Decker’s Diary

Decker’s Diary for December 2016

On the Mission Field
in Africa
January 2016

Feeling More Like Christmas
Weather-wise, it’s starting to feel more like the end of the
year in the Midwest. I returned from Africa at the beginning of October
and found two things—temperatures reminding me of the month I had
missed—September, and Halloween stuff and Thanksgiving decorations already on sale. It seems that some celebrations have extended
to starting weeks in advance. Though not a celebration, even the
Black Friday day was not as crowded as it used to be. Somehow
Black Friday started two weeks before—as the saying goes, “if one is
good, then more is better.” The origin of Black Friday was to get
merchants out of the red zone of debt and into the black zone of profit.
Then, in early November, the View, a talk show on TV, had a fervent
discussion about “How Early is Too Early for Christmas Music.” For
me, instead of a one-day, or a season’s observance, celebrating the
gift of Jesus coming to abide with us should be a constant mindset all
year long. And there are some Christmas songs I could listen to at
any time in the year.

UGANDA
I split my month-long trip to Africa between Uganda and Ethiopia. In
Uganda, I stayed at Abba House in the Missionary Quarters. It was a
treasure for me to be there again with the kids. Some of the Abba
House kids had gone on tour with the Safari Choir to Spain and
learned some Spanish while there. It was fun to exchange phrases
with them. Pastor Kaaya, his wife and family are now residing at Abba
House as administrators of the house and grounds. Though the rules
and schedules are different than when I was there, it is good for them
to be there to better regulate the raising of the children under their care.
I also spent time in the Eddy Reber Memorial Home, to the north, in
Katogwe. The purpose was to investigate the area for future purchase
of a tract of land on which the Home can plant and harvest crops to
have a food source for the children there. We looked at five different
places for sale and settled on one that had a water source on it and
had not been plowed. It will mean a lot of work for the home, but the
result will be helpful. Please pray about the raising of the necessary
funds to purchase the land and continue with the project of the land
and grain mill for this home. There is a “go-fund-me” page set up for
donations: https://www.gofundme.com/eddyreberfund

ETHIOPIA
My time in Ethiopia was amiss. I
arrived on September 12th, but the
Lakomenza International Academy
did not open for children until September 23rd, which was the day I
left. We had training sessions with
the teachers. That was a challenge

A few of the Ethiopian teachers

Barb Decker

0 Degrees Latitude
I took a little time to venture into
the southern hemisphere to visit a
school sponsored by Global Impact
Relief and to actually stand on the
“Zero degrees, latitude” line, exactly
half way between the north and south
poles—very interesting. By the Line,
on the north
side, and on
the south
side, there
are funnels
and buckets
so that one
can experiment with the direction of water flow.
It therefore proves that the equator’s
line is not just a man’s guess at dividing the halves of the globe but has
something to do with the magnetic
force of the earth.
I have been home for several
weeks now—very busy weeks. Last
year I helped with an after school
Bible Club, Kids For Christ. This year
we switched to the Good News Club
with Child Evangelism Fellowship.
We have had children receive Jesus
as their Savior at just about every
meeting so far!! Praise God!

in itself. Some of them spoke
some English which made it hard
to teach them. I tried to teach the
rules of English, short and long
vowels, and the singular and plural
of words. I have come to realize
that I need to work on how to teach
phonics before I return. The next
time I go, I will be working mainly
with kindergarten and first grades.
The education leaders have given
me a schedule of responsibilities that include 9-14 hours a
week of teaching time at any or all of the three campuses. My
plan is to go in mid-March and stay for approximately three
months. A team from a Kansas City church plans to join me in
June. The team will be there for about two weeks and introduce a curriculum for the next year as well as set up the biology and industrial arts labs. If anyone is interested in joining
this team, please let me know and I will get you connected.
Write to me or email me: bdecker47@gmail.com
While there this time, a small 12 x 12 foot studio apartment
was found for me, near the school with a great view of the city
of Dessie, and costing about $35.00 per month. It was a step
up from the beginnings I had in Uganda, in that it has a
“sitting” toilet and an overhead shower. In addition it has a
kitchenette and a bed, It served my need as a missionary
teacher in an Ethiopian city. My hope is to be able to stay in
this apartment when I return in March. The many children of
the apartment complex were anxious to get me to play a little
soccer with them in the alleyway between the buildings. Even
though there was a language barrier, the game made the evenings fun. When one of the younger children got hurt, I
rubbed the spot, saying, “Ow, ow, ow,” but then remembered
that “ow’ is “yes” in Amharic. So then I changed that to saying, “Ay-yi-yi,” over the sore spot, but remembered that “Aye”

is “no” in Amharic, so I changed that as well to,
“Sorry, sorry, sorry!” I hope I don’t also find that
sorry means something in
Amharic.
A Sad Note
On a sad note, an Abba
House girl, Elizabeth, whom we
knew as “Best,” had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in
2014. She bravely underwent
two surgeries and two rounds of chemotherapy, all
the while guarding her smile and her faith. She went
Home to be with the Lord, on December 9th. We will
not know how many people she influenced with her
life until we see her again in heaven.
Prayer request:
That my mind and tongue would be loosed again
to learn Amharic, which has squiggly letters, tongue
clicks, and other word sounds which are difficult to
say.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas as
we celebrate the incarnation of God on earth
through Jesus the Messiah. Thank you so very
much for your continued support through 2016. I
am anxious for what God has for us in 2017. Keep
looking up—Jesus is coming back soon! “ To which
we say, Amen, Come Lord Jesus. May the grace of
the Lord Jesus, the Liberating King, be with all the
saints, Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21 of The Voice)
Shalom——

Barb Decker

I will support Barbara Decker’s work on the mission field in the following way.
___ Barbara Decker Mission Support (Monthly) $_________(One Time Gift) $________
___ Mission Trip Expenses to Africa $_________
All donations are tax deductible. Please write checks payable to: Global Impact Relief, 5110 E. 800 South, Monterey IN 46960
Thank you for caring!