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What’s up with Donna

Today is an update on me, Donna. Too much is going on with the family for one update so I will break it down a bit. First off thanks for praying for my trip to see my family. My dad rallied and had several great days. He talked, laughed, asked questions, went to church, we read Hank the Cowdog together… I could not have asked for a better gift! So blessed! By the time I left he had regressed back to his normal sleepy state.

In addition to seeing my dad I spent time with many other family members including Nehemiah. So, so good. I really miss my man-boy but am very grateful for phones and the Internet.

Now back in Kenya I am busy with several projects in addition to my normal routine. I am still writing curriculum, doing Bible Clubs and Bible Studies but there are some new projects as well! We are in the process of renovating the Safe House Courtyard. I am overseeing this project that is funded by a group in Florida. A big stretch for me but I am loving it.

We also have a short-termer coming from Texas that will be helping develop a Children’s Reading Room at the seminary as well as working on a Safe House website. The Reading Room will have good children’s books both in English and Ki Swahili, puzzles and simple games. Since the majority of schools here do not have libraries we see this as a huge need. We are so excited about the possibilities! Thanks to all that give to the children’s ministry fund that is helping to make these projects possible! Are you looking for a VBS project? We would love to help you out!

Sorry there are no pictures. My phone no longer takes decipherable pics:(

Love what God is doing!

Donna

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Travel Update

Donna and Dad

Donna and Dad on an Unusually Good Day

As I was walking this morning in the cool early Texas sun I was reminded of God’s many, many blessings. Daily we ask Him to order our footsteps: He always does even if we do not realize it. My trip to Texas was uneventful, just like I like it. Going through immigration I was warmly welcomed home as I was having flashbacks of the last time I came and was not allowed in the country. God has gone before us in providing a car and offers of financial assistance to pay for part of our flights. We are so, so grateful as these trips were not in our fairly tight budget this year. God has also answered another prayer: Paul DID NOT get his work permit. This was not what we were praying for but His ways are not our ways. Paul will arrive in Texas on Tuesday for several weeks. We are seeing this as God’s divine providence that Paul should join my family during this time.

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

Please pray for our girls in Kenya. It is not easy being so far away!

Please pray for our family time in Texas

Please pray that Paul’s work permit might be granted

Please pray for provision (spiritual, stamina, emotional and financial)

Donna

 

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This Christmas Give a Gift of Love

gift

This Christmas honor someone you love by sending a child to camp.

December 13-16 at Africa Theological Seminary for $55.

200 children expected to attend.

Hosted by Africa Theological Seminary, New Fire For Christ and The Cox Family.

Donations can be given online www.icmusa.org , cox children’s ministry account # 020091. In the comment box please put ATS Children’s Camp or send a check to ICM PO Box 129, Monument Co 80132 with a note attached specifying ATS Children’s Camp.

For more info write to donna@cox-net.com

We Thank You!

dsc_0577-1photo credit Micah Cox

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Micah’s Photography

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Hello, my name is Micah Cox, but I guess that many of those reading would already know this fact. You probably also know that I love animals, reading, field hockey, photography, and swing-dancing (maybe not this one, it’s a new hobby). A question that often gets asked when people hear about my loves is why? I mean, field hockey and swing-dancing? Well, God has gifted me and driven me to love doing unique and different things. One day I will write more about this, however today is not that day.  Today, I want to talk about photography.

Photography is a way of communication to me. It’s a way to show others how I see the world. A way to speak without words, to cross cultural boundaries, barriers, and languages. Photography is universal. Which is why I decided to launch a photography website (micahcox.smugmug.com). I wanted to show how I see the world through pictures, so please go and look.

If you find some photos that you like, there are a number of options to purchase them. The most economical options are to order a print that you can frame yourself or to order a download that you can use a screensaver. The art aficionado will find more expensive options like specially coated dye infused aluminum sheets, which are super awesome or photos printed on canvas, also really cool. The purchases will help me pay for my camera and have some money for college.

Please share my site with as many people as you wish.  I want to share my photography with the world, to provide a different perspective, communicating without words, because as it is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Micah

PS Below are a couple low resolution photos (for our friends with limited bandwidth) to enjoy. More photos in high resolution are at micahcox.smugmug.com

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Children’s Ministry and an Unforgettable December Opportunity

I just wanted to share what God is doing on our side of the pond recently. About 2 months ago a Kenyan friend and I started a bible club in her neighborhood. We held it under a tree and tons of kids came but it was quite chaotic. After praying about this we decided to do it in her compound with fewer kids so that the group could grow a culture of its own. We have since moved to a local school compound . Every week it is growing, This week we had about 90 kids. I know this because I bought 75 oranges and ran out! Parents often come to make sure that their kids are safe and hearing truth something that they cannot take for granted! Just before we hand out the snack we close the gate otherwise masses of kids run in, shove and push to get a piece of fruit.

In October I will be teaching a Children’s Evangelism Class. I have recently turned in all of the syllabuses for approval at Africa Theological Seminar (ATS) and am ready to start teaching the classes! I am also working with Walk Through the Bible in developing a culturally appropriate Sunday School curriculum to go with their program.

Would you like an opportunity to have a different experience in December? I guarantee it would change your perspective on the holidays!

In mid-December ATS is sponsoring a youth camp. Is this something you or your church might be interested in helping us with? It will be about 250 kids between the ages of 9 and 14 (give or take). It is 2 full days and 2 half days. We would like a main speaker (4 sessions), worship leader or team, and if possible about 5 or 6 break-out and recreation leaders. National adults/Sunday School teachers will come with the kids. The time when everyone is together is under a big open sided tent with electricity and sound system. Interested? Please pray about your involvement and let us know soon!

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Back from the Airport, Update on Paul’s Work Permit

Roger, Joy, Michael, Kate, Brad, Asher, Donna & Paul

Roger, Joy, Michael, Kate, Brad, Asher, Donna & Paul

I, Donna, just arrived back from taking a car full to the airport in Nairobi. Let me explain! Two weeks ago my sister Joy arrived in Kenya.  If you follow us on Facebook you have seen pictures. Joy led a workshop with Moms in Prayer as well as encouraged leaders in Western Kenya, she has helped with Bible Clubs and Sunday School, and whatever else usually fills my days.

A few days after Joy arrived in Kenya, Roger (Joy’s husband) and their son (Brad), daughter-in-law (Kate) and their 2 young sons arrived. Brad, Kate and the boys live in South Sudan.  Joy and Roger had not seen them in almost 2 years.  Our house has been blessed with laughter, hugs and good times.

Everyone leaves today including Paul!  Paul will fly to the US to spend time with Nehemiah as well as take advantage of libraries in the Dallas area for research.  I will have a much needed quiet week to catch up on work before the girls have their school break.

Thank you for praying for Paul’s work permit.  On the day Paul’s permit expired he went to Nairobi with a few clothes in his backpack not knowing if an extension would be granted or if he needed to leave the country.  Praise God, that afternoon an extension was granted.  He is waiting for a report to be filed before the next step can be taken.  Time is ticking away.  Please pray for this process!

Praises:

Great times with family

Safe travel on the Kenyan roads

Great times of ministry with visitors

Prayer requests:

Continued prayer for Paul’s work permit

Blessed time for Paul and Nehemiah

Travel mercies as everyone travels today

That I will accomplish much in this next week

Blessings-Donna

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Doing What We Love

Today is Madaraka Day in Kenya. The day that Kenyans celebrate their independence/ freedom from England. Today I also start a new Bible club in Kihoto, a low income area just down the hill from our house. We choose to start today because of Madaraka Day. Both at the Safe House and Kihoto I will talk with the kids about the freedom we have in Christ. Please pray for these two clubs!

On Friday I will pick up our two girls and four others, for whom we are in country guardians, to host them for RVA’s mid-term break. My freezer and pantry are full of food. When you ask them what they want to do for the 4 days they always say something that revolves around food. What a joy to have these kids at our house!

In addition, on Sunday the children at church will perform a musical we have been working on the last several months. We have about 30 very excited kids.

In the midst of all of this, I am writing for curriculum. Please pray that I would have uninterrupted time to dedicate to this!

A busy week doing what we love!
Donna

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Praises

Several years ago my Aunt Cathy gave me a very cool journal.  At the time I was reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp which challenges you to keep a record of things you are thankful for.  I took the challenge, throughout the day jotting down gifts that God had given me for which I was thankful.  My journal soon started including meaningful scripture and prayer lists.  I recently rewrote a children’s musical to use with the children at our church.  It is called Creation Safari and the premise is to look around you at God’s creation and thank God for it.  I have bought the kids journals to record verses and things that God has created that they can thank Him for.  These journals have inspired me to write a thankful blog even though it is May and not November!

Over the last year we have had many, many prayer request.  I would like to share with you how God has answered and how thankful we are for His gifts!

We moved into our new rental house just as the girls came home for school break. We are so thankful! The house has had many cross it’s threshold since move in day! This past weekend we had four teenagers with us for the weekend.  In a couple of weeks we will have 7 kids staying with us for mid-term.  We have had the Safe House staff here , our neighbors, visitors from Benin, and others for dinner.  Last week I had ladies from my church here to have a baby blessing where we prayed over three new mamas and their babies.  A very sweet time! When we finally bought a table to replace the one we had borrowed we had benches made instead of chairs so there would always be room for one more.

We have an old new vehicle. We delivered our old one and picked up the new one just in time to take a group of girls on an outing. It is rainy season here and we have put our Rover to the test several times. It has been a huge blessing!

Paul’s motorcycle is on a ship and on it’s way.  We are really looking forward to having a second pair of wheels!

Things at the Safe House are going very well.  We are finishing a study on King David.  I recently did a birthday party to not only celebrate all of their birthdays but to clearly present the gospel that we are to be born again and have a second birthday.  They hear the gospel and plan of salvation every week but with kids coming and going I felt very burdened one week that I need to urgently share it in a different way.  I never know if I will see these kids again.  It was an amazing anointed time. I love that place!

I am also thankful for my family!  May we all walk with God all of the days of our lives! I am thankful for those of you that pray for us and give so that we can be here! And the list goes on!

Blessings,
Donna

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Christmas Party at Safe House

Banner_mrFor security reasons we cannot show faces. Click on picture to enlarge

What a privilege we had last week to give a Christmas party at the Safe House. A couple that has a helped support both the Bible club in Benin and the one at the Safe House donated money to throw a Christmas party. They wanted these kids to know that they are loved and to understand that Jesus is the greatest gift of all. While in the states Micah Joy, Miriam and I had a great time shopping for this party. We found t-shirts for all of the kids in over 20 colors! We bought age and language appropriate bibles, small toys, blankets, underwear and candy. We had bags made so that they keep their things in it. We bought activity books, puzzles and wall art for their school room. We bought a fisher price nativity set that they can use to retell the Christmas story.

Miriam was so excited about blessing these kids she asked her school if she could skip an afternoon of classes. They graciously allowed her so Miriam took a taxi for the 45 minute commute to be able to help with the party. Micah Joy had a field hockey game and since she is a starter (go Micah Joy) for varsity she could not miss. But she wanted to!

We first had a meal together. They had all of the meat they could eat along with potatoes, salads, spinach (a favorite staple here) and fruit. They even had a bottle of pop which was a first for many of them. I still laugh thinking about their surprised faces when they experienced the bubbles.

We then showed a beautiful video of the Christmas story and discussed it using the new nativity set. Then it was time for presents. They were so happy!

We also brought along craft supplies another family had given to the Safe House. When we showed the big box of supplies they cheered!

Mission accomplished! They feel very loved and they know that the greatest gift of all is Jesus, God’s son.

Blessings, Donna

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Jaw Surgery

Micah Joy and Paul are in South Africa at the moment. Micah will have jaw surgery tomorrow (Monday) early afternoon our time; very early in the morning your time. Would you please join us in praying for her, the doctor, and against infection? She will be in the hospital for several days and on a liquid diet for about a month. Paul is amazing and very attentive with these types of things but I am still finding it very hard not being there with them.

Meanwhile here in Kenya, we are in the process of having Nehemiah’s four wisdom teeth removed. This should take place later this week. All of this makes for an interesting school break.

We are so blessed to have prayer warriors interceding for us. Thank you!

Blessings,
Donna