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I gave a student a ride home from class last week. We started talking about God and he reminded me that Jesus cannot be God. This opened the door to discussing the capabilities of God. “Can God do anything?” “Yes, He can.” “Is there anything God cannot do?” “No. If He wants He can.” “Is…

Swahili Coast: We have been meeting weekly with a group of local women to study the Word and encourage each other in the Way. “Stephanie” and another MBB (for those of you familiar with this term) are a part of this group. Recently, Stephanie realized she needs to tell her family about her choice to…

“Sidi” is from Sahara’s Gate where we serve. He was in the States as a student but our mutual friend was unable to introduce us. So, I emailed Sidi when we were in his country. No response. I tried again a month later. He responded immediately! He had just hooked up internet service that day….

Merry Christmas from Africa!  As we celebrate the birth of our Savior here (while sweating!), I am especially thankful to consider how God came to make a way for us and now—as if that wasn’t marvelous enough—He includes us in the process of Kingdom expansion! Many of you have been praying for “Stephanie.” A few…

Our Christmas Party on Friday was a great celebration. The English center was packed with students and friends who enjoyed the taste of Christmas cookies while drinking the bissap wassail tea and hot chocolate. Then we read the full Christmas story from the Injil (the Gospels), sang Christmas carols in their heart language and watched…

In the little shop where I spend time daily, I proclaim Jesus. I proclaim that Jesus is good, that Jesus is the Father’s one, only, and best plan for us. I treasure Jesus before my friend who runs the shop and before the whole community. In words I lift Jesus up. I share his daily…

We went to breakfast at a local restaurant. After we ate, Nina worked up the courage to tell Alan that she is a follower of Jesus. It took her a good five minutes of telling him that she had a secret and making him promise to not tell anyone before the words escaped her mouth….

“Precious” fled when her village was savagely destroyed. She has no idea where her parents or sister are, or if they are still alive. She made her way across lawless countryside to a city she randomly selected on a map. Miraculously, she was spared when other girls were abused by vicious soldiers. Somehow the Father…

I’m going to the wedding of the sister of “Xavier,” a close friend and student. He invited me months ago, urged me to write down the date and begged me to not forget. It will mean a lot to him and his family that I go. Weddings are always exciting. Lots of people will attend….

Unforgettable moments can come unexpectedly any day. Today was one of those days. We stopped by “Stephanie’s” house to bring food and greet her family. Her family wasn’t there but we visited with Stephanie. We chatted about everything from school to cooking and to how much we love Jesus. Then it happened–one of those moments…

“Norah” was on break from her Islamic studies where she’s preparing to be an Islamic teacher. It was great to see her again and catch up. She had sent Islamic books home with family members to pass on to me and was excited I’d received them. As she returned to her studies today, I sent…

In a meeting with “Nina” where we studied the Word, she became frustrated again. “I just want to know the Truth. Why won’t God show me?” We talked about the desire for God in the heart of every person and how He’s growing that desire in her. We discussed what it would be like if…

I met a long-time friend, “Jewel”, during Ramadan and then again today. I’ve prayed in the name of Jesus for her healing before but she would remind me that she believes “Jesus isn’t God, only God is God.” Before she came today, I asked God to show me how to lift up Jesus. I asked…

I learned an interesting cultural perspective recently. While I was buying food in town, a man approached me to tell me it was good that I covered my head with a scarf. To emphasize his point, he took two pieces of wrapped candy. He unwrapped only one, then put them both on the ground. He…

The sun rises over desolate beaches, devoid of the usual morning activity of this Fishing Boat community. Only a few walk quietly on the beach, rolling their prayer beads and reciting the attributes of God. Ramadan has started. The hustle and bustle is replaced with quiet mornings of prayer and reflection before each work day…

Swahili Coast: “Stephanie’s” family invited me to a wedding last night. It started at 8 pm, but the bride and groom didn’t arrive until after 10 pm. In the meantime, all of the guests (all women) sat on the ground and listened to the group of young men from the local mosque sing and play…

“Mark” admitted to class that when he was very young his dad left his mom. His dad accused her of being pregnant by someone else. Mark can’t forgive his father. He has a lot of pain in his life. His father tried to reconcile but Mark refused. He knows unforgiveness is a sin but he…

The past 3 weeks we’ve been blessed with a visit by my wife’s parents. It’s always exciting to see someone process what is a new context to them but so familiar to us. It was a joy to share our lives and our work here in the Swahili Coast with our family. Before they returned…

“Gabe” told us, “My father is a religious man. When people are sick he says a dua (prayer) or reads the Quran over charms and gives them the charms. He also hears from Satan. One night Satan told him a curse was put on my family. Afterwards I got very sick and could not eat….

Swahili Coast: “Destiny,” my closest local friend, and her husband “Harry” are devout Muslims who seek to please Allah and follow all the laws of their faith. They are in their mid/late 30’s and have no children. Harry has a mental illness that keeps Destiny busy taking care of him and running their business. I…

Swahili Coast: “Stephanie” and I read the Easter story then watched the Passion of the Christ. She had tears in her eyes as she watched what He went through for us. When it only briefly showed His resurrection, she said, “That’s it? What about when He appeared to His followers?” She is hungry for more!…

An elderly neighbor came to me wanting to know the meaning of her frightening dream. In her dream the earth filled with water, then the stars fell from heaven down to earth. I had recently learned the story of Noah in the local language. I felt prompted to share about God’s judgment on the earth in the days of…

I asked “Marcos” (a Muslim), “So what do your brothers think about you studying the Bible? Have you told them?” He told me he has talked with them about Jesus. I encouraged him to retell the stories we discuss together. He agreed and offered to even bring one or more of his brothers in the…

Swahili Coast : As Stephanie continues to study the Good News with us, one of the obstacles is her friends turning on her, leaving her feeling lonely. She identifies with the parable of the narrow road. She prayed during an exam and received ideas that she attributes to coming from God. That day, walking home…

Swahili Coast: Our mutual friend, “Tony” doesn’t know Christ yet. We’ve built a relationship with him and Tony shows interest when we discuss Jesus. Whenever we eat, we include Tony when we pray for the food. Recently we invited Tony to pray. It struck deep in my heart to hear him say he had never…

Last week a very old little grandma in our village went into eternity. I had walked past her many times as she sat in the dust tending her goats on the side of the street. I always made it a point to greet her and ask about her family and how she was feeling. I…

As we live, work, share and love in the Swahili Coast, we are blessed to form friendships which are two-way streets. We proclaim the truth of Jesus as Lord and our friends present us with the message of Islam.  One friend, “Ali,” continually expresses his desire that I become Muslim. This is not done out…

A whole new level of trust is essential here. My flesh would panic every time the power went out and the water stopped flowing. We were throwing away spoiled food, specifically our beloved and expensive chicken. I remember making it through the week exhausted yet also at peace for His provision. After lunch recently, I…

In this new year, Jesus is looking for those who are willing to go to the hard places, live among resistant people and proclaim the those who have little or no access to the Good News. Acts 26 says, “I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the…

I and Somalia against the world. I and my clan against Somalia. I and my family against the clan. I and my brother against the family. I against my brother. -Somali Proverb #Pray4OpenDoors that missionaries would be able to live and remain in Somalia

Swahili Coast: I was with a couple other team members at an ATM the other day when we had a little altercation with an unstable man who was probably high on drugs. Our island has a big problem with drugs. The man had been following us through some winding streets, asking us to buy his trinkets and wouldn’t take…

While Tigrinya is the heritage language of #Eritrea, Arabic is the de facto national language and English is the working language. Who will learn to speak heart to heart with them and tell them the Good News of Jesus? Will you? #Pray4OpenDoors

Swahili Coast: “Stephanie” and I met again. She’s finished reading Matthew about Jesus’ death and resurrection. She couldn’t believe people would choose to kill Jesus over Barabbas. I asked her if she believed this story, and she emphatically answered, “Yes!” Though her family is not hostile to the Good News, they are not interested in…

I have a friend “O” that I see once a month. We never meet in the same place. We enjoy our visits, but O does not want to be seen with me too often. Why? Because he is a secret believer in Jesus. O does not want to be discovered and being seen too often…

The Beja of Sudan spend up to 25% of their income on coffee. And we Americans thought we loved coffee?! The Beja are also known for their sword dancing which tells of their previous war victories. #Pray4OpenDoors and for this talented, hospitable nomadic unreached people.

Today we #Pray4OpenDoors and pray that the people in Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan would say,“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us,” Rom. 5

A 2-year-old boy fell from the 5th floor of our apartment. He suffered broken legs and a fractured skull but the hospital waited to operate until they received payment. After the community gathered money, the boy was operated on and is now recovering. Together with our language teacher, we visited him in the hospital today…

Sudanese Arab = 12,894,000 (population) Gaaliin = 3,299,000 Beja, Bedawi = 2,285,000 Guhayna = 1,997,000 Fur, Forok = 1,128,000 In addition to these four, there are another 128 unreached people groups in Sudan. #Pray4OpenDoors and for those who will dedicate themselves to learning language and culture among these beautiful people who have little or no access to…

The look on my friends’ faces was priceless. A few minutes ago we were alone; now we were surrounded. A few minutes ago everything was normal. Now we were shoeless, sitting on straw mats in a spacious, living room emptied of furniture but filled with men dressed in their Islamic best. A few minutes ago…

In 2002, the government of #Eritrea officially recognized the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Sunni Islam, Catholicism and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. All other faiths and denominations must undergo a registration process. Among other things, the government requires religious groups to submit the personal information of their membership before they are allowed to worship.  #Pray4OpenDoors

I went to Stephanie’s house again. We talked, laughed, read the Bible together and discussed Jesus. She’s been talking about the Bible with other students at our school who are being witnessed to by my husband. How exciting! She was interested in Jesus’ miracles. We asked if she believed that those miracles could happen. She…

The 1960 Somalia constitution forbids proselytizing for any religion but Islam. That law is still in effect. #Pray4OpenDoors to allow missionaries to live in Somalia.

“Stephanie” was very quiet last night and didn’t look well. I asked if she was okay. She responded, “I can’t explain it. Sometimes I feel very bad but it’s not like a headache. I’m so tired and want to do bad things. Sometimes I have bad dreams. My family takes me to the witchdoctor (who…

Bedouins known as “Rashaida” live a nomadic life in Eritrea. They have been known as the “Bad Boys” of Arabs because they are often associated with smuggling, drug running and human trafficking. Jesus died for the Rashaida. There are currently no known believers among them. Will you live among them so that Jesus may be…

We received an email from a friend asking for our help. Two of his teenage nieces had arrived at a refugee camp in eastern Sudan. They had escaped from Eritrea and were now trying to make their way to their uncle in the capital city. When his nieces asked for information from those in the…

The pastor held his hand to shade his eyes as the door to the metal container opened. Sunlight poured in, blinding him from seeing those standing over him. A government official spoke. “If you promise you will never speak about Jesus again, we will release you. Wouldn’t you like to see your family again?” The…

Swahili Coast: A team member and I went to play the world’s sport (soccer of course) with a student from our school. After playing, “Tupo” mentioned how we all need to do more good things because then Allah will forgive the bad things we have done. Through a story I shared with Tupo, I told…

Sudanese believers stood in disbelief as they watched a bulldozer demolish the wall of their church building. A National Security officer stood nearby holding the “official” paper that authorized the destruction. Tears coursed down the believer’s faces as they wondered what would happen next. Where would they meet? Would they all be arrested? Church buildings…

Coffee is a big part of Eritrean hospitality. It’s part of every meal and celebration. If you’re a guest, you will be welcomed to their homes with warm smiles and hot steaming coffee. #Pray4OpenDoors and that Jesus is welcomed into every home in Eritrea.

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