December 2001

Dear Zerma Prayer Team,

You may notice this is being sent by Jean Coppedge. Jean was a recent member of the Faith Volunteer Team who came to Niger in October for medical work and prayer walking. She has graciously accepted the task of seeing this letter is sent to you in a timely manner. Please continue to relate to her about the prayer letter as you have done to us in the past. You can of course also continue to communicate with anyone on the Zerma Team as you have in the past. We have a Zerma Team e-mail address Zerma@byhisgrace.com. You can write us at B.P. 10038, Niamey, Niger Republic. We welcome any comments and words of encouragement. Don't forget to occasionally check out the Zerma Web site at www.byhisgrace.com/zerma we try to keep it updated with new information.

We wish you indeed a joyous Holiday Season, The Zerma Team - Rick Leavitt, Mark and Deanna Ledlow, Phil and Kimberly Cain, Don and Teresa Bolls

Saturday 1 Dec - Shortly after the volunteer prayer team walked through Ouallam, a group of young men met with Phil and expressed a desire to meet weekly for a discussion/question time. About 12 people, including 2 women are meeting together with Phil on Wednesday afternoons at the church. Pray that they would maintain this commitment and be consistent in their attendance. Pray for their spiritual growth and that God would raise up leaders out of this group.

Sunday 2 Dec - During this month, Muslims around the world will be observing "Ramadan." During this time they will fast during the daylight hours, abstaining from both food and water each day until dark. Pray that as Muslims seek to please God during this time, they would come to understand that only through the grace of God and by faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross can they obtain salvation. Pray the Jesus will be revealed to them in a special way.

Monday 3 Dec - Pray for Caroline as she is with her Mom and Caleb in Burkina Faso for FES (A time when home schooled kids meet and study together).

Tuesday 4 Dec - Pray for Rick as he settles into his new role helping Mark in the office and spending time in daily language study. Pray that he would quickly grasp the basics of Zerma. Pray for guidance and direction as to how he can minister to the Zerma people.

Wednesday 5 Dec - Pray for Teresa as she ministers to 15 kids at Kid's club. They are so excited about learning. Please pray that they will continue with their dedication to learn more about the true Lord and Savior.

Thursday 6 Dec - Pray for Joann as she helps the Zerma team by typing some much needed literature. Pray for her to be able to type the Zarma language and that we will be able to proof-read it before it goes to the printers.

Friday 7 Dec - Pray for all Christians as we enter this holiday season. Pray that we will take every opportunity to minister and witness to those around us.

Saturday 8 Dec - Many prayers have been prayed concerning Ouallam. There was a prayer walk in August, then Phil and Don prayer-walked several weeks prior to the Volunteer prayer team coming to Niger. Then the volunteers came and prayed about 3 days. We have seen a marked difference in the attendance of the people attending church. One Sunday there were 50 kids
and 30 adults. Pray that there will continue to be an interest in Jesus Christ.

Sunday 9 Dec - Pray for the prisoners in Ouallam as they continue to study the Bible. Pray for them to truly understand the freedom there is in Christ.

Monday 10 Dec - Hopefully now that the harvest is finished and many of the folks have returned from their "Ziggy's" (Country homes) that the Bible Studies that were started before planting season will be able to continue. Pray especially for Tanda and Teresa as they study.

Tuesday 11 Dec - Pray for Teresa as she teaches Literacy class. The two students are very excited about learning how to read and write. In each class they also have a Bible Story.

Wednesday 12 Dec - Please continue to pray for our health. This is harmatan season, a time when the sun is literally blocked by the dust in the air. It is cold (well, sometimes below 70 at night - but still 100+ during the day) and many people seem to get sick during this time.

Thursday 13 Dec - Continue to pray that God would open hearts to understanding and acceptance as people listen to Zerma language audio tapes and accompanying picture books of truths from the Bible.

Friday 14 Dec - We feel the need of a career church planting missionary to live and work with the Zerma people in and around the capitol city Niamey. To God's plan, would you pray this person into that job? We've also requested a short-term missionary to work in Niamey, and a student missionary to work next summer in Ouallam. Pray that these requests would be filled as you pray that the Lord of the Harvest would call forth laborers to go into Niger.

Saturday 15 Dec - Pray for Phil, Kimberly, Caleb and Caroline as they travel back to Niger today. Pray for a safe trip.

Sunday 16 Dec
- Pray for our relationship with God, that we would have a close, daily walk with Him. Pray that we would know the power of the Holy Spirit, that we would have victory over sin, and that we would have a hunger for God's Word. Pray that we would make personal prayer time a priority in our daily lives.

Monday 17 Dec - Pray for our relationships with each other on the Zerma team, that we would remain united in purpose and spirit. Pray that we would continue to maintain open and honest communication with each other. Pray that God would give us wisdom as we plan and evaluate our ministries and ways we can reach the Zerma people with the Gospel.

Tuesday 18 Dec
- As we near a celebration of our Savior pray that the power of the Gospel through a tender birth will soften the hearts of all. Especially remember those hearts that have grown old and hardened through many years of not hearing, understanding or refusing to accept the truth.

Wednesday 19 Dec - Don't forget that we are in the middle of the best garden producing time of the year! Pray that the November meeting in Dokimana with Christians and farmers from 4 other villages will produce positive results. The meeting is probably the results of the Pepper project, your prayers and prayer walking.

Thursday 20 Dec - Pray for Mark and Deanna's neighbor Ayssa and her family (not to be confused with Kimberly's neighbor Aissa!). Ayssa has asked to attend church. Deanna began chronological Bible storying with her the first part of November.

Friday 21 Dec - Today is Kimberly's birthday. Pray that she would be blessed in a special way. Continue to pray for her and Aissa as they study together each week. Pray that Aissa would have an open mind and an open heart as she hears about God and his plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Saturday 22 Dec
- Thank God that Rahina is doing fine after the Faith Team volunteer group of medical workers and prayer walkers ministered to her in late October. She had cerebral malaria and Typhoid.

Sunday 23 Dec - Pray for our relationships with the Zerma people. Pray that we would develop close relationships and friendships with our neighbors and others we encounter in the course of our daily lives. Pray that we would have opportunities to share Christ through these relationships.

Monday 24 Dec - Yacouba who was also ministered to by the Faith Team needs to be put back in the clinic for more observation because of severe malnutrition. Pray for Mark and Deanna as they follow up this care with baby Yacouba.

Tuesday 25 Dec - Merry Christmas! Recently we were able to acquire 100 video cassette copies of the "Jesus" film in Zerma to give away to anyone who asks. So far there has been a very positive response and we've given out at least 30 cassettes. It's our hope that this film will reach a much wider audience as it is viewed in homes and courtyards and passed around. Pray that the people who see it would truly understand who Jesus is and why he came. Remember that most of those who see the film will be Muslims, so pray that their pre-conceived ideas about Jesus will be broken down and that they will come to understand and accept Him as Lord and Savior.

Wednesday 26 Dec - Pray for Cimbero Bonjara Church as they relocate to a new neighborhood called Lazeret.

Thursday 27 Dec
- Pray for Teresa's English Class at the local hospital. There has been some vacation as many of the medical personnel have been out in various villages giving vaccinations. Pray also for the kids that get these shots, that they will be immune to the many diseases this country has to offer.

Friday 28 Dec - Pray for Ibro and Rashida as their baby is due to be born. (Remember you have prayed for this baby before, don't stop!)

Saturday 29 Dec - Pray that God would lead us to those with receptive hearts and give us the ability to communicate clearly the Good News of salvation through Jesus

Sunday 30 Dec - Pray for Pastor Moussa and family as they continue to faithfully serve in Kurko Hanno church located in Kwaara Taji near Niamey.

Monday 31 Dec - Happy New Year Celebration! Pray that God would give the Zerma Christians a burden and a vision for reaching the lost. Pray that the existing churches and "preaching points" would multiply as Zerma Christians obey Christ's command to go and make disciples everywhere.


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