Monday I leave with a new Gateway class to return to Benin, West Africa for a three week outreach. I'm looking forward to the opportunities to work again with Mama Arlette at Daslin's Children's Home as well as Pastor Roland and the prison ministry we helped him begin this past February. I have wonderful photos of the kids, children who embraced our little team and showed us what it is to worship and praise a Father God. Children who kept a newly built swingset occupied and moving almost every minute after it was built.
From the prison I have no photos. They weren't allowed. But I have vivid memories of faces of young men ages 12-18 that we bonded with in a short time. Sad faces, withdrawn faces, eager faces, open faces, hopeful faces... I'm looking forward to seeing them with recognition this time and hearing first hand some of the miracles I've heard reported God is doing in the midst of them since March.
Pastor Roland and several others with him have been going faithfully to the prison each week to befriend, disciple and nurture these young men. What an opportunity for them to potentially return to their communities after they are released as men of God who can influence their families, towns, and nation.
Please pray for our team. Please pray for me and my colleague Stefan as we lead the team. The town of Abomey, Benin is the birthplace of voodoo. It was only 17 years ago that the practice of human sacrifices was outlawed. Young girls are still vulnerable. Also, according to the statistics from the Peace Corp, Benin is the largest hub for child traficking than in all of Africa. We are working with some incredible locals who love the Lord. Please pray that our time there will encourage them and help empower them to serve the Lord even more effectively