Reflecting back on my first Mission Trip to Africa all I can say is How Great is Our God. It was very humbling to serve along side The Phillips, The Saleeby's, my fellow FBC Hurst brothers, and the believers along the Mehana Road. Satan tried many things to keep us from accomplishing Gods work during the week, but he failed (two tire issues).
The goal was to dig and build two latrines during the week along with spreading and showing Gods love to people we met. With much sweat and hard work by everyone the goals were met. The highlights were to see people accept Christ as their Savior, the latrines built to benefit the village of Tessa, Believers who spoke different languages working side by side serving God, seeing Believers in the different villages giving up things from their past to truly follow God and hearing their testimonies.
I'm thankful God pushed me out of my comfort zone to go serve Him in Africa. The seeds have been planted by many and the fruit is showing. Pray for the Songhai Team as they continue their ministries with the Songhai.
You may remember from last year that we held a special Christmas celebration with our Songhai brothers & sisters in Christ. Well, we are doing it again this year (minus the sheep slaughter, though). We are excited to invite the many believers (& their families!) that have been added this year as well as our growing group of national partners.
First, pray for our believers as they celebrate this holiday at home & with us. It's a holiday that many are familiar with but not many know the true meaning. They know it as a "Western" holiday that's on the calendar but they do not know why it's celebrated. For our believers that have grown up in Islam, holidays are not unfamiliar but they are only accustomed to the ones they've celebrated their whole lives. Celebrating Christ's birth should be an exciting time for them, but many wonder, "How do I do it? What are the "rules"?" Pray for us as we teach them about Christmas & for them as they learn how to celebrate the incredible, miraculous birth of our Savior.
For our celebration as a body of believers, pray that each believer that's invited would be able to attend. Pray there would be joy & fellowship among all involved & it would not only be a time of learning but also one of community, encouragement & growth in faith (for all involved).
Praise God that He has already provided the means to make something like this happen (from transportation to meal costs) by gifts from you. And praise the Lord that, because of your faithful prayers, He has provided so many Songhai people to celebrate with us this year by calling them out of darkness into Light.
Jody & Sarah will be hosting summer interns for the Songhai team this year. If you are interested, please read the following "ad" from them ....
Sure, it’s only December, but we are already looking ahead
to next summer. This past summer we had 5 college students who came and served
as missionaries to the Songhai people. And it was such a great experience all
around that we want to do it again!
They were a great encouragement to us and they were able to
plant and water many gospel seeds. They also grew in their faith and learned
more about how God may be calling them to be involved in missions in the
We are looking for college age students or young adults who
have a passion and desire to share the gospel with those who have never heard.
You will come and serve from May 13 - June 24, 2014 (6 weeks). You will be
partnered up with another summer missionary and work together to meet people
and share the gospel with many people.
This will not be an easy 6 weeks. You will be in an
unfamiliar culture, you won’t be able to communicate very well, you’ll
experience HEAT as you never have before, and you will see great poverty and
lostness. And above all those things you will be on the front lines of a great
spiritual battle. The Songhai people are in darkness and they have been for a
long time. More people are needed to come and share the LIGHT with them. Only
Jesus can bring change to these people and give them hope and salvation. Would
you join us in this great task?
If you want to know more, please contact Jody & Sarah (or leave a comment on this blog) and they’d love to
share more about this opportunity with you!
This month we want to share about a ministry that is run by
the Songhai team. It is called NLTS, which stands for Niamey Leadership
Training School. Basically, it is an oral Bible school. Every few months, a
group of believers are invited to come for 3 days for a concentrated time of
Bible teaching and training. They are also able to fellowship with believers
from other villages, which is especially beneficial for those who are the ONLY
believer in their village.
Different topics are taught each session. The next course
will take place this week (Dec. 2-4) and Jody will be teaching the synoptic
gospels. Pray for Jody as he opens up God’s Word to these men. We expect 15-20
men to participate.
The school has existed for only 1 1/2 years, so in a way it
is still a work in progress and adjustments are being made to make it better
and more effective with each session.
One major challenge is difference in learning styles.
Nigeriens do not learn in the same way as Americans. They are oral learners and
most of the men we work with have not learned to read or write. So, when
teaching we have to keep that in mind. They can’t open up the Bible and follow
along and they can’t take notes of the teachings to refer to in the future.
Everything taught has to be taught in a way that makes sense to them and also
in a way that can be remembered so that they can teach others.
Pray for NLTS and our team as we seek to teach and train
Songhai believers to grow in their faith and to take that message to other
the Lord for giving us health and protection this past month.
for the ‘motorcycle man’ who has recently confessed Christ. Pray that he will
have the time and desire to be discipled.
for the many gospel seeds which have been planted in Boubon. Pray that we may
continue to water them and that God would give growth.
for Jody as he teaches at NLTS Dec. 2-4.
that we will have many summer missionaries come and serve alongside of us.
the Lord for keeping us safe and healthy last month! We are also grateful we
were able to have a ‘staycation’ in Niamey and go swimming a lot and also we
were able to participate in field day again.
OUR LITTLE GIRLS
• C - pray that my bad dreams will go away
• J - pray that I will learn to read better so that I can
get my new Bible
• L - pray for my boo-boo on my knee and pray that I can
learn more Zarma
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For those of you who are not involved with a Southern Baptist Church, you may not know what the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is all about. You can go here to read up on it but, basically, this offering is what enables us (& almost 5000 other missionaries) to be on the field doing what God has called us to do & sharing the love of Christ with some of the most unreached peoples on the planet. For us, it's living in Niger & ministering to the Songhai.
Every year, Southern Baptist Churches give to this offering & we are so thankful for their gifts!! This year, we are PLEADING with you to give above & beyond. There are hundreds of people just like us who would love to go to the nations & fulfill God's calling on their lives but simply can't because there aren't enough funds to send them. And without funds, the IMB can't send people nor can provide us, who are already on the field, with the resources to most effectively do our job.
Please pray for the offering this year. Pray for Southern Baptist Churches to give above & beyond. Pray for there to be enough funds to not only provide for the missionaries already on the field but also for the hundreds who are waiting to be sent.
Thank you for giving.
If you'd like to give now, you can do so by going here.