord, crying out to God, weeping together for the mothers and fathers who have lost their children, mourning for the loss of lives and the trauma people are experiencing, asking God to intervene and to be glorified through it all. Satan comes to seek and destroy, but we know God is and always will be the victor.

So, my prayer request is that you will pray for Cameroon, to pray as we did, for the people suffering, for the believers to stand firm in Christ, for comfort to those who have lost loved ones, that God would intervene and stop the war and God be glorified!  I, also, ask that you pray for these missionaries that had to re-locate, the trauma and pain of leaving their people groups, and the Bible translators they work with.  Pray that God would heal their pain and they would see His hand and purpose in their lives right now.

Thank you for taking time to read this. Our jobs are going well, busy like you. Praying that we will use our time wisely but, also, to take time to build relationships and really listen to people. My devotions this morning mentioned that time is a precious commodity. Wherever Jesus went He was sensitive to people’s needs and reached out in love to them. “If the Lord allowed Himself to be interrupted on the way to the cross, will He not also stop and listen when we call out to Him in our distress?”  To follow in His footsteps, I must be willing to be interrupted, to reach out in love and give of my time to others that are hurting and in need.  Please pray that I will do that.

Thank you for your prayers, they are needed and appreciated more than you know.


Marilyn (for the two of us)

Our “home” away from home.

The compound where we live and the guesthouses.

Mtelo Ministries serving in Cameroon in 2019

Mtelo Ministries serving in Cameroon in 2019

Occasionally, Mtelo Ministries Board Members will serve or work with other Mission Agencies. In January of 2019 – April 2019, John and Marilyn Roughley worked in co-operation with SIL in Yaoundé Cameroon.

John will serve as the CAM (Construction and Maintenance) Shop Manager, working with the CAM Shop employees. He and his men are in charge of maintaining all the missionary compounds, individual missionary housing as well as all the SIL offices.  This is in John’s wheelhouse and he really enjoys serving God and the missionaries in this capacity.  John has a wonderful relationship with his men and he leads a Bible Study with them every Monday morning before they begin work. I will be helping out at the Annex Guest House, assessing repairs that need to be done to spruce the place up and welcoming guests, mostly missionaries, and serving them as needed. I enjoy serving them, praying with them, getting to know them and listening to  their stories of their challenges and joys.  God has given me the opportunity  to teach English to some of the French speaking Cameroonian SIL employees.  I always enjoy this and I am always challenged and blessed by the students.  It is my privilege to work in a neighborhood Bible Club this year run by a godly Cameroonian woman with the assistance of two missionaries. Children are my heartbeat and loving them and telling them about the Lord is one of my greatest joys. 

Please pray that God will provide us with the abilities needed for our ministry and that we will give  all the praise and glory to God! It is His work, not ours, we are just His vessel. Please pray Ephesians 4: 1-3 with us.  Paul writes “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord , entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Serving Christ with you,

John and Marilyn

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

March 16, 2018

Dear friends,

My heart is full! Leaving is always bittersweet-I am missing and longing to see my family, my daughters, my grandchildren but I am not ready to say goodbye to the folks here. The many faces of FATEB:  Dr. Nupanga, the doyen of FATEB,  a well- known theologian and our friend; Christopher and Marcelline, our dear friends- the chaplain and the directrice of the women’s school and head of hospitality;  Marcelline, Gertrude and Blanche-three teachers at the women’s school that I am honored to call my friends; Esther, who has an infectious laugh and smile and keeps my house squeaky clean; Joel, my son, the young man who helps me with the children’s program and teen boys program; the children who love without condition and bring such joy, the teen boys who love sports; Yolande, my friend and translator for the teen girls program; the teen girls who sing with exuberance, pray with zeal and are always laughing and smiling , the seminary students who have a passion for learning and following God’s call on their lives, the women-my sisters – my friends, the community of believers here who have made us part of their family; my English students who make class fun and challenging.  I love and will miss them all. Hope the pictures give you a glimpse of the people and the place we love so much!

I will even miss the crazy taxi rides where you share the taxi with 6 or 7 other people, two in the front seat, not including the driver, and as many as you can fit in the back sitting on laps of others you don’t know; going to the bakery to get bread, the crazy traffic filled with taxi’s, motorcycles and people walking in between all of it as they all drive around the ruts in the road. As a missionary once old us, you know the drunk drivers because they are the only ones driving straight. (no pics as you can’t take pictures in the city).

As I walked over to married housing last night in the dark to say some final goodbyes, children were out drawing water, many were sleeping on mats outside on the ground because it was too hot to sleep inside ( the housing provides two small bedrooms and most families average 5 – 7  children with other family members living with them) , women were washing dishes outside by flashlight or candle light (electricity was out), men were talking together. I stopped at one house where they were all sitting inside, 8 children and the parents, singing together, playing the guitar, drum and tambourine, praising God together in Lingala.  It was beautiful, I could have listened all night.  I was struck by the realization that I never hear any of the students complain about the inconveniences, the challenges and struggles of their everyday life.  What I do hear is their gratefulness to God for another day to be alive, to serve Him, for their family, for their opportunity to study God’s Word and their confidence that God will provide and thankfulness to God for His protection and grace and their vision for the future ministry.

To our family at home-we love you so much and can’t wait to see you!   To our prayer partners, thank you for praying! To God, all honor and praise; thank you for your protection, mercy, undeserved grace and love on us and toward us.  We pray YOUR light and love shone through!! 

Love, John and Marilyn    

Dr. Nupanga, the Doyen of FATEB
Christopher and Marcelline
View of the Infirmary and Preschool

The etage
The etage, where many students and their families live.
Winding Down-March 2018

Winding Down-March 2018

                                                                                                                                                                March 2018

Dear Prayer Partners,

Just thought I would give a brief update on our time here as it is winding down.  I leave to come home March 16th.  John will be flying on to Yaoundé, Cameroon to work for SIL for three weeks on a special project. He will then return to Bangui and wrap things up here and then come home. Pease be in prayer for him while he is gone.

John and I (mostly John) have had several meetings with Dr. Nupanga looking at the challenges of an aging infrastructure.   Items that have been addressed is providing better internet access for the students as well as the faculty, providing water on a more consistent basis, and looking at solar power for the library.  John, as well as others on the Mtelo board, have worked on a grant request for several different projects.  First, John and Nupanga have been exploring solar power and we are planning our first solar project.  Funds have been requested funds in a grant proposal to convert the library from commercial power to solar power. FATEB hopes to begin this project this summer if the grant is approved. We have received pricing to install a campus wide WI-FI system which will also be powered using solar.

As part of the grant request, we have also requested funds from foundations to replace old galvanized water lines (which have closed) with plastic water lines in eleven residential buildings.  These building include 24 apartments in married housing, 6 duplexes and the single student housing building.  These supply lines have rusted, and the flow is restricted to a trickle. As a result, there is either no water or very limited water pressure.  Students are required to draw water from several locations around the campus.  This project will provide for the restoration of indoor plumbing for the married and student housing as well as the increased pressure for the duplexes. Pray that the funds will be granted.

Work continues at the Leadership Center; door frames have been made and installed and they are currently working on making and installing the window frames.  Water has been hooked up to the building.  The Lord has provided the workers; all glory to God.

I have been enjoying my time with the children’s program.  It is so encouraging to watch and listen to the children recite the memory verses from heart. We always ask questions after the Bible story to make sure they understand what they have heard and to answer any questions.  Then off to coloring with such jubilation!  The teen girls continue to amaze me.  One of the teen girls, Gratia, will lead the singing and then after a few songs she takes us into a time of prayer.  So awesome to see these girls mature in the Lord and take leadership roles.  I have known Gratia since she was very young, and she has been coming to the teen girl program since 2012.  Her mother is the director of the ecole maternelle-the kindergarten school and pre-school and her father is a professor here at FATEB. I am amazed at their insight when we ask them questions relating to the devotions. The teen boys have welcomed me, we have a great time together-and they are willing to learn any craft I offer, which has been a challenge for my brain. We then end with a game of soccer or basketball.  Please continue to pray for all these children and teens that they will continue to grow in their faith and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

I always enjoy my time with the women in the women’s school.  They have such steadfast faith and inner joy. Please pray for them in their challenges of raising children here in difficult situations.

My time with the English class is also coming to an end and I will miss our time together.  We are already talking about next year.  We have been working on sharing their testimony in English.  As Bible translators they often must raise funds to attend conferences or for special projects, so it would be helpful if they are able to write it in English when requesting funds from westerners.  Currently they write the request, and someone edits it and then translates it for them.  They would like to one day write it themselves.  Please pray for the translation work so thousands more will have the gospel in their own language.

Pray for the theological students here as they study and then return to lead their churches in the truth of God’s Word and spread the good news.  Psalm 86:9 “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and they shall glorify Thy name.”

I had the privilege to watch two SIL missionary children for 10 days while their parents were in a spiritual retreat.  They were such a delight and it was a real treat for me. Pray for the SIL missionaries and the challenges they face living and raising children here in Bangui and around the world.

Please pray for John and me as we were asked to lead chapel on Friday.  I will be leading the singing (fortunately one does not need a good voice to do this-just enthusiasm) and reading the Scripture and John will be preaching.  While he and I have already done that in the English service here-there are usually only about 20 people, chapel is in front of the entire student body-yikes!! John doesn’t mind getting up there, but my nerves will be on edge-pray for calmness and peace for me and that the Holy Spirit will speak through John.

Thank you again for your prayers.  It is such an encouragement to know people are praying for us.  We pray that we will see others through the eyes of Jesus and love as Jesus loves.


John and Marilyn

Some of the girls receiving their yarn
Coloring their Bible story picture
Installing the window frames
Women’s School
Praise and Reflection- Feb. 2018

Praise and Reflection- Feb. 2018

Dear Prayer Supporters,


We woke early one morning to an amazing African thunderstorm a week or so ago. The temperatures tumbled 20 degrees into the low 80’s that day-what a wonderful, refreshing, sweet relief from the oppressive heat we had been experiencing. Thank you, Lord, -it was truly heaven-sent.


We had been experiencing a week of temperatures in the 100’s with only electricity about 10% of the time that week-so no fans. The water issue became increasingly worse, we were without running water from 7:00 in the morning until around 6:00 in the evening. We learned to fill our buckets every night to get us through the next day. We had been praying for relief from the heat, for water and electricity. One morning while having devotions I was reading when Paul asked God to relieve him from the “thorn” in his side and all the imprisonment and torturing etc. God answered him not as he had expected.  God said to him” My grace is sufficient.”  That morning God said to me “My grace is sufficient.” Now, I am in no way comparing our situation to that of Paul’s-only to say that when I focus my requests on temporal needs I find I miss the deeper spiritual work God wants to do in me.


One night when we had run out of water, we walked around to all the water sources-all to no avail. Everything was empty.  At the back of the campus an elderly, displaced woman who lives in a little metal shack at the back of the campus, offered us her container of water.  We were so humbled but graciously declined. On our way back to our house, Joel, a young man, took my bucket and ran outside of FATEB looking for water.  He returned empty-handed.  Our neighbor noticed and within minutes sent his son to our house with a bucket of their water.  We were so humbled by their genuine love and concern and willingness to share what little they had with us.  The community of believers here, the students and their families, live out their faith daily, we see them sharing what little they have with those in need. They are the hands and feet of Jesus! I pray that we are demonstrating our faith in such a way that only Jesus is seen and that we are His hands and feet and showing His love to a lost world in need of a Savior and sharing with those in need here at FATEB.   I John 3 :18 “… let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and truth.”

I Peter 1:22 “Since you have in obedience to the truth, purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren fervently love one another from the heart,”

The work continues at the Leadership center and the programs for the children, teen girls, teen boys and women’s school continue, English class continues to challenge and stretch me – all glory to God! Water situation is better now-thank you Lord.

In Christ,

Marilyn for the both of us

Mtelo Serving FATEB-Bangui, Central African Republic

Mtelo Serving FATEB-Bangui, Central African Republic

Bill and student painters

One of several classrooms finished
New ramp built

Dear Prayer Supporters,

It has been almost two weeks now filled with painting and prayer, tragedy and rejoicing, planning and execution, praise and prayer, sickness and healing, renewing friendships and making new ones.

First off, Bill Kay was here painting buildings alongside the students.  Bill and the 28 students were able to paint all the classrooms in the administration building and the inside of two houses. It is amazing to watch Bill teach the students how to paint but even more to see the relationships he builds in such a short amount of time.  Bill spends time with each of the students, talking with them and praying with them.  At times you would hear them singing together as they painted.  In the evening he would go to different student’s homes, meet their families and pray with them.  He has such a wonderful ministry here and makes such a different in their lives. He is already missed.

Last Tuesday evening one of the first-year students at FATEB was tragically killed in a horrible motorcycle accident. We were told he was one of the top academic students with great vision and a wonderful ministry to children.  Classes were canceled last Wednesday through Friday out of respect and time for mourning. Saturday, the body was brought to FATEB for visitation and then we all went to the church for the funeral service.  It is interesting to observe the differences in the cultures.  There is much weeping and wailing, and, for me, heart wrenching to watch the demonstrative grieving.  I think how awful it must be for those who grieve and who have no hope. We rejoice knowing that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”  II Corinthians 5:8

John and Paul (the construction/maintenance person) have been planning the next steps to take with the Leadership Center, getting quotes on supplies and cost of labor.  Supplies have been purchased and work has begun.  Unfortunately, the ramp they built last year needs to be replaced due to rotting boards from the elements. In the picture above, they are sifting the sand through a screen to make cement to skin-coat the inside and outside walls.

John was asked by Dr. Nupanga to go to Douala with him to obtain the generator and was willing to go but then they decided it was best he stay as he was needed here more

Last year one of FATEB’s major supporters of FATEB arranged for an internet expert from Australia to come to FATEB and make recommendations for both a temporary and permanent solution to the internet issues facing FATEB.  John has been working with him (via internet) to implement the recommendations he made.  This is truly an international collaboration. John has met with one of the internet providers and they are working out an agreement that would provide internet here on campus.  Currently you must buy a wireless device to get on the internet and then pay for your time.

All the classes and times for me to teach in the women’s school have been set.  I was to teach last Wednesday in the women’s school but due to the death of the student all classes were canceled.  The children’s program is in full swing.  The first day we had 37 children and expect about 40-to God be the glory.  I would not be able to do it without Joel, he is my translator, an enormous help and my friend.  I, also, have two teen girls that help us this year.  We sing, I tell a Bible story and then the children color the Bible story picture or we do a craft. This year I have added Bible verse memorization.  The children loved it and were so proud to stand up and say the verse from memory after which they each receive a round of applause.

Even though I was not able to hold the teen girls program last week due to the death of the student, I spent time individually with them and in small groups.  We met last night and had a wonderful time of singing, prayer, and devotions out of Jeremiah, that God is the potter and we are his clay and He is molding us and making us into the women He wants us to be.  We made a craft but of course, the anticipation of the yarn and knitting needles filled the room with excitement. This year I have established a leadership group among the girls.  They will lead the singing and time of prayer, as well as help me get all the craft projects ready-this is a huge help to me.  Again, I owe a huge thanks to Yolande, my translator and friend, without her the devotions would be impossible.  Bible verse memorization will also be included.  “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”  Psalm 119: 105.

The English class resumed last week and all the same students have returned along with several new students.  What a joy to be with them again.  We have fun learning together, we sing together (in English), and someone closes with prayer (in English). We challenge each other, talk about cultural differences, breakdown a Bible verse each class time, learn verbs and sentence structure etc. 

This Friday, along with the help of Joel, we will meet with teen boys-ages 11-15. They have been asking me for years when will we provide something for them. One day in October when I was praying about providing someone, God nudged me and said “Why not you? God has provided me with Joel to help me. Our first devotions will be about faith and courage.  Please be in prayer for Joel and me as we meet with the boys for the first time. I am, also asking one of the single men, a seminary student that lives on campus, to join us in hopes that he and Joel will continue it when we leave.

Please continue to pray for us, we feel lifted up in prayer, we have had some health issues, in 60 hours we only had power for 5 hours, water continues to be an issue, but we feel God’s presence and He helps us through the rough patches with His grace and mercy. To God be all the glory!

Please pray for the work at the Leadership Center, for wisdom for John as he assists with the Center and resolution to the internet situation. Please pray for me as I work with the women and children, that they will see Christ only in me and for the hearts and souls of the precious children and teens that they may know God fully and grow in Him.

Serving Christ with you,

John and Marilyn

Update on Asembo church

Update on Asembo church

Below is a letter from Pastor David Sonye regarding the church in Asembo, Kenya where  Mtelo Ministries helped to put a rain water system in at the church.  The members of the church as well as the community benefit from water caught and retained in the rain water system. Praise the Lord for the work that the church is accomplishing with God’s help and direction.

Dear all,

Warm greetings from Asembo!  I had a blessed weekend in Asembo and was impressed by what I saw.

New pastor and Church growth:

The new pastor, Pastor Dan has been very active as he reaches out to the community and I saw some new faces and was impressed.

Giving in the Church:

The pastor encouraged the congregation to bring in a portion of their farms harvest and I saw people bringing portions of millet, maize, groundnuts among other items.

Kids attending the service:

The pastor indicated that some parents have started attending church after they saw their kids attending the Church!  That was a positive influence indeed!

Rain water harvesting:

The Church still continues to harvest rain water which benefits the church members together with the community as a whole.

I have attached some photos.

Thanks again for your investment in Asembo village.


David Sonye