It was a special blessing to have a few precious friends from Bongolo Hospital visit the Dayton area over the last 10 days. Keir and Joanna Thelander, their children Luke and Sarah, and Jacques Ebhele came as keynote speakers for Fairhaven Church's (www.fairhavenchurch.org) Spring Missions Fest. They also shared at Centerville Community Church (www.centervillecommunity.org) on March 30 on their Spring Missions Sunday.
During the limited downtime from all their scheduled events, it was a joy to just hang out with the team and with mutual friends here in the Dayton area. God has built a wonderful connection between Bongolo and the Dayton area. This partnership is growing every year in many different ways. It will be exciting to see how God expands the connection for His purposes.
For Jacques, it was his first time in the United States. In fact, it was his first time outside the continent of Africa. We made some special memories exploring American culture (Kroger, Best Buy, the barber shop) and visiting the Creation Museum near Cincinnati. He stayed part of the time at our home and it was a blessing to share our lives with him. He shared gracefully at both churches. His message of compassion and his life example of hearing God's calling, committing to it, and joining God no matter the cost challenged me and others.
"And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." -Matthew 9:35-36