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Burundi/Congo, April 2004

cute little baby aids
Stephen
cute little boy aids
Sammy
cute little girl aids
Aggie

Dear Friends,

What do these three African children have in common? Their parents all died of AIDS. They also have AIDS.

Are they going to die? Probably not. Because of the life-changing power of the gospel, these children have a future. American missionaries David and Jennifer Hatley have committed themselves to care for Stephen, Sammy, Aggie, and eleven other AIDS orphans at their Nairobi orphanage. I’m also happy to report that Shepherd Serve partners provided $1,500 worth of life-saving drugs and nutritional supplements that will help them survive and thrive. Best of all, each of the orphans being raised in David and Jennifer’s orphanage are learning every day about Jesus. On behalf of Stephen, Sammy, Aggie, and eleven other beautiful children, thank you.

I returned last Saturday from two weeks of ministry in the war-torn African nations of Burundi and Congo. Our team of four Americans ministered in two pastors’ conferences, touching the lives of over 1200 Christian leaders, most of whom are survivors of years of civil war and ethnic strife. Burundi consists of essentially the same tribal mix of Hutus and Tutsis as its northern neighbor Rwanda, and the death toll in Burundi actually exceeded that of Rwanda by hundreds of thousands. Yet what happened in Burundi never received the same degree of international attention, because its genocide was extended over a period of ten years, whereas Rwanda’s lasted just three months. Our pastors’ conference in Bujumbura, Burundi made national TV news, and was attended by both Hutu and Tutsi pastors from 29 different denominations, a great testimony to the reconciling power of the gospel.

After the Burundi conference, we traveled by a special route through Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to avoid rebel-infested areas, and upon our arrival at the Congo border were met by crowds of pastors and singing choirs of believers. To say that they appreciated our coming would be an understatement! The conference organizer declared that their dream had come true. 800 to 900 hungry pastors attended each day of the conference in the city of Bakavu. One day the pastors even elected to significantly delay lunch in order to hear more of the Word of God taught!

In both Burundi and Congo I gave away books to English-reading pastors and made excellent contacts for future possible translation and printing projects. Thank you for all of your prayers and for the financial help that made the conferences and the gifts to the orphans possible. Thanks to Dallas-based Global Advance for the opportunity. And to God be all the glory.

I’m leaving once again this Friday for a weekend pastors’ conference in San Jose, Costa Rica, serving on behalf of Denver-based Global Connections. This conference will be somewhat of a showcase conference for possible future conferences, and represents a wonderful opportunity for us to make significant inroads into Central America. Your prayers will be greatly appreciated this weekend.

Finally, here is an e-mail from a Nigerian pastor to whom we sent a copy of The Great Gospel Deception some months ago. His letter is like so many others that we receive. Revival tends to be ignited by this book, only because it merely contrasts the transforming biblical gospel with the anemic contemporary gospel. Letters like these keep us motivated:

I want to thank and praise the Lord for what he has done in my life and my ministry, through your ministry. The book you sent to me last year (The Great Gospel Deception) is a great blessing. I felt burning in my heart as I read and wept…knowing the anointing of God was flowing from the pages into my life and heart. This is your first book I have ever read. The Holy Spirit literally drove me to this book; I picked it up and began to read. It brought a healing in my life and exposed an area that God had been trying to deal with. Since then I read all. It has changed my life and my ministry and I have given the book to others; they too were touched and changed by a fresh word from God. Thank you for your passion and the passion that you convey to the Body to the Christ through your writing. It has touched, changed and healed me. I will never be the same.

Rejoice that you have had a part in changing this pastor’s life! We can never thank you enough for your prayers and support.

For a Glorious Cause,

David

P.S. We’ve just purchased one or the coolest gadgets I’ve ever seen. It looks like a zoom lens for a 35mm camera and functions as a portable optometrist. People with blurred vision look though it one eye at a time and adjust it until everything is in perfect focus. The readings on the outside tell me what prescription of eyeglass lens they need. It calibrates lenses needed to correct myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatic conditions. I then pull out the exact lens they need for each eye, pop them into one-size-fits-all eyeglasses and Voila’!, they have perfect eyesight through their new glasses! With only 152 different lenses, rotated to various positions within the standard circular frames, I can fill 26,000 different prescriptions. I also have a source to buy every kind of strength of reading glasses very inexpensively. Imagine this: for only about $20 per person, I can now provide one pair of perfect distance eyeglasses and one pair of perfect reading eyeglasses! If you want to help me provide glasses for pastors and their spouses in China when I’m there this summer, $20 will take care of one person. I’m praying to help 100 Chinese pastors and their spouses with new glasses! Thanks for considering this. Just memo your check with “eyeglasses.”

new glasses
Here it is!