Prayer Letter

Prayer Letter

Dear Prayer Supporters,

We so appreciate your prayers and we feel upheld in prayer not just during the struggles and challenges but the any joys we are experiencing. Thank you! What a privilege to be a part of the family of believers.

WATER- such a precious commodity here. Living in Michigan surrounded by lakes with a lake in my front yard it is easy to forget that so many people in third world countries have little access to water much less clean water. Our water situation has gotten worse-not a complaint-just the reality of life here. There have been days when John or I take our buckets and stand in line at the well to get water. As I stand in line with the other women and children waiting their turn, out of respect for “older women” they either fill my bucket with the water they just filled or they allow me to go next. Yesterday, I went to the well at the back of the compound and was met by 5 little girls who then filled both my buckets and carried them back to my house on their heads. They were 8 and 9 years old accompanied by a couple of little ones who held my hand on the walk back. My first response is to always decline and tell them to please continue filling theirs. However, the children have been taught to respect elders so I graciously accept as their parents would not want it any other way. It is a humbling experience and God is teaching me to accept it. The children continually go to the well all day. Water is necessary for drinking, cooking, washing clothes by hand, washing dishes and bucket baths. We keep a bucket of water in the shower for days without water for the shower-pretty much a daily routine now but it is cold and feels good. Yes, water is precious and I am reminded of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus offered her and us-living water. Jesus answered and said to her “Everyone who drinks of this water (from the well) shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Thank you Lord for your living water. Your living water is most precious of all!

The roof John and Bob are supervising at ACATBA (SIL-African translation org.) is coming along. They are hard workers that like to have fun with John. They enjoy hollering out to John in Sango and John likes to holler back in English to “get back to work”-and then they all laugh. Apparently, flip flops are the shoes of choice as they work on the rafters installing a metal roof. Gratefully, John chooses his boots when he climbs upon the roof. Please pray for the protection of the men as they work and that the roof will be completed before rainy season comes.

John and Bob are still working with the structural engineer on the roof design for the Conference Center here at FATEB/BEST. They hope to start the roof soon but often the wheels of progress turn ever so slowly.

I continue to enjoy teaching my English class at ACATBA. We enjoy learning together, laughing together, singing, reading Scripture and praying together. My class consists mostly of Bible translators, one administrative assistant and two guards.  Kathy teaches conversational English for the more advanced English learners.

Bill, our team-mate, left on Tuesday. He came to paint buildings here at FATEB/BEST alongside the students. He accomplished so much more! Yes, he taught the students how to paint but he invested time with them in prayer and in the Scripture under the shade of a tree in small groups. Bill deeply grew to care for these men and they deeply care for him. Bill was not just their “patron” (their boss) but as they said-their “papa”. He had a big impact in their lives. Relationships are always the first priority.

I am loving my time with the teen girls as well as the younger children and the women. More about that in another email.

It’s humbling, we came to serve and to be used by God to hopefully be a blessing and we, also, have been served and we have been blessed beyond measure.

We have many prayer requests but this one is urgent. A Christian colonel in the Central African military, Ishmael, is traveling to Obo where he and other military troops will meet with the American troops to coordinate their mission effectively together to capture Joseph Kony and his rebel troops. Kony and his army have been terrorizing the villages for years all along the border of Congo and C.A.R.-killing, raping, taking the children to be soldiers for them and burning their villages. The people rebuild only to have it destroyed again. Pray for wisdom as they plan their action of attack and for protection. Obo along with many of the other cities/villages is where I grew up and where my parents served the Lord. This weighs heavy on my heart. May God protect His children.

Blessings and love,

Marilyn, on behalf of both of us.

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