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Saturday, August 2, 2014

. . . crazy days of summer . . . . .

I am attempting to write this update from the beach in North Cape May, NJ.  It's peaceful.  The perfect place to enjoy a Wawa hoagie for lunch and concentrate on writing a blog post, right?


Well . . .  I was wrong.  The seagulls are laughing their hearts out, there are dogs frolicking in the shallow, warm bay water, and there goes someone water skiing!


With the beautiful Jersey shore in front of me South Sudan seems very, very far away!  If you're like me in the summertime I find it really easy to forget about the rest of the world. It's hard not to focus on ice cream, the beach, corn on the cob, fresh fruit, and spending time with friends and family.  It's not that Mango Ministries is not on my mind with daily emails to and from colleagues on the other side of the world.  I'm especially busy between my second cup of coffee in the morning and close of business in East Africa - a period of about 2 hours when our work days overlap.  In an effort to shake off the lazy, hazy and crazy days of summer here is a fresh update from Joy's journey.

Catching up. . . .

"Who said anything about safe.  Course he isn't safe, but he's good."  The Chronicles of Narnia
1.  In the past two months several Mango Ministry trips to South Sudan have either been interrupted or cancelled due to security concerns.  Pray for the people of South Sudan, for those whose lives have drastically been disrupted in one way or another from the 7 month old conflict, and for an end to the fighting that is draining the hope and vitality from the people of this new nation.  Thank the Lord with us for safety for our staff and that all is relatively quiet on the front lines of our ministry.  For the latest on what's going on in South Sudan watch this from BBC news.

2.  As the 'Back to School' season gets underway it's rare to hear about students who want to meet more frequently than what is scheduled but that's exactly what's been happening as Adhanom meets with local pastors.  Meeting once a quarter was not enough so the pastors initiated monthly meetings to practice using the 5 step Biblical Storytelling tool they've been taught and to learn more Bible stories.  Two pastors will be mentored by Adhanom to become trainers and then they will all work together to train the rest of the pastors in their Church area.  Actually Adhanom's dream is that Biblical Storytelling will be used throughout the region where he lives and beyond!  "Even up to Aweil, Darfur, Khordofan, Bejaland . . . .  Only God knows how long we can work in South Sudan as we do now.  I want to use our time to the maximum."  Will you pray for the effective use and spread of Biblical Storytelling in Lakes State, throughout all of South Sudan, and into the neighboring countries?  God's Word is the only foundation that transformed lives, families, churches and communities will stand on.  Will you come alongside Adhanom as he trains and mentors pastors in South Sudan?  Let him know you're praying for him by sending him a quick email or give a financial gift towards his ministry expenses.

Adhanom with his trainer and mentor in Biblical Storytelling, Billy Coppedge

Adhanom with those he is mentoring in Biblical Storytelling!

3.  CHE training
31 expected participants and 4 trainers.    So many details to make a training happen your head would probably spin if I were to list them all.  Our next week long training begins Monday, August 4th.  Please pray for Adhanom as he leads this week of training for a group of folks from Lakes State.

Santino and Andrea will help facilitate and translate at the CHE training

Adhanom and Margit acting out the River Crossing skit last year

4.  Oremos
In my last blog post I mentioned that I was headed to Argentina to visit a Missionary Training school that trains missionaries from all over Latin America.  I spent a great week at the CCMT with WGM missionaries, Don and Glenda Moon, and a dozen dedicated Spanish speaking missionaries.  I learned a lot but it was also fun to be able to share about our Mango Ministry experiences of training pastors in Biblical Storytelling.

Joy with CCMT students and teacher

Sharing at the closing program with Don Moon translating

At 10:02 each morning the students pause for prayer.  What are they praying for?  They've taken the 10:2 challenge from Luke 10:2 and they are praying for workers for the mission field.  Would you join them in taking the 10:2 challenge and pray for workers for Mango Ministries?


 If you've already committed to praying one day a week for me and Mango Ministries please add this to your prayer list.  If you'd like to make a commitment to pray for me and Mango Ministries let me know what day of the week you'll be praying! Prayer is the work of missions!  Oremos!
Time:  10:02

The question was raised while I was with these missionaries in training.  Does God want to send Latin American's to Africa to join Mango Ministries?  You can add that question to your prayer list!

5.  Homeland Ministry Assignment Interrupted
My HMA was interrupted in the month of June for a quick trip back to Kenya to attend several meetings.  It was great to connect with my colleagues and friends and catch up with Mango Ministries first hand.

WGM Africa Regional Leaders gathered for a Leadership Retreat

Adhanom and Joy catching up in Nairobi

Joy with the rest of the Hidug family:  Helen, her sister Martha, Shamna and Fasika

After sharing a meal together Helen honored us by performing an Eritrean coffee ceremony.  Watch out you barista's! 

6.  Percolating
Speaking about coffee. . . . I've mentioned in several previous blog updates that I have sensed God speaking to me.  He's been sending people, thoughts, and ideas my way that have been percolating in my heart and mind regarding a whole new blend of ministry.  He's been opening my eyes to areas of the world that I formerly had no interest in.  He's been breaking my heart for people who don't have anyone to tell them about Jesus.  This new way forward isn't clear just yet so I am committed to wait on the Lord.  I will continue leading Mango Ministries while I wait, pray, listen, and learn.   I'll be returning to East Africa this fall so please join me in praying that God will use me in the here-and-now as well as faithfully guide my steps for the future.  

What's percolating in your life?