Dear Friends, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before You. Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk O Lord in the light of Your face.” Psalm 89: 14,15
Greetings from Florida! After 98 days in three African countries, we have much to share and we trust you will be blessed by our report.
TMI’S FIRST EYEGLASS/MEDICAL TEAM
Our African journey began in Cameroon as we led the first Eyeglass/ Medical Team. Our large team of 32 was trained to assist people with reading glasses. We held clinics to facilitate both the giving of the reading glasses and treatment of medical needs at three different locations. Two of the locations were at AIDS Orphans Rescue Units and the third we held in the Village Hall of Nsongwa village where our property is located. The roads were very challenging this year due to the amount of rain we had received and the teens had quite the adventure squeezing into bush taxis and bumping along the dirt roads. At every location we were swarmed with people who wanted the help we came to give. Although everyone who received eyeglasses was grateful, it was a joy to watch the elderly. They would often dance and shout after realizing what a difference the eyeglasses made. In total, we gave out 1400 pair of reading glasses, treated 900 people medically and 46 accepted Christ as Savior. We prayed with each person we gave glasses to and encouraged them to use the new eyeglasses to read the Bible. After the team left, we gave out another 150 pair of glasses. One day a busload of teachers came because they wanted glasses. This ministry had a wonderful impact and we are grateful for the opportunity. The team members were flexible, teachable and willing to do anything. Our two assistant leaders were a great help and blessing as well. We love you 2012 Cameroon Team!
After the team flew back to the States, we hosted the national Debrief and BMW graduation. We were blessed as we heard the testimonies from the 84 Cameroonians who served on four teams. In total 1,696 accepted Christ as Savior through their
evangelistic efforts. We had many teens tell us that Jesus had changed their lives as a result of the experiences they had during the summer. To God Be Glory! We had over 60 guests attend our BMW graduation which was a great encouragement to all. We had a baby goat born while we were there and Tom named him Ebeneezer which means, “Thus far the Lord has helped us”. Our guard dogs had puppies as well and three of the seven survived and Tom named them Shadrach, Meschach and Abednigo. They followed him everywhere.
Following Debrief we held a meeting with our AIDS Orphans Rescue Unit facilitators and then began visits to the two Units we had not taken the team to. We are usually always in country during the maize harvest and again this year we visited the Impalim Unit to harvest maize. The Lord blessed the harvest again this year and this Unit supplied all the Units and base with needed maize. We made the long eight-hour journey to our newest Unit to take orphan photos. It is always a treat for us to be present when the children are spending the night at the Unit. They pile into tents and talk and giggle for hours before going to sleep. In the morning they all gather and sing good morning to Jesus. It is such a blessing. The Unit’s goat, Hope, fell in love with Tom and followed him everywhere. She even ate out of his hand. The rest of our time in Cameroon was spent working with the MSSM (Motorcycle Sunday School Mission) riders, working on the finances and meeting with the staff. Our national staff couples, Richard and Mercy and Vitalis and Elizabeth, are doing a wonderful job. Vitalis and Elizabeth welcomed their first child, a boy, named Jireh on September 30, 2012.
From Cameroon we flew to Madagascar. Our first task was to travel to the North Base in Mahajunga and train six young men to be with MSSM. The new motorcycles we bought came in a box this time and we spent a few days putting them together. I never
dreamed that I would become a motorcycle mechanic and enjoy it. We then spent the mornings in practical motorcycle training and the afternoons in learning how to teach the Sunday school lessons. The evenings we spent with national staff Liva, Nomena and their three small children. We loved being with the kids and were sad to leave them. We then traveled three days to the South base in Vangaindrano. This base is much more rustic in accommodations. We lived in a tent and had to walk 100 feet to use a toilet. Our projects there were to put on new solar panels, put in a waterline and film the MSSM Circuits. By adding solar panels, we were able to give each of the three staff families light at night. The waterline was 1500 feet long and it was a great blessing to see the joy on the faces of everyone when the water was pouring into the tank at the top of the hill. I enjoyed visiting the Sunday schools. Watching the Riders who we had trained in January doing ministry with joy was a great blessing. This area needs the light of the Gospel and it is so comforting to know that the 12 Sunday schools in this area are meeting spiritual needs.
We made a three-day stop at the base in South Africa on the way home. We enjoyed our fellowship with the staff, students and MSSM riders. I spent some time with the two Circuit Riders encouraging them and also teaching some new ideas. We did have a terrible storm while there and we had some damage due to high winds. Two of the roofs blew off and we had multiple branches go down. We helped with cleanup and the shopping for new roofing materials before we headed to the airport.
WE ARE GRANDPARENTS
A great joy and blessing in our lives was the arrival of Elsie Jane Maher on September 16, 2012. Both mom (Deena) and dad (Tom) are doing well. We will get to hold her in November. She is beautiful and we are grateful she arrived safely and is healthy.
We plan to be up north from November 2-27, 2012. It has been over three years since we have seen many of our supporters. We look forward to seeing you and sharing with you. We are so grateful for those of you who faithfully pray and give so that we can serve. You are greatly appreciated! Together we are changing lives for the sake of the Gospel.
1. Safety, wisdom and good health during out time in Africa.
2. The arrival of our granddaughter, Elsie.
3. The work the Lord did in hearts and lives this past summer in Cameroon.
4. The steadfast love of God in our lives.
1. Safety while on deputation in November.
2. A full-time teaching job for Kalah. She is currently substituting.
3. That Zach will do well balancing a job and college.
4. Safety for Daniel as he travels to and from work via motorcycle.
5. Consistent financial support.
Tom and Linda Maher Phil. 4:13 and Phil. 3: 8-10