Lots happening here!
Hello. Lots of activity here.
I've not updated the blog since longer than a week. Sorry. We've been touching many of you in other ways. Skype has been working well for us. Lisa has been getting in touch with many people on Facebook as well. Are you on facebook? Hit her up, say you want to be her friend!
I've made some new friends recently via the land of Tibia. (If you don't know what tibia is, then you can pass this paragraph over.... :0 Some of them wonder how I'm on the net if our neighbors are in mud huts with grass roofs. This is a neighbor 350 meters from us, but there are closer ones, just across the street for example....
This picture puts the rest of this blog news in perspective.
As you may know, finally we have internet access in Kadiolo. Not just dialup. (which was so nice for email, but did not offer much else...) Not only do we have internet, but we now have it at our house... Via a wireless radio signal, and a special antennae to recieve it called a Wandy. The signal has to be transmitted about 350 meters/yards to our house. So, we don't have a phone line at our house, but we have the net.
So now there are new ways for us to keep in contact!!
Along with helping us missionaries have internet access, Ernie enabled our cyber cafe to finally take off. (It has existed for two years as a cyber cafe without internet access.) Customers would come to learn computer, and learn to type, and photocopy documents. Students would type and print papers, etc. But now the net is open to them. I keep helping people set up email accounts.
Ernie testing skype in the cybercafe
Today our colleagues Ernie and Jan are leaving to return to the states. They are on a short furlough schedule, and will be home for 4 months... Ernie is indispensible as tech evangelism man, and we will miss him while he's gone. I can fill in small gaps, but am not as trained as he is.
Here he is helping Pastor Youssouf deal with a computer issue...
Literacy Camp is going well this year... Only 9 students in Kadiolo. I was surprised to find the number so low... But Pastor said with a big grin... "There are 25 students in a nearby village this year." So that actually makes more students than last year. Also the classes are being held in the village church, so the students are making solid contacts with the pastor and local believers...
Over 25 students involved in Youssouf's literacy class this year.
If you count the 6 m-lim women, and the 17 or so chuch women, and freddy's 20 odd students, you see how quickly we get to 70 or so... Literacy is a vital need in Mali.
Emily is still here. You know her goals are to work with women. At the moment, she is living in an african courtyard, learning Bambara, and she is courageous. She is doing so well. Remember to pray for her often. It is discouraging to learn a new language, and she has come a long way in a short time... She's with us until fall.
Could this be you??
Also, keep praying for the drama team. I'm so excited about their ministry, and it has SO much potential for the gospel here. But their support has been dropping off. They are supported as missionaries. They make top quality radio dramas. You could compare them to Adventures in Odyssey, but made for adults. The problem is that while radio stations are willing to play their dramas. (seem to have no problem with demands..) They don't pay for them. So this ministry is needing to give away a product that in another setting would sell itself and support itself.
Part of the reason for this is the poverty in Mali. A local radio commercial spot goes for $5. Replayed 4x a day. (A bit cheaper than a superbowl commercial?)
So this results in less radio revenue to pay for programming....
If you would be interested in helping this ministry, write us, and we'll put you in direct contact with one of the most exciting national ministries we've seen!
Thanks for stopping by,
Tom & Lisa