Monday, April 30, 2012

april 2012 newsletter

Dear Prayer Partners,

Thank you so much for yet another month of prayer support for our family, our team & the Songhai people! Although it was a month mixed with sicknesses, a 7 day training retreat & a week of vacation, we have seen God's hand mightily at work through your intercession. The believers in Ayorou, who are facing a famine, are continuing to be bold in their faith & lead others to Christ. Hank*, our beloved young brother in Niamey, is still holding strong in his faith even amidst persecution. Those along the Namarou road are growing in leaps & bounds as they are being discipled by our national partners. The Kingdom of Christ is advancing among the Songhai & we are so thankful that God has led you to prayerfully support them as you call out to Him to save the lost & strengthen the found. We continue to pray alongside you that His sheep will hear His voice every time the Gospel of Jesus is boldly proclaimed among the Songhai!

On a family note, many of you have prayed for Mark's father who battled an unknown illness & was bound to his hospital bed for over 2 months with no end in sight. We are beside ourselves with joy as God once again proves He can do the unimaginable. Mark's dad is being released tomorrow & has made a huge recovery! Thank you for taking the time to not only pray for the Songhai each month but also pray for our families!

that ALL may know HIM,

Mark & Parker <><

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weekly Prayer Focus: Food Shortage

As we eluded to in March's newsletter & as Gomer also referenced in his latest news update, Niger is once again facing a "food crisis." In 2010, it was considered an all out famine. As it stands now, the current situation is still considered to be a "crisis," as in it's on the brink of a famine if something is not done. The government of Niger is working fiercely to alleviate this problem with the help of aid agencies, but as news sources declared yesterday, this may not be enough.

The rains did not fall consistently enough last year to produce good crops. The Songhai, who are mainly fishermen & farmers, rely on these crops that they only harvest once a year to last them throughout the entire year. According to a local aid agency, most villages are working on 50% of what they had the year before. Ayorou is working on 5% of what it had the year before.

This is a "crisis" that is affecting millions across our region but it also hits very close to home when we see our friends, our dear brothers & sisters in Christ, suffering. Some of our friends have had to leave the country to find work elsewhere to try & find money for their families. And although the rainy season is just around the corner, God willing, our friends will not see the fruit of that harvest for another 6 months.

Six more months of trying to scrape by & find a way to feed their families. This is something that I cannot wrap my brain around as I have MORE than enough sitting in my kitchen cabinets to feed my family for the next month. I do not know hunger like they do. I do not know desperation like they do. I do not know sheer dependence on God like they do.

But the amazing thing is that although our friends are suffering, their faith in God has not waivered. Not one bit. They have not once blamed God for this. They have not said, "Where are you God? Why am I suffering?" They continue to praise Him, worship Him & depend on Him for every minute of every day. And I think, "Do I have that kind of faith?"

Please pray for the entire region of West Africa that is facing this crisis. The news reports that 2 million could die of starvation if the right amount of aid is not delivered. Niger would be included in that.

Pray for our brothers & sisters who are suffering because of the food shortage. Pray for God to provide for every one of their needs, above & beyond. Pray for them to be able to have at least one meal a day to put on the table to feed their families. Pray for them to find jobs to be able to afford a meal since last year's crops are already long gone. Pray for them to remain healthy despite the lack of food & especially during this "malaria season."

Most of all, pray for them to remain strong in their faith. Pray they would draw closer to God than ever before as they depend on Him for their every need. Pray for them to seek His face & for Him to comfort them & bring them joy amidst the suffering.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

news from Gomer - April 2012

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for your continued prayer and support for this ministry to the Songhai.  God is doing some wonderful things in the hearts and lives of many right now.

It's a GIRL!!  Praise God for a beautiful baby girl born to Mitch* and Barbara*.  He called today and was just overflowing with joy and pride.  Please pray for this family as they settle into a life with this new little addition to the family.  Pray for the big brother as he gets used to sharing life with a little sister.  I talked to him on the phone and he said he had a new little sister, but he actually seemed more intrigued by the new shoes his dad bought for him, he called them his "police shoes!"  As is customary, Mitch* will call the family together and will name the baby in just a few days, so when I know the name, I will definitely pass it on to you.

Please pray for several of the young men who have accepted Jesus as Savior.  In the last two to three months we have seen about six (6) young men come to accept Jesus as their Savior.  Pray for them to grow in God's love.  Pray that God will give them strength to live a Christian life in the face of persecution.  Pray that God will give them wisdom as they face new struggles, courage as they face family and friends who do not approve of their decisions to follow Jesus.  Pray that they will be filled to overflowing with God's love, that it will overflow onto their family and friends.

H* has asked that we all pray for his Mother and Grandmother.  His Grandmother has been sick for a couple of months now.  She has been in the Hospital but is out now.  H* and his brother I* are wanting to go home to Niger to see her as soon as they can.  Pray also for their Mother.  She is having some problems with her vision.  She needs medical care but the expense is too great at this time for the family.

Pray also for H* and I* during this time.  H* is convinced our prayers will help.  Pray that he will see God's will in all this and that he will grow in his understanding of God.

Pray for all the onion guys.  The markets in Accra are slow right now.  The guys are telling me that they are not selling much.  They tell me the onion market is way down.  Mitch* confirmed that the market is flooded with onions but no one is buying.  Please pray about this.  If the guys are not selling, that means no money for food in Accra for themselves, and no money to send home to Niger for families to buy food there either.  Many of the guys  have requested for us to pray about this.

Pray about the food shortage in Niger.  Many of the young men we are ministering too have families that are being affected by the famine.  There is some relief efforts in the major market villages and there is relief in the villages that are being flooded with refugees from the fighting in Mali, but the smaller villages such as the ones many of the onion guys come from are falling through the cracks.  The famine is big, the resources are few. Pray with me about what God would have us do in this situation.   

Pray for rain in Niger.  Rain that will be helpful to the communities as they prepare to plant their crops for this year.  Pray that somehow they will know that we prayed for them, that God answered our prayers out of love for them, and that through all this, many will come to trust Jesus as Savior.

Pray for me.  I am in the States right now and have many requests.  Pray for Mitch* as I am gone, that he will carry on the ministry and that God will bless him and the Songhai he is ministering too.  Pray for our fund raising.  Pray that as God impresses upon peoples hearts to be involved they will respond.  Pray for me as I try to raise awareness for the ministry.  I would like to go to as many churches and organizations as I can to share what God is doing in the Songhai hearts.  Pray for our English language schools.  The Onion market school is only 10ft by 12ft, but each night between 25 to 35 young guys are coming to learn English.  We are looking for a bigger place to make the school.  We want to also provide a place for them to have a first-aid station in the market area.  Many wounds and sicknesses go untreated, we feel a need to help with this.

Pray for me as I have a big and most difficult decision to make in regards to the ministry in the next few weeks.  We are at a crossroads, and I must chose the right path to follow.  I believe God has given me a vision for this ministry, I want to make sure I seek to always do God's will in everything I do.  I feel your prayers and input is most valuable in this decision process.

      Praise God for Mitch* and Barbara's new little Girl.
      Pray for Mitch's family.
      Pray for the Songhai who are accepting Jesus as Savior.
      Pray for H*'s Mother and Grandmother.
      Pray for H*
      Pray for the onion guys.
      Pray about the hunger in Niger.
      Pray for rain in Niger.
      Pray for the Mission as we seek to keep our eyes firmly on God and His perfect will for us.
      Pray for our funding.
      Pray for me as I seek to make decisions that I will seek God's will.

 Thank you for your love and prayers for the Songhai.
God Bless you all.

In His Service,



Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekly Prayer Focus: Mali

If you've been keeping up with world news recently, the coup d'etat in Mali (centering around the capital city of Bamako) is week-old news to you. What you may not realize though, is what ensued during the chaos that was created by the coup. Two major towns in the northern part of Mali, Gao & Timbuktu, were seized by Tuareg rebels. These two towns are the 2 of the main Songhai villages/towns in Mali. The village of Gao is only about 3 hours from Ayorou.

Please pray for this situation. Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom. Pray for safety & protection of those in these village & those that have fled to seek refuge.

To read more about it, here are a few articles you can click on ...