Sunday, June 11, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
In one month we will be on Canadian soil. We will spend at least 2 weeks in Ontario before going west. Our final date to go west is yet to be determined. Living in the present is our motto these days.As we are moving into a winding down of our activities it gives us time to stop and reflect on the past several years. It has been a good several years, many things to celebrate with much fewer moments of regret. We have endeavoured to be true to what God has called us to, putting aside those things that would distract, and being willing to adjust and embrace the unexpected. To be willing to move the boundaries of comfort for the sake of the gospel, and to move them when it is necessary to protect personal rest. We are content with the balance we have forged, with the understanding this could change tomorrow. But we rejoice.
Here is a peek into the windows of our ministry work.
Prison: Recently, on one of our visits to the prison, the Spirit pressed on me to take an extra Hausa Bible for the sole purpose of giving it to someone. When we arrived, Esther needed to visit the warden’s office, so I sat and waited for her to finish the visit. I was approached by a man named Joseph asking me if I had a Bible. He had attended a church in his youth but no longer attended. His life choices ended with him in prison and now he was seeking to make positive changes. I was able to give the copy I had brought. I also requested that he find a friend in the prison to read the scriptures with every day until his release. Pray for Joseph as he seeks the Lord.Kids Club: Wednesday we had two “end of lesson celebrations”, over 60 children had showed up for Kids club. We are delighted that one of our neighbours has agreed to continue Kid’s club at her place. She is a missionary from Nigeria and also has had a desire to do Kid’s club locally. Our second celebration was with the literacy students. One student testified that her Hausa marks in her tailoring program went from 50% to 90% because she was now able to read and write Hausa better. Praise God. One lady who could already read came weekly so she could hear the messages from Orest. The time was touching and very meaningful. Pastor A. and his wife R. have been an integral part of this ministry. Huge thanks to their faithfulness and support. We will miss this brother and sister in Christ while in Canada. Pray for Lydia as she continues this ministry.
ESL: Our celebration was well attended. The students are given lots of grammar in school, but have little to no experience in hearing or speaking English. It has been nice to see their progress and the opportunity to explore God’s purpose in their lives with them. We enjoyed an African themed Christian music video. Orest then challenged them to pursue Godly wisdom along with knowledge/education. He also pointed out that foreign workers in this country can assist only so much, challenging the students to be avenues of change within their society.
English Books: We are delighted to have been the recipients of several more boxes full of English books for our library. So awesome. The students are being faithful at reading and returning the books. Most schools here do not have any sort of library and access to books is rare. The children don't even have text books unless their parents can afford to purchase these books which are available in the market (new and used). Country wide about 1 in 50+ students have a text book.Throughout the month of April there was no school for 4 weeks due to various strikes. During the protests four students were killed and police intervention was required many times in many locations.
Students: Throughout the month of April there was no school for 4 weeks due to various strikes. During the protests four students were killed and police intervention was required many times in many locations.
Our particular students are good kids and stayed home and away from the trouble. Sadly, it may mean that overall, many students will not be able to finish their programs and be successful in their departmental exams. These exams allow them to move from junior high to high school, or graduate from high school. Universities were also affected in a major way. Pray for students as they prepare and write their departmental exams, given their reduced academic year.
Safe House: I had been asking for prayer for A at the safe house. It was discovered that one of the other women at the safe house took a bribe to spy and report on A to her family. As you can imagine we are very distressed about the discovery. This particular woman has tried to encourage other women to leave the safe house in the past. She wants to be the sole occupant, and therefore, the sole beneficiary of any gifts given to the safe house. She often presented herself as a victim of the other women when in fact she was the one causing the disruptions. She was returned to the community she came from, and the pastors in that community have been given full details as to her character so they can best help her in the event she becomes repentant. Pray for both H and A, that they would listen to God’s leading in their lives. Pray that these women would allow God to heal and redeem them.
S has found long term employment with a Christian organization. We had the opportunity to discuss what the scriptures speak about parenting. Since then she has made more effort to develop a deeper relationship with her children. Now she is starting to look for her own place. Pray for S as she launches out on her own as a single mom. It is beautiful to see how God has worked in S’s life and has transformed her.
International Women’s day is widely celebrated here: Grace was invited to speak at church for women’s day. She was given the theme of Abigail. It was a fascinating study, and it was the first full solo message she had ever given. Grace had done many short devotionals in the past. It was a lot of work but she felt she delivered the message God wanted for them. One that was culturally and spiritually relevant for here. The church we attend is English and Hausa. So Grace delivered the English and it was translated. Because of the translation the 30 minute message became an hour.
All in the family: We are trying to spend a bit of extra time with the family. Samuel has been particularly delightful. Sani and Sara are doing well, reading God’s word together and praying together. Sara has had a particular glow about her, no announcement has been made so we await for news to arrive soon.
Blessings to You,
Grace & Orest Pelech