The Back to School in Mali event is next Saturday! Please consider coming. It will be a fun event with live music, good food, lots of items to bid on in the silent auction, and items to buy that Ibrahima brought from his friends and family in Mali. You can buy tickets in several ways. Either use the PayPal method to the right, write a check ($50 per ticket) and send to Grace Missions at the address to the right, or email and one of us will quickly get back with you. If you can't make it please consider making a donation. We really hope to get the school building started this fall but need everyone's help.
After trying with a cell phone, land phone, Skype, and Facebook to reach Shane Evans, a rare artist who wrote and drew over 30 books for children, I was finally able to see him coming to knock on the door. We burst open the door to my friend, brother Shane, worn out from his long 16 hour drive from a girl’s camp that he was helping at. Still energized to meet again his friend, he conducted me to an art store, explaining the process and products that I need for a successful screen print. I had been studying the process on you Tube. Thanks to Shane I received an invitation to Bandwagonmerch led by a man named Christian. I am excited to try some of the techniques that I learned there when I get back to Mali. My goal is to teach it to people there. This will help create a job and provide a good service for the town.
We then went to True Light Church on Linwood where I was able to see Pastor Alice. She really wants to see Africa someday. We had a nice talk. My friends Kim and Jonathan that I met there two years ago weren’t around but it was still a very good visit. Pastor Alice and all at that church have a big heart for the homeless in the area.
Time being the boss we picked up Shane’s daughter and took her to tennis practice. Here I met her expert tennis coach. Shane and I went to the huge Johnson County library from there where he taught me many useful things on using photoshop software for art, and also 3D scanning and 3D printing. When the library closed we picked up Shane’s daughter and headed to the Pomeroy’s.
On the way home we developed a flat tire. Shane called the professional tire company who sent in a blink of an eye a gentleman to help. One screw was rounded which frustrated the professional to the point of leaving us unsaved. Quickly we came to the idea of hammering out the screw but he rejected the idea. We cant do this he shouted in sorrow. Shane decided we must do it! African muscles helped hammer out the nut that will never be used again except as recycling material. We finally arrived safely home.
What a blessed day full of energy enough to make us thankful for the planner and accomplisher of everything, Our Lord.
Ibrahima is having a great visit in Kansas City. He has met new people and renewed friendships with many others. He handles everything we throw at him with grace and wisdom. He has already given multiple talks about God, Grace school and life in Mali to church groups and dinner parties. The other night our family was blessed to have Darryl Burton over for dinner. He was imprisoned in 1984 by the state of Missouri for a crime he didn’t commit. He went in to prison an angry, directionless poor urban kid. God has a way of working on the hardest of hearts though. Over the next 20 some years as he fought his case- singlehandedly at first, and later with a team of attorneys from the Midwest Innocence Project- he began to follow Christ. By the time he was released in 2008 and showed up the next week with his attorney at the church I was attending, his anger had been replaced with forgiveness and love and a fire within to spread the Gospel. He is a remarkable man. Working his way through seminary at St Paul’s he gives his message to anyone that will listen. And it is a strong message.
It was an amazing evening, witnessing Darryl and Ibrahima trade stories and experiences. Darryl has a heart for Africa and all of its people. He understands the importance of education. And he understands the power of Christ to transform lives in a way that most of can’t fathom. He was very interested and encouraging in our work with Grace School. He and Ibrahima have a very similar calling to spread the Gospel and they both do so in such an inspiring and inclusive way.
This weekend Ibrahima is making the rounds at Church of the Resurrection and also meeting many families at an impromptu end of summer party at the Nelson art gallery with Melissa and her many friends. He is enjoying the heat – it feels like home to him. Although at home there is no escape from it. Very few places in Koro have fans. He said most people just have manual fans- their hand! Don’t wait too long to buy your ticket to our fun event on September 6th. Tickets are limited and really starting to go fast. We want everyone there!
On Sunday we went to Peace Christian Church in the morning. This was a warm, welcoming church that meets in a school building. I was completely absorbed by the decorations and the displays around the room. Reverend Holly’s sermon was very thought provoking. It was about Jesus walking on the water in the middle of chaos. It reminded me of her sermon two years ago when she spoke about meeting on the other side. After worship time communion was taken – it was refreshing and restoring.
After the service many people stayed to listen to my presentation about Grace School. With sorrow about my poor English I answered questions about the school and Mali. They were amazed to hear about this successful Christian school in a Muslim country. I even sang a line of Amazing Grace in Dogon at one point. We shared experiences and I greatly enjoyed the generous and nice people this church contains.
In the evening the scenario repeated – this time at the downtown Peace church. Again many people stayed after to hear about the school. I met a lot of people today and made many new friends. All were very supportive of the school and of me. Dinner was served on the Pomeroy’s patio closing the day’s events with deep satisfaction.
God bless you for your continued prayers!
I arrived at Kansas City International Airport on Friday. To my eyes it seems to be 200 years ahead of the Bamako airport. So clean, efficient and peaceful. Brandon was there with his daughter Sofia to greet me and take me to their home. I am always hosted in a very luxurious manner- with no regard to the strong smell of smoke I carried from all of the fires in Bamako.
On Saturday I met Brandon’s friend Adam, a strong Christian who was laying carpet. We also visited a Farmer’s Market, which reminds me a little bit of markets in Mali. The produce was fresh and farmers sold what they had grown. It is a good system.
Next we visited the Medical Mission Foundation warehouse for the packing party for the upcoming Uganda mission. I was happy and surprised to see so many familiar faces. There were many people that had been to Mali on missions. Over 60 doctors, nurses and other people preparing for a non-profit mission, making the whole world a 1st class healing machine. It amazes me to see this.
Everyone was introduced around a circle. Most people have very short names and say them very fast. I was thinking about how to shorten my name. Before I could finish thinking it was my turn and my problem was unsolved. So everyone had to witness when I said “I-bra-hi-ma” very slowly. It was a fun moment when everyone laughed.
It is so reassuring and comforting to see healthy devoted old friends while discovering new ones. I am so thankful for medical missionaries. Many of the people already support Grace school and others wanted to learn more. It was a very good day. God is good!