Hi everyone, thanks so much for your ongoing prayers and support. We really appreciate it and know we couldn’t be here without your partnership. We have been in Senegal for nearly a year now, have settled in fairly well and are enjoying life on the whole. The kids are back to school in a couple of weeks but it has been great to have had some visitors over the summer and even some treats and presents from home. We were able to visit the national stadium, one of the top football academies in Senegal and Goree Island. We also took the overnight boat to Ziguinchor in the south of Senegal and enjoyed visits to the ice cream shop! The kids really enjoyed having others around and it was nice to hear Northern Irish accents again!
Change of role.
I (Robert) took on the role of Africa Regional Director late 2015 just before we left Congo and have really enjoyed the past few years visiting the various countries, working alongside our national leaders and boards, and overseeing the work across Africa. However, over the past 6 months or so I increasingly felt that I needed to step down from this role. As we began to think and pray about this decision, we knew that God indeed does go before us and is with us. He never leaves us, nor forsakes us and we were thankful for that promise in the midst of uncertainty. In the end, we felt a real sense of peace about stepping down but staying in Senegal. A large part of the reason we moved here was to be involved with and engaged in reaching the less reached Muslim countries, many of which are French-speaking. This has been on Robert’s heart since we began our ministry with Ambassadors by sending various tours to Senegal. And so, by stepping down from regional work, we will have time and energy to focus on opportunities here and potentially other neighbouring countries. Ambassadors’ leadership in Northern Ireland and our church missionary committee are both agreed that in order to really have an effective ministry here, we need to take time to invest in language learning so that will take up the bulk of our time in the next 6 months or so. We trust that by early next year we will have a reasonable level of language and also have a clearer picture of what opportunities there are here in Senegal and beyond.
I am thankful for the opportunity I had to serve the mission as Africa Director and the last few years have definitely been a valuable learning experience for me and ones which I have really enjoyed. I want to thank Iain Williamson who has been a huge support over the past year or so and I have appreciated his experience and input. Please pray for us in the coming weeks and months as we hand over to Graham Dancy who will oversee the work in Africa in the interim while Iain and I will begin to focus on looking into opportunities here in Senegal and West Africa.
Prayer and Praise!
- While we were in the south of Senegal, we went out to visit Robert’s old boarding school and nearby Bourofaye village. As we waited for the bus back into town, we met a local Christian who has started a small football academy at Bourofaye. Aime was involved with us during some of the tours we took to Senegal over 10 years ago, so it was really encouraging to see him continue to use football as a means of outreach. Pray for him as he faithfully brings God’s word to the kids he coaches.
- Please pray for us as we look into what language courses would be best. Kyla will study French and Robert hopes to learn Wolof which is the main local language here in Senegal. It makes such a difference to be able to speak to people in their own language so we would value your prayers that we would be able to learn the languages quickly and well.
- Pray that we would be able to find a suitable nanny to take care of Daniel while we do our language study.
- Pray for Robert and Iain as they begin to hand over to Graham in the coming weeks.
- Praise God that the new facility is finally up and running in Nairobi and pray that God would use it to impact the lives of many kids and families.
- Pray for the upcoming national tournament in Rwanda in August and for all the churches who have been involved in this pilot project.
- Praise God for the Ambassadors summer Academy in Impfondo and for the kids involved in that. Praise God for the men’s team who won the Impfondo league and for the witness they were to all who watched.
- Pray that God would speak to us clearly in terms of the work here in Senegal / West Africa.
- Praise God for a great time with visitors, for good health and safety.
- Pray for the kids as they prepare for going back to school in a couple of weeks.