We have finished building the six-foot north wall between the village and the GEM land. The paved road, that will be widened in the near future, borders the west side of the property. The south side of the property has a temporary wire fence until there are additional funds to build a wall. The east side of the property, which is a shorter distance than the west side, comes to a deep ditch area for excess rainwater to flow past the land.
We have started constructing the first building on the southwest corner of our campus that will be used as a worship center, a workshop center for our widows, and a training center for small conferences. The building size is sixty feet long by thirty-six feet wide. The foundation work is completed and now the pillars are raised. There are eight doors and twelve windows that were recently finished by carpenters. We are going to build the walls before we take up the slab work. At present, we are filling the inside of the walls with sand. We have purchased sixty trucks of sand so far and we may need another twenty trucks for leveling the ground for the buildings. It is very difficult to get the laborers, as it is a high demand season of work for laborers. The cost of sand, gravel, cement, and iron rods has gone very high since the government is building houses for the homeless in our local area.
Fortunately, we bought 400 bags of cement and six tons of iron at a cheaper rate soon after we received money from the United States GEM bank account. By buying the raw materials in large quantities, it helps us to save money. Every U.S. dollar that is given by our kind, generous, and loving U.S. supporters will be spent most wisely. There must be no waste.
This is also a difficult time for us at our work. The hot summer months are upon us. There is great need to finish the first phase of the campus project before the rainy season, which begins as early as the end of June. By God’s grace, we desire to finish the church, the first phase of the building for the orphans, and the first phase of the building of the living quarters for our immediate staff. Currently the orphans and the staff live in Nuzvid, which is about ten miles away from the land. We need to live on the land so that we may minister to the local village people and take proper care of the campus.
With Love……………Brother Joseph
Easter was certainly a celebration here in many ways. The Last Supper Communion Service, on Thursday evening, had the highest number ever. We keep this as a more serious meeting and let people know the importance and responsibilities of communion. Ian purchased extra cups to make sure we had enough. Though we thought no more than 250 people would attend, we had over 270 people in attendance. It was a very meaningful service with some background pictures from The Passion. Ian brought in some applications of Passover concepts that would happen at a Sader during the communion service. The Passion Film gathered over 150 people on Friday evening.
On Easter morning, we had over 330 people, standing room only! Our youth group put on a drama, which was 45 minutes long, and it got quite an ovation. It was an interesting perspective from the eyes of the daughters of Pontius Pilate, Judas Iscariot, some of the disciples, a Pharisee, and a Sadducee. They did an excellent job. Albana gave a nice summary of the presentation. The worship was very lively and worshipful for a glorious Easter morning, and we had sunshine all day!
The children's program went really well too. They are still praying for more children to come. The youth work is really growing. They have been doing some excursions, and the last one had over 125 youth going. Twenty of them accepted the Lord at the end. Albano was the special speaker that day. We have always seen that the youth are the mitochondria of the church, so we are thrilled to see it growing from strength to strength. Erion is really developing leadership abilities, as is Nardi.
Jorgo is in Ankara, Turkey, with his Mom, Vera, and we are so thrilled to hear that they are linked with some Turkish and Albanian Christians there who help them with translation and other needs that they have! They were connected with friends of ours who have been missionaries in Ankara for many years, and still had connections there. The body of Christ, working together, can be used by Jesus Christ to accomplish great things with Him.
Melodie and Kristal helped me reorganize my home school schedule. We are overlapping some of the subjects, having more reading time together, and actually beginning later and finishing earlier with less homework. It has changed our lives and eliminated a lot of unnecessary stress! I am so grateful for both Melodie and Kristal, not only for their support and help, but for their perspective they have from being kindergarten teachers and also being raised as home school students. Ashlie and Isaac are doing very well in school.
Ian, Caralee, Ashlie, and Isaac
Dear Friends of the Handicapped Orphanage,
Last week, we lost another dear sister, and I am so happy to know that she is with the Lord. Xhina (pronounced Gina) was very simple. She loved music and loved to dance. She was never shy about it. She couldn’t speak much, but she would always try to sing, especially songs for Jesus. She was a regular member of our classes, and her favorite thing to do was to color, and she was quite good. She was about 40 years old, and was always ready to hug us and smile when we came. Everyone loved her, and she has left a big void at the orphanage. We will miss her. We are so glad we had the chance to know her, work with her, and be sure of her salvation. She is singing and dancing with the angels now. I know she is very happy and complete.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
After one year of illness for our dear missionary contact, Peter Hotter is back in Arusha. He was in a hospital and/or hospice situation in Nairobi, Kenya. He ministers to about 85 orphans, who do not have biological parents but have some sort of extended family—generally grandparents. Given the economic situations of these “orphans,” there is no money to pay for their tuition for school, pay for their books, or buy their uniforms. Pastor Hotter, with the assistance of GEM and others, gathers money to provide the financial resources so that these 85 children are able to attend school. GEM has purchased five computers that these students can use to help them complete their homework assignments. We would like to purchase more computers and help support more of these orphans. Of coursed Pastor Hotter ministers to the spiritual needs of these children and ministers to the spiritual needs of the extended families of these children.
I have known Brother Samuel Otoo since August, 1985, when I met him at William Carey International University, located on the same campus as the U.S. Center for World Missions in Pasadena, California. We were both pursuing our M.A. degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
On April 1, 2007, I spoke at Pastor Samuel Otoo’s congregation, The Solid Foundation Chapel, located in Canyon Country, California. Their theme, during the month of March, had been “God of the Nations.” It was a blessed opportunity to minister at Brother Otoo’s fellowship.
On April 17, 2007, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to began to work with Samuel and Mercy Otoo’s congregation. Pastor Samuel and Mercy are originally from Ghana. Samuel visited Ghana this past January and the opportunity to purchase fifteen acres of land occurred. The total cost for the land is $30,000.00 in U.S. currency. Pastor Otoo shared the vision with his congregation and with GEM to build a self-supporting orphanage on this tract of land. GEM is connected with this congregation in the purchase of this land and moving forward by God’s will and by His leading in this newest ministry opportunity. We are asking the good Lord to provide all of the needed land purchase funding by the contractual deadline of May 31, 2007. Pray with us and see if the Lord prompts you to give to the Ghana fund and may God receive all of the glory.
As you can see, God continues to allow His ministry to go forward and to expand. Please continue to have an active part in His GEM ministry through your prayers and financial support. Let us work together with God in His vineyards and in His fields that are “white unto harvest.” Let us magnify the blessed name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the only one worthy to receive all the glory and all the honor and all the praise, forever and ever. Amen!
“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you.”
Desiring to allow Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to work in and through the GEM team for His glory,
President of Global Evangelical Ministries