From Jake Tillett, co-worker of Carey Schlieker in West Africa.
Pierre came to know the Lord last year after talking with some pastors who were visiting his village. Pierre has had a long-term bone infection that just wouldn’t go away, so the pastors sent him to our hospital for treatment. His condition required him to be seen in the clinic every day, but he didn’t need to stay in the hospital, so he took up residence in our guest house which serves patients like him. Because he was a new believer, several of us, including the hospital chaplain, spent time discipling him. He eventually learned to read and got a Bible.
A few months later, another young man, Amadou, came to live in our hospital guest house in order to get physical therapy and treatment for a muscle disease. Amadou came from a village that has no Christians, and though he’d heard the Gospel during the showing of the Jesus film by one of our evangelism teams, he really hadn’t spent much time with any Christians. He and Pierre quickly became friends, and after some time together, Amadou really began to consider the Gospel. He asked Pierre if he could become a Christian. He has also gone on to learn to read and now has a Bible that he carries with him everywhere.
The two of them started (and maintain) a prayer group for patients at the hospital, praying together every morning and evening. Really neat to see the Lord transforming the lives of these young men.
Continue to pray for both of them. Pierre’s treatment is almost over and he will head home. Amadou’s condition is not curable with what we have here in West Africa, so we are asking the Lord for miraculous intervention.
At CCC, we love to tell stories about Village One and the lives that God is transforming through Bridge Church. But through our new Better Together Neighborhoods program, your Journey Group can do more than just hear what is going on, you can get directly involved in a neighborhood. In the last few months, Tim and Kim Wilkinson’s Journey Group “adopted” one block in Village One by partnering with Jim and Rosie Schuman, the family who lives in the CCC Lighthouse. Their group is creating ways for Jim and Rosie to reach out to their neighbors and build relationships. “We are all called to serve, so we serve when we see a need,” said Kim. And last Saturday, there was a need to provide a safe and fun environment for the kids in the neighborhood.
In a parking lot near Village One there were close to a dozen trunks decorated for Trunk-or-Treat where neighborhood children could come and have great fun. Volunteers were ready to greet the kids and the families from the community. A couple of the trunks were from organizations around Omaha, including the Wilkinson’s trunk fully decorated as Finding Dory. But most of the trunks were decorated by people from the neighborhood and this is a neighborhood that in the past has enjoyed keeping to themselves. Praise God that neighbors are starting to reach out and build community with each other!
Children came from all over. Many of the kids had store bought costumes, but there were also children who put together costumes from whatever they could find at home – how creative! Throughout the event, you could meet Muhammad Ali; a referee; Batman (and Batgirl); a fisherman; various princesses; and one family, including mom and dad, dressed up as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But in the end, it didn’t matter if you had a costume or not, everyone had fun and more than enough candy.
So, what is God doing through a simple event like Trunk-or-Treat? He’s building relationships. An event like this helps to build the relationships that Jim and Rosie are forming with their neighbors. A neighbor that Rosie has been connecting with recently over the last year, brought her trunk and decorated it for the event. She expressed her loneliness and her desire to be more involved in events like this one. Praise the Lord, Rosie made plans to pick her up for church next week! God is working in this lady’s life.
Talk with your Journey Group and pray about how you can get involved with serving Jesus in Village One. Praise God that He is working in the lives of people in Village One and that He would choose to use us to be apart His work!