Leah Hopp, Uganda. A former mission family will return to the field to pack up their house into a container the last two weeks in June. Scheduling a container is often a complicated endeavour when specific dates are needed. Others on the mission are going on vacation during their second week, so we hope that the container will arrive while many hands are available for all the work involved. Please pray that they will have a healthy goodbye to Uganda.
Hanneke hopes to arrive in Toronto on July 12. She needs to finalize several details with her mission, AIM, as well a seek medical attention to her severe neck pain. Since she cannot get COVID shots in Tanzania, she will need to quarantine on arrival.
Let me write again briefly to thank you for your prayers for the "Discovering Change" talks! I am having a tremendous sense of the Lord answering! I'm so grateful for all the wonderful ways He's worked in developing the content, improving the delivery (including cleaning up my grammar and a great visual presentation designed by a gifted intern only in Munich until the end of the month) and for the excellent discussions ensuing. It's been a particularly fruitful and joyful experience--as well as personally convicting and freeing. I would be very grateful for your continued prayers for for tomorrow, and for the last two talks, that this course becomes a useful tool.
Please also continue to pray for ongoing counseling--there are quite a few counsellees facing very difficult issues and we need the Spirit for much love and wisdom to assist His change in their hearts. Please also remember the women's retreat I'll be speaking at on the 25th and 26th. May the Lord lead and edify--and strengthen to maintain the pace!
For those who have so quickly made contributions to my financial support on both sides of the border, let me say thank you again! That's been tremendously encouraging also. The halfway mark was reached on that issue too.
From Munich with love and gratitude, and wishing you God's richest blessing, as we all live out our new humanity in Christ in this dark world to advance the glory of His Light to all those around us.
The camp is a one week event for kids ages 3 to 16. Our pastorate had 5 camps. 3 in villages about 5 to 12 km out of town and in Town. Kids are invited from neighborhoods. From any religions. The main religion is M. Many come. Today we had about 120 kids. At the end of the service 40 + kids went forward to receive Christ! Praise the Lord!
We are deeply thankful for the continuing prayers of each of you as we settle in to Canada and begin the process of taking up our new roles (July 1!) with OMF here.
Garland/Gaza…..Yesterday, today and forever
Fairy tails? Ancient history? Hardly.
Same old Gaza: road to Egypt and from there to the rest of Africa:
Same terrain, the shortest, dustiest, arid route from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Yesterday, Philip, you know the one, (one of seven men designated to get food and provisions out to the Hispanic/correction Hellenistic believers) was given an assignment to contact the CFO of Ethiopia while surrounded by his entourage in his convertible Mercedes.
It was cool and breezy that day, and the man was reading in spite of the bumps, astoundingly in Hebrew, since his mother tongue was Amharic. But reading in a foreign language is difficult, and this Philip turns up trotting along the chariot beside him. (Did Philip look fresh and clean?)
Anyhow, God plants Philip to explain about the one the Isaiah passage is describing: that it’s not the official, but Jesus of Nazareth, crucified recently, resurrected, alive and the Source of Life and Truth. God does His inimitable work in our Ethiopian, they discover water on the road in a dry and thirsty land, the CFO climbs down with Philip in front of the whole entourage and is baptized. He climbs back into his chariot, and heads for Ethiopia to proclaim the Truth to his nation.
(Never mind for the moment what becomes of Philip).
Since that day until this, Ethiopia is a Christian nation. So what does that have to do with Garland?
In the apartment complexes of Garland there are many immigrants fleeing the disruption of their home countries. Amongst them is a large contingent of Ethiopians, Christians, declaring their faith amongst their Islamic neighbors. There are two Ethiopian churches in Garland. Any idea how they got there?
Tabora, 2021-05-28 Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”
It has been a while since my last news letter. Much has happened which caused me to have to take some time to get my head around the different challenges I had to deal with. But let me start with our Easter celebrations: Easter was a wonderful time of celebration and also reflection on the sacrifice the Lord made for us, for me. His suffering was so enormous that it is hard for us to fathom. Knowing that he would suffer and die in Jerusalem he purposely went there. He lovingly celebrated the Passover with His disciples, even washing their dirty feet! He surrendered His life into the hand of His Father even though He was so scared that He sweat drops of blood and pleaded for the cup that He was to drink would be taken away. His disciples had no idea about His anguish and slept throughout this time when it was then, that He needed their support. They were supposed to be His closest friends…They ran when the trouble started. Peter, who had recently claimed that Jesus was the Messiah denied knowing Him. He suffered physically, mentally, emotionally and felt at the moment He carried all the sin of the world on His shoulders that even his heavenly Father had forsaken Him. Yet, even in His final hours He forgave those who crucified Him, made sure His mother was taken care of and comforted and reassured the criminal next to Him that He would be in Paradise with Him! What a Savior we have!
We had an outdoor service which was great!
Now, regarding some of the challenges that have faced me:
First, as you know, Jacky became pregnant. During the first weeks, Jacky was unable to share her thoughts and feelings. She was confused. Finally, she confided that she was scared that I would send her away. I reassured her that I love her and always will and that I will continue to do so. She still was quiet and Naomi and I were concerned that she would do something to stop the pregnancy. I decided to get an ultra sound done and after hearing her baby’s heartbeat she told us that she had been thinking about an abortion.
During the same time, I was having some severe neck pains. It made driving difficult as turning my head was becoming almost impossible. I wanted to first get Jacky better before trying to get some medical input for this problem.
Jacky had a secret relationship with a boy named “Goodluck”. He is a very young 18-year-old and I am not expecting much support from him. He finished form 4, has no job, no real plans for his future. So far he has refused to tell his aunt, who has raised him, the situation with Jacky.
I am holding Jacky accountable for her actions but at the same time offer her support. Staying home was not good for her and I finally enrolled her into a computer course which she really likes and makes her feel like she is doing something worth while. (I am also adjusting to the fact that I will be a grandmother.)
I contacted AIM regarding my neck pains. They let me know that Dr. Gamble from the Missionary Health institute would contact me. A consultation with Dr Gamble was set up for April 8th. He thought it was a case of arthritis but advised me to get an MRI done. This sowed that two of my vertebrae have shifted and cause most of the severe pain. I am waiting to hear from him again after he received the report.
Then, shortly after having Jacky’s ultra sound done my dear worker/friend, Naomi, told me that she had started to bleed again. She is now about 50 years old. The next day I took her right away to our new hospital in Tabora. Yes we have some better medical care and even have a gynecologist, who examined her. She had an ultrasound done and he let her know that she needed a hysterectomy. The Doctor told her that it was good she had come early but that she needed to get it done to prevent cancer. Naomi was very scared and it took her a couple of days and me reassuring her that she decided to have this done.
This was just before Easter. I had to pick upthe kids from school for their Easter holidays. I had Andrew, an AIM missionary who lives and works with his wife in Tabora, drive me to Kahama. This is about a 4-hour drive. We planned to stay overnight in a hotel in Kahama and pick up Baraka the next morning. However, our president had died and his funeral was that day. Not one room was available in Kahama. I called the school and asked if we could pick up Baraka that day to get back to Tabora. We were told :”NO!” I then told the manager that we were coming to the school and that we would sleep there! Within a few minutes we got permission to get Baraka. We arrived home at 10 pm.
I was quite busy at home, as my worker was in the hospital. We visited her several times and brought her food and water. After 4 days she was discharged but had to stay with friends until she had recovered.
After Easter I had to take Baraka back to school and we had a visiting day with Christina. Jacky wanted to come to see Christina. I had a driver taking us, but he was not very good. I am using another driver now who is careful. At the visiting day Christina and Baraka, together with other students were sharing stories about their teachers and lessons. Jacky sat and listened and slowly I saw her face become sad. It finally hit her: She is no longer a student and her life will not be the same. After coming home, I asked her about the visit and she shed a few tears.
On April 8th I had my consultation and Dr. Gamble thought it was just a matter of arthritis but prescribed painkillers and said that it might be good to get an MRI done. The MRI I had done in Mwanza. It shows that two of my vertebrae have moved. One moves inward and the other outward. I am waiting for our next consultation and hear what I should do next.
May 4th, I turned 71. I want to thank all of you who send me birthday greetings. It made my day very special!!! Mahona wrote me a poem and Jacky wrote a special message as well.
Ngassa finished his Form six! Praise the Lord! He thinks he did well with the final exam but we won’t know if he succeeded until next month. He came and had written a very nice letter to me asking my forgiveness. Wow! He also gave me back some money. (Which I needed to give him for travelling back to Mwanza :) Pray for him as for now he is somewhat lost while waiting for his results and planning his next step.
My plan is to retire from AIM at the end of August and continue to serve the Lord in Tanzania on a voluntary basis. I have the kids who still need quite a bit of help. Faraja just started Form one. Pray that I will be granted a retirement visa!
I also hope to continue to teach at our Bible school where we are training local believers to become Evangelists. We are mostly working with the Wanyamwezi tribe . It is an unreached tribe of whom most are of the M. religion. Some of our students were converted and are anxious to reach others for Christ, even though it is dangerous. Some, who finished their training have already started small churches in unreached villages. Pray for their safety and stamina!
I hope to come to Canada this year I July. We still don’t have any Covid vaccine here. However, about ten days ago our new president has approved the vaccine. Now I hope it will come soon! Pray for this issue to be resolved! I have learned the reality of the Word in James: “God willing!”
This week we had our annual AIM women’s missionary retreat. About 23 women attended. It was wonderful and one of the best things was that three Tanzanian missionaries joined us. These women, together with their husbands have left their Sukuma culture and are serving the Lord with different tribes. They are learning their language and culture. One couple is leading one of the TIMO teams. (Training In Missions) This is a two-year program for people who want to come and learn the tribal language and learn the culture of an unreached tribe. They are led by experienced missionaries who live together with them in one of the remote villages.
For most of us it was a very long drive. Andy drove three of us to the retreat. A trip of 12 hours. Others had to travel even longer but we all of us made it back home safely and thank the Lord for this refreshing time of studying His Word, having times of sharing and prayers and having lots of fun and time for relaxation. I made many new friends and renewed many old friendships. As I am retiring from AIM this year they had a special time to pray for me. It felt strange but very right. It is so good to see many young people joining the work which has not finished yet!
Yesterday I had another long trip. I attended the funeral of my Medical assistant, Nzelani, who worked with me in the Shinyanga AIDS project. We have stayed in touch and we would meet and have lunch together in Shinyanga, together with our friend Kulwa. Kulwa is living with the virus and we helped him care for his brother and sister who dies of AIDs. He is quite isolated due to stigma and Nzelani stayed close to him as a friend. I did not see Kulwa at the funeral and found him in his shop. He was so discouraged. He called me later to say that now our “team” is just him and myself. I encouraged him and tried to comfort him.
I started with the quote from Nehemiah: “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” This Joy is much more then just happiness which usually last a short time and usually comes from something outside of us: A trip, a party, a holiday, etc.
Having the Joy of the Lord is everlasting and comes from within. It has to do with contentment and the knowledge that the Lord understands and relates to our problems and difficulties and physical suffering. It might be difficult at times when pain is severe, but I am reminded that God suffered for me much more then I am suffering now. He has given me many great friends who pray for me and who give me advise. I made a new friend in our retreat who showed me some exercises I can do. I try not to take any painkillers as it will eventually damage my liver or other organs.
These are the latest adventures.
Thanks again for all your support and prayers and may the Lord bless each of you and fill you with His joy!
Yours in Christ Happy Hanneke
Although I recently wrote to you, pressing requests for June have come up, for which I would very much appreciate your prayers--even with all you have going on in your lives in these very challenging days!
- Beginning next Tuesday afternoon, and on every following Tuesday in June, I'm giving short talks in a pilot-project on the topic of "Discovering Change" to the pastors, interns and a few others in our church. Hopefully we can develop this to add it to those courses that the church regularly holds, Discovering Christianity and Discovering the Church. I'm quite excited about the material-- it's the core of what I had been working out in the DMin work. I'm still in the development phase of these talks, in the midst of an ongoing busy and challenging counseling schedule. Please pray for the development, delivery and discussion surrounding these concepts.
- Following on the heels of that, on June 25th and 26th, I've been asked to lead a women's retreat for the brethern church that I also work with. I'm giving four talks on the topic: Change is Possible. Again, prayer for the development, delivery and discussion of these talks is appreciated! May they be edifying for the women!
- Over the two decades that you've been supporting me in this Kingdom (ad)venture(!) I've been very, very grateful for your tremendous financial support so that I've rarely been underfunded, and usually had just the right amount of funding. Thank you all so very much for all that you have given, whether in generous regular or occassional gifts! That's enabled me to focus on the work I love to do! Now, during the recent Canadian mission agency transition, but also among the American funding, although I still have a small buffer through some significant one-time giving, there's been a drop in monthly giving of approximately US$800, which I'd like to let you know about. If you are able to contribute to my financial support, I would so appreicate it.
- Please also remember to change your correspondence with me to my new email address: email@example.com Thank you!!!
May we continue to see how the Lord wonderouly supplies each of us personally with all that we need for life (stamina and health too!) and godliness, through His very great and precious promises, to participate increasingly in His divine nature, shining as light in the darkness for His glory, for our well-being and the well-being of all around us. Thank you again for your long-standing partnership to serve the Lord together!
Much love in Christ and with warmest greetings from Munich,
My research advisor, Agnes, will come to visit Nakaale the last weekend in May. Please pray that the roads won’t get washed out again as they did last week due to a lot of rain on our unpaved roads. Agnes has never been to Karamoja and I look forward to showing her around the villages so that she can get a better sense of our research setting. This week I’ve been doing some quality control on locations where patients come from when they seek care at our mission clinic. I’m thankful to have found a document listing election results by voting stations so that I can confirm villages located within their respective parishes/sub-counties/districts. It’s an important, objective, external document to support the data that we have instead of just relying on the fact that we live here and we know certain things by experience. We hope to have a manuscript ready to submit by the end of the month regarding a descriptive study of our mission clinic. Please pray that God will sustain us in these research efforts for His glory.
Ok, ikianyun (See you), Leah
Xerggyo and Hil are happy to resume their relationships with their friends in T. Xerggyo received a visa extension through the end of 2021.
Ian was recovering fairly well from his operation, however, he was rushed in to hospital last night for a bowel obstruction surgery. He had a very rough night. He remains in ICU. Prayer appreciated.
Due to the action of a small group of rebels, the Indonesian military are carrying out massive retaliation. Many Papuan villages, mainly Christian, are emptying as people flee their homes and gardens to hide in the jungle. Pray for peace and the provision of food and other needs for our displaced brothers ans sisters.