East Africa

Testimonies/Updates from East Africa

APRIL 2013

http://www.thompsonstationchurch.org/uploads/April 2013  (6).jpg

http://www.thompsonstationchurch.org/uploads/April 2013 (8).jpg

http://www.thompsonstationchurch.org/uploads/April 2013 Team.jpg


Here are some areas needing prayer in East Africa:

Please lift up the 10th and 12th grade boarding school students. They will be taking an exam at the end of May that determines if they get to continue in school or not.
Pray for Corey and Sumer as they head into the busiest season of the year.
The P61 interns will be traveling back to the states during April. Pray that they will have a refreshing time with their families.


By: Pastor Duane Murray

This is a mom of a young African boy. Her name is Berke (pronounced Burrkah). She lives in a simple mud hut in the slums of East Africa. Just to get to her home you have to have a guide because every path looks the same. Even the huts and corrugated metal walls are all similar. Berke is not just another African mother struggling to subsist. She is a precious, daughter of the King. He has set His heart on her and is pouring out blessings to her. God heard Berke’s cry, “God, save my child from this hopeless place.” Let’s reflect on how he has answered her today.

Not long ago Father gave one young African man a vision and the faith to believe what he could not see --- the children of East Africa thriving as mighty oaks of righteousness. God called this man and other men in a church to plant a ministry for Christ in the middle of despair. They endured the early years of ridicule and rejection from the community they came to serve. They persevered for the glory of God.

Then the Father reallocated his resources. He detoured a team of preschool leaders from around the world to expose them to what was breaking his heart in East Africa. To see the hundreds of faces of the children and believe that “nothing is to hard for the LORD.” Next the Lord transplanted a family from Tennessee, who had already prepared to go. He called with them a body of believers to His supply the resources for His glory. All of this and more than I can recall was given so that God might demonstrate the greatness of his love to the most hopeless of women and children. That he might make these forgotten and forsaken people trophies of His grace. He is faithful to save even the least of these and to sacrifice many for His glory. God rescued Berke’s son and placed him in school to learn and grow in the fear of the Lord. He has regular meals and develops skills to earn a living. He has a vision for the future and hope to achieve all that God has imagined through him for God’s glory.

We had the opportunitity to bring Berke a picture of her son to show he is doing well. She cradled the digital camera in her hands and wept as she bowed over and over giving thanks to God and us just to see her son’s image. She kissed his picture on the camera and cherished the moment. We wept as we witnessed God’s love poured over her.

Berke is not forgotten or forsaken. God, the Almighty, heard her cry for help and directed his resources to show off his love for her. Then he raised a team from Tennessee and sent those three hours south of her home to bring her a picture of her son just so she would know he was doing well. God worked extravagantly on her behalf. Melissa, Colleen and I prayed with Berke, sang over her and shared this verse with her:
“Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 112:1-3


Recently a team from TSC returned from a 10 day trip to East Africa. While there they spent a few days partnering with another team from Ordianry Hero. Together the teams were able to paint the halls and rooms of a boys dorm at the boarding school. Although it was a large amount of work they completed all that needed to be accomplished. Members of Project 61 were also overwhelmed with the generosity of Ordinary Hero after they donated a significant amount of money to help supply the children with school supplies. Thank you Ordianary Hereo for your support of Project 61! For more information about these teams and the donation click here:


By Alicia Jordan
Thank you for praying for Project 61 and those working in East Asia! Here
are a few requests and praises from the Project 61 Team.

A team just returned on Saturday from a week of summer camp. Things went very well and they had great things to say about the kids in the boarding school. They look great physically and they were impressed with how much they've learned in just a year.

Another team just left. They are taking half a load of brand new tennis shoes to East Africa. Pray for favor with custom's agents. We are praying they will not have to pay taxes on these shoes. Some previous teams have dealt with this issue. Another team in August will be taking the rest of the shoes. Pray for them as well.

Corey starts in-service in a week for his new job at a local school in Addis. His children also start school in a week. Pray for all of their transitions.

Continue to pray for the summer camp and the interns in East Africa helping this summer. (Boarding school starts again in September).

Please pray for good health for the family working in East Africa and for strong relationships with church leaders. Most of all pray that God's glory would be shown over in Africa!


By Alicia Jordan 

1. The kids return from school at the end of the month. Please pray for all of the kids as these next few months are going to be an adjustment for them and their families. Please pray for the teams that will be coming to spend time with them this summer, that it is a time of growth in their relationship with Christ above all else. If you sponsor a child, please pray for them as often as you can during these next few months.

2. Corey and Sumer are moving to a new house soon; please pray for this transition as it comes during a busy season for them. They are supposed to sign a contract this week!
3. Corey and Sumer are applying for work permits at the end of the month, pray that we find favor and that the process is quick and easy.

4. Pray for a girl named Heaven who recently came to America. Pray for the doctors and that she will get the treatment that she needs.

5. Wendemneh, one of the sponsored children, has been having a rough time. I know this sounds crazy but we are convinced that he probably has a demon and is dealing with some serious spiritual warfare. His behavior is significantly worse when he drinks. The last episode he was laying on the ground turning in circles and making crazy noises and his eyes were rolled back. His mother has possibly been involved in some serious spiritual stuff and worshiping of trees etc. PLEASE pray for him. Wendemneh has said "something bad is inside of me, like Satan." I said "what do you want to do about that Wendemneh," and he said go to church and change his life. I got Pastor Antenah to talk to him and they are going to meet every day so Pastor Antenah can begin sharing the gospel with him. Please believe with us that this young man will hear and receive!!


By Robin Spychalski

In January of this year I went to East Africa with a Project 61 team. This was my first mission trip. Over the last four years the Lord has shown my husband and I the importance of missions and has made it clear for us to be a part of taking the gospel around the world. In April of 2010, with the Lord’s direction, my husband and I decided to sponsor a young girl through P61 and by June I knew the Lord was calling me to go. To be honest, agreeing with the Lord that I should go 8,000 miles away was very hard for me. Actually, the hardest part of my journey to East Africa was actually answering the call - being obedient and saying “yes”. Leaving my family seemed beyond my ability. And beyond my ability it was… but not beyond His!

The trip itself had so many amazing moments for me. Like meeting the beautiful, young girl my family gets to sponsor. To see first- hand how she has hope, loves her school and knows and loves Jesus! Or, sitting inside the amphitheater with the boarding school kids and in spite of a language barrier be able to worship the same Savior through old gospel hymns. I remember watching the beauty of that- Africans and Americans, young and old and thinking this is a glimpse of what heaven will be like when every tribe and every tongue comes together to worship our king! Also, a moment of understanding first-hand the scripture in James 2:5 "Listen, my beloved brothers,
If the God of the universe is requesting your presence to be a part of changing lives- say YES! Say it with excitement, with courage, and with an understanding that our God is trustworthy and faithful. It will be a journey you will not want to miss! And when you think you are there to bless others you will see that our amazing God is blessing you in the process.

(For more information on how you can join a TSC mission team, go to
http://www.goctw.org/, and check out the Missions at a Glance page for all future trips. All work done in East Africa is supported by the GOCTW yearly offering, which aids in providing food, supporting and sending workers, and whatever else is needed to minister to the community there.)


Our East Africa team was busy at the boarding school! While there they were able to care for 175 kids. That is a lot of kids to see in one day! They were able to treat minor illnesses, infections, and problems with kid's teeth. I believe they were also able to slaughter an ox for the kids to eat! I’m sure that was a great treat for them. The kids always enjoy visits from the teams so I know it encouraged them.

It is such a miracle that these kids had no hope just a short time ago, but now they are in a boarding school with three meals a day and receiving a Christian education.

While in back in the major city after serving at the boarding school, the team went to serve in the local community TSC partners with to setup a clinic to treat 100 people. They also did some home visits and evangelism and Bible Study with the church leaders.

(TSC Partners in East Africa through GOCTW funding, short-term trips, and long-term support.)


250 kids that were rescued from an Ethiopian dump now not only have a place to sleep, a school to go to, and food to eat… they also all have a Bible. It is our prayer that every child would not just have their physical needs met through Project 61, but in 2011 we would begin to see child after child give their lives to Christ.

All Bibles were funded through Go Change the World funds of Thompson Station Church.


from John Owen

Since becoming a Christian, I’ve been that guy that sits with his family in the church pew for an hour or two depending on the Sunday, at times gives of our resources (time and money) to the church and/or the needy, prays, reads the bible, has a quiet time daily, and am considered the “Christian guy” at work.

So basically for the past 21 years, I’ve been comfortable believing in the gospel “period”. You know, the “Jesus died for my sins so I may have everlasting life.” (Period). I assumed that after accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, my public affirmation of faith and my subsequent baptism and living “good”, that I had received my “get out of hell free card”.

Recently, I’ve gone through quite an ordeal health wise and God opened so many doors through it for me to be able to make a mission trip to East Africa:

Here is a quick synopsis of my personal road to serve in East Africa:
• Weighed 230lbs on 1/20/10, BP 160/100, high stress job….doctor very concerned
• Started walking & dieting in Jan per doctor’s orders…. weight starts dropping off
• My wife has minor surgery and I decide not to go to church on a particular Sunday
• Daughter really wants to go, wife says go. Turns out to be the Sunday of the "Beautiful Things- East Africa" video.
• I sit in the back of TSC, tears streaming down my face… totally convicted – all in.
• Doctor says I must get down to 195 lbs, and get my BP down to go to East Africa in Aug.
• By March, walking 5-7 miles a day. When I don’t feel like walking, I think of East Africa.
• Friday night, July 9... wake up thinking I’m having a heart attack
• Emergency surgery Sat 3am for ruptured gall bladder and chest infection.
• Sunday, a 2nd procedure to get .75 inch stone from liver (liver beginning to shut down)
• Pancreas lacerated while stone is removed…full blown acute pancreatitis.
• 28 days in the hospital, miss the Aug East Africa trip and am told no Africa for at least a year.

I was heartbroken to miss the Aug trip, and truthfully confused over God’s will for me. The doctors did tell me that if I had not lost the weight (I was 195 lbs when I entered the hospital) that there was a good chance that I would not have survived the ordeal. Although disappointed and confused, I was beginning to acknowledge that this wasn’t about my health issues and belief in going… This was all about my learning to listen, trust and to faithfully submit to the Lord.

I had gotten to know the August trip leader, Derek. He visited me in the hospital and continued to stay in touch afterward. I knew if I could get well enough, that going on Angela’s January trip was a possibility, but I really felt strongly that the Lord was leading me to go before that and in a much smaller group. There was a pull to go and to work with the church leaders at Great Hope Church in East Africa. Feeding the children today is very important, but feeding the leaders so that the Gospel is shared in that community daily, feeds those children for eternity.

Too many things had fallen into place for all this to be coincidental. This trip was ordained by God from the beginning. It was as it was supposed to be, without intrusion from the planning of men. From my health, to Derek’s schedule, to this being literally the only time that the pastor there and all nine church leaders could gather for two hours a day, four consecutive days to be refreshed in the Lord…..and so on.

As you might expect, this trip definitely changed my life, but so did the road to it. I learned that our God is big, really big. I learned that “awaiting God’s will” was a cop out for me, a way to avoid true action for the kingdom. Its plain what God’s will is for us - just read John 3:16-21, Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 25:31-46, James 1:27 and Matthew 28:16-20. But read them with your heart, just like it was the first time.
In my study for this trip I noticed that throughout the Bible very seldom did the Lord tell the believer that he sent the entire itinerary for the next month or year of their life… He simply said “Go”.

This trip is the most important thing that I’ve ever done. Not just because of what God accomplished through us, but also because maybe for the first time in my 53 years I trusted and obeyed. I learned that all blessings have a purpose and a cost. And that I am not to ever again be that “comfortable Christian” that feels that I need not be actively seeking God’s will for me each and every day.

Please pray today for the church leaders in East Africa, and in all places around the world where people are in need and the gospel is not known. And please prayerfully consider just “believing and going” when nudged. God Bless.