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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work

McMahon November 2021

The unexpected happens all the time. If we were not already well-aware of that, then 2020 certainly taught us to expect the unexpected. This is particularly relevant in an overseas missions context. The last year or so has certainly taught me to be open to many different outcomes, but also to not be surprised when extraordinary, disappointing, or frightening things happen. But overall, the Lord in His gentle way has taught me to turn to Him in all these circumstances. I am learning day by day to ask God to help me and hold me in my sadness, fear, confusion, or frustration, and He reminds me of His promises. He will never leave me or forsake me, and I know I am safe in His hands when I am living in obedience to Him. What calming and empowering assurances open to all who call on Him!

In light of this, I would not have ever guessed during the last week of October that I would be writing this newsletter from my parents’ house in Arizona. However, last week, the Home Office asked me to relocate temporarily due to the political and civil conflict in parts of Ethiopia. Lord willing this will be temporary and I can return in the near term to Ethiopia. To those of you who knew when I was traveling, thank you for your prayers. My flights were completely uneventful, albeit long. The Village is still in the very capable hands of Amy and Tekle—seasoned missionaries who are relying on God’s wisdom for everything. The children are safe and there are many plans in place to help guide everyone in charge to make the best decisions. My hope and prayer is for peace for the country so I can return as soon as possible.

Esther and me with resident students the last night in Ethiopia

Leaving Mojo for a while

It is incredible to me that just two weeks ago I was in the throes of normal school life. My job this year is comprised of many roles. A national teacher who resigned necessitated that I teach language arts and Bible to grade 5 students this year. It is a huge challenge since I have never taught anything

to fifth graders before (aside from occasional music lessons), and there is always the difficulty of teaching students who are not strong in their English skills. But I am really loving it, and I am so excited to see how everyone progresses.

I am still teaching music to preschool through grade 3 students, which is also a great joy. My online music class from June is coming in quite handy as I craft music classes that incorporate a multi-sensory, whole-person approach. Not to mention, it is a lot more fun for me to teach kids who are excited to have fun and do not even realize how much they are learning.

Teaching melodic direction to grade 3 students

This year, I have also started teaching the preschool music curriculum to one of the national teachers, Miss Tewabech (teh-weh-BETCH). She soaks up all the advice and techniques with willingness and openness to learn. She was already teaching some music before I left, and now I know that preschool music does not have to stop just because I am not there right now. How wonderful!

Thankfulness fills my heart whenever I think of your generosity to send and keep me in East Africa. It is truly a joy to live and work there, and I would not be able to do it without your financial and prayer support. Whether you give occasionally, monthly, or annually, please prayerfully consider how you can contribute today.

And join me in praying for:

  • Restored peace in Ethiopia: for civil unrest to stop, replaced by stability and restoration for her citizens.
  • Safety and peace in the Rafiki Village for the children and all who take care of them—Amy and Tekle, the Rafiki Mothers, teachers, cooks, guards, and other national staff.
  • The continued spread of God’s truth preached faithfully in Ethiopia (and the world).
  • My students who have yet another interruption in their education to retain what little I was able to teach them before I left.
  • My time in the U.S. to be both restful and profitable so I am ready to return when the green light is given.
  • All 250 Rafiki Day Students to have sponsors and be fully funded soon.
  • For generous giving to the Africa Expansion Campaign. Rafiki is entering a season of exponential growth. We anticipate the thousands that Rafiki is currently ministering to across our 10 countries will turn to tens of thousands. To meet these new opportunities, we are asking God for a 25% increase over Rafiki’s current annual budget which could increase Rafiki’s impact 10-fold.

Note : Rafiki is now able to accept non-cash gifts such as real estate or estate bequests. Contact for more information.

Also, if you are in the U.S., take a moment to text or call me so we can plan to see each other. The sooner the better so we do not run out of time!

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