To our dear Pastors, Friends, and Partners in Missions,
I am writing you today with so much joy in my heart! Please permit me to shout out something you already know: Our God is so good! And once again the God who is with us has so lovingly and intentionally gotten involved in the business of little men! How do I know that? Why because of you and what you’ve done! In responding compassionately to our request for help to plow even more Malian farmers’ fields, you became (once again) Christ’s hands extended to the poorest of poor Malians! Your are harvesting with us in these Islamic fields!
Political storms are blowing all over Mali. In the north, Tamashek mercenaries and Al Qaeda partisans are trying to hold on to their newly partitioned “nation of Azawad.” But many young Malian men, resentful of the rigid imposition of Shari’a law, are forming resistance groups, determined to regain their old way of life. Mali’s unpopular Interim President is trying to appease his discontented citizens by forming a new coalition government that should more fairly represent all interest and ethnic groups. He’s going to need more than good luck for that to happen! So, would you please, even now, hold out your hand and pray with us that the Prince of Peace will extend his hand over this stormy land and call out those wonderful, healing words, “Peace, be still!”
Unlike the dark political scene, this year’s generous rain storms have greened up the whole country! Everybody involved in David’s agro-pastoral project is so excited about a very promising harvest of corn, rice, beans and fruit.
Of even greater significance is the growth of understanding and faith among the Muslim project workers. Each day begins with a study of the Word, and more precisely with sharing a “point of need” story. For example, one worker, Fantamari, after hearing the story of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Christ’s garment, asked if this Jesus would do the same for his ailing pregnant wife too. What a joy to pray, to see the healing, and to welcome this man into our Family of God!
Many Muslim workers, having sensed the presence of God when they’ve been asked to pray over the food, now fight for the privilege.
Kalifa, the cook, was one of the first to accept Christ. All have asked for (Light For The Lost) Bibles in either Bambara or Arabic, and all take time on their own to study. The village chief’s eldest son really liked what he was hearing, and so, when he traveled to a small neighboring village, he attended the evangelical church there. Seydou came back wide-eyed with amazement by everything he’d witnessed. Pray with us that Seydou, too, will decide to follow Jesus.
Drissa, a devout Muslim who faithfully prays 5 times a day, confided in David that he now believes that Jesus is MORE than a prophet (which is what Islam says of Him), and that he is also Savior. Issa, whose name means “Jesus,” knew nothing of Issa-Al-Massih (Jesus-the-Messiah) until he came to work with us. He recently said that he wants to look and behave like Christ. Please pray with us, not only for Issa’s salvation, but also that he will become a leader and soul-winner.
Faysal first asked for a Bible in Arabic (the Sharif Bible), then for one in Bambara. When David asked why he wanted them both, Faysal explained that the local Imam at the mosque often asks him to bring the Friday sermon, and every once in a while he struggles with the meaning of a word in Arabic. So the Bambara text helps him get an accurate reading of the Scriptures. Then Faysal happily and confidently shares what he has learned from the Bible!! Even though Faysal, a fundamentalist Muslim, has not yet confessed Christ as his Savior, his heart is open, and the seed is being scattered far and wide!
Psalm 67:6-7: “Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.”
I, Linda, am stateside for an arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder. David has been here by my side to help me get up, ice up, zip up, and not slip up!!! Ten days after surgery, my therapist was just amazed at how low my pain levels were, and how large my mobility was. I give all the glory to the Lord!
David (Faouzi) took advantage of his month home with me (Scotts Valley, CA) to get an eye check and new glasses. The optometrist noted something worrisome, and made special arrangements for him to see a specialist, who found it necessary to do a laser procedure in each eye to correct a problem and to prevent the fearful possibility of losing all sight. We are so grateful to the Lord for the doctor’s discovery and for the opportunity to treat this condition before David returns to Mali on August 22nd!
We are Grateful to be your partners in His service in Mali,
Linda and David (Faouzi) Arzouni