This weekend we celebrated KJ’s birthday at our home in Nalerigu. KJ’s grandparents had come to visit and Granny Sarah’s birthday is the day before KJ’s so it was a dual-birthday party!
Lots of KJ & Trey’s friends came as well as some of our colleagues and visiting volunteers from the hospital.
KJ’s swimming improved a lot this month during our short holiday in Mole National Park.
We also had a surprise visitor at the pool one morning! Thankfully he didn’t get in to swim!
Easter came around again and that meant a visit to Nakpanduri for Ms. Denise’s annual easter egg hunt ! I lose track of how many years she has been doing this but it’s over 30 and each year we make sure we attend (2017, 2016, 2015). In addition to the BMC families, this year we had a massive group of volunteers (9 from WVU and a couple others) as well as four German friends that attended.
Sumnibooma#1 Baptist Church, a place we visit fairly regularly, has a new preaching point in Tambɔna, a very small community a couple miles away. They erected a simple shelter in which they meet weekly for a worship service. Sumnibooma#1 sends two or three of its members to lead the service.
Often for such events I preach a sermon that has a theme that matches the meaning of the child’s name. However, this child had no traditional name (those are often connected to proverbs) and his English given name was Desmond. Desmond is an anglicization of the Gaelic locale Deas-Mhumhna, or “South Munster.” So basically, Desmond means “Irish guy from South Munster.” Kind of hard to preach a sermon in a rural West African village on that topic.
Thankfully, I found one claim that the American meaning of Desmond has become “gracious defender” (don’t ask me how). That was a much easier meaning to tie to Scripture since Christ is our gracious defender – our advocate before the Judge!
We lost two dear friends and missions role-models yesterday. Randy and Kathy Arnett served 32 years in Africa – many of those years with my parents in Ivory Coast.
Randy prophetically sounded the alarm about the lies, dangers and influences of the Neo-Pentecostal movement invading and destroying West Africa’s protestant churches. I thank God that he was able to write and publish his book on the topic before he was called to his Savior’s side. It is a seminal work that captured his legacy as a theological educator who wouldn’t compromise Biblical truth yet loved West African church leaders with a Biblical grace.
Here are some photos of the Arnetts at some events we attended together: BMC’s 50th Anniversary in 2008 and the 2016 Jubilee Celebration of Baptist Work in Ivory Coast
Six years ago I had the privilege of working with Pastor Andy Cook in creating multimedia materials for Bible education. Andy’s ministry Experience Israel Now uses them in seminars and speaking engagements in churches, school, and prisons in the US. I was thrilled that he asked me to come work with him again this month in Israel.
This trip was different from the first one in that we didn’t hit the most popular sites but explored biblical locales that are a bit more off the beaten path. We traveled for ten days from Beersheeba down to the Sea of Galilee, north to Omrit and and back up to Jerusalem.