Serving the Persecuted Church in Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa
KENYA. Letters from Gideon, BTM’s Africa Director.
Dear Mama & Friends,
“Two of our girls, Sarah and Deborah, are on school holiday. Abigail is preparing for National Exams. Little Esther is home-schooled. About my USA Visa. I got an Appointment for September 20th. Continue praying that it will be successful and my Visa approved.
[later] “During my USA Visa interview I was asked a dozen questions. They kept my Passport but said it was approved. I thank BTM for your prayers to make this trip possible. Yesterday a Congolese pastor was denied a Visa. He planned to attend a Theological Conference in USA. My Visa approval today is a miracle.”
In His Service,
"The iron sheets are now on the roof. Hooray!
"Gideon donates a bag of Relief Supplies to Elder Francis at Christian Missionary Fellowship in Lubanga-Mumias."
"Meet the vulnerable Mamas of Buleusa Camp. We are holding sewing classes, basket making and donating food for their survival."
"Four new classrooms for Junior High and High School."
[Letter #2] Dear Bush Family & Mama,
“It is a blessing that BTM invests in the lives of orphans, widows and refugees. My bank received $9,000, in addition to the $2,078.54 balance. This includes orphans at Kiryandongo Refugee Camp in Uganda; Angaim Village projects in S. Sudan; Mama Christine and Mama Josephine’s school fees; and Gideon's support. Here’s a breakdown:
• 16 students at Busia Trust Secondary School; total for 3rd term = $2,508.
• Two students at Our Lady of Africa Secondary School. Total = $884.75.
• One student at St. Ann Kisoko Girls Secondary School. Total = $59.
• One student at St. John Secondary School. Total = $320.
• Two students at Busia Township Vocational Training Center. Total = $222.
• 19 students at Busia Border Primary School. Total = $1,973.36.
• Four students at Shine Outreach Nursery School. Total = $179.
• Four students at Dabani Boys Primary School. Total = $84.64.
• Four students at Lukonyi Boys Busia Primary School. Total = $94.
• Three students at St. Joseph Girls Busia Primary School. Total = $52.
• $3,073 was sent to Toby in Uganda for Kiryandongo Refugee Camp and Angaim Village projects.
• Mama Christine’s support in Uganda and I deducted my support. Total = $10,373. Balance = $762.07.”
In His Service,
Gideon, Africa Director
"ICOM. Pictured with ACROSS Executive Director, Elisama Daniel & sweet wife."
"The community sold wood to help construct the younger children's classrooms."
"Mama Margaret of Makimei Orphanage receives a bag full of Relief Supplies. Seen here holding Rosie, disabled but happy in the Lord."
"Thank you Gardner family for buying material for more new school uniforms."
"Poor Dan Daddy, Sunlight's son, had a bike accident when his older brother was carrying him home from school."
"We are building a wall around the Mugunga Plot. It will house 100 orphans plus Mamas. Pictured 5 of the 6 diggers we hired with Mama Zawadi. They use the volcanic rocks they dig out of the ground."
"Kindergarten is for children 3-6. They sit on the ground since they have no classroom. Good news! Their new classrooms are under construction!"
"Sunlight fasted and prayed for two days to prepare to go to the Mountain to teach the old men - a tradition called 'Amagat'. Sacrifices are given to the Ancestor Spirits. After Sunlight preached they sang praises to God."
[Letter #5] Dear Friends & Mama,
“I reached the airport Sunday at 2 pm; my flight was to depart 6 pm. I was told my Passport did not scan due to the fact it expires in 3 months. To enter USA, the Passport should be good for 6 months. I told officials that the US Embassy stamped the Visa. They said maybe they assumed I had a new Passport.”
[Note: Sadly, after all our careful planning, Gideon did not make it to the USA.]
"The Pygmy Food Distribution."
"It's time that Mama Josephine's house got a good spring clean."
SOUTH SUDAN, ANGAIM VILLAGE. Letters from Pastor Sunlight
[Letter #1] Dear Mama & Friends,
“Nursery classes in Angaim Village are for 3-6 yr olds as they begin the learning process. Yesterday Angaim Community agreed to collect food. Each home will bring a bowl. ARTURO Coop in Torit is gathering construction materials for the Street Boys’ new home. It will be done once we have iron sheets for the roof.
“About the school. The community sold wood to help construct the school. We have a new plan to begin the foundation for the lower grades using cement and wood left from school construction. Everything we do now is the community’s contribution. Thanks for prayers and financial support to the Streets Boys and teachers.
“Taban, who had hip replacement surgery, and Osman who escorted him home from Nairobi, Kenya, are now back at Kiryandongo Refugee Camp in Uganda. They have not lived in Sudan since 2016 due to war. Taban is walking well and resumed his studies. Thanks to Sarah and Shawn who sent their Tax Refund to buy material for 192 school uniforms at Zion School; and for BTM’s prayers and support.”
[Letter #3] Dear Friends & Mama,
“The verse you shared is the same verse that we use to conclude our evening devotions. Esther, our youngest, always wants to lead it after we are done praying. We pray 2 Corinthians 13:14 on your life.
“I met Francis, elder at Christian Missionary Fellowship in Lubanga-Mumias. On behalf of BTM I donated a duffel bag of relief supplies, including Sunday School material, New Testaments, baby blankets, children’s clothes, toys, bike repair kits, sewing supplies, soap, veggie seeds, to name a few. Francis thanks you. To Mama Margaret at Makimei Orphanage I donated medical supplies, mosquito net, gospel necklaces, veggie seeds, clothes, blankets, shoes, Christian books, vitamins, toys, etc. I encouraged Mama Margaret and workers from Matthew 11:28. With children I shared the story of Baby Samuel. Mama Margaret said, ‘God bless you’.”
In His Service,
Tonight I also remember Mama Sifa who lost 3 children to starvation - and her present-day family of 13. They are now in a new wooden house that YOU built on a plot that YOU bought in Goma, Congo. Plus our other vulnerable, beloved souls to whom we minister. No glittering lights. No Christmas tree. No reindeer. Only charcoal embers glowing in Sifa’s fire as she stirs a large pot of ‘ugali’ for the family. On the other hand, Mama Sifa has a good grasp of the true meaning of Christmas – the Birth of Christ - because of YOU.
KENYA. Letter from Peter, Director of Caring For Kenya’s Kids (C4KK), BTM Partner.
Hello Mama & Bush Friends,
“The information you gave me concerning [a corrupt man] helped. He worked hard to steal our property.
Thank God it is over. I'm now Executive Director of C4KK. We are at a crossroad. Our founder and former director Chuck McDonald and Tammy retired to the USA due to his health issues. Therefore C4KK has lost sponsors. I am reviving programs and looking for new partners to support them, such as our Shelter Project with a Kenyan look. We pray that God will link us to reputable American partners.
[Later] “Thank you for your E-mail. I'm humbled to know we have a Mama who is concerned about the future of C4KK. Thank you for offering to sponsor 10 of our 15 children the 1st term of 2023 school year. God brought you to C4KK for a reason.”
"Gideon moves on. Thank you for blessing us these past two years."
"To date we have built two homes on the Mugunga Plot for: 1) the 7 Bategeju orphans; and 2) Mama Safi's family of 13.
"Wayne, back row, 2nd on left. A neighborhood birthday party, Eshowe, South Africa."
"Pictured here the Street Boys as they await their new house."
"Osman escorted Taban safely home from Nairobi, Kenya, to Kiryandongo Refugee Camp, Uganda. He is thankful to walk again and be back in high school."
"The Street Boys sleep in the Hospital Storeroom until their house is finished."
"Clifton Christian Church Mission-emphasis."
UGANDA, BUSIA. Letter from Bulasio on behalf of Mama Josephine
Hello Sponsors & Mama,
“The family is okay by God's grace; the majority of children are in school. A few are home and also others who finished high school. Last week children washed walls; swept rooms; and removed cob webs at home. I'm in Kampala studying. The photos I sent are of my art work. I earn a little money from a job delivering goods. In December I completed the second semester of the second year at university. I remain with one year to finish. I have to pay rent; buy food; work materials; and my tuition for the last two semesters.
I look forward to receiving my grades for last semester. I hope to become a fashion designer in Uganda. I have friends who encourage me. Big Jackson is in Busia working as a vet for local farmers. The children who are candidates for Senior 4 started their final exams. They need prayer. Thanks for paying school fees for 51 orphans.”
Yours In Love,
Bulasio for Mama Josephine
"Christmas '22 was the best ever - the kids came home."
"Our Kiryandongo high school students."
"Bulasio's art work show great talent at the University. Big dreams lie ahead."
USA. FROM THE MAILBOX
Hello Sister Charlotte,
“We sent a check today for Pastor Sunlight to get a motorbike. I pray it will be a blessing! Also we have people interested in contributing clothes for the container. Bless your great work for His Kingdom!”
Pastor Scott, Phoenix
"NEW PROJECT. Kanuaruchinya is a camp of over 1,000 IDP's (Internally Displaced People) that no one is helping. We found them starving to death."
"May God bless you with His Peace, Joy, Love, Health, Grace and Miracles as we enter this Happy New Year 2023 together."
"Peter & Gideon with Mama Christine (who keeps 8 children), Isaac (Mama Josephine's student) meet at the Busia Cafe."
"Gideon traveled to the Nairobi Airport to fly to the USA - but due to a Passport issue it wasn't to be. God willing, maybe next time."
"We did lots of cooking."
"North Valley Assembly of God with Pastor Scott."
Charlotte Sinclair Barkley
[Letter #3] Dear Team & Mama,
“I have been working shoulder to shoulder with builders. The house is done. Thanks for supporting us. ARTURO Coop sold three cows to build this house plus your money. I kept to budget. Nails took much money. We have worked tirelessly. I hurt my shoulder carrying timber. This project needs a motorbike. Our Street Boys will be the change we dream of for the nation. Our prayers and hard work will not be in vain. They will bear fruit. I collected money that BTM sent for materials. We are making doors and windows.
“This week I will teach men in the mountains as they hand the older generation to the new one. This is
associated with idol worship. I have been fasting two days in preparation for spiritual warfare. Pray that I shape their traditions into worshipping the One True God. This will involve women and their husbands.”
[Letter #5] Dear Brothers & Sisters,
“The community made 7,000 bricks plus 4 trips of sand to the school grounds and other materials. We only lack cement. Today the 7th grade and kindergarten classes have exams. I had a motorbike accident as I was carrying maize (corn meal). It had rained and there were big holes covered with water. My leg was burned. It was so painful the first week but is getting better. Thanks for your concern. I want to go to Uganda to check on my family. It has been long without seeing my wife from January-July as I was busy, mostly with Taban.
[later] “Thank you for sending money to meet our needs, including special money donated for me to buy a motorbike. We will distribute the money as follows:
1) Motorbike - $1,500
2) Kiryandongo Kids - $500
3) Street Boys - $500
4) Teachers - $500
5) Street Boys’ house construction - $500
The 15 Street Boys eat 3 bags of maize flour/mo. Each bag costs 25,000 SSP ($44). They use it for porridge for breakfast, lunch and super. Beans, 100 lb = 50,000 SSP ($88). Also cooking oil, soap, veggies, tea, etc. I will buy the motorbike when I return to South Sudan after visiting my family in Gulu, Uganda. Merry Christmas!”
BTM wishes you all a Christ-centered Christmas and New Year 2023 as we share His Joy, Peace, Love and the Greatest Old, Old Story ever told.
"Praise God for 35 Pygmy Baptisms!"
BUSH TELEGRAPH MISSIONS
"Our patio was ablaze with beautiful fall flowers - thanks to True Value."
"BTM bought two bundles of baby clothes weighing 90 lb each to clothe the naked children. We use these plastic cups to feed them porridge. We also bought 10 bags of dried beans weighing 200 lb ea, plus rice, salt, corn meal (their staple diet), cooking oil, sugar and tea."
[Letter #2] Dear Bush Family & Mama,
“I am still teaching ladies from Matthew 20:20-28 about the sons of Zebedee. Their mother wanted them to be seated, one on the left and the other on the right hand of Jesus. Jesus wants us to be humble. I am praying for Pascazia, a demon possessed lady.
[Later] On Saturday I’ll be in Mugunga, the plot you bought for the 100 orphans and Mamas, to see the progress of digging up stones to build a wall. I will borrow Deo’s tools. Some years ago we saw cows in Masisi. You said, ‘these cows live better than Congo women.’ I say ‘Women are treated like donkeys’. It is a long process. One day I will teach African men. They are very powerful and always right; women have nothing to say.”
[NOTE: 2 years ago we found 100 homeless orphans and Mamas. The 1st step was for BTM to purchase a large plot to build homes. We’ve built two. The 2nd step is to build a 15-ft wall around the property. That’s what we just began.]
"Mama Safi, rt, with Mama Zawadi and one of her 9 children receiving a can of powered formula for the baby."
"Food for 15 growing Street Boys - they sure eat a lot. The photo of long blue bars is soap for washing clothes, bathing and dishes."
Copyright © 2023
"Look at the Street Boys' beautiful cassava garden. It's in the potato family."
UGANDA, KIRYANDONGO REFUGEE CAMP. Letter from Toby, Pastor Sunlight’s brother.
Greetings in the name our Lord,
“About the School Uniforms: Today I received $500 for school uniforms for those lacking and will send it to Sudan tomorrow. We will purchase material from Kampala, Uganda, as it is cheaper than S. Sudan. I am delighted to let know that the money, 11,531,379 Uganda shillings, ($3,127.65) is in the account. $368 - Kiryandongo kids’ food/supplies; $500 - Street Boys, Angaim Village, S. Sudan; $492- Kiryandongo Secondary School fees, Uganda; $500 - Teacher's support, Angaim Village - S. Sudan; $308 – Sunlight’s kids’ Secondary School fees, Gulu, Uganda; $105 – rental of plot for garden & plough, Kiryandongo, Uganda; $800 - construction of Street Boy's house, Angaim Village S. Sudan. We will send receipts to BTM.”
[Later] “I purchased two roles of school uniform material (80 meters = 240 yards). Total = 1,200,000 UGX ($325). I have concluded my university studies (3 years) in Kampala and will be moving back to Kiryandongo Camp. I will send an update on school fees/food and the garden. I am grateful for everyone's contribution.”
JUST A FEW MORE DAYS before Christmas to run out and buy what we can’t afford that we probably don’t need. I remember a Christmas past in Eshowe, South Africa. After tucking five little ones in their beds upstairs to dream of sugarplums, Santa and I got busy assembling toys in ‘100 easy steps’. Our little Christmas tree, freshly cut, sparkled with lights and homemade decorations. Then what to my wondering eyes did appear but two feet sticking out from behind the couch. 10-yr old Wayne had sneaked back down and fallen asleep while waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. Yes, we had one. Tall for his age, his feet dragged on the steps as I slowly half-carried him up. Then back to Santa’s workshop.
"Zawadi teaches the Mamas in her church."
[Letter #4] Dear Bush Family & Mama,
“Peter and I arrived in Busia this morning by bus. We are at the Guest House resting. On Friday Mama Christine accompanied 52 kids but they were stopped at the border due to a lack of documents. Later she returned with Isaac. Peter and I talked to him about fighting at school. He was kicked out. He is remorseful and willing to continue his education at tech school. We hope the children can cross Monday, Market Day.”
[Note: On Monday, ‘Market Day’, Mama Josephine prevented her orphans from crossing the border to see Gideon and Peter due to a miscommunication. They returned home.]
CONGO. Letters from Mama Zawadi.
[Letter #1] Dear Team & Mama,
“Please read the enclosed Report on Buleusa. They need prayer. We are going to teach sewing classes and basket making for elderly Mamas. For the baskets we need $160 and for sewing classes for 40 people $4/ea. We appreciate the donation to buy food. Thanks also for the donation for Sifa’s family of 13. Remember when 3 of her children died of starvation before we began helping? Also the Bategeju child-led family of 7.
“Today Eastern Congo where Goma lies is insecure due to fighting with Rwanda. My online job was okay as I could work my own schedule, but during COVID I was laid off. There are other jobs around but I would not be free to minister as I do now.
We moved the Container to the Catholic compound for security reasons. On Saturday I will be at Cepac Majengo for 35 Pygmy baptisms. On Sunday I will be there again to plan a Pygmy distribution. On Monday morning I will go advocate for Sifa's children to register them at school.”
God Bless You,
• ICOM (Int’l Conference On Missions), Columbus, OH, Nov 3-5. Theme, “Perfect Unity”. Met many friends old and new. Attended main sessions with former classmates from Minnesota Bible College; workshops; breakfasts; luncheons; a ladies tea. Thanks Jack and Janine of Chili for sharing your Air B&B. ICOM is where missionaries turn from ‘Ugly Ducklings’ into ‘Beautiful Swans’.
• 5 glorious days with my Clifton Christian Church family, Grand Junction, CO, whom I missed during COVID. A special welcome; main services; Life Groups; lunches. A shout out to Carol who hosted me!
• Gideon, BTM Africa Director, decided to move on and handed in his Resignation. We want him to be happy so we accepted it. We thank God for the blessing he's been to us during the past two years and wish him God's best. Please pray for Gideon and his family as they begin a new chapter in their lives.
• Presentations: Litchfield Park First Baptist; Calvary Chapel Black Canyon City; 6 AM Prayer Meeting CalvaryPHX; North Valley Assembly of God; Clifton Christian; and others.
• True Value had free soil and bargain plants if we brought our own pots. Our patio is looking beautiful!
• Christmas Shoebox Packing Party at Estelle’s home – would you believe 550 boxes for kiddos far away?
• Orchids to 101 Elves who donated supplies to the Storage Container – they came from far and wide.
• Christmas 2022. Most of my children are coming home for Christmas! John and Chris from Chicago; Mike from San Diego. Michelle has a few more days teaching before the holidays begin. Praise God!
• Then we’ll get busy baking up a storm (pumpkin bread from a REAL pumpkin); fruitcake to die for (not the one that travels around the world); and a REAL Christmas tree. Just call me old fashioned.
• We’ll miss Wayne, Delena and family, however, I was in Virginia earlier this year for a lovely visit.
• Christmas Eve we’ll be at a family gathering in Coolidge (‘Ugly Sweater’ contest and White Elephant Gift Exchange); Christmas Day at Grace Bible Church to hear once again ‘The Greatest Story Ever told’. Pastor Bjork buried my son so he’s very dear to our hearts. And New Year’s Eve a fun-packed family gathering to celebrate cousin Erin's birthday.
"Sunlight took a nasty spill on the motorbike. Praise God his leg has now healed."
[Letter #2] Dear Mama & Friends,
“My eldest son, Dan Daddy, had a bicycle accident. Dan was carrying my youngest son, Gaddy, home from school in Gulu, Uganda. They were treated at the hospital. I am in Sudan and cannot be with them. Thank you for the healing Bible verses. I read them to the children when they woke up. Dan is a high school senior and lost some teeth. Gaddy’s eye is swollen and he cannot see; plus chest pain and broken teeth.
[later] “After X-rays, Dan Daddy has a fracture in his lower jaw. Pray for healing. He has bruises on his face and a leg wound. We bought food and construction materials for the Street Boys’ house. I will collect other supplies today and forward receipts from teachers; the cook; and Street Boys’ spiritual teachers. Thanks for their support. Construction and iron sheets will be done on Wednesday, God willing. The cost of living in S. Sudan is high. We pray for peace and change.”
"The 100+ homeless Mugunga Orphans who will live in the homes on the property that we will build in 2023."
[Letter #3] Hello Bush Team & Mama,
“Pascazia, who was demon possessed, was delivered and started working again. God gave us power to walk over the enemy. About digging stones. They are in the ground from the volcano: we hired 6 men. They finished last week. They agreed to dig 200 stones at $3/ea. This makes $600. Deo paid $100 as he needs to plant seeds. Enclosed is the ‘Digging Stones Report’.
May I go with the 7 Bategeju orphans to buy food and supplies? This will keep them safe as neighbors in Africa want to know who receives money. For safety it is best to buy their food. Also for Sifa’s family of 13. I’ll give them the rest of their money in secret, so people don’t see. With our staff there was no problem giving a Christmas bonus from BTM at the office.”
“Deo and I visited Kanyaruchinya Internally Displaced Camp where 1,000 live - even pregnant women and babies. It is 3 AM; I sacrifice for God's people as I'm working for heaven’s Crown. We had two weeks of fasting and prayer at church. I am still teaching ladies as their knowledge of God is low. The Lord showed me a vision. BTM’s Wire Transfer for $4,500 came. Now we can carry on constructing the wall and other projects.”
[Letter #4] Dear Mama & Bush Team,
“Thanks for the money for the Street Boys. I have not moved them into the new house as it needs to be ‘mudded’. The boys have been sleeping in the hospital store room. They planted a cassava garden. It takes a year to grow and bear food. Their goat is doing well.
“The trip to the mountains is for the older generation to pass power to the younger one. This happens every 22 years according to Otuho tribal tradition. It is connected to idol worship. Before the generation takes over power, there are duties to fulfill. Some are evil. It was by God's grace that I was invited by the older men to share the meaning of Amagat. That’s a social club of young people coming together in the community. This club makes decisions that are both good and evil.
“So all men were taken up the mountain where laws are made; advice given; incarnation takes place with a sacrifice given to appease the Ancestor Spirits. I was privileged to preach; sing and praise God; give the meaning of the Bible; and teach about Amagat. We thank God for melting their hearts. They sang with me in the mountains and worshipped God. Throughout this year with godly teaching, the Angaim Community will change and have a testimony to other communities in South Sudan.”
"Gideon gives Isaac some fatherly advice to help out with a problem at school."
"Kiryandongo Refugee Camp high school students (the younger kids not pictured)."
"Peter, new Director of C4KK, with Bill and Gideon. It's in transition - please pray."
"Abigale (eldest), Sarah, Deborah, Mama Rachel, baby Ester during school holidays."
Though I may be the ‘face’ of this mission, we have many of Santa’s Helpers and Elves working hard behind the scenes to bring the Christmas Story back to life in Africa. Thank you for being a part of it all – and for your love, prayers, financial support and encouragement.
"Mama Josephine's students at Christmas."
"We missed Wayne, Delena & family this Christmas but I snuck in a visit to Virginia earlier this year. Pictured here celebrating their 30th. Congratulations!"
"Damaris, Peter's sweet wife, and Charlotte. Taken June '22."
"Gideon awaits a Visa from the Kenyan/US Embassy."
"People were living in the most inhuman conditions so for starters we bought 100 of the strongest tarps available, $25 ea. More are needed."
"On Christmas Sunday, Grace Bible Church was packed."
"Transporting food and supplies for the Street Boys from Torit to Angaim Village."
"Jackson (rt), the eldest orphan, is a vet for local farmers and lives at home. Bulasio, (lf)."