Thursday, September 20, 2012

30 Day Prayer Meal

At the end of Ramadan & the 30 Days of Prayer project, the Songhai team gathered together to pray for the Songhai & feast on some meals prepared from these recipes. We had a great time of fellowship & celebrating all that God did through the 30 Days of Prayer project!

Some of our prayer partners in the States also gathered for their celebration meal that weekend. You can find their pictures below, too! 

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project. We know that some of y'all did this on an individual basis & could not gather for a "celebration meal." But we are so thankful for your commitment to pray for this Songhai, especially during the 30 days of Ramadan. We were amazed at how perfectly prayer requests lined up with events that were happening among the Songhai. Your prayers were powerful & effective!

First Baptist Church Franklin, KY
(that display you see in the background is available to any Southern Baptist church for use from the IMB)

They had plenty of souvenirs to display from their recent trip here

They went above & beyond the "recipe cards" & even made traditional tea!

They also kicked it up a notch & ate with their hands!

Thank you FBC for praying for us & the Songhai!

September 2012 newsletter

Dear Prayer Partners,

Thank you so much for another month of prayer support. We know that we could not do this without you! Thank you again to all of you who participated in the 30 Day project last month. We enjoyed hearing your stories & seeing your pictures of your final celebration meal! And thank you to ALL of you who prayed so fiercely for the flooding crisis. God is continuing to answer your prayers through receding waters & aid being given to some of those in need. Still, there is devastation that remains & many are without homes. Please continue to pray for this situation.

In addition to the requests listed in the newsletter, we'd also ask that you pray for our team this month. It seems that the Enemy is trying to find our weak areas & attack us & the ministry we do among the Songhai. Please pray for protection of our minds, peace in the midst of any circumstance & a complete reliance on the One who has called us here. We have been so blessed to see so much fruit in the ministry among the Songhai over the last 2 years & so many seeds sown. We know the Enemy is trying to choke out some of those seeds (like in the parable of the seed sower) with "weeds" & it can become quite heart breaking to see believers turn away from the faith or just remain stagnant in their faith. Pray for those believers & us as we continue to minister here.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

News from Gomer: September 2012

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers, your love and support. We are doing well here and we pray you are well also. As I come to you today we have many prayer requests. 

Here in Accra it has been unseasonably cool these past few weeks, so many of the guys have colds. We had a good rainy season here also, but that brings the mosquitoes, which bring malaria. So far we have not seen much malaria and we pray we don't see any. One young man came this morning to get some anti-itch cream and he showed me his back, he has about 40 or 50 mosquito bites from falling asleep with his shirt off. Based on averages he is a prime candidate for malaria, please join me in prayer that God will keep him malaria free, he goes by the name Bill. We are seeing an upswing in skin rashes due to the cool air, they don't get to air their clothing out as much when it is cold and so they get a lot of bacterial and fungal infections. Pray for health.

Pray for our little schools. The onion market school has outgrown the room we were using and so we decided to build another. It has been a fun and challenging experience to go through. I helped the guys with the material and they have done the work to build it. One Bissa man named Victor has volunteered a lot of time to come and be the Superintendent for the building. Pray that this new school with more space will be used to glorify Christ, that God will dwell within the walls and that any who attend will feel the truth tugging their heart. Pray that by learning to read and write it will spur people to read the "Irikoy Tira Hanno", the Bible.

Pray for our little school in Nima. We are having a few issues we are working through to be able to provide the best education we can to the Songhai in that area. Pray that God will give us all wisdom to make improvements as we need to, to best help the students.

Pray for our next Songhai team from New Orleans First Baptist as they prepare to come and do a 5-day English language workshop for the students in both Nima and in the Onion market school. We have been talking to the guys about this and they are getting excited to be apart of it. Timing can be a rough issue here though with all the work schedules and activities of daily life. Please pray that we can get the timing right so we can assist the greatest number in the most needy areas and that through this opportunity we will affect many in the name of the Lord. Pray that these days will be filled by the Holy Spirit and that God will use this time to talk to many hearts and that many will come to know the truth of Jesus. Pray that God will work through Joe, Yvette and their team while they plan, prepare and come to share with us. We look forward to them coming. 

Pray for the Songhai families in Niger. Where we have had a cool comfortable time here, the rains have come to Niger and after years of drought, after being caught in the grip of famine, now the problem is flooding. Many areas have experienced flooding that has washed away farms and crops, washed away homes and grain storage buildings compounding the problems. I have not been able to talk to Wyatt, but some of the guys told me yesterday that his father's house collapsed from the rains. A few of the guys have told me of flooding in the family homes and farms. The Niger government is saying little more than 40 people have died due to the rains and flooding and that more than 100,000 homes have been damaged and/or destroyed. As a result we are seeing many more young guys starting to show up in Accra. Usually they don't return from farming season till late October and into November, but they are already coming this year. One trend we are seeing is younger guys showing up in the market area. We are seeing kids as young as 10 and 11 years old showing up. The families can't care for them and the food is in short supply so they send them here with an uncle or brother to try to get work in the markets so they can fend for themselves and also maybe send a little money home to help the family. Pray with us as we try to see what action we can take to help them. We want to make a positive impact on them and also share the Love of God with the whole Songhai community during these hard and trying times. 

Please pray with us as we are working to get into our "hu teji", new house. The work is taking some time and I am kind of bouncing around right now, but it is God's design and all has been good. We are looking forward to getting settled in and starting to minister out of the new place. Many of the guys know the area and are excited that we are able to be close so they can come eat a little food and drink some Nescafe and Lipton tea. Please pray that as we get moved in we can truly minister the Gospel and also start a good discipleship class for the ones coming to accept Jesus as Savior. Pray that we can use the whole facility to show the Love of Jesus. The house and land is owned by the Church of the Nazarene and we are praying that we will come to be good friends and that we can help them in many ways also. The property is home to their Guesthouse and conference center. They are a small group and have had a hard time using and maintaining the property. Right now they only use the center about three weeks out of the year and have about three teams come during the year. We want to pray about the ways we can help them with this property. It is a good place, well located and could be used in many ways to impact many people for the Lord. Pray God will give us wisdom and resource to do His will in this. I will send an update and some pictures of the house soon also. 

 Please continue to pray for Mitch and his family. Barbara and the children are all doing well, a slight bout of the cold for all but they are getting better. Their son has been going around with Mitch and me a lot lately and that has been a lot of fun. Their daughter is growing and getting stronger. She likes to smile and so we call her "smiling baby". Their eldest child is doing well and looking forward to school starting on Monday. She has been top student in her class two years running now. Barbara is laughing a lot, her and Mitch have been laughing together and are growing closer each day. Continue to pray that God will provide a wall of protection around them as satan hates to see family harmony and will do anything he can to destroy a good and growing relationship. Pray that Barbara and the whole family will continue to grow in Christ's love and understanding. Pray for Mitch to continue to grow in his desire to share Jesus and to be a bright reflection of the Light of the world. Pray for Mitch's aunt, she is not feeling well and the family is very concerned for her right now. She is in Kumasi so it is hard for Mitch to go be with her and the family. Pray for God's will to be done. 

Pray for health for the people here during this time. 

Pray for our little schools, that God will use them in great ways to reach-out to the Songhai here. 

Pray for the next team from New Orleans First Baptist as they prepare and come.

Pray for the families in Niger as they endure hardship upon hardship. 

Pray for us as we seek ways to help the families in Niger and also the people who are here affected by the hardships in Niger. 

Pray for our new house that we will use it for the work God has ordained for us to do through it. Pray that we will minister in many ways from the new location and that we will be good friends with the people of the Church there. 

Pray for Mitch and his family that they continue to grow in Christ and that they will all have good health. 

Please continue to pray for me that I will always and only seek to do the will of God who sent me here. Pray that in all things I bring glory and honor to Him. 

   Thank you and God bless you all.
   In Christ,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weekly Prayer Focus: Flood Victims

It's been a while since we've been able to do a WEEKLY prayer focus. After our 30 days of Prayer during Ramadan, I had planned to kick off the weekly prayer requests again but then the flood came & we focused (& are continuing to do so) our efforts & our minds there. Thank you to everyone who has prayed. The Lord is continuing to hear your prayers!

Biba's family has returned to their home as the waters have finally receded enough to pass on the roads. The river is continuing to recede. Two weeks ago, there were places where all you could see were the tops of the trees & now you can actually seek the trunks of those same trees. It really is unbelievable to see how much it's gone down!

But there is still much work to be done & much prayer needed. Some of you who've visited us in the last year have been to a certain village & camped out at a certain man's house for a day or 2 of discipleship. His house was not even right on the edge of the river but because the river crested over the levee that was in place, the waters came all the way to his house & it fell under the pressure of the rising waters. His "house" is now a mat, a mosquito net & the very small amount of personal possessions he owned.

Please pray for our believers who have lost everything. Pray that God would provide for every one of their needs. Pray that they could cling to Him as they seek to rebuild their lives. Pray that they would be a light to their village as they put their hope & trust in Him. Pray that God would draw many to Himself as a result of their testimonies.