Sunday, February 24, 2008

Samuel's arrival

Samuel is a real blessing! We have prayed for him for many months and he finally arrived, healthy and alert. His mom is maybe 16 years old and his dad is one of our evangelists. Mom miscarried during her first pregnancy, and at the time, a group of us from our church went to visit her and prayed for her. We prayed that God would give them a child.
So here is Samuel. After he was born, his dad came and asked Gary to name his son. So Gary prayed and considered men of faith in the Bible. And he chose "Samuel"...because he was a mighty prophet of God and a mighty leader of God's people.
A few days later I went to visit mom. She had gone to the well to pump water, and came hurrying back to her hut when she heard I had arrived to visit. We sat in her simple home and just enjoyed the joy of her baby. Took a good number of pictures, which they enjoyed seeing on my digital camera. You can read the happiness all over her face.
Samuel is a blessing. May he grow up to be a mighty man of God!

Health For 1000

Some of the Gourma women in the "Health for 1000" program. Pretty committed gals, some of them ride their bikes over 17 kms. through the bush to be at class!

Learning about clean water....and learning how to make rehydration drink gets pretty hands on.

Health for 1000

OK, the name sounds really ambitious, doesn't it?! Well, you have to dream big...and with our BIG God, we can believe for Big things! I have myself and 9 Christian women who are believing that God will help us to disciple alot of women and at the same time, give these same women some good health teaching. And we're trying to keep it simple. Here's how it works:

Who is the main health care giver in the family? Usually it's mom. So we decided to focus on training moms. I put out the word that I was willing to give health teaching to women interested in it. In a country with minimal health care resources, I had immediate interest. 14 women showed up for the introduction and first lesson. I was looking for 1o women to whom I could teach a discipleship lesson and a health lesson, and they would take that teaching back to their village and teach it to their own group of around 10 women. and so on...

That's just what has been happening, and I now have 9 women who are regular students. Each of them has committed to teach a group...some have 9 women and other groups are around 16. Every other Monday, I teach the next lesson at the center. The women have two weeks to teach their group. I'm so encouraged by their desire to learn and pass what they have learned on to others. At present we have around 136 women being trained! That's exciting!!!

The last lesson was on Water. How to prevent or treat many illnesses with water. They found it so simple, but so helpful. And I try to make the lessons as "hands on" as possible.

Included in our program is memorizing scripture. In an area where most women cannot read, one of the best ways to help them grow in their faith is to get them memorizing verses, and passages of scripture. They are fast learners and are quite good at memorizing!

As I said earlier, most of the women in the program cannot read. This presents a challenge when preparing their lesson papers. I have to use pictures to convey the ideas, so that when they see the picture, it will recall to their minds, the lessons they've learned. What a challenge! Every lesson prep is an Adventure!