GRAYMATTERs – September 25, 2011

Greetings from the Grays!
Matching Challenge Grant Reached!
A big “thank you” to all of you that sent in contributions to our ministry account to meet the matching grant challenge offered by Hope Chapel to help us purchase a car.  This Friday afternoon the challenge was met with $1,270.00 in one-time gifts having reached our ministry account. Thank you to each one who gave and to Hope Chapel for the idea for offering this challenge.  Reliable used cars are hard to come by here, and we still have not found one, so that is still an item for prayer.
Home school
Karen and the kids are in the middle of a two week session of the home-school coop that meets in Ouagadougou. Formerly called FES, the coop participants chose a new name - ICO - International Coop of Ouagadougou. Karen is teaching the 2 to 4rth graders group. This year over 30 children are participating. ICO will have 3 two week sessions this year.
IMS – Institut Missiologique du Sahel
The Mission Institute board met two weeks ago. We have initiated the search for a new associate director. Key mission leaders in West Africa have been notified of this search and we are praying that the Lord will lead us to the person he is preparing to help lead the school in the future.  We are in a transitional phase of which establishing our own facilities, stabilizing the budget, and locating future leaders are all crucial steps. The IMS academic/administrative center is almost done and we hope to move in later this week. 
Teaching
Joel has begun teaching in a variety of venues. Each Thursday evening for the next 12 weeks he is teaching a course on biblical interpretation at the evening Bible school that meets in Ouaga. Then from October 3 to 9 he will be in Mali both visiting some IMS grads but also participating in a Pastor’s Book Set conference. Please pray for effectiveness in teaching.
The passing of Jeff Warkentin
A good missionary friend, Jeff Warkentin aged 32 passed away this morning in Canada, of spinal meningitis. The Warkentin family spent 5 years in Burkina with the Mennonite church and we became good friends. Jeff was active in his support of the IMS. He spoke to our students on several occasions, sponsored a student, and helped with at least one oral defense. Jeff leaves behind his wife Tany and 3 young children. Please pray for them during these difficult days.
Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and interest in our lives and ministry.
Love,
 
Joel, Karen, Daniel, Joshua, Jessica, and Katie