Greetings prayer partners,
Today April 21, the refugees camp experienced the first child birth and death. Early this morning one of our couples lost their baby. He was stillborn. As I was asked to pray at the cemetery in front of tearful family and friends, my heart started pounding. I realized more than ever before my own mortality and the brevity of life. I was reminded that time is fleeing and more than before we have to labor as hard as we can, to proclaim the Gospel of life. I did pray with a pious thought for relatives, neighbors and friends I left in Gao without hope about their spiritual life. The refugees camp continue to grow. We are now 209 people and all the children from first to 12th grade started school. We are working on the list for those who will attend professional schools.
In the midst of sorrow and hardship, we can celebrate our Lord and Savior. Churches under the umbrella of the Association of Evangelical and Protestant Churches and Missions of Mali are mobilized to help and support the refugees from the North. On Sunday, April 22 from 5 to 7PM, the youth of the churches are organizing a big concert to pray and collect funds. I request your prayers as I will be addressing these young people. On April 23 a nation wide chain of prayers will start and will culminate on May 27 as a National Day of Prayer in the big stadium of Bamako. Please join the saints of Mali as they are praying for our country and its future.
Most believers in Gao and Timbuktu made it out of these places. We still have three families in Gao. Two families were able to leave town this week. They need your prayers. They are afraid of what is happening but wanted to stay. For now we don't now how to help them except by sending phone cards so they can call and stay in touch.
In Timbuktu, Al Qaeda fighters and looters are sacking the people, entering into houses asking for non-Muslims. After they looted the church, the radio station, the guesthouse, the women and men center; they protected and secured for themselves the Samaritan Purse Christmas boxes. They counted the boxes and forbade the other looters to touch them. It's their special booty.
Dear Friends & Partners…I just received this email this morning from Pastor Nouh of Timbuktu. I also talked to him yesterday by phone from Atlanta, Georgia, where he had just safely arrived to be with his son for a visit. He hopes to soon return to Mali. But please note this latest email from him and continue to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Mali – but especially in Timbuktu. As you can see from his email, his Baptist Church is especially under attack as the first and oldest Christian church in the city. I have pictured Pastor Nouh and Fati above, along with a picture of the Baptist Church and Compound after my conference this past September. This will help you visualize where the carnage is taking place by the rebels and radicals…JL
Dear friends and partners in Christ,
The city of Timbuktu is still under the control of the rebels. While all churches: Catholic, Baptist, Assembly of God and New Life Mission have been visited, only the Baptist Church continues to see their looters coming to plunder all goods at the church yard. The last one is “Samaritan Purse” ministry of “Christmas Gifts” – 300 big boxes for Baptist and Assembly of God ministries that arrived the same day of Timbuktu attack and were just unloaded from the truck to the storage room. They are the ones that they are planning to take out by tomorrow. So Timbuktu is yet under hot issues of rebels.
Meanwhile, the city of Timbuktu is planning today after Friday Mosque to have a protest denouncing the rebels presence in Timbuktu and to ask them living the city.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for your prayers and support in Christ
Pasteur Nouh Ag Infa YATTARA
Eglise Evangelique Baptiste
Dear Mali Intercessors,
I just received several timely emails from our 3 primary partners in Mali, Pastor Nouh Yattara, Professor Mohamed-Ibrahim Yattara and Pastor Mohamed Ali. Each one shared about their needs in Bamako now where they have become refugees in their own country. Several of our friends here e-mailed me and asked for a specific list of 'priority needs' to pray about and give for. So Professor Mohamed sent me this list below. Prayerfully consider it and give to any of the areas that the Lord directs your heart toward. Or just make a general gift that they can use as needed. Thanks for loving and giving. And know that we honor 100% designation of your gift.
I have added pictures of our past visits with these strategic brothers and their wives. Thanks for your continued spiritual and financial support of them and to the other “Christian refugees” with them…JL & Patt
Youth Easter Baptisms
JLPF Partner, Pastor Bharat Tamang, works among the hundreds of thousands of Nepalis living in the slums of the capital city of New Delhi, India. He is the founder and pastor of the Anugraha Church. God has blessed him with the gifts of evangelism and healing. He just updated JLPF with the exciting news that five youths were baptized on Easter Sunday. Please pray for these young people as they strive to share the knowledge of Christ wherever they go.
Profile for All updates for Bharat & Tabitha Tamang
JL & Pastor Nouh in Timbuktu, September 2012
Dear Friends & Partners of JLPF,
I could never have realized this past September when I held a Conference in the historic City of Timbuktu, Mali, that it would probably be my last trip there! In the past decade, I have traveled to Timbuktu a number of times to hold Leadership Conferences for pastors and Christian workers. Patt also joined me on one of the trips to minister to wives and women (you can see reports from those trips on our web site).
As the fourth holiest city to Islam (after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem), we always knew that Timbuktu held great significance to Moslems worldwide. We also knew that through the influence of Muammar Gaddafi and Libya, that radical Islam was increasing its presence in and around Timbuktu. Further, we knew that if the city did fall under the sway of the Islamist, that our dear friend and partner, Pastor Nouh Yattara, would be in grave danger. That's because when he was a young boy, he was perhaps the first known believer in Jesus Christ in Timbuktu.
Later Nouh grew up to become a pastor and plant the first Christian Church in this ancient City -- the 'Evangelical Baptist Church.' With his wife, Fati, he faithfully built a strong church of MBBs (Muslim Background Believers). He also initiated and directed a number of practical ministries of compassion to the many poor living in and around Timbuktu – especially women and children. He also ministered to the "Belt of Misery" of nomadic refugee people who encircled the City and meagerly lived off of the Sahara Desert. As one who grew up in Islam, he became a great scholar and apologist about his former religion – especially the "Folk Islam" that was so strong in that region.