Please be in prayer for Boubon this week. This village is 15 minutes from Niamey & is where we are concentrating much of our efforts with our national partners, a partnering church & our new Songhai team members. The chief has been very open to us being there & we've even seen much interest from the outreach groups formed from the national partners' work. However, the village is still a dark place & is still resistant to The Light.
Mark has worked tirelessly with the chief to find housing for the Foxes, our new team members due to arrive in July. Just when it seemed all was going well, we hit a wall (you can read about it here). We have truly felt that this village is where the Foxes are supposed to live but it's a little impossible to live somewhere without a house!
Will you please pray for Boubon this week?
Praise the Lord with us that the chief has been so open, welcoming & receptive to us and the work we are doing. Pray that the Lord would call the chief & his household to salvation as they hear of God's great love & salvation for them.
Pray for those that are being led in Bible study by our national partners; that they also would answer God's call of salvation & follow Him. Pray for the national partners themselves that God would give them wisdom, direction & perseverance. Pray that they would be faithful to the Message & would be bold in their witness.
Pray for those that are showing resistance to the work & are causing hardship by not allowing us to rent a house there. Pray that God would make a way where there seems to be no way. Pray that God would soften the hearts of these individuals.
Thank you for praying us through another month here in Niger. The temperatures are rising but God has blessed us with many days that are "cloud covered" & we are thankful that we have yet to feel that scorching April heat where temperatures can soar to 130! We've had a few sicknesses this last month from cold & sinus issues to bacterial infections and even to malaria for our little 2 year old but God has been so gracious to provide us with good medical care, medicines, quick healing, & of course, your prayers!
We are moving into a season of "busyness" this next month and are so excited to see all that God is going to do. We've got national partners taking the Gospel to to their own people in their own language, we've got 2 college girls who are giving up their entire summer to share the name of Jesus with those that have never heard, we've got EIGHT volunteer teams on the horizon who will be doing the same & seeking to help us plant indigenous churches in Songhai lands. We are so grateful for the many of you who pray, give up your time & resources, and come to this side of the world to share with a people you've never met in a language you can't understand about The Person that you hold so dear, our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. You give the Songhai no greater gift than that.
Thank you for those of you who "hold the ropes" for us, our team & the many volunteers & national partners who serve alongside us as you pray for our families, our ministries & the Songhai. Thank you for pleading to God for the Songhai to be saved; that they may know Jesus as their Savior & forsake all to follow Him. Your every prayer for them is worth it & we are eternally grateful. You give us (& them) no greater gift than that.
About this time last year God begin to lay something on my heart for reaching the Songhai. We had struggled at each step of the way in Ayorou with the question of "what next?" Someone wants to hear more, what next? Someone believed, what next? A group is following Christ, what next?
These questions, while simple, were not easy to answer.
Then, knowing we were going to be overseeing all the Songhai work, not just Ayorou, these questions were multiplied.
God began to lay on my heart a simple strategy that would take a church planter from entry to exit. With each new group or village there would be a clear process of moving from entry to evangelism to discipleship to leadership development to exit. The last one was especially important as we seek to hand off the work to our national believers as soon as possible. We're calling this strategy E2E.
It is very simple and works on the presupposition that God's sheep hear His voice. In other words, we speak the name of Christ boldly and often in places it's never been spoken and to people who've never heard.
A year ago, when this started coming together in my mind, the picture was not just Parker and I or even the Songhai Team. It was a coordinated effort by us, our Great Commission Christians, our national partners, and our volunteer teams. That we'd all be moving in the same direction for the same purpose.
I am so excited now as this dream from over a year ago is becoming a reality. We have trained and sent out 4 national partners (2 by 2) with the E2E strategy into Songhai lands.
Serving in Boubon
Serving in Karma
Please pray for them as they take the Light into some of the darkest places in the world.
Please be in prayer for Jody & Sarah Fox this week. The Foxes will be joining the Songhai team in July and we are so excited that God has called them to serve the Songhai in Niger with us! Next week, they will be packing up & heading to Virginia for 8 weeks of training. These 2 months will be an intense time of studying, worshiping, learning & getting ready for the field.
Pray also for them as they make preparations to come. Major decisions in packing will need to be made: leave the peanut butter & take the kid's movies? Velveeta or muffin mixes? Books or homeschool material? Undoubtedly, there will be purchases that need to be made & many, many Wal-Mart runs to buy items for a place they've never been to. We've been there & done that & it's not easy & very overwhelming at times.
Pray for them as they will begin to make decisions about homeschooling their eldest daughter who will be entering Kindergarten in the fall. This is really their only option with where they are being placed. And while they are comfortable with doing this, it won't come easy. They'll be knee deep in language (which is a job in itself) while also caring for house & home & 3 children AND adding homeschooling on top of that. All the preparations they can do before they come will be of most benefit to them.
As you can see, there are many decisions to be made before ever stepping foot on a plane to come here ... some trivial but most are major. There is the stress of making these decisions plus the stress of an intense training plus the stress of leaving your home & family. We would appreciate your prayers for the Foxes this week (& the coming weeks) as they deal with these stressors ... that God would give them wisdom, discernment, peace, patience & time to rest in Him.
Who's ready for 2012? Well, the Songhai team is already filling out our 2012 calendar and, let me tell you, it is filling up FAST! If you are interested in serving with us in 2012, please notify us ASAP!
Here are some dates available for our 2012 calendar. Again, please let us know as soon as you can if you are interested in serving!
Summer 2012 (*summer missionary positions available only; 8-10 week commitment)
December 1-15, 2012
As you can see, there are not a ton of dates available. With our current calendar, we will only be able to host 7 more teams next year. Email us if you'd like to be one of those teams!
Please be in prayer for Randy & Susan Saleeby this week. Randy & Susan have been part of the Songhai team since 2005. They served in the village of Tera for 2 years and have since served as directors of discipleship & church leadership for the Songhai team. Their job involves traveling to the various villages where churches have been or are being started, training new believers, encouraging them in their growth & equipping key leaders of these groups in church formation & leadership development.
Pray for the Saleebys as they travel many miles to train & equip these Songhai believers. Pray for them as they teach these men & women the truth of God's Word. Pray for them as they encourage believers during times of trial & persecution. Pray for them as they seek to remain faithful to the Scriptures in all they do & teach.
Pray also for their language skills in both French & Songhai. They spend a majority of their day communicating in a language that is not their own. Pray that they would be able to retain all they learn as they daily study these languages. Pray that, as they speak, they would be able to communicate all they desire to say & that it would be understood.
Pray also for them as they minister to the Songhai here but miss their families at home. They have 2 grown sons, 2 beautiful daughters-in-law & 7 gorgeous grandchildren as well as aging parents. Everyone knows the unique & precious love that grandparents have for their grandchildren. Just imagine how hard it is to be separated by an ocean and many, many miles!
For more information about Randy & Susan, visit their blog! You can click on the link in the right side bar of this blog.