Andrew and Esther Schaeffer

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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WHEN HELPING HURTS

By Esther Schaeffer in Burkina Faso
April 3, 2019

Last month, just before our prayer team left the hospital, we doubled back to greet the chaplain. There we encountered an angry old man, who claimed he had no money and insisted that “this young girl and her baby” were not his responsibility.

“This young girl,” Rebecca, had been sent to our city to learn to sew and to live with the old man and his wife. But, before long, they realized she was pregnant. The elderly couple tried to send Rebecca home to her family. But her parents didn't want her back and her boyfriend refused to acknowledge any involvement or responsibility.

To complicate matters, Rebecca’s baby boy arrived at just seven months. The old man knew that caring for Rebecca and her preemie were beyond his means. So he had come to the hospital chaplain, hoping that together they could persuade the hospital staff to release Rebecca and her baby.

Sensing the Lord had providentially led us there at that moment, our prayer team assured the old man that we would help with the medical bills and pay for the medications that were being prescribed. Over the next several weeks, we visited Rebecca and her baby regularly. We prayed for them and helped in whatever way we could. We were encouraged to see him grow and rejoiced when he began nursing. The doctors reassured us that he was making good progress.

Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the hospital last week and learned that Rebecca and her baby had checked out earlier in the day, without permission. The hospital staff was upset and asked us to help. Eventually, we located the place where Rebecca was staying. When we walked inside, we were shocked to see Rebecca’s baby lying in loosely fitted, soiled material on a dusty floor surrounded by flies and hardly responsive.

While we changed her baby, Rebecca reluctantly admitted that she had detached his NG tube, removed him from his isolette and snuck out of the hospital early in the morning, all because a visitor had told her that only traditional medicine could help him. She had used the money we had given her to take a taxi to a friend’s house.

That night we were finally able to get Rebecca and her baby readmitted to the hospital. We were thankful they were again in good hands. But the abrupt departure the day before was too much for this little boy. The following day we received word that he passed away earlier that morning. I was heartbroken. We had spent long hours and, of course, the emotional investment. Why did I ever get involved with Rebecca and her nameless, unwanted baby?

But sometimes helping hurts. We pour out our hearts and resources, only to be disappointed and aggrieved in the end. When I think about that baby there is a pain and sadness that overwhelms.

Perhaps you too have experienced hurt as you have tried to help someone. If so, you are not alone. Isaiah was prophesying about our Lord Jesus when he wrote: “A man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. He was despised and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried, it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.” Later this month we will remember once again that Jesus was crushed so that we could be healed.

Helping others can bring with it lots of hurt. But if our Lord Jesus didn't give up, neither should we. We continue to help and push through the hurt, knowing that one day in heaven all pain and tears will be wiped away.

Rejoicing in our wonderful Savior,

Esther and Andrew Schaeffer

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CONTACT INFORMATION:
Andrew & Esther Schaeffer
Mission Protestante C&MA
B.P. 3050; Bobo Dioulasso
Burkina Faso, West Africa

Andrew: aeschaeffer@gmail.com
Esther: estherschaeffer@gmail.com

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Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

April 15, 2019

1. Seldom do we meet up again with those we were able to help at the hospital. But yesterday we saw again a man who we had met two years ago. He was totally crushed having just heard that his wife and baby had died. They had come to Bobo for an emergency C-section. At first they told him that they would operate to save the life of the baby, but in the end they both died. He didn't know anyone and had no money. Handicapped from birth, he said through sobs, "she was everything to me". We quickly were able to arrange things and notify his church family and provide for the burial and his trip back home. Yesterday, we met up again. It was so good to see him smile and to hear his testimony of answered prayer in his life. Thank you for praying for our hospital ministry.

2. Pray for a distribution that we will do at the local hospital. It is a lot of work. Pray that we can get the supplies together and receive the necessary authorization. Pray that our acts of kindness and love would be an encouragement to many.

3. Lots of baptisms going on during Easter. One church is baptizing over thirty new believers. Pray for family members and friends that do not know the Lord but will be attending the services.

4. Our children will be together at some point during this next week. Pray that they would honor the Lord Jesus in all that they do. Pray for their mom who doesn't have anyone to make an Easter basket for.

April 7, 2019

1. I was told it was a women’s' conference for sixty women, but when I got there, it was an all church event with just as many men and teens as the women, and of course the children outnumbered everyone. Thank you for praying for our village ministries. Great opportunities to deal with some tough topics and encourage believers.

2. At Bible study last week a woman showed up who is from the leading religion. She is the sister of one of our believers. I didn't know how long I would have but explained clearly who Jesus Christ is. It was only about five minutes before she went to sit outside. Pray that the brief word would penetrate her heart and that she too would choose to follow Christ.

3. I will be teaching in a local church that is facing some serious problems. Several key people have left. Pray that we can have a ministry of healing and reconciliation.

4. Andrew has two ministry trips this week. Pray for effective interactions and for the Lord's protection.

April 3, 2019

1. Pray for our ongoing ministry at the Bobo hospital and prison.

2. Praise the Lord for the great attendance and wonderful spirit at last week’s Burkina Alliance National Convention!

3. It’s hot season and the school year is winding down. Pray that we will finish well.

4. Our granddaughter Hope is doing very well. Please continue to pray for her growth and development.

Burkina Faso

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Updated: April 16, 2019

Children's Names
Robert
Henry
Stephen
Mark
Rebekah
Status
Field Assignment
Country of Service
Burkina Faso
Address
Mission Protestant C&MA
B P 3050
Bobo Dioulasso,
BURKINA FASO

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