Being blessed and being a blessing

We went to Gabon to improve our French and for Tabitha to work at the hospital. But it has been our prayer that we not only would be blessed, but that we would also be a blessing. Looking back we see that Jan as well – next to all Tabitha’s work in the hospital – has contributed his share! We want to thank all our partners! Without your prayers and financial support we would not have been able to share the blessing!

“The difficult part of life here, is that I miss my parents so much- they live in the Ivory Coast,” a teenagers replies to my question whether or not they are happy living here in the jungle. There is no internet, bad electricity and just few educational opportunities. But this youth group meets every week, because they found something with God, more precious than gold. It was a privilege to join them on Easter Monday and lead a Bible study.

Never before was a sermon so easy for me to write. I even told myself that I had to be nervous. Speaking at the Prayer Retreat for the Gabon Mission Team is not something small. Normally, they even have someone flown in! But in the days of preparation the message grew in my heart. The way the team reacted after the sermon said it all. I’m just thankful: God wanted to say something, and I got out of the way.

I was nervous when I was asked to preach at the Bongolo church just a week on beforehand. A week to write a sermon in itself is not a problem, but in French … that’s another story! The passage from the Bible that I had chosen was not really inspiring to me. But it was as if God said to me: “trust me, any text from the Bible is useful for teaching.” When I was asked to come forward to speak, this was exactly what the elder read from the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16). It was a great encouragement to me. For the text I preached (Titus 3:1-8) deeply related to the daily experience of the church members: how to deal with people who make your life miserable. How could I have known this was relevant to them? I’m glad I’ve trusted God and simply and clearly explained His word.

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Familie Kieviet in Senegal