Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review of The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

Book Two in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles is thoroughly entertaining. The Throne of Fire takes readers back into the world of Ancient Egypt and fills in the gaps left from The Red Pyramid.

The most remarkable part of this story is Riordan’s vision of the Journey of Ra, the sun god. Carter and Sadie Kane experience this fantastic Journey in their search for the aged Sun God to help defeat Chaos.

I had an easier time with the narrator shifts between Carter and Sadie, but still glanced up at the top of the pages for the current storyteller. However, some of the Kanes’ wordplay reduced the tension of the story in places as I, the reader, realized they had survived the current predicament.

I applaud Riordan’s inclusion in this book of a glossary of Commands used by the Kanes, additional Egyptian terms, and a list of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. This was missing in Book One. I used these three resources frequently while reading.

The Throne of Fire makes a good read for ages 9 and up this summer. Can’t wait for Book Three to see how the Kanes deal with the new challenges.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Helping To Fulfill A Mission

I'm moving away from children's book reviews with this post with a request for help.

A good friend of mine Dan Mulay has spent the last 7 years in Senegal, Africa as a missionary with United World Mission. Along with his wife and two boys, Dan has devoted his time to helping the people of Senegal and educating the children. With the economic problems around the world, donations to keep Dan and his family involved with their valuable work have come to a halt. Originally receiving $2500 US a month, they have been cut to just $800 US a month. If you feel that you can help, any amount, even $5, would be a help. Click here to be taken to the Giving page of United World Mission. Under Designation select Missionary and then select Dan and Patty Acct#31392. Include your donation amount and the fill out the rest of the page. Dan and Patty will be forever grateful for you assistance.

Below is a letter from the Mulay Family with their accomplishments over the last 7 years.

Dear Family & Friends:

After having spent Seven years in Senegal, we wanted to share with you the fruits of the ministry that God has allowed us to participate in. It’s been an incredible ride and we believe that God wants us to continue to minister in Senegal.

God’s Ministry through the Mulay Family…present day…Dakar, Senegal…

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. John 15:16a
•Dan is serving as the Principal/Assistant Director of the only Christian school in West Africa (Dakar Academy) offering an American curriculum and providing boarding homes for the children of missionaries who are serving in 27 different countries. We also the only school in all of AFRICA with an accredited Boarding Program.

•Dan has helped to build ten village churches, in Kouta, Farabougou, Sass, Koalack, and Djorbel! He also participated in the evangelism campaigns that have allowed local pastor’s access to 38 villages that were previously “closed” to the Gospel. The Gospel message has reached over 15,000 people that would otherwise have never heard of Jesus.

•Dan has led nine medical teams into the bush to help provide urgent care and first aid to the locals. During these visits, Dan and the medical team served over 2,800 patients. Our last medical clinic alone reached 617 people!

•Dan continues to preach at local churches and at the Family Christian Fellowship on a limited basis.

•Dan is serving as the team leader for the Middle School Youth Group at Dakar Academy. Each Wednesday evening, the team provides a spiritual devotion and teaching to help the students deepen their faith.

•Dan served as the Accreditation Manager for a Bingham Academy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He lead a team there to verify their curriculum and help prepare them to deliver a quality Christian education.

•Dan’ ministry in Yoff has exploded! Since the departure of Cal McIntire, Dan is one of only two missionaries ministering in the Yoff fishing village. Dan continues to work with the Lebou fisherman sharing the gospel and teaching them proper diving techniques. This year, Dan organized Christmas caroling (in Wolof) in Yoff, and just last month we distributed 100 boxes from Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse) to children in Yoff. We look forward to having 500 boxes next year!

•Patty is serving as the kindergarten teacher at DA and sharing her love of God and His love for us with the elementary students everyday!

•Patty is volunteering at the local Franciscan (Catholic) baby orphanage. She holds, plays with, feeds and cares for a precious few of the 50 infants several times a month. She is sharing God’s love with His little ones at a time in their lives when physical contact means more than anything! Patty coordinates the involvement of DA people with the orphanage and has also introduced 6 different students from Faith Christian Academy (Arvada, CO) to the orphanage.

•Patty is actively involved in a Talibe ministry (ministry to the local street kids attending Koranic school). She helps catalog the children to ensure that they receive proper medical attention which is provided through UWM missionaries.

•This year we have played host to 3 FCA students who have participated in an exchange program developed by Dan while on furlough. Elizabeth, Jessica, and Anna all spent a semester living with our family. We are very excited to have two of these exchange students return for the summer to continue working in ministry. Elizabeth will be living with us and working with the Talibe children and at the Deaf school. We are so proud of her will to follow God’s leading. Next year we will be host 2 more exchange students from FCA.

•Dan coordinated the details for the FCA Outreach Trip to Senegal. In November, 32 students and staff from FCA joined upwith DA in an outreach campaign. The FCA kids worked with the Talibe center providing needed vaccinations, worked in an English languages school, and helped to build a church. Dan will be working with FCA again next year to host an event larger group!

•Dan and Patty will continue to lead a team to deliver the Vacation Bible School program this summer. Nearly 140 students have attended the two events with 22 students accepting Christ as a result of their attendance. We are looking forward to seeing more students turn to the Lord as they experience Pandamania!

God’s leading for our ministry…the future…Dakar, Senegal…2011 and beyond!

•We will be living and working in Yoff this summer in a quaint one room house…no electricity, no running water, but rather a shared toilet/shower with three other Lebou families. We will be working very hard studying the Wolof language. Dan’s goal is to reach a level 3 in Wolof by the end of the summer and be able to preach the Gospel.

•Now that both of our boys will be in High School, Dan will be moving to the high school level and leading Bible studies to help the boys continue their walk with Christ.

•Dan and Patty will continue to lead Vacation Bible Study for the missionary and embassy children.

•Dan & Patty will continue French language study to allow them to have a greater impact with the Senegalese people.

What a fantastic seven years! When we began this journey, we had no idea about the wonders God had in store for our family! We have been given the opportunity to impact hundreds of people and participate in “Kingdom Building” for the King of Kings! Part of what has made this past few years so wonderful, is the support we have received from our family and friends. Although we miss all of you; your love and your fellowship, we know we are in God’s will and that gives us great peace. Your prayer support has been SO INCREDIBLE that it touches our hearts and reminds us often of how faithful God really is! Please continue to pray for us!

Many of you have also joined us in ministry through financial support. The Apostle John urged the believers to financially support those who were going out on behalf of the Gospel because that made them “fellow workers in the truth” (III John 1:5-8). This ministry continues to grow because of your generosity and faithfulness. Thank you!

Our greatest need is to seek full funding for this ministry so that we may return to the field. When we departed after furlough, we had commitments for 110% of our support needs. That support has dropped to only 45% and just recently our salary was reduced by United World Mission to $800.00 per month. Our support requirement is $2,500 which means we must raise an additional $1,800 per month to meet our basic support requirements. Those basis requirements include food, medications, household goods, Internet communication, power & electricity, water, insurance, and much more. With the inflationary rate here in Senegal continuing to climb and the exchange rate of the US dollar, our current food bills exceed our UWM salary. Our ministry is “bearing fruit” and we DESPERATELY need your assistance to “water” the vine so that it will continue to grow and thrive! We are looking for family, friends and churches to help partner with us in spreading the Good News in Senegal! If you have not supported us financially in the past, Please consider a small gift of maybe $25 or $50 on a monthly basis. Your gift is completely tax deductible and will help to further God’s kingdom. Although one-time gifts are greatly appreciated, it is the monthly supporters that help us to maintain a working budget therefore allowing us to minister more effectively. Would you please spend time in prayer with God and ask him, “How and what would you have me contribute to this ministry?”

Thank you again for your friendship, your love, your financial support, and most of all for your prayers!

From Senegal with Love,

Dan, Patty, Ryan & Mark