Archive for February, 2009

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Mal’s Story, Part 1: Plan My Funeral

Mal Hasty lives near Dallas, Texas. Here today is the first part of the story of God bringing him to the 2009 Cameroon Harvest Project.

By Mal Hasty, team member

On December 28, 2004, I got up, dressed to go somewhere and was a little early. So I sat in my comfortable chair to read the newspaper, but I felt like I was going to throw up.

Three times I went into the bathroom but nothing happened. The last time I felt strongly that if I had to do this again I wouldn’t have the strength to get up.

I also had a fairly sharp pain at a point between my left shoulder and my heart. All I could imagine was that I was having a heart attack.

At the emergency room, I told them my thoughts about a heart attack and they pursued that possibility immediately and stayed on that search for many hours. They declared my heart to be in very good shape.

When they spread the search, they found that I had an infection, invasive streptococcus A. They cut my abdomen open to try to find the source, but found nothing. My son pointed out a blistery looking place on my left shoulder. They did a biopsy and they had found the source.

During this time they put me into an induced coma which lasted until the first week in February, more than a month after I was first struck. The antibiotics didn’t work. My fever was going up. My vital organs were shutting down.

The medical personnel told my adult children that they should begin planning my funeral.

(Be sure to see Part 2 and Part 3.)

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Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

How Can I Help?

UPDATE: Through you, God has provided all the finances for individual team members and for ministry costs. From our hearts, we thank him and you.

Please continue with the help mentioned in #1 and #2 below–your interest and prayer. That will be a huge encouragement to us, and God will bless us through you.

Several of you have mentioned that you’d really like 
to be part of a mission like this, but it won’t work 
out for you right now. 

How can you still be involved?

1. Please PRAY for us. WE pray that God will use this 
blog as a way of bringing to your mind things to pray.

2. Please COMMENT at our blog. You will 
encourage us by letting us know of your “presence” 
with us here. 
(Did we mention how convenient it will be for

3. If you feel led to HELP FINANCIALLY, that will be 
a wonderful gift from God through you. Here’s how. 
(All contributions are tax deductible.)

Online, with credit card:
Enter Last Name of team member 
Enter ID number of that team member (ask the team 
member or call Joni & Friends, 
818-707-5664 x1723 for assistance)

Via check:
Payable to Joni and Friends
Memo line: Cameroon, [team member name] 
Mail to: Joni and Friends

Attn: WFTW

PO Box 3333

Agoura HillsCA 91376

We thank God for you and your interest and prayers.
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Not About Wheelchairs

Erica Streifel has done a similar Joni and Friends project in Romania. People, houses, traditions and language may be different in Romania than in Cameroon. But Erica’s description of life for many Romanians with disabilities could just as well have been written about many Cameroonians.

From Erica Streifel, team member:

My experience in Romania was incredible. I was so blessed to be a part of a ministry that demonstrates the love of Christ to those often forgotten or rejected by society.

The chairs meant so much to the recipients. Some of them had not had a means of independent mobility for over 20 years. Some of them spent most of their lives confined to their homes.

Even young children were confined to bed or had very limited movement in their homes. They could not regularly attend school or be outside with friends.

It was heartbreaking to see the lack of appropriate therapy, bracing, assistive devices, or wheelchairs that are really quite easy to come by in America by comparison.

I was so touched to see the tears of joy by the recipients and their families. Most of all, it was exciting to see how meeting a physical need provided an open door to meeting spiritual needs.

Joni and Friends ministry understands that spreading the message of salvation through Christ alone is any society’s greatest need and is the main goal of any outreach.

Ultimately, it’s not about the wheelchairs. It’s about pointing people to Christ!

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Too Risky?

by Erica Streifel, team member:

I’m so thankful for how I can see God’s hand in bringing me to this trip.

I was helping out one in the 4th grade Sunday school class, assisting our church’s disability ministry. Bob Horning and his daughter, Krista, came to talk to the class. They did a great job relating to the kids God’s perspective about disabilities and how they ought to welcome and learn from their classmates with disabilities.

Bob happened to mention that he had been on a Wheels for the World trip. Afterward, I chatted with him briefly about how I had been on a Wheels trip to Romania. He then told me of his plans to organize a group from Bethlehem to Cameroon and the need for therapists.

I was so excited about the idea of going on another wheelchair mission. My experience in Romania had been incredible. I was so blessed to be a part of a ministry that demonstrates the love of Christ to those often forgotten or rejected by society.

Well, after a few days my excitement started to fade as I learned more about potential dangers that might come with travel in Africa. Was it too much of a risk? But as I spent more time in prayer and reflecting, I realized more and more that God was specifically calling me to this trip and that He was challenging my faith with this.

I had been studying the life of Moses in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). God often called Moses to tasks that did not make perfect sense and were risky. I also learned that even in times of trials, it does not mean that God is not in it or that He isn’t using it for good. So, even if a trip does not go “perfectly,” it will be according to God’s plan.

And He is powerful to do far more than I could ask or imagine in this trip. God knows what is needed in Cameroon and He has put together this team for His purposes. I pray that He will go before us and with us every step of the way. I don’t want to take a single step forward if He is not in it.

Please be praying for our team that all the details of the trip will be worked out smoothly and that God will be preparing hearts for what He wants to do.


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Monday, February 2nd, 2009

What is this Harvest Project?

We are a team of physical therapists, mechanics, or support people from Texas, Minnesota, California, Florida, and from Cameroon.

We’ll be working through two Christian organizations that minister to people with disabilities, one in Yaounde and one in Bamenda. Later posts will highlight the organizations and some of the people we’ll work alongside.

As with most countries in the developing world, adaptive and accessibility equipment is unavailable or is prohibitively expensive. Our goal is to minister freedom to some of those with limited or no mobility. A wheelchair or walker will mean new ability to participate in community life. The wheelchairs and walkers were donated to Joni and Friends by people like you and then restored to like-new condition by prison inmates in prisons around the US.

But even more than physical freedom, we pray for spiritual freedom for people whose disabilities may have kept them from an acquaintance with Jesus and fellowship with his body. Each person is prayed with as consultation begins and again when he or she is sitting in that “new” wheelchair. In addition, each wheelchair recipient will receive a Bible and time with a pastor.


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Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Team America

Front: Elisa Horning, Bryan Reilly, Sue Murr, Gordon Crouch, Erica Streifel

Back: Nate Steller, Andrew Horning, Cheryl Hansen, Noel Piper, Bob Horning, Tim Tarchick

Not pictured: Laurence Gallarato, Mal Hasty, Dan & Faith Eriksen, Dana Croxton, Cindy Fahy, Mike Yuen

These are the team members going to Cameroon from Minnesota, Florida, Texas, California. Another post, another day, will highlight the team members who live in Cameroon.


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