Dan & Esther Penney's "Rejoice & Request" Update -- February 2006

The thing we most enjoy telling you about is the expansion of God's family here in Senegal.  This month we do have big news, but it has to do with a slightly different type of family expansion!  See the "Personal & Family" section.  (For those of you reading this in black-and-white, the blue "Rejoices" are also italicized, and the red "Requests" are bolded).

PERSONAL & FAMILY

*       We learned last month that we are expecting another child in August!  While this is exciting news, it is quite unexpected and we are having to adjust our thinking and some of our plans.  (Dan's Mom is hoping for a sister for our three boys.)  Pray with us for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.  Pray also for wisdom for us as we anticipate the changes this event will bring into our lives and our ministry.

*       Esther has already had her first OB visit.  When the doctor heard our story about having surprise twins, she willingly did an ultrasound immediately.  So we know that we will be having one child (as opposed to two or three!!!).  It was fun, even at only 9 weeks, to hear a clear, strong little heartbeat, and see tiny arms waving around!

*       Pray for strength and stamina for Esther.  The pregnancy has brought with it a lot of fatigue and almost constant morning sickness.  We believe both are gradually diminishing, but we would appreciate your prayers for her.

*       We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday house guests (Esther's family).  For almost three weeks we went from our usual five people to ten in the house (six adults and four kids), and so it reverberated with even more of a joyful noise than usual.

FIELD NEWS

*       Thank you for praying for the many meetings at the start of the year.  These went particularly well.  Our field team is doing well.  Relationships are healthy, team dynamics are working well, and WorldVenture's Senegal missionaries are forging ahead in their ministries.

*       Praise the Lord that a bit more money came into Adama Diouf's accounts.  But continue to pray with us for this.  He still does not have enough for the purchase of a reliable vehicle.  He is managing to travel to his many commitments and do his ministry, but he is doing so with a borrowed jalopy that is very old and rickety, and which in our estimation really should no longer be on the road.  We are concerned for his safety.  (Account #6470 922 "IPM-Adama Diouf," in case you want to give to this.)

*       Dan just finished two days of board meetings for the Dakar Academy school board (our international MK school, where Joel, Luke, and Caleb attend).  Praise the Lord that these went well.  Dakar Academy is doing very well, but you can pray for a new director.  Our current director is being transferred by his mission this summer.

MINISTRY

*       January 10th was "Tabaski", probably the biggest holiday of the year for Muslims.  We purposely stayed away from the ceremonies of slaughtering a ram, but in the afternoon we visited several of our neighbors to wish them a good holiday.  We were very warmly received.  They seemed genuinely pleased that we had come.  We were particularly encouraged by the reception we received at the home of Mbotch, the local imam for our neighborhood mosque.  We hope this relationship will lead to opportunities to speak with him about Jesus, his prophet, but our Savior.  Your prayers could bring it about.

*       Continue to pray for ITES (Institut de Theologie Evangelique du Senegal; formerly known as IED).  This month, allow me to quote from the newsletter of a colleague and fellow professor at the school.   She expresses the needs and the opportunities so well:

"I, along with my colleagues at the Institute, are feeling the need for a place for our library especially, but also for some classroom space.  Please pray with us for a solution to this pressing problem.  We are renting a place for classes for now, but our books are still in storage.  It is exciting to have the problem that we have, not enough room!  Praise report: ITES hosted a seminar both in Dakar and in Thies the first week of January on the role of elders in the church.  It was open to the public and required for our ITES students.  It was well attended and received.  People encouraged us to continue planning these seminars for the churches.  We have one scheduled for April with an African couple coming to put on a seminar on Christian marriage.  Another seminar is scheduled for July on the subject of AIDS, a very big problem in Africa."

*       Pray for the upcoming meeting of the board of directors for ITES, which will be Feb. 15.  Dan, as interim board chair, will lead the meeting.  There are several significant decisions on the agenda, for which the board will need wisdom.

FINANCES

*       God is so good!  Due to the anticipated new addition to our family, our support had to be adjusted slightly.  Yet despite this, we are still fully supported!

 

Thank you for your prayers.  Your financial support allows to BE in Senegal, but your prayers are what allow us to have an impact for Christ.

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