S: Randy, Marsha, and Mali - A Love Story
BC: Randy & Marsha We love you and wish you a great retirement with many visits back to see us!
FC: The Life and Times of Randy & Marsha Barnwell in Mali
1: With love from your friends and coworkers of the Mali Field
2: Dear Randy and Marsha, We celebrate your years of service in Mali, your love for the people there and all that God has accomplished in and through you over these years. You have been great co-workers and your impact for Christ has been much greater than you realize. Eight years ago we brought David and Suzanne to Mali for a visit. They remembered you from our time there living and serving as a family. Your greatest impact on them was not during those years as much as during that visit. We remember them saying, “The Barnwells are great. We can tell they love the Malians and really enjoy what they do in Mali. If we were coming here to work long term, we'd love to work with Randy and Marsha.” That for us was a wonderful affirmation of who you are and how you have invested your lives in Mali. During our years together there we had several memorable adventures: Slithering back into Ntorosso with the sacred bell we had removed from there to take to the new Koutiala campus . . . only to find out that the church leaders wanted that bell to stay at Ntorosso. Showing the Jesus film out in Boura with bats overhead welcoming us with their droppings. Living through the Nkalonw Siraw test, including a public book burning. | Seeing you move to the Bible school, a ministry that wasn't your first choice yet was very strategic in the big picture. You gave it your best shot and ended up, with God’s help, having great impact there. Chasing thieves and bandits. We outshone Indiana Jones during some of these pursuits. Going through the building of Bethel Bible School’s new campus in Koutiala and the many testings related to that project. Enjoying with our families the Koutiala kids’ Olympics, a skating party in the Bethel chapel when it was being constructed, lots of video games involving your Shawn and our David, plus many more fun times. Sitting through hours and hours of meetings together, some of them late into the night . . . and some of them involving very hard decisions.
3: Responding with grace when getting chewed out together by church leaders . . . sometimes deserved and sometimes undeserved. Surviving times of war and rebellion, of border skirmishes and civil unrest. Working hard to prepare for and receive well new workers coming to our field. Watching God work in your hearts to birth a vision and burden for the Gana people . . . and seeing how you have responded and what God has done! You survived Madame Loche and Mademoiselle Chevalier in Albertville. You passed through the deep valley of heart surgery and other physical trials. You spoke in hundreds of churches on tour, some strong ones and some not-so-healthy ones. You did everything you could to support and pray faithfully for Shawn, Christy and David . . . and now are investing in their families including your grandchildren . . . over these years. You loved and ministered to multitudes of Malians. And you graciously and lovingly put up with us and your other missionary colleagues. Randy, you really are a stud . . . and Marcia, you really are a queen! | Thank you for your example of faithfulness. Thank you for your love for Christ and others. Thank you for being willing to take faith-filled risks. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Thank you for your example of trust in the midst of trials. Thank you for your outstanding service to God, the people of Mali and The Christian and Missionary Alliance. We celebrate with you and honor you today . . . and hope for opportunities to connect with you in the days ahead. You thought Mali was fun . . . wait ‘til we get to heaven! Thankfully when we do, there will be Malians there to greet and thank Randy and Marsha for being Christ’s ambassadors to them. THANK YOU! With love, Bob and Esther Fetherlin
4: The Early Years
7: Dear Randy & Marsha... 1978 is a long way from the Barnwell's breaking new ground at Baramba. Those were interesting, challenging and fun days. You won't forget the grind of language study, the upkeep of the Baramba station, teachng those teen girls, bats dropping mangos on our tin roofs at night, and a new mattress eaten by termites! Randy, you will be remembered for being right on the job when that needed to be done - no lazing around for you, even in the 40 degree heat! And, Marsha, God gave you such a creative gift: art, posters, needlework. I was at Niena for the new church dedication, along with Pat McNab, Donna Humphries, and many others. Thank you for your great hospitality then, and for all the outreach and establishing of the African church there. You have been a blessing to me and to Mali. May retirement rest and retread you and give you new challenges on this side of the Atlantic. Grateful for you - Kay T.
10: Dear Mom and Dad, Congratulations on your retirement! We are really looking forward to you being home with all of us. Thank you for giving us the memories of living in Africa. When we think back about our time in Africa this is what we remember. 1. First of all Dads’ fashion. We all remember Dad's Yorosso and early years. Thankfully fashion doesn't matter in the bush. 2. Camping at the river was always something we looked forward to. We had a lot of great memories there. 3. Christy’s wide variety of pets. Getting to say you have had a bush bunny and a monkey is pretty cool. 4. Hunting in the bush. Sometimes hitting the truck tire. 5. Shawn shooting the sheep in Ntorosso. 6. The Yorosso evacuation 7. Years of sending us off to boarding school. Which we hated at the time but can appreciate now. | 8. Going to the market with Dad. Christy learned all her bartering skills there. We also remember having to chase Dad everywhere since he walked a mile in front of everyone. 9. Sitting under the stars waiting for the Jesus Film to begin. Counting shooting stars in some of the most beautiful skies. 10. Driving and wrecking the moped. 11. Going to the Pig Farm to swim and picnic. You gave us a childhood that not a lot of kids get to experience. We are all grateful for the memories and adventures we got to have. Each of us has our own that we cherish.
11: As we raise our own kids we are thankful for the love and upbringing that we got from you. Even though you have had to miss some important moments in our adult lives we have always been proud and understood your commitment to Mali. Oceans apart you have always been our biggest support system and please know that your daily prayers for us have meant the world. We love you very much and can't wait for you to get home to start another chapter of your life. You have made a lasting impression on Mali and touched a lot of people. Now it is time for you to come home and let us take care of you. Your kids and grandkids love you and can't wait till you get home. Love, Christy, Shawn, and David
14: Dear Randy and Marsha, We can hardly believe that you guys are taking your baggage home to the States for this final time as IM international workers to Mali. To us this signifies the ending of an era for the Mali field. No longer will there be IM international workers who will choose to live hours away from their ex-pat counterparts in order to focus on an unreached people. No longer will there be French and Bambara spoken with a distinctly Southern accent that brings light-hearted revelry and humor in conversations. No longer will there be sagas of bells taken from church institutions for mission purposes. No longer will we enjoy your warm, fun-loving hospitality when we travel to Mali. Randy and Marsha, we thank God for the tremendous contributions that you have made to the planting and growing of God’s church in Mali. You have proven resilient and fruitful workers no matter how challenging the situation experienced. You hung in there no matter how hard the time. Because you hung in there Malians who would never have known Jesus know Him. Because you hung in there churches have been planted and will continue to grow and their members will plant new churches. Know that we will be delighted for those times that God may have you parachute in to Mali to further bless God’s work there. Thank you for being such faithful servants of Jesus. As you now change locations we know that you will continue serving our Lord. Your field may not be Mali, but the people you impact will bless God that He directed you their way. Your children will particularly rejoice having their dad and mom with them. Your grandchildren will adore you guys. Wishing you a tremendous new stage of living for Him, Chris and Marcia
15: You've touched so many lives! | Randy and Marsha are some of the first people we think of when someone mentions traditional missionaries. We have high respect for all international workers, but “bush missionaries” seem to have made more sacrifices for Jesus than us. We respect you and hold you in high esteem. Of course, you were a Keita, Randy, so you had a very special place in our hearts. Watching you goof around with your African friends was such a blessing. Our time in Niena with Jonathan and Anna Youngman was a highlight as we helped with the kids camp, visited another village church, and played with the kids. Your translation abilities were amazing, Marsha! You already know that we will miss you, as will so many in this country who are not called toubabou. May God continue to use you in mighty ways for his kingdom. Keith and Krista Ellenberger
16: MK Corner | Uncle randy and aunt Marsha were some of the most awesome missionaries. Sacrificing and caring So much for the people of Mali. I wouldn't be surprised if uncle Randy had second thoughts about retiring in Mali :) Josh Stombaugh | Congratulations, Happy Retirement! Enjoy it! It is well earned! Justin & Ephram (Flynn)
17: Thank you for your faithful example of love. Because of you, God has shown me how to carry out His heart among those people to whom He sends Sarah and I. God bless you. Jake Howard
18: Aunt Marsha and Uncle Randy, I have the fondest memories of spending time with you in Mali! Reading books in the lamp light, watching movies lull Uncle Randy to sleep, hunting in the bush, keeping Uncle Randy from killing himself on his projects, making the rounds to all of your friends, eating the best bread in the whole world, and so much more. Even Kelly has great memories of the short time she was able to spend with you. You know it's the people you go to see when you leave air conditioning and electric and travel four hours to rough it in Niena but it was always worth it and enjoyable. It's a sad day for Mali as you are leaving but I'm excited for how God will use you in the US and for the extra time you will be able to spend with your children and grandkids. Hopefully God will send someone to replace you and thus prove his miraculous power. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you again! love, James (and Kelly & Ike)
20: You're known for three things- hard work, buildings and crafts! | Work teams love you!