Buzzard Bio Archive, 1998::Armand Leblanc

From prayer letter dated 6/4/98:

Our phone just got fixed and the first call is for the maid! It was bad news. Her elder brother died in Nairobi. She'll go at once so we loaned her the 5000(?) or $80 to go home for the funeral.

Thank you for the support. We have been seeing God answer prayer miraculously for us in the support area. We have been under supported some $600 per month but God has reduced this to about $250 a month undersupport as of April 98 by prayer alone. The Kenyan Economy is getting crunched by the El Niño and not so good responses to these disasters so inflation has driven our support figure up again.

Right now I have 4 computer students. Omar and Babli are two guys from the tract mailing and old visitation in Old Town. Babli, I saw walking down the street in front of our house. He said he had nothing to do so I offered to help him with computers. He brought along his nephew who lives near us in Tudor on Obote Road next to Khamis Sec. School. A former neighbor's son, Mohammed, wants to study too. He comes this Friday. alim brought a catholic Kamba fellow named Dominic. Dominic and Omar are getting a handle on it but Babli thinks he can fool the computer by hunting and pecking. Some of Fathia's sisters are also coming once a week. If any of you'd like to send me a typing tutor on disk or CD it would help greatly.

I'm suprised at myself. I've been toying with this Idea of businessmen evangelism for sometime. Salim and I started working on the materials together and I have 5 lessons already done plus 3 or 4 in the rough draft stage. I've even given out some to Adam and Thabiet. They are both connected with Fathia's family and are in the car sales and car rent business. I was getting the studies ready for Abdul Bassiet the guy from the market. He was recently elected the head of the market and has been open to some ideas on leadership so I'm throwing the throttle to the wall.

Kelly and Amy were just home for a visit on school vacation. They are changing boy friends, Kelly's is gone and Amy's is new. We went to the beach to surf and the waves were high for part of the time. We had a picnic under the spreading Baobab trees. We watched "Pride and Prejudice" on video. The road to Rift Valley Academy has been blocked by landslides recently. The girls didn't get back to school until 10:30 PM.

From prayer letter dated January, 1998:

Trust you folks had a wonderful Christmas. Some of our highlights included several Christmas teas with Muslims [a great opportunity to share with them why Jesus came to earth and that even since the beginning of time, God had a plan to save people], a nice Christmas eve service at Fellowship Bapt. Church where one Muslim convert friends was able to attend, Salim joining us for turkey, phone calls from family [it was especially good to hear from Peter & Lori and we praise the Lord how he is caring for them] and for Curtis, the turkey, a Christmas gift from some of our Muslim friends.

As the New Year is upon us, many opportunities lie before us. We start right off with Ramadan and Scripture/calendar distribution. May God's word have free course and bear fruit. May the stressful times in Kenya cause people to seek the one True God. People are still waiting to see the results of elections so peace can have full sway again. Because of much rain and flooding roads are almost impassible and malaria has increased as well as other sicknesses such as cholera. As food prices increase and people struggle with having enough for daily needs, we see more of a hopelessness in faces. May they turn to the one who can give them hope.

We appreciate much prayer on our behalf. Work permits have been granted but not yet received. About 3/4 of the money for a car has been provided so we hope to purchase soon. Pray for good choice and negotiations. For the Lord to show us ways we can help and encourage Salim and the converts in his network. That Amal, Sabri and Talib will continue computer/Bible classes. Farida and Jean continue to study John. Farida was excited that Jesus calls her His friend. For calendar distribution and Ramadan visiting. And that they Lord would fill us with His Word and Spirit. May the mind of Christ our Savior live in us from day to day.

February update
Ferroz is a fellow who received the Lord and has been getting help from Salim. He has been having meetings in his home and has gone on several trips to preach in villages around Mombasa. He's has a desire to become a preacher and does the work of an evangelist already.

Well, during Eid celebrations he went to the Bohra Mosque which is [in] his community. They accused him of being a Christian and he had to defend himself. He is very fearful the folks in his community will harm him.

Pray for consolation, humility, trust in the Lord, boldness and fruit of the Spirit during prayer meeting tonight (4 Feb 1998) please.

March update

Dear Friends,                3/3/98

The elections are over with only small amount of trouble. These days we are confronted with a banker's strike. So now that I've found a car to buy, a Subaru station wagon, I have not been able to get to the money I have in the US to pay for the car in Kenya. So the banks are dead for a while! Our Christmas gift turkey also bit the dust in January. He was tough like all old birds. Ferroz has had to be a tough old bird of late but is still meeting with Salim and encouraged in the Lord. He's making plans to find a apartment of his own to ease the situation at home.

Death has been described as separation. One of our friends in America told us of their son's death in 1997 and how now they are eagerly looking forward to heaven and the reunion with their child. The grieving process may take place when folks are separated permanently or even just temporarily. One of our Swahili families, Fathia's, is going through the difficulty of seeing a young man, near the last year of secondary school, going astray. He's supposed to be in school and has been a good student but now has left home and is keeping some bad company. He's been gone a month and this last week we waited outside the house where he was supposed to be staying. His mom expressing worry and concern for him to come home began to speak to those nearby. He didn't show up that night but the next day Jean and I walked by that way and saw him. He greeted us and we urged him to return home. That night he went home and told his mom he'd come back soon. Since then he's come home for a meal and a bath. Hopefully he'll get back to school and see his life in the secular sense straightened out. We felt honored that the family would call on us to help in such a private matter.

One of our former language teachers has died. Fuad was 38 his mom said. Many of her kids have died young. She has a clutch of grandkids to raise now. None of them are Fuad's, he never married. He had cooked on a ship before working for our missionaries. It was through him that we met Salim who has helped us in the bookroom and now has a group of believers around him. Fuad died at home of pnuemonia. He recognized me when I'd gone to see him and prayed with him. One of his last desires was to help Salim's mother with some money he had. Missionaries are often closer to their language teachers because we spend so much time with them and because we share so much of the gospel with them. Fuad had heard the truth about Jesus many times. He never responded that we know of.

To follow Jesus one must take up a cross. Thank you for desiring more and more that He would increase and that you and I would decrease. You do encourage us.

In Christ,

Armand and Jean Le Blanc

4/20/98 prayer letter

Dear Friends,

Mixed blessings and feelings describe us recently. We rejoice that we had the largest ever gathering of Muslims converts in our home. Five people who say they are trusting Jesus for their salvation. Sadly, the occasion was a farewell dinner for our missionary teammates. We'll miss them.

Farida was here with two sisters and some of their kids. We had a fine time playing computer games, badminton, horseshoes and basketball, not to mention the fine food. Jean has been getting together with her for Bible Study, reading the scriptures, and prayer. She has lost her Bible twice now and has asked Jean to bring another. Pray for her continued growth and wisdom to help her with her relationships to kids, parents, husband, and the extended family.

Asiya came. She has been a Christian for several years and attends a Bible study and fellowships. She recently had a baby out of wedlock. How do you council an unwed mother who feels little shame for her actions. Pray for a desire to walk in the light and in the purity of God's Word.

Rehanna came with her son and nephew, Ishu. Ishu is not quite two and his father was recently killed by a car while crossing the street. Ishu in now Rehanna's. Intercede he will come to know Jesus as Savior as Zidoo has.

Salim, Abdulwahid and a friend came later. Some of these folks had not met before. None declared openly they were Christians. Later, we were asked why these men were invited since they seem to come from a homosexual background. It's good thing they came late, because they would have caused us to lose God's blessing. Many questions were raised. May God give us much insight.

Praise the Lord! Recently we bought a 1987 Subaru Station Wagon. We are very grateful for your gifts and prayers that made this purchase possible, Since the roads are so bad, we are in the process of getting a new set of shocks and springs which will help us make the trip to Nairobi.

An especially difficult time has arisen with Jean's father's health. Would you folks continue to lift him and the other requests up to our loving Heavenly Father?

PRAISE THE LORD that Pete, our son, will be moving- into an apartment and has a full-time summer job at Duke hospital. He has one more year to go until his nursing degree is complete. PRAISE THE LORD that Lori will be joining us for 2 months this summer. It will be good for her to come home. Pray for all the details of her flight and time here.

From prayer letter dated September 1998

As you know, the US Embassy bombing in Nairobi has been the big news in Kenya lately. Again we are brought face to face with the evil of men's hearts. Although a large majority of Kenyans would claim to be some sort of Christian, we don't always know what the minority's reaction will be. Since anti-American feelings still loom large around the world, please pray for safety.

In the shaping of world events, we can all have a significant part as we reach men for Christ. We need not fear any religion, nation or "force" because "greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Even though some of the men we are attempting to reach for Christ are steeped in a religious system, they are still simply people having common needs. These needs provide avenues of service and channels for sharing the Gospel. Armand has a group of businessmen that he visits regularly and is able to share principles of good business and leadership with them. Pray especially for Tabiet, Abdul Bassiet and Isau. In a few homes, he has become the educational advisor for young men. "We need your advice" we're told. Pray for Salum studying in the US. Computer classes meet a need for others. Mohammed and Zidoo are current students. Tract mailings, which seem to be well received, are another way. Amid discussions about marriage one said, "This isn't about religion, this is about life." Praise the Lord with us for these who hear, pray they will listen and obey.

As some of the missionaries go on furlough, Jean will continue a "FIRM FOUNDATIONS" Bible study with 3 Muslim ladies, about 30 of these chronological lessons are done and 20 remain. Please intercede for good preparation and presentation that will lead the receptive hearts of Zenab, Ajabu and "M" out of the darkness into light, to the living God. Asiya and Farida are two convert ladies Jean disciples regularly. Lift up their maturity and growth. Fathia has recently come back from Saudi Arabia, ask for Jean and her to have conversations that are salt and produce the fruit of new life.

On a personal note, Kelly and Amy have started the senior year at Rift Valley Academy. We all enjoyed Lori's visit this summer before starting her junior year at UNC-Charlotte. Pete is in his last year of nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill. Sept. 15 marks the 25th year of marriage for us, while 25 years ago we began together with International Missions to pursue ministry overseas for the Lord's glory. Because of the stressful time that Jean's family has been going through with her father's health, we feel it would be good for her to make a short trip home. During the period Sept. 19 to Oct. 24, Jean will be at 4708 Westwood Rd., Greensboro, NC 27401, 336 299-1116. Please lift up the whole family in prayer. Your co-laboring with us is a great encouragement. Thank you!

From prayer letter dated November 1998

Dear Friends,

As our Christmas season approaches, we have many reasons to rejoice.

  1. We rejoice first and foremost as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
  2. We rejoice in the opportunity to study the Firm Foundation Bible Study with four Muslim women. Pray for salvation for these ladies.
  3. We rejoice in the teaching of computer/typing/Bible classes. Zidoo and Fathia are our current students. Stand in the gap for salvation in Fathia's case and direction for Zidoo.
  4. We rejoice over Zidoo and Mehboob. These believers are growing in the Lord. It is a joy to see them take steps in prayer and trusting our Father for their needs. Petition the Father to take them deeper into discipleship.
  5. We rejoice as we share the good news with calendars, tracts and visits. Ramadan (fasting month) starts around Dec. 20th. It should be interesting as our Muslim friends are fasting during Christmas and New Years. Pray that God's Word will fall on good soil and pray good conversations "seasoned with salt" will take place.
  6. We rejoice that Salim reports his contacts continue to come for the Bible lessons that he teaches and he sees growth in them and some genuine inquirers. Intercede for protection and that the light of the World will overcome the darkness of lost hearts.
  7. We rejoice that Jean had a good trip to the US. She had a wonderful visit with her family. Her father's health is still very fragile. Please ask God to get his kidneys up to speed. Jean also was able to get some medical needs taken care of while home. Of course seeing our college kids Pete and Lori was a highlight.
  8. We rejoice in the future and hope we have in the Messiah. Jean will be speaking to a ladies' group in Feb. and on Dec. 24 Armand will give a devotional at our local church. In January, Armand will be teaching courses on the Old Testament and Muslim Evangelism. Pray the saints will be equipped.
  9. We rejoice in the Lord's provision this year, even though we had some unexpected additional expenses. Pray for straightening out the overcharges in our Kenya and US income taxes.

Thank you for sharing in this part of the harvest field. As we rejoice, let's share the Messiah's birth and worth. From Mombasa, southwest of Bethlehem, following his guiding star.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Armand & Jean LeBlanc

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