Dear Prayer Partners:
The beginning of 1996 has been very busy in our office here -- which is usual for this time of the year. We apologize for not getting this prayer letter out sooner.
The Lord bless you for your prayers and support. We are now into the 40th year after my husband, Andrew, with some of his friends started our mission in February 1956. When he first stepped on African soil in 1957, there were no special schools for the deaf in all of West, East and Central Africa. Most deaf people were regarded as mentally retarded, and thus were neglected. they were not actually mentally retarded but they just could not communicate due to their inability to hear for learning and speaking. Thank God that today there are many deaf people who can read, write and communicate. This paves the way to 'hearing" God's wonderful plan of salvation.
In mid-March, Clement, a deaf Nigerian living in Connecticut, flew out to Nigeria with his gifts for our Center at Ibadan, Nigeria. As his trip was to go through London, England, he was told that he could not fly without any transit visa -- the new British rule for Nigerians. So he had to go to the British embassy for that visa. We trust that he was able to obtain it without any delay. We have prayed that he did not have any problem with customs when bringing in the computer, printer and fax machine. Since Clement only had one week to spend in Ibadan, please pray that our colleagues at the center can remember much and well what they have learned about how to use this equipment.
About Angola: we have no word from Dr. Mutaba after our newsletter last December. We assume that he, being the only ear, nose and throat doctor in Angola, is very busy and so cannot do as much for the project of starting a Christian school for the deaf, as he would like to. That obviously takes much time. Please pray that the Lord makes clear to Dr. Mutaba His choice of two qualified Christian teachers and provides the means for their special teacher training in Benin for 3 - 6 months. We have received some funds toward their training, and we pray that the Lord will provide what is needed in time for the teachers He chooses to travel to Benin. Traveling through Angola is dangerous because of land mines from the long-drawn civil war which ended about one year ago.
Praise the Lord for the new buildings for our schools in Lubumbashi, South Zaire and Goma, East Zaire. The one in Lubumbashi is near completion, and has 6 rooms. The other in Goma has three rooms, which is certainly a good beginning. Please pray for the expansion of this building, and also for the safety for children going to and from school. Some stay home for the fear of explosion of land mines planted by some locals against Rwandan refugees.
Please pray for other schools in need of permanent buildings: Bukavu, Gemena, Kalemie, Kisangani -- all in Zaire and Kumba in Cameroon.
On the personal end, I thank you for your letters of encouragement, and your prayers. My health is better after having excruciating backaches for two weeks in February when I could not work nor sleep. Now the aches are on and off and mild. I have to be careful not to let the stress or work overwhelm me, which is not easy to do, but I try. My mother wants to fly me and my children to Berlin, Germany in mid-June to celebrate her 90th birthday. We hope we all can make the trip there and use the opportunities to witness to her and our relatives and friends, God willing.
Thank you again for your interest, prayers and help. May you see the Lord's goodness every day and rejoice in Him.
In His Service,