Praise for the miraculous story of a Christian wife that resulted in the conversion of her husband who said, “I want to serve the God of the Christians. He is the One who knows and has power to do what no one else can.” Praise for an agricultural training that Gene participated in for national leaders and pastors to help them provide for their families and churches. Pray for his upcoming preaching, teaching, and interaction with church and mission leaders, and for wisdom to help them in the issues they face. Pray also that the entire Brooks family will adjust well to life in Liberia.
Praise that the presidential run-off election and inauguration was peaceful. Praise for the Brookses’ opportunity to serve in Liberia, and pray for the Lord’s financial provision for their income deficit. Pray for Gene’s travel and ministry assignments during most of March as he teaches and interacts with church leaders. Pray as well for Amanda and the children during his absence. Pray also for strength as they hit their three-month mark in country, where typically the stresses for new missionaries become a challenge.
Praise that in December John-Mark and his team finished the translation and recording of the four Gospels. Pray for them as they seek to finalize five other New Testament books in the near future. Praise also for the people who continue to meet faithfully in the village to study the Bible. The Sheppards write, “Although life here can be challenging, we are thankful that God brought our family here, and for all the ways that we can see Him at work around us.” Pray for wisdom as they deal with difficult situations in the lives of the children in their community.
Praise that ELWA Hospital’s ministry is thriving with growth in quality of care, the development of a training program for doctors, and growth of the spiritual care ministry. Praise that through the support of donors a strong laboratory has been developed and ground broken on a new surgical ward. Praise for a new general surgeon who will join the team in January. Pray for John in his very busy administrative role as CEO, and praise for the others God has provided to assist him. Pray especially for strength, family health, and endurance to continue serving in a way that glorifies God and touches many lives.
Praise for continued progress on the ELWA radio studio and for a helper coming to assist Alan and the electricians with the building wiring. Pray for Alan as he is now also filling the challenging role of construction supervisor to complete the studio building. Pray for plans to have the building dedication toward the end of November, to be followed by equipping five studios and five production/control rooms in the months following. Praise for the opportunities this will open for proclaiming the gospel to West Africa.
Praise that the book of Acts is now ready for consultant checking, and also that John-Mark has progressed in language learning so that he can now teach in Manyakan. Pray that God’s Word would have a lasting impact on those involved in recording the four Gospels. Praise also that John-Mark has found an open door for ministry, along with a Liberian pastor, in a nearby village using translated and recorded stories from the Bible. Pray for lives to be transformed. Pray that the Shepherds would receive increased financial support to supply the $350 monthly deficit they are experiencing.
Praise that the Brooks family has been given a departure date in November, and they have been cleared to purchase plane tickets and a vehicle! They write, “The joy and excitement in our home is palpable.” Pray for them as they make many decisions about flights, paperwork, disposition of belongings, etc. Pray for Gene as he continues serving as interim pastor at one church and teaches a Bible survey class at another on Sunday afternoons. Pray for provision for their family until they leave, and pray for continual progress in support raising.
Praise for good progress John-Mark and his assistant are making in translation work, including the help of a Manya pastor from Guinea who reviewed the books of John and James. Praise also for the primer and book of folktales they have prepared to be used in a pilot literacy program, and for the excitement, people show as they see their language in writing for the first time. Pray that many will learn to read using these materials. Pray also for protection over the family, for good health, and for grace as they host a variety of missionaries and workers in their home.
Praise that the Brookses’ departure fund is complete. Pray now for the full supply of their regular monthly need and their faith plan to leave for Liberia at the end of this summer to serve as Church Ministries Coordinators. Praise also for a baby boy due on Easter and pray for a safe delivery. Pray for Amanda as she home-schools their four children and Gene works full-time at Greer Relief. Pray also for their ministry at their church where Amanda has led a well-attended women’s home Bible study and Gene recently became part-time interim pastor, plus teaches a Bible survey class Sunday afternoons at another church.