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

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