thoughts from a "pasteur de jeune"

God is good. On the plane ride to Africa, during the overnight flight I was sitting next to a man from India and an American who grew up in Togo, west Africa. We had many discussions, but the most helpful thing was "when you go to Africa, don't give them a fish... teach them how to fish." What are the chances that the two who needed to advise me were the two who sat next to me?

God is good. Our culture shock is minimal, because Alain and Kara translate everything, get us the things we need, and know the church and local pastors.

God is good. Even though many pre-trip plans were made, most of those plans were changed. And the motto of every good mission trip is "be flexible." And we are.

God is good. We have internet to update those who are praying for us back home and talk to our loved ones.

God is good. And even though we feel overwhelmed when we see the great need of those around us, we praise the God who loves all and rescues those who call on him.

God is good. He brought everybody to this place that He wanted to bring. And all He wants to accomplish, He will. And we get to be a small part of that.

God is good.

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it is darkest just before dawn

There have been many roadblocks for several individuals on this Africa mission trip.

Each one had varying difficulties financially.
One couldn't at first take the required yellow fever vaccination because of allergies.
One had gallbladder surgery.
One got an infection just days before we were to leave.
One had a serious infection on his foot that needed to be healed before he left.
Two had problems with the tickets at the airport, and got bumped to the next flight.

It has been my experience that if the evil one is attacking you, then he is afraid of what God will do through you.

This only makes me more excited about the next few days. I believe that God will do something big. And I'm honored to play a small part in it.


prayer needs for the trip

basic prayer needs:

for God to open hearts of the unbelievers

for God to encourage the believers there

for energy and strength and health for the team

for others back home to pray fervently

for safe travel

specific needs:

Thurs 11-26 (Thanksgiving)

Women's Conference (morning)

for women to see their value in the eyes of God

Children's Conference (afternoon)

for children to be loved and to believe that Jesus loves them

Youth Conference (afternoon)

for young people (ages 15-30) to see that they need to stand strong against temptation and that they need to be salt and light to the world around them

Fri 11-27

Pastors Conference (all day)

for pastors to be encouraged in their ministry and for them to learn more about how to serve God and be the church to the world

Children's Conference (afternoon)

for children to be loved and to believe that Jesus loves them

Sat 11-28

Pastors Conference (morning)

for pastors to be encouraged in their ministry and for them to learn more about how to serve God and be the church to the world

Ministry (afternoon)

for the team to have whatever is necessary to provide help to whatever needs they encounter (recent flood damage, basic food needs, etc); also for them to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus' love for them

Sun 11-29

Church service

for believers to worship freely together, for God to move mightily in all our hearts, and for unbelievers to turn over their lives to God

Mon 11-30

Visit village of Louda (where Kara served)

for believers there to be encouraged not to give up on the Jesus who loves them

Tues 12-1

Evangelism in city

for boldness in proclaiming the good news of Jesus, and for hearts of those who hear to let God in

I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me

Africa. I have wanted to experience it for quite some time now, and I'm not sure why. I think God has been preparing me for "such a time as this". I do know that He has clearly spoken to me and Marion from the beginning about the fact that He wants us there. And He has provided every step of the way.

First Baptist is taking a trip to Burkina Faso in west Africa. The trip will be during the week of Thanksgiving, and we are excited about what God will do in us and through us.

But we need your help. If you read these words, then I am asking you to pray. Prayer is what can make or break everything Christians do. I am convinced that churches who don't plan to pray will plan to fail. Prayer can bring drought and bring rain and can change anything.

Sometimes it even seems as if God is waiting to see how badly we desire Him as measured by our prayers. Why would so much depend on prayer? Blaise Pascal says God does it because He gives us the "dignity of causality." He wants us to be involved. How great is His mercy!

For the next two weeks, I will use this blog and a Facebook group to keep the needs of this trip before folks who want to pray for us. Hopefully there will pictures and maybe even a guest blogger or two. But don't misunderstand. Your part in this endeavor might mean the difference between an expensive fun church trip or a mighty movement of God among His people.

Daniel 2:20-22
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.