Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekly Prayer Focus: Food Distribution

A team of 4 from First Baptist Church, Hurst TX has been doing a food assistance project this week in 2 of the villages on the Mehanna Road. They've worked tirelessly assessing children & distributing food to those families that qualify. Their target audience was for children 2 years of age & under who were malnourished (using World Health Organization guidelines).

They are currently doing their last distribution today & will be heading back to the States tomorrow. However, you can still pray for the efforts that were done & the families that were affected. The team saw some astounding cases of malnutrition (an 18 month old weighing in at 11.5 pounds) &, needless to say, it's not only been a physically exhausting trip but an emotional one as well. The toll of seeing a child on the brink of death/starvation is hard for anyone but seeing cases like this back to back to back has been very hard for this team.

Before the families received their gift of grain, beans & oil, they were given instructions on health care & proper nutrition as well as a Gospel presentation. We give because we believe the Lord calls us to care for the poor but we can't give without telling them of the Bread of Life. So, in everything that we do as a Songhai team (including our volunteers), we share the name of Christ boldly & often in places it's never been shared.

This week we ask that you would pray for the team, the families who received the food & those who worked alongside us.

For the team, like we said, it's been physically & emotionally draining. They've been leaving at 6:30 or 7 am & returning between 7:30 - 8:30 pm every night (& spending a night in the village once). Their bodies are worn out but their hearts & minds are even heavier with everything they've witnessed & experienced this week. Pray for peace, comfort & wisdom as they seek to process this week, especially when returning home & being surrounded by the excesses of America.

For those that were recipients of the food distribution, pray that the food would be used properly to gain the nutrition needed for that child & their family. But pray even more that as their bellies are full for the first time in months, their empty hearts would long to know a Savior that loves them more than anything else. Pray that the words of Truth they heard this week will seep down into their souls & they will hear their Father calling their name to salvation in Him.

Pray for those that worked alongside us this week who were also able to hear the great news of Jesus Christ. A myriad of soldiers worked throughout the week with the team to offer assistance in crowd control as well as the local clinic staff of each village. They were not only able to hear of Christ but see the team be His hands & feet. Pray that what they saw & heard would not return void. Pray that they would also seek to know Christ as their Savior.

18 month old child weighing 11.5 pounds

Women & children lining up outside clinic wall

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weekly Prayer Focus: **URGENT**

I'm going to be intentionally vague in this post for security reasons but wanted you to be able to pray.  We have an area right now that is undergoing the most amazing response to the Gospel we've ever seen.  A certain believer has led over 30 people to Christ in the past 10 months in 3 villages.  In 2 of those villages, he has led to Christ the first person ever in that village to believe.

We received word yesterday that his home village is growing more and more upset with this growing population of believers.  They especially don't like the white people coming in and teaching them.  This is pretty normal in our villages.  However, what is not normal and what is the subject of this post is what happened a few nights ago.

There are 2 sects of the main religion here.  They build different places of prayer and have different understandings of their book but, at least in Niger, have co-existed peacefully.  In this particular village, however, a dispute erupted between the two groups leading one group to attack the other while they were praying.  They used machetes and it was gruesome.  Several are dead and several are now in jail.

The believers are a bit shaken by this.  If their fellow villagers will attack someone like this, who holds basically to the same religion, how will they treat these people from Christianity?

The believers are standing firm but ask for our prayers and for wisdom.  They are considering meeting outside of the village to not draw attention.

Pray for peace in this village.
Pray for our believer's safety.
Pray for continued boldness.
Pray for God to continue to do amazing things in this village and the surrounding area.

Fox Family Newsletter: June 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 2012 newsletter

Dear Prayer Partners,

Wow!! What a month!! We have seen some INCREDIBLE things happen in the last 2 weeks. Your prayers have played a HUGE part in this: You've probably seen the village name "Tagabati" in our newsletters or on the blog a dozen or more times. We've asked for you to pray for just one believer to emerge in this dark village. Praise the Lord with us as we rejoice that there are FIVE believers! (You can read more here) There is also a village on the Namarou Road that had no believers & the chief told us that we could share the Gospel there but no one would ever listen or believe. There are now FOUR believers there! If you ever think that your prayers are not being heard, you need to understand just how vital they are to our ministry & to the Songhai hearing about & accepting Christ as their Savior. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!!

One other thing we've highlighted in the newsletter but wanted to mention & explain more is a prayer project we're asking you to be a part of next month. Beginning on July 20, Muslims around the world will take part in Ramadan, the holiday they celebrate by fasting from sun up to sun down for 30 days in order to gain favor with Allah. We are asking that you, our faithful prayer partners, gather your friends & family & commit to pray for the Songhai every day during this 30 day period. We've composed a prayer guide with specific things for you to pray about for each of those 30 days. We are also asking that at the end of Ramadan, on August 18, you & your group will meet together to have a meal using free recipes & resources provided by the IMB (found here & here). During this meal, you will prepare Sub Saharan African dishes & pray as a group for the Songhai on the same day they are breaking their 30 day fast. We are hoping that many groups will join in this project &, on August 18, all of us (including the Songhai team in Niger!) will be meeting to pray in one voice for the Songhai. Will you join us? If you're interested, please contact us & we will gladly send you our prayer guide. (We will not be posting this on the blog as we will not be using pseudonyms for this project & do not want this information on the blog.)

Thank you again for your ceaseless & faithful prayers for the Songhai!!

that ALL may know HIM,

Mark & Parker Phillips <><

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Volunteer Testimony: FBC Marlin (Evangelism)

A year ago, God put it in a group of people's hearts to go & minister to the Songhai people. This trip has helped us grow in our walk with God, taught us ALL of God's children are special & no matter who you are or where you came from, God can use you.

Many things about this trip stand out to me. God is really using the Songhai Team to minister to the Songhai people. They really have a heart for these people. The Songhai people give a new meaning to the word 'hospitality' - they really know what it means. With being the only female on my team & knowing how women are treated, I was worried. But they respected me, too.

We went to three different villages and an awesome church service. Two things really stand out to me: (1) at village "ND," we had a Bible study with them; we prayed for them & they prayed for us, despite the language barrier. (2) At Namarou, one of our team members was teaching the children under a tree & it reminded me of Jesus and the children. It was wonderful to be in fellowship with our brothers & sisters in Christ, to love on them, encourage them & for them to encourage us.

This trip has taught me that no matter who you are, God gave you a voice & we need to use it to grow His Kingdom. We need to be prepared at all times and be ready to to tell all about the God that loves us all. I thank God for this opportunity and my team members. We are all going back to Marlin, Texas changed.

-- Kenda W

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekly PRAISE Focus: Tagabati

Instead of a "prayer" focus this week, we are PRAISING Him!!

All of you have been praying with us for months & months on end for one believer to emerge in the village of Tagabati. Last week, we learned that there is not just one believer but FIVE!!!!!!! Did you hear that? FIVE men have found salvation in Christ alone. FIVE men in a village where darkness has held its grip on it for centuries have stepped into the Light & found freedom.

One believer from village "ND" has been faithful to cross the river on a boat & share with men in Tagabati. He began doing this in February when he was crossing the river to join in on the discipleship lessons Living Hope was doing in Boubon that week. He met some men on his trips & started sharing with them. He continued to make the trek across the river in the following weeks & months to meet with these men & share his faith. He was faithful to share & God was faithful to call & now there are FIVE men who are followers of Christ in Tagabati!

So, thank you dear prayer partners for being so faithful to pray for this village. Praise Him this week as He has heard your prayers & answered!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weekly Prayer Focus: FBC Marlin team

Please be in prayer for a team of 3 from Marlin, TX. They will be spending 9 days on the field doing evangelism along the Namarou Road & discipleship with our believers in village "ND."

Pray for the village of Namarou that has no Gospel witness. Pray that the team would be bold in sharing the C2C story & that His sheep would hear His voice. Pray that many would be called to salvation & trust in Christ as their Lord.

Pray for village "ND" that has a strong group of believers that are meeting weekly to begin a "church." Pray that the team would be able to minister to & encourage these believers in their walk. Pray that the believers would be bold in their testimony as they walk side by side with the team in sharing the Gospel with those that have yet to believe.

Pray for the village "SH." There are no believers in this village but there has been interest expressed by some that are seeking. Pray that those who hear the Truth & believe it would be bold enough to step forward & trust Christ as their Savior. Pray that they would "confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord."

Pray for the team & their health. Pray that that they would take every opportunity to share the Gospel & pray for & with the Songhai people.