In Jesus’ Name

In Jesus’ Name

Muslim friends request prayers from a Christian neighbor.

Not so long ago, I was the only actual resident in our village, but lately, construction has burgeoned. I do miss the peace and quiet, yet the more neighbors we have, the more opportunities to share God’s love!

One of my neighbors, Diatou, recently had a stroke that paralyzed her right side and slurred her speech. I learned about it from another neighbor, Ndeye, so on our way to the market, Ndeye and I went to visit Diatou and encourage her to trust God as the Great Physician.

As we got up to leave, Ndeye asked me to pray for Diatou. I often pray for my Muslim friends, clients and students one on one, but this request surprised me because Muslims, who of course do not pray in Jesus’ name, hesitate to do anything that looks like condoning Christianity. But because I was asked, I prayed for Diatou’s health and her family—in Jesus’ name. After the prayer, I looked around and saw perplexed smiles on my neighbors’ faces.

The next day, I visited again to take Diatou’s blood pressure. Once more, she allowed me to pray for her, and then I gave her a massage and a hydrotherapy treatment. After the treatment, her blood pressure had decreased slightly, which made her family happy. I showed her husband and daughter how to continue the water treatments. Then I shared some nutrition advice, gave her some vitamins and again encouraged the family to look to the Great Physician.

Diatou’s husband is a traditional healer, so he had already been giving her massage treatments. In the coming days, we sometimes worked on her together. We also helped her with stretching and physical therapy. After a couple of weeks, Diatou’s speech became more comprehensible. She could also move her right leg some and take a few steps with support. We praised and thanked God together.

More and more I am being placed in situations with people who need encouragement to trust God with every aspect of their lives. Fatima, my former student, recently called me for help preparing for a test. Fatima was applying to a master’s program and needed a score of 100 on an English test. When she had taken the test a year prior, she received a score of 84. Now she had only a few weeks to prepare to retake the exam. I could hear the stress in her voice.

I always encourage my students to do their best, but also to trust God; so before we began studying, I asked Fatima if we could pray together. She accepted, and I prayed that God would help her according to His will. Then I told her to trust Him and to pray during the test. From time to time, I sent her faith-inspiring text messages, and I gave her a Great Controversy to read after the test. A week after her test, Fatima e-mailed to thank me for my help. She had received a score of 100! We praised God.

Though Muslims pray five times a day, take pilgrimages and engage in numerous outward ceremonies, many lack a personal relationship with God. The idea of God as a loving Father is foreign to them. It is this good news that many need to hear. Please continue to pray for Senegal. The work here is filled with challenges, but God is on His throne. May He continue to bless our work for Him!


Location
Senegal

Author
Deborah Ndione and her family are missionaries working near Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

How You Can Help

Pray for Deborah’s neighbor Diatou’s health and for her family’s faith and confidence in God to continue increasing.

Pray for continued opportunities for Deborah and the other Christians in Senegal to share the love of the Father with their Muslim neighbors.

Give to the work in Senegal by sending your check marked “Senegal” to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

For online options, visit:
missionspro.org/donate


Small Steps

Small Steps

A “tent-maker” medical missionary sacrifices to advance God’s work in Senegal.

Greetings from Senegal, where the rainy season has come with a vengeance, bringing leaks to our roofs and floods to our streets. God has been working in this little Muslim nation, and we are thankful for every small step that has been made in advancing the gospel.

In August 2018, the first International Women’s Ministry Congress of the newly formed West Sahel Union Mission was held in Dakar, Senegal. The theme was “Woman, Come to the Source of Living Water.” Over 100 women came from Cape Verde, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, and Senegal, and presenters from the United States, Nigeria, Guadeloupe, and Brazil shared inspirational messages on Bible study and personal ministry. I gave a presentation on health, and a local female gynecologist also spoke. The experience was profitable for all.

Our center of influence is almost finished. Through the challenges, God has been good. One of the schools where I taught a few classes took almost three months to pay me—not uncommon here. Without that money, I was unable to buy materials, and the construction team took other jobs. But after some serious prayer sessions along with several phone calls and visits, I finally received my pay, and work resumed. God gives us our daily bread! As money becomes available, we build—and recently, God has been providing earning opportunities. A former student called for more tutoring, and one massage client recommended me to another client. Each opportunity allows me to pay the workers or buy materials like electrical wires, a door, or the stair railing. The church here is not wealthy, but God has moved some of the members to give what they can to help finish the work. The plumbing pipes have been laid and the electrical wiring completed, and we are now installing the windows and doors and preparing the floor to be tiled.

The center of influence holds a large meeting room and two dormitory rooms, one for men and one for women. There are two bathrooms and a storage room, and upstairs will be a kitchen and eventually another sleeping room. The building will be used for camp meetings, church retreats, and community activities, and it will also host a church plant for the handful of church members living close by. Already a small group has been meeting here to pray for the work in this village.

I have been visiting regularly with one of my Muslim neighbors, Ndeye, and we have been having spiritual conversations. She has read Steps to Christ and The Great Controversy, and we have started to discuss Jesus and His mission. It is not yet a Bible study, but I am praying that it will soon be.  Please pray that the Lord will continue to help Ndeye to know Him better.

A few weeks ago, our little dog ate something and got very sick. She refused to eat and became skinny and weak. My grandson and I prayed for her, and then I gave her some charcoal water to drink. The next day, she was a little better. We continued putting the charcoal water out for her, and in a few days she started eating and within two weeks made a full recovery. One of the construction workers saw the effectiveness of the charcoal and was very impressed. I had given him some charcoal awhile back, and the dog helped him to see its benefits!

Please continue to pray for the work here. We must be wise as serpents but harmless as doves, taking small steps to share the gospel. God is in control, and we need His continued blessings as we work for Him!  


Location
Senegal

Author
Deborah Ndione
Sister Deborah and her family are missionaries working near Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

How You Can Help

Pray that Deborah and her team of Bible workers can reach the hearts of many in her village and surrounding areas.

Pray for Ndeye, Deborah’s Muslim neighbor who speaks with her about Jesus.

Donate. Funds are needed to complete the center of influence and to dig a well to provide fresh, clean drinking water for the village of Mbirdiam. Mark your donations “Senegal” and send to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

To donate online, visit www.missionspro.org/donate.

 


The Right Arm of the Gospel

The Right Arm of the Gospel

The health message reaches hearts in Senegal.

As I climbed out of bed and pulled on my long sleeve shirt, I felt thankful for the cooler weather. After several years of no reprieve from the Senegalese heat,
the chilly mornings and evenings were a welcome change. I began preparations for the busy weekend ahead—the Bible Camp at the outpost on December 23–25.

Ten people attended, including two recent converts from Islam. We dug into Daniel and Revelation and had many lively discussions. It was a wonderful time!

In preparation for the Health Expo we would be holding on Monday, we dedicated Sunday afternoon to training our volunteers in manning the different stations.
The group learned to take a pulse and blood pressure, measure height and weight, and calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI). The school had kindly offered to let us use a classroom, and there we set up stands for nutrition and lifestyle counseling, and trust in God.

All of our advertising and sharing over the past weeks paid off, and we saw 44 adults come through the Expo that Monday. Some even came from neighboring villages. We had also planned to have recreational activities for children, and soon we had a crowd of 56 little ones! They loved the egg-balancing game,
and the two-legged races. Every child went home with a gift bag containing pencils, crayons, and a coloring sheet. All of the happy faces that day made our effort and hard work more than worth it. We hope to hold similar events in two neighboring villages—Soulouf and Pouyene. We would also love to start a Pathfinder-type club and be more involved in literature evangelism.

We are pleased with the progress on the construction of our multi-purpose building. Like many things in Senegal, it has required us to be patient. The builder became ill, and everything came to a halt for almost three weeks. However, it did give me the opportunity to share some natural treatments with him which he gladly accepted. I explained the treatments to him and his wife helped him at home. People whispered that he had been struck by a “mystic illness” caused by witchcraft. But the builder ignored the rumors and followed the treatments I prescribed of hydrotherapy, charcoal and herbal remedies. He soon recovered and is back working on the building. We hope to have it finished by April.

On a sadder note, Tia, the young lady with breast cancer, passed away in September. It is difficult to see people go but at least we know that she met Jesus and spent a lot of time with Him in the days before her death. Please pray for her children. Their names are Yeli, Angela, Lamine and Isaiah.

Water is still a challenge for us. The state officials have all but disappeared and are not taking our calls, but we are still praying for a breakthrough. Recently, we
started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a well and water pipe installation for the villagers of Mbirdiam. We are praying that the Lord will bless our efforts and touch the hearts of people to help us bring the blessing of clean water to these families.

Thank you for your continued prayers. May God bless and keep us all as we continue to work for Him!


Location: Senegal

Author: Deborah Ndione and her family are missionaries in Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

How You Can Help 

Pray that Deborah and her team of Bible workers can reach the hearts of many in her village and surrounding areas. Pray for the children who lost their mother to cancer.

Donate. Funds are needed for a well to provide fresh clean drinking water for the village of Mbirdiam. Mark your donation “Senegal” and send it to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 506
Republic, WA 99166-0506

For electronic options visit: www.missionspro.org/donate

Thank You! Thanks to your support, the outreach center is almost finished and ready for occupancy. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this project!


03/10/2018: A Salaam Aleikum

A Salaam Aleikum

The work progresses in Senegal with volunteers from England.

Greetings from Senegal! As the medical missionary work here grows and flourishes, and opportunities for sharing God’s love multiply, our hearts overflow with praise. Even amidst many challenges, God is always good.

A little while ago I visited Ita, a young lady suffering from breast cancer. Although she is American born, and grew up Christian, she converted to Islam when she married her Muslim husband. Along with her physical pain, she also deals with much grief. Her mother passed away seven years ago, and shortly afterward her husband also died, leaving her with three young children and another on the way. Even in her sorrow, she faces her illness with courage. When I met her, she had already changed her diet and was eager for any help that we could give. She had tried a “mild treatment” of chemotherapy at the insistence of her in-laws, but when her hair started falling out, she refused to continue.

The large sore on her chest permeated the house with an awful smell. We covered it with charcoal and honey poultices. We also gave her hydrotherapy and massage for her edematous arm. As the days went by, the odor gradually lessened. To our delight, in a few weeks, you could hardly notice it. When we started to work with Ita, her wound was very yellow, but now the tissue has a healthier, redder hue, and we can see small areas of new skin growth near the edges.

When I visit her, I share with her about our heavenly Father’s great love for us, and we pray together. I have given her several Bible verses and Psalms, and she has accepted them gratefully. Please pray for Ita and her family.

Rachel and Praise, two young ladies from England, have come to help us for a few months while they get some hands-on medical missionary training. We are grateful for the medical supplies they brought, and the Great Controversy books, which we have been sharing with our English-speaking friends.

Another vacation camp with the village children is coming up. This time we are adding some health training for the older teens. Boys and girls will learn first aid. Girls will also learn how to make their own cloth menstrual pads. Most girls here can’t afford to buy disposable pads, and just use old pieces of cloth. This often leads to infection. We hope to alleviate this by teaching them to make and care for re-usable cloth pads.

We are also grateful for the renovations that have begun on one of our buildings. We have had many problems with the fibro-cement roof tiles becoming brittle and leaking, so we decided to install a concrete slab roof with help from the team at http://bellroofcompany.com/roofing-redlands/. We hope to divide the building into two dormitory-style rooms – one for men and one for women. We also plan to have two bathrooms, a classroom, and a storage room.

Unfortunately, our donor has had some unexpected financial difficulties, and we do not have enough funds to finish the project. The walls are up, and the reinforcement of the older building is finished, but the electrical wiring, plumbing, roof, stairs, windows, and doors remain. We hope to have the building operational by December, as we need the space for upcoming events. Aside from all this, we are also in need of a video projector.

 

We appreciate your prayers, and are thankful for any help you can give us. May God continue to bless and keep us all as we work for Him.

 

AUTHOR

Deborah Ndione

Sister Deborah and her family are missionaries in Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray. Even with the Lord’s blessings, Deborah’s family faces challenges in Senegal. Please continue to pray that the Lord will open the doors for their outreach center.

Donate to Deborah’s work through Mission Projects International. Please mark your donation “Senegal” and send it to:

Mission Projects International, PO Box 506, Republic, WA 99166-0506

For electronic options, visit: missionspro.org/donate


09/23/2017: Hair Care, Health and a Heavenly Father

Hair Care, Health and a Heavenly Father

Hair care leads to lessons on health and the gospel.

Opportunities abound in the medical missionary work, though sometimes you have to be creative to harness them. Recently, the topic of natural hair care using collagen supplements has been opening doors for me here in Senegal. In this culture, women try everything to grow long hair, but most of their methods actually damage their hair, leaving it brittle and balding.

To address this situation, I recently held a seminar on natural hair care. Keeping hair as the central theme, I branched out and discussed how diet and lifestyle can affect not only our bodies but also our hair. All ten attendees were church members, but even the church is a mission field here when it comes to the health message! As it turned out, they also became ambassadors. At the seminar I gave each woman samples of my homemade, natural personal care products. They seemed especially excited about one particular product: my hair pomade.

Soon requests started coming in to purchase the pomade. Ladies told their friends outside the church about it, and these women called me for hair consultations. This opened the door for me to share the health message with seven women about the importance of using the Tonaki Tinnitus Protocol products. We would start out talking about hair, and that led into diet, lifestyle, the importance of water, the dangers of the chemicals in many toiletries and the natural alternatives God has provided for us here in Senegal—things like shea butter, moringa and baobab oil. I shared how much God loves us and wants us to be healthy and happy, and even wove in a little bit about the great controversy and how the enemy encourages us to use products that are not good for us. All because of a hair ointment! If you are looking to get healthier contact the best coolsculpting seattle doctor!

Another opportunity to share the health message came at a recent women’s luncheon. I gave foot massages to those who wanted them and spoke about health, massage and related topics. To my delight, my old friend Angie who owns a bookstore in Dakar attended that luncheon. Soon after, she e-mailed me with some questions about fibroids. I shared what I knew, and she then asked me if I would do a women’s health talk at her bookstore.

Of course I would! It seemed the perfect opportunity to fix up a PowerPoint presentation I had on the eight laws of health, adding information on women’s concerns like fibroids, menopause and healthy personal care products. However, I ran into a problem. I did not have a video projector and neither did Angie. The church’s video projector was broken, and no one else seemed to have one to loan. But God is always good. The day before the presentation, I was able to borrow a projector from a school where I had previously taught classes. Thank the Lord!

Twelve women, some Christian and some Muslim, came to the bookstore event. Along with health, I talked about the love of God, the importance of having a relationship with Him and our special role as women. The women piped up and shared their own experiences, and we had an enjoyable evening.

In this Muslim-dominated country, talking about religion can be challenging; but people can see and understand God’s love in the context of health. When you explain the perfect body systems, the gifts of air and sunshine, the invigorating effect of resting and the blessing that even nature can be to our health, these things confirm God’s loving care. Thus a conversation that started with natural hair care can end up helping someone see that we have a heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love. I praise God for His health message—and His love!

 

AUTHOR

Deborah Ndione

Sister Deborah and her family are missionaries in Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray. Even with the Lord’s blessings, Deborah’s family faces challenges in Senegal. Please continue to pray that the Lord will open the doors for their outreach center to be connected to water and electricity soon. Thank you for your prayers!

Donate to Deborah’s work through Mission Projects International. Please mark your gift “Senegal.”

Special need. If you or your church have a used video projector that you could donate to Deborah’s work, she will use it to share God’s message! Alternately, donate to help her purchase one locally. For details, contact info@missionspro.org.


05/20/2017: The Land of Heat and Sand

The Land of Heat and Sand

Medical missionary opportunities abound in the Muslim mission field of Senegal.

Blessed peace to you from Senegal, the land of heat and sand. Situated next door to the Sahara Desert, Senegal receives frequent deposits of Saharan sand via the harmattan winds that blow along Africa’s Atlantic coast. Add to that the sand used for the never-ending construction projects, and sand ends up everywhere: in the houses, on the roads and cars and often in your mouth and eyes.

Medical missionary opportunities abound
in the Muslim mission field of Senegal.

Imagine this blowing sand mixing with the excrement of street-roaming cows, sheep, goats, feral cats and dogs and the mentally ill homeless population, along with the trash dumped in vacant lots, and you have a recipe for disease. Filthy sand accounts for many of the eye infections and flu-like illnesses rampant in Senegal and especially in Dakar. In such an environment, immune health becomes vital!

Medical missionary opportunities abound in a place like this. Recently a sister from church made some lifestyle changes to address her health issues, but after changing her diet she developed debilitating headaches and dizziness. I went to visit her and ended up giving her a fomentation and counseling her on nutrition. Realizing that she was probably anemic, I suggested she get an iron supplement and some vitamin B12. A week later, her dizziness and headaches had completely subsided.

Another opportunity came while my husband’s Muslim niece was staying with us. Sophie had been feeling bad during the afternoon and decided to take a painkiller. When we came home, she was asleep on the bed, or so we thought. In a little while, my daughter Janie called, “Mom, there’s something wrong with Sophie!”

The treatment room for Deborah’s medical missionary work.

Running to her bedside, I found Sophie having trouble breathing and struggling to retain consciousness. I immediately started praying and asking God what I needed to do. Looking up “asthma” in my Natural Remedies Encyclopedia I found that eucalyptus oil could help. Propping her up to a sitting position, I rubbed some eucalyptus oil under her nose and then put some oil in an inhaler and told her to breathe as deeply as she could. I could tell it was painful for her at first but I kept encouraging her to breathe.

My husband wanted to take his niece to the hospital but she refused to go. I asked her if we could pray for her, and praise God, she accepted. After the prayer, I mixed eucalyptus oil in some massage oil and massaged her chest and back. Heating a fomentation pad, we wrapped it in some towels and had her hold it on her chest, then moved it to her upper back. We also made a hot foot bath and put in some grated garlic and eucalyptus oil. During this time, I also kept giving her cayenne tincture to help the blood circulate.

It took about 40 minutes before she could breathe without a lot of pain. After an hour she could say a few words in a low voice. I kept praying and asking God to help her and He did! Praise His name.

When she was able to speak better, Sophie explained that she didn’t want to go to the hospital because she believed their treatment was deadly. She had seen me work on Janie and preferred natural treatment.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1. We can always count on Him! I pray that we all will learn His natural remedies so we can be a blessing to our family, friends and neighbors.

Author:
Deborah Ndione

Sister Deborah and her family are missionaries in Dakar, Senegal. Deborah uses medical ministry, English tutoring, women’s ministry, children’s ministry and other simple methods to make friends to invite to Christ’s Kingdom.

 

 

How You Can Help

Pray for Deborah’s Muslim family and friends to open their hearts to Christ as she seeks to share the gospel with them.

Donate to Deborah’s work through Mission Projects International. Please mark your gift “Senegal.”

Thank You

In 2016, you donated $1,420 to the work in Senegal. Your donations helped build up the ministry outpost and furnish Deborah with natural remedies to help friends and neighbors. God blessed your gifts!


03/04/2017: Vacation Camp

Vacation Camp

Outside the capital of Senegal, an outpost ministry welcomes 49 children to a Christian day-camp.

The rainy season has arrived again in Senegal. The farmers welcome it but many residents do not because of the accompanying problems of flooding, traffic issues and building collapses. When walls and roofs cave in, people sometimes die. My daughter’s family’s home fell in, but the Lord kept everyone safe. I can only praise God!

Last August, we held a 5-day Vacation Camp for children ages 8–14 in the village of Mbirdiam, where we have our outpost center. For any activity in the village, you need the approval of the chef du village. Thus, a week before the camp I visited the chief and explained our plans to hold a children’s camp to do arts and crafts, teach some songs and talk about the values of honesty, integrity and obedience to God and parents. We also would have activities for the mothers. Because of our previous activities in the village, the chief gave us permission without a problem.

To recruit attendees, I printed out invitations for 50 children along with permission forms for the parents to complete. After leaving a few with the chief, I visited several key families, leaving extra invitations for them to share with their neighbors. On opening day we had 36 children—but by the end of the week we 
had 49 campers!

Village women at soap class.

Everyone had a wonderful time. Enyde Roger, the director of Children’s Ministries for the Western Sahel Union Mission, facilitated the camp. Using the theme “A Walk Through the Zoo,” she told animal stories and showed how God’s creatures characterize different Biblical values. We also taught the children songs and let them color pictures of the animals in the stories and make handi-crafts such as paper flowers and place mats. To top it off, we had 
a daily recreation time as well 
as a cool drink.
On Wednesday afternoon we invited the mothers to a workshop on making liquid soap and on Thursday afternoon we held a seminar on physical, environmental and mental hygiene. Thirty-two women attended!

For Sabbath afternoon, we invited the families to a mini-concert and display of the children’s crafts. Our church’s children’s choir would sing with the children from Mbirdiam, the campers would receive certificates of attendance and the mothers would be given their bottles of soap. That morning, however, clouds threatened to spoil our plans. During worship it began to rain, and continued off and on throughout lunch. We kept praying that God would stop the rain before the people came—and He did! The sun came out and dried everything out by the time our guests arrived.

Chef du village, M. Pouye

About 120 people attended the program, including the chef du village. He thanked us for the camp and asked us to do more activities. After light refreshments, everyone left smiling.

Sister Roger has agreed to facilitate more camps at Mbirdiam throughout the year. Meanwhile, I am raising funds to paint the classrooms in the village school, which looks like it has not been painted in many years. A local paint company has agreed to give a substantial discount. I want to at least repaint the interior of the six classrooms as a community service.

The rain continues to pour outside, reminding us of the storms of life. We are struggling here in the world of sin; but praise the Lord, it will soon be over. We have just a few more years to go. Let’s stand fast through the storms that our Father allows to strengthen our faith!

 

 

Deborah Ndione

Deborah Ndione and her
family are missionaries in
Dakar, Senegal.

 

Pray for the ongoing development projects at the ministry outpost in Mbirdiam. For three years, poor infrastructure has prevented the center from connecting to power and water sources. Please pray for this issue to be resolved so the center of influence can be more useful for future outreach events.

Donate toward ministry needs such as the improvement of the outpost center. Contributions may be made to Mission Projects International, marked “Senegal”.


12/10/2016: Surprises

Surprises

in Senegal

This summer, as in years past, about 95% of our neighbors observed the holy month of Ramadan—because 95% of Senegal’s population is Muslim. During Ramadan, believers abstain from food and beverages, including water, from sunup to sundown. Since the religious calendar follows the moon cycles, the month of fasting comes eleven days earlier each year, and these last few years it has come during summertime. The heat makes going without water even more difficult for adherents.

Although Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam, many people don’t look forward to it. Physical difficulties aside, the religious holiday has become highly commercialized, much like Western holidays. Extravagance is expected at the evening feasts, so people actually spend more money on food than usual. Fasting all day also makes drivers jittery, and traffic accidents increase. Depending on the destination, I often prefer to take a taxi rather than fight with the traffic. Narrow roads combined with speed and poor judgment make for hazardous road conditions, especially at night. Still, God is on the throne. We put our lives in His hand daily!

Table for vacation Bible school activities.
Table for vacation Bible school activities.

During early summer, we worked at the outpost to construct a covered courtyard with easily accessible restroom facilities for outdoor ministry activities, including our August Vacation Bible School for the village children. The Children’s Ministry department of the West Sahel Union provided materials for 30–50 kids. Please pray for the village children as we continue to reach out to them!

At our rental house in town, I have set up the garage with used and donated furniture so we can comfortably host classes and Bible studies. I also plan to display a few natural remedies for sale there in a tall cabinet I was able to obtain. Already I am having wonderful experiences in the ministry garage studying with two ladies.

Claudine is Congolese and loves to talk about the Bible. I gave her a Bible a few months ago and we have looked at several subjects together. One Thursday she stayed at my house for over four hours studying about the spirit, soul and the state of the dead. The next week, we started talking about unclean meats. She resisted some, so I didn’t force the issue. I just told her to read Leviticus 11.

Esther is a Jehovah’s Witness who visited me while doing her own door-to-door evangelism. I invited her and her daughter in and we had a productive, friendly study about the divinity of Jesus. During the study, she saw that Revelation 1:11 was different in her Bible than in mine. I told her to look at other Bible versions to see what the verse said, and she promised to do so. When she came a second time with her niece, we talked about the soon coming of Christ. Recently she called hoping for another visit, which I was happy to arrange. Please pray for Claudine and Esther. I can see that they love the Lord and want to know Him better.

Challenges abound, but God is so good. We had firsthand evidence of His protection this summer. My son Malcolm had gone to the school to do some tutoring. Meeting his older sister there, he polished off her leftover lunch from a Chinese restaurant. Then, after tutoring for an hour, he went out for a game of basketball. During the game, his body started itching, but he ignored it until he realized it was getting worse and his face was swelling.

Garage where classes and Bible studies are held.
Garage where classes and Bible studies are held.

His sisters had been working at the school’s summer camp that morning. Niassa, his older sister, had left after the activities ended. Then, after walking a few blocks, she decided to return to the school. His younger sister Janie usually did some tutoring after summer camp, but had decided to skip that afternoon. Now the girls were relaxing together in a classroom.

When Malcolm started itching and swelling, he ran to find his sisters. By the time they saw him, his face appeared to have doubled in size and his eyes were almost swollen shut. Niassa had done some medical missionary training at academy and recognized this as a medical emergency. As they rushed out of the building to hail a taxi, a lady sitting on a bench near the entrance saw Malcolm’s face and offered to drive them herself to a doctor near the school. 

On the way, my daughters called to tell me what was going on. Immediately, I began praying for Malcolm. Having just finished a tutoring job myself, I took a taxi to be with my kids.

When Malcolm arrived at the doctor’s office, his tongue had swollen up and he was having trouble breathing. He said he felt like he was passing out. The doctor rushed him inside and gave him two shots. When I arrived about 10 minutes later, the swelling was subsiding, although Malcolm was still itchy and agitated. We put a wet towel on his back to calm him, and the doctor observed him for a couple of hours. Then he sent us home with contact information for an allergist who could help us find out what Malcolm is allergic to.

This experience shook us all. Malcolm had had an allergic reaction about 18 years before when we ate in a Chinese restaurant while visiting Maryland. I had ordered vegetarian food and specifically asked them not to use any fish sauce, but the next day Malcolm broke out in hives and later his tongue started swelling. We took him to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital where a kind doctor gave him some Benadryl and told us to get some from the drugstore. I felt quite ignorant to learn that all we needed was Benadryl, but it helped me understand the Bible verse that says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6.

I was a very new Adventist then, but that experience began my journey of becoming a medical missionary. I had been reading the Spirit of Prophecy and I felt the truth pulling at my heart. From then on I vowed to learn more about health.

Now, 18 years later, living in a foreign country, the situation reoccurred in a much more serious manner. It was a surprise to everybody but God. When I think about the series of providences that happened that day, I feel awestruck and profoundly grateful to our God who sees and knows everything. Both my daughters “just happened” to still be at the school, but of course we know that God arranged it. God also stationed a lady who owned a car in my children’s path so she could be ready to take Malcolm to a doctor she knew with an office close by—closer than the doctor’s office my daughters would have taken him to in a taxi. God is so good!

Every morning I entrust all my loved ones into God’s care, and He has never failed me—not even during the hectic season of Ramadan. We can trust our Heavenly Father. He is our only confidence! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

   

By Deborah Ndione. senegalhealthproject@live.com. Contributions to this project may be made through Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058, or online at www.missionspro.org, marked “Senegal.”


08/20/2016: A Salaam Aleikum

A Salaam Aleikum

Senegal

 

One of the customary greetings in Senegal is a salaam aleikum—“Peace be unto you.” I love this greeting because Jesus used it. In this world full of sin, discouragement and despair, we all need peace in our lives. Our Heavenly Father is the source of that peace!

Even in situations that disturb my peace and test my patience, I can see God’s mercy in giving me the chance to ask, “How am I handling my test?” In my last mission update, I shared about my car accident and how long it was taking to obtain the police report. Before it was all settled, we had to make many, many trips to the police station, and I’ll be honest—it tried my patience. Even so, I saw God’s mercies. For example, when we went to recover our belongings from the totaled vehicle, we found nothing missing except a bag of soap powder and a bar of washing soap. Whoever had stolen the soap had left our solar panel and battery charger, a 25-kilogram bag of rice and a basket of personal belongings. Thank God!

After weeks of frustrating dealings with the police station, we were told we could get the police report from the courthouse. For four months, my husband made futile trips to the courthouse. Then one day he was told to return to the police station. There he was finally given the report—five months after the accident. At last we had the document that would allow us to file an insurance claim. Praise God!

During this time, I heard numerous horror stories about the corruption of the Senegalese bureaucracy. It was a challenge to hold onto the assurance that God had everything under control, but for my own benefit and the benefit of those around me, I kept proclaiming aloud that God knew what was going on. True, corruption here is rampant. Public institutions are ineffective, but God is still God and corruption and ineffective institutions are no match for Him. During times when I had to fight to maintain my confidence in the Lord, I saw how important it is not to let the negative thinking of others affect my own faith.

The test is not over, for we still have frustrating delays to contend with. Yet in this probationary period, God is doing all He can to help us prepare. I have seen much delay in these last months and years but I am sure that it is for my own good. Waiting patiently is difficult but necessary. I strive to keep in mind that my times are in the Father’s hand.

Exercises at the health workshop.
Exercises at the health workshop.

One blessing that has come with time has been an improved relationship with my church sisters in Dakar. When I first arrived here in 2003, the health message was largely ignored and unwelcome. Planning social activities was difficult because the menu nearly always became a source of contention. When we left Africa in 2006, I was happy to go. Even so, I left my heart in Senegal and we ended up coming back three and a half years later.

We have been here about six years now and attitudes are changing. A few more vegetarians have passed through the area and in these last years I have simply made myself available, waiting for people to come to me. Recently, the ladies have begun asking questions. When we put on a women’s retreat last December, they asked me to lead the food committee. After that the group asked me to do a monthly workshop on health and fitness. At the first workshop I kept the topic simple and taught about stretching. The second session included some exercise followed by a cooking class where we prepared lentil burgers, a vegetable seasoning powder and several veggie spreads. The resistance to vegetarian food has diminished, for which I thank the Lord! I desire to see our sisters not only incorporating these dishes in their menus at home, but also sharing them with their neighbors.

There is much work to do inside and outside the church, but all must be done in God’s time and way. Doors are opening all around and in more and more situations I am getting the opportunity to share what God has done for me. Sometimes it surprises me where God leads, but He is showing me that my times are in His hand.

Recently I received a phone call from a school that hires me from time to time to do private tutorials with students who want to practice conversation with a native English speaker. That is how I met Philomene, a university professor. As usual, our conversation turned to God and the soon coming of Jesus. One evening the subject of the Sabbath came up as I was explaining to Philomene why I am not available for Friday classes. As a Catholic she understood the Sabbath to be Sunday, but when I showed her Genesis 2:2, 3, she agreed that the Bible is correct. As our classes have progressed, we have continued discussing religion and the Bible. She told me that she does not agree with several things in her church such as confession and the priests’ vow of chastity, which she said led to the pedophilia scandal. When we started talking about Mary, she said, “Please don’t bother Mary!” Our class period was over, but I told her that we could talk about Mary another time.

Taking notes at the cooking class.
Taking notes at the cooking class.

Although Philomene has been learning truths that counter what she has been taught since childhood, her attitude is open and positive. As a busy professional, she admits that she does not read her Bible as much as she should, but I sense that she really loves God and wants to please Him. I have been encouraging her to spend more time reading her Bible and communing with the Lord. Please pray that God will give me a mouth and wisdom to lead His lambs gently. Also pray that Philomene will see the truth and one day decide to join God’s people.

Recently, I was visiting a church sister from Zimbabwe who had a friend of her sister’s over. As we were talking, the friend and I decided to exchange phone numbers. To everyone’s surprise, my number was already in her phone. I didn’t know this lady and she didn’t know me, but we finally concluded that someone must have given her my number to call for a massage. To me, it came as a wonderful confirmation of how God takes care of His children, bringing just the right people into our lives. God is so good, and He is more than worthy to be praised.

Please pray for Senegal. It has been a peaceful country, but the enemy is sowing seeds of aggression and hate. A constitutional referendum is coming and the opposition has been very vocal and even violent. Terrorist attacks have occurred in neighboring countries and some speculate that it is only a matter of time before Senegal is affected. Thank you for your prayers and may God not only protect us but also save us in His Kingdom.

 

By Deborah Ndione. senegalhealthproject@live.com. Support for this project may be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058, marked “Senegal.” To donate online, visit www.missionspro.org.

 


05/14/2016: Beams of Light

Beams of Light

in Senegal

 

Hello again from Senegal! Have you ever thought about how often we sing our precious hymns without thinking much about the words? Sometimes it’s not until life experiences bring the words back to our minds that we realize how meaningful those words really are. Lately, a certain song has been on my heart. God has been so good to me that I can’t help but sing, “To God be the glory! Great things He has done!”

Several months ago, I asked the Lord for a new car. My old 4×4 was giving me a lot of problems; so many little things were constantly malfunctioning. The Lord answered in an unexpected way: A day or two after my prayer I was involved in an auto accident. I thanked God that no was injured—but the accident did total the car. As I thought about what had happened, I realized that God was answering my prayers. Since the old 4×4 was out of commission, we would have to find a new vehicle!

Since then, I have seen the wonderful mercies of the Lord in my life. These mercies have been priceless! I still have plenty of challenges, but God sends beautiful beams of light to remind me that He is still in control.

Three months after the car accident I was still waiting to file my insurance claim. The insurance company required a copy of the police report, which I had not been able to obtain. Every time I spoke with the officials at the police department, the situation seemed more complicated. I kept being told that the report needed to be signed and stamped by an official who seemed to be perpetually out of the office due to his political activities. To compound things, two major national holidays involving several days of office closure delayed the process even further. During this frustrating time I had to be patient and remember that God was in control and that the paperwork would be completed in His time.

In the meantime I needed a car! I should not have worried; the Lord provided in a way that I would not have expected. It was another revelation of His mercy! First, I lost a teaching job three weeks before classes were to begin. Little did I know that the disappointment would open up another opportunity!

A few days after losing the first job, I was asked to teach some classes at a Christian non-governmental organization where I had taught about three years earlier. Not only that, but the organization signed a 10-month contract with me to give 13 hours of English classes a week to their managerial staff. They wanted me to help the managers improve their speaking skills, and as subject matter they asked me to use their organizational documents, which included their core values. Essentially I would be expected to talk to the Christian and Muslim staff about Christian values. What an opportunity—I would be paid to share God’s Word!

The Peugeot which the Lord provided at just the right time.

Although I couldn’t have anticipated it, this work arrangement also ended up helping me with the purchase of a vehicle. I had hoped that the insurance reimbursement would enable me to buy a car, but without a police report the insurance company could not process my claim. Yet the Lord knew our need and He provided. My new employer’s policy is to pay my salary every three months; but when I shared with them my need for a car, they advanced me 40% of my contractual fee. Mission Projects International also furnished some funds. Praise the Lord! We now have a small Peugeot that can take us to and from the village where we have our outpost center, as well as around Dakar. God has been so good to us!

Although we went without a vehicle for two and a half months, the car came at just the right time. The Women’s Ministries leader at church had asked me to hold a prayer retreat at the outpost, to which I readily agreed. We rented a bus to carry the women out to the retreat on Friday evening, but the question remained as to how we would transport the group that needed to arrive early to prepare. We would have a fair bit of baggage with the food for the weekend, which would make public transportation inconvenient—not to mention the fact that it would double the time required for the trip. Also, because the outpost is a distance from Dakar, the fees would mount quickly. We could rent a taxi, but that would be even more expensive than public transport. Once again the Lord showed His mercy just in time! A week before the retreat, we purchased the car and had our own transportation.

Twenty-seven women from the three churches in Dakar came together for the retreat. The theme was “Women, Wake Up!” We shared about maintaining a spiritual life, child rearing and evangelism. On Sabbath afternoon, we went into the village to hand out health books to local families. Saturday evening we did a Bible study on Revelation 12. Sunday morning we did exercises together before lunch. Then at noon the bus came to pick up the women. The menu, which in the past has always been an issue, was not a problem at all; everyone seemed to enjoy the vegetarian meals. All in all, we had an enjoyable weekend and strengthened our relationships with one another.

Food preparation at the women’s retreat.

The wait for the police report has been long. The wait for our water system at the outpost center has been even longer. When my patience is tried, I keep this quote in mind: “The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time.” The Great Controversy (1888), 621. Right now, God is arranging tests for us to prepare us for the difficult days ahead. His mercy never fails, and His wisdom is unfathomable. He answers our prayers just in time!

When I wonder why my plans seem to be hampered, I remember the Lord’s counsel: “Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ . . . Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 70.

I know that God is in control. Will you join me in putting your life in His hands daily, allowing Him to mold, guide, strengthen and prepare us for eternity?

 

By Deborah Ndione. senegalhealthproject@live.com. Support for this project may be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058, marked “Senegal.” To donate online, visit www.missionspro.org.