BONSOIR Friends and Family J,
I have so much I wish I could tell you in this letter, but because of the extent of all that I have been through as well as seen, I cannot fully express and inform you on everything. But of course there is one specific event in the last week and a half that I have been apart of that I desire to share. Before going into more detail, I’d like to share this verse with you.
Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am YOUR God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Last Thursday I led a team from Bedford Community Church in Bedford Hills New York, on an adventure that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. This team had the opportunity to go to a village called Abel-Abenga (about 3hrs away). The night before we took off, we all prayed against Satan’s forces in preventing us from spreading the love of Christ. But sure enough, about three hours into the drive, one of our other vehicles with five people in it went off the road and collided into a tree. Thankfully there were no serious injuries and praise the Lord that everyone only came out with just a few scratches and bruises.
This unexpected event obviously forced me to make a decision that I was not prepared for; do we turn back and go home or press on? With so many thoughts running through my head, the only thing I could set my mind on was gathering everyone in a circle and pray. And holding hands, all 19 of us asked the Lord for wisdom and gave thanks for his protection. It was soon clear then that pressing on to the village (which was now only 20km away) was the best option in order that we begin the work that Lord had for us.
Yet Satan did not give, because the rest of that day as well as the next, we could not find a truck to hire in order that we may transport all the cement, sand, water, and materials from where those ‘ingredients’ lie to the church building site. “How can we possibly begin this church building project without the materials being in place?”
1 Thess. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing!” … I learned another lesson from the Gabonese people, pray all the time! So that’s what we did, we prayed and prayed some more. Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” God provided the truck that we needed to hire and the work continued for two more days.
Sunday arrived and the youth pastor of the team (Dan Haugh) preached a powerful message paralleling the foundation of a church to Christ being our foundation in our lives (Matthew 7:24). Sad to leave our new friends at the village, we departed Sunday afternoon to head back home in Libreville. But once again, Satan gave one last effort in attempting to tear our spirits down. Along the road back the radiator and alternator belt tore, leaving us stranded with an old rickety van that was overheating. Yet even though we were 65 km away from home, our trust in the Lord and our spirits even more alive in Christ, were shown as we pressed on driving slowly and having to stop to fill up the radiator with water in order of preventing the engine to overheat.
We finally made it safely into Libreville at 9pm taking us 7 hours which usually is a 3 hour drive J
Here’s what we got done with the church project:
-We finished clearing the overgrown property for the church
-Poured the cement footers and foundation
-Began laying the cement brick walls
BUT what also was accomplished, was the relationships that were started between the Bedford team (as well as the Envision team) and the people of Abel-Abenga. Children and adults were shown the Love the Christ in various ways through skits, Bible stories, soccer, singing, testimonies, and FOOD!!!!
“Thank you Bedford team for your willingness and obedience to serve the Lord here in Gabon. BONSOIR to all.
-Pray for the continuation of the Abel-Abenga C&MA church
-Pray for the people of Abel-Abenga
-Pray for a new Envision Vehicle
-Pray for the relationships developed with the Abel-Abenga people