Last year, in September, we visited the home of Syprose and Martin. They are a very old couple. We had met Martin when building a house for a widow in the area where he lives. One day we went to visit the "Samaria" cell group to minister. When we were there the leader took us to a house where we met a bedridden woman. The house was just TERRIBLE - falling down around her. It turned out to be Martin's house and the woman was his wife. (This old gentleman had been with us at the other house building, working so very hard to help build a new house for a destitute widow. He never told us of his own living conditions. It was his cell leader who told us later when we went to see his house.) We have seen really bad houses, but this one had to be the worse. The money we receive from various supporters for house-building is restricted to houses for widows - so there was no way that we could use those funds for Syprose and Martin. However - Marty has a fund from her personal income that is for women and girls. Well - Syprose is a woman, she needed a new house.
These are photos of the old house from inside and out. You can imagine what happened when it rained.
As an aside; when we got to the house to visit, we found that Syprose had a bed - if one could call it that - with no real mattress. The bed and bedding were also was just terrible. Our friend Anna was with us and asked if she could buy Syprose a mattress. No problem there! When we bought mattresses for the destitute widows, we added one extra from Anna.
Here are photos of the new house. As it was being built a crowd gathered to watch, knowing Syprose and Martin's circumstances, and in disbelief that this was really happening. Several were saying "It must be God". As a result of this house and mattress six have joined the church, three have received Christ as their Saviour, and several more want to start attending church. They are amazed at God's love and care for their neighbours. When John left, the door hadn't been put on yet. The house must sit for while and cure before the walls are finished with a smooth mud "plaster". Syprose came off her sick bed for this photo, and she has put on her best dress for the housebuilding occasion.
Inside of the new house there are always some holes left for the woman of the house to fill with mud herself - it's a custom that enables the woman to take ownership in her new house. In the case of old people, only a few spaces are left. For younger women a whole wall would be left unfilled. Because there are no children here the house is only two small rooms, but it is a bit larger than the one in which they previously lived.
Here you see people singing and praising God for the new house. Martin is the third person from the left.
There is much more news to report, but we are attempting to keep the blog shorter so that there isn't an overload of information.
We will update you with more exciting news in a few weeks.
- Due to excess rain, which made it not possible to plow at the Widows Farm (or at the Church fields), there was no crop in December. Please pray that the fields will be plowed and the next crop planted in March.
- We have formed a team for a medical mission to Kenya in June. We are in the process of meeting regularly to plan and prepared ourselves. Currently there are 7 committed to going to work with us. Please pray for all details to come together - bonding of the team, finances, passports, shots, medicines to use in the clinics, medical staff, and transportation.
- We will be in Pennsylvania in March for the annual DOVE Christian Fellowship International Leadership Conference.
- Please pray for traveling safety
- We will be ministering in several places; please pray for us to be sensitive to what Holy Spirit wants us to say and do.
Blessings and Much Love,
John and Marty
John and Marty