March 2001

I want to thank all of you for your prayers for the Zerma Team, we have needed them, and have felt the presence of the power of the Holy Spirit working for our Almighty God and Savior.  As I write this we are still getting ready for the Medical team that will are leaving the United States even as I am writing this.  They don't know it, but as of yesterday (Saturday) we learned that the Ouallam doctors do not have the necessary paperwork.  Don has been working on the paperwork for several weeks and almost daily for the weeks of Jan. 28-Feb. 8 almost daily.  As you receive this I hope you will pray that all works out.  There are some that do not want the doctor to do implants after the cataract surgery.  The doctor that works here in Ouallam is on our side in this case.  Without the implant, the patients will not be able to see unless they wear very thick (and expensive) glasses.  To my knowledge, Dr. Braswell will not be bringing these thick, strong glasses with him.  Please pray for us as we continue to try to get all this worked out.  Pray for communication, for wisdom, and for patience as we continue to work with the government in this area.

We are very thankful to Brian Taylor and Tom Ferguson for coming to Niger to help train our local Christians and to help them to learn how to write their own religious songs.  They were able to go out several days and do the necessary research (whether certain instruments could be used to praise God, if certain types of singing would be good to praise the Lord, etc.).  After the research, they did 3 separate workshops in Tilwa (Ouallam area), Say and Kwaara Taji.  The finished product was a cassette with all the workshops combined.  We hope to have this available to the local Christians soon.  I watched a non-Christian listen to the cassette, and she listened very intently.  She was going around selling cooked chickens, it was getting darker, but she asked if she could stay and listen to the music.  It was so good.  At all three locations the participants were  enthusiastic and really enjoyed composing Christian songs using traditional music.   There are several Psalms, one with the 10 commandments, one about Jesus telling us that if 2 or more are gathered together, he will be with us.  Hopefully one day we will be able to put it on our web site for you to hear.

We have been very busy doing the music workshops, getting ready for the medical team, and working in the office and guesthouse.  Soon the change of property will be taking place.  Please pray for Mark and Deanna as they organize and orchestrate the move.

Sometime about 26 Feb. Phil will be taking Kimberly, Caroline and Caleb to Ouagadougou.  There Caroline will be participating in FES (for students that are home schooled).  Pray for Phil as he travels back to Niger alone.  Pray for Kimberly as they will be in Ouagadougou for 3 weeks with out a vehicle and with 2 children.

18 - 22 Feb. - Mark and Deanna will be attending a Marriage Enrichment Workshop in Abidjan.  Pray for this time for them.  They have been under much stress with the various demands on their time, with Mark having to travel so much and with the new demands with the guesthouse/office situation.  Pray for a good workshop for all the participants.

There has been much sickness this past month.  January/February is cold, windy and very dusty.  Pray for the various illnesses for both the nationals as well as the Zerma team and families.  Stephanie has had the flu, Jeremy has had a high fever as well as an ear infection, Caroline has been ill with stomach as well as ear infection, Kimberly has been sick, Don, Teresa and Phil have had bad cold/cough/respiratory problems.  Deanna had Salmonella, as did Sandy that stayed with them the month of January.  Most of us are well now, thank you for your prayers for our health.

27 or 28 Feb. will be the big Muslim holiday.  On this date they will all go say their prayers, have new clothes and those that can afford it, will kill a sheep for their sacrifice.  Pray that they would see that the sacrifice for their sins has been paid with the blood of Jesus. (See March 4 and pray for this today and on the 4th.)

Please pray for the Storying Conference that will be held in March.  We have 6 participants that will be attending.  Pray that they will be motivated to come back and share the Stories, the ideas and the Love of their Lord with the Zerma people.

March Prayer Requests:

Thursday 1 March - Pray for Caroline as she attends FES in Ouagadougou with other home schooled students.   This is one of the only times that these students have classroom teaching with other students.  Pray for their time together.  Friday 2 March - Pray for Don and Teresa as they travel to Kwadabio Kwaara to weigh babies and work with the mothers.  Pray for communication skills as Teresa explains to the mothers and others about health, hygiene, nutrition and safety.  Pray that the mothers will continue to see the importance of coming to the "well baby clinics".

Saturday 3 March - The first week of February Gail Hill and Deanna went to Rachida's house.  Rachida is Ibro's wife, who just attended a conference with her husband and Mark.  (Deanna was unable to attend this conference at that time).  Rachida had invited several other wives over as well.  Gail led in a Bible Study and one of the wives, Maimounna (non-Christian) showed much interest.  During the study Maimounna asked "What began sin anyway?"  Rachida got up, went and got her "storying" book and with Gail speaking in French and Rachida translating to Zarma for Maimounna, they were able to explain how sin began.  This has really spoken to Deanna as she had been praying for a way that she could begin something with the women in that area.  Pray for Deanna as she is hoping to be able to attend the Storying Workshop to be held later this month.  Pray for communication skills, and thank the Lord for the way He showed Deanna that He wanted her to share the Bible Stories to these women.

Sunday 4 March - Pray for Boubacar Abdou.  His mother forced him to either participate in the month long fast or leave their home.  This is a very difficult time for the Christians as 98% of this country is Muslim.

Monday 5 March - We praise the Lord that Mark's mother seems to be recovering and seems to be much better.

Tuesday 6 March - We are in desperate need of volunteers.  Please carefully pray about this.  We need someone to help in the office, someone that can help us to move the office/guesthouse, some that can help with remodeling, some that can come to pray.  Please let us know if you could come.

Wednesday 7 March - Bible Storying has recently been finished in Boleyziedo and another nearby village.  Pray for understanding and acceptance of the Gospel as we attempt to show the Jesus film.

Thursday 8 March - Today is Mark Ledlow's birthday.  Pray for him to have a very special day, a day of encouragement, a day with lots of patience and love shown to him.  Thank the Lord for Mark and for all he does with the many different areas of ministry he is involved with.

Friday 9 March - Please pray for Brian Taylor and Tom Ferguson as they do a church music composition workshop where there may be some civil unrest.

Saturday 10 March -Pray for Yacouba Saley, an apprentice in a garage.  His boss has demanded that he either quit going to the church or lose his job.

Sunday 11 March -  Pray for Yahaya Maiguizo, one of the members of the church at Kwaara Taji.  He is in the 6eme class, going to a high school (French/Arabic) in Niamey.  He faces much persecution by parents and students both day and night as there is a one hour prayer at the school he is supposed to participate in.

Monday 12 March - Pray for Phil as he travels to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  He will be getting his family to bring them back home.  He will also be attending a team leader conference while there (March 13).

Tuesday 13 March - Pray for the continued follow up on the eye patients.

Wednesday 14 March - Pray for the team members as we plan strategies for 2002.  Pray that we would make effective plans for reaching the Zerma that bring glory to God.

Thursday 15 March - Pray for Moussa Boubacar, the pastor at Kwaara Taji. Pray that God would help him in his work as pastor.  He says the work in that neighborhood is very difficult.

Friday 16 March - Today is Phil Cain's birthday.   Thank the Lord for Phil, for his work in many areas working as a Pastor/teacher, as he helps in the Center, as he tells Bible Stories in many villages, and as he is our Team Leader.  Please pray for wisdom and encouragement.

Saturday 17 March - A proven, locally fabricated hand-operated irrigation pump will be displayed in the village of Guesse.  Pray that it meets the needs in alleviating the "back-breaking" work of hand watering and help raise income with more food for some very impoverished people.

Sunday 18 March - Pray that Zerma Christians would catch a vision for reaching their people with the Good News.  Pray for boldness and confidence for them and that they would be ready always to "give an answer for the hope that is within them."

Monday 19 March -  Through the music workshops we held in Feb, we were able to produce a 60 minute cassette tape of Zerma music using scripture for the lyrics  accompanied by traditional music and instruments.  Pray that this tape would create a hunger in the hearts of those who hear it to know more of Christ.  Pray that the Christians would be motivated to create more songs on their own.

Tuesday 20 March - Pray for Teresa and Tanda as they meet and study the Bible Stories.  These meetings were set back as Tanda's brother, Djibo, passed away.  He left 2 wives and several children.  He was the chief of Tchalla, a small village where we have studied the Bible some.  Just after his death, one of his children, Bilali, fell very sick and was hospitalized.
His mother, Hawa, was not able to come to stay with him as their custom is for the wife to stay in their house and mourn for 40 days.  Please pray for Tanda, Hawa, and MeHaw her co-wife, as well as their children and the village that now has no chief.  Pray for the village as they seek another chief.

 Wednesday 21 March - The "Niger Pepper Project" has been slowly taking form over the last few months.  It is a commercial venture between a Christian businessman and local farmers.  Hoped to be gained is an excellent platform in sharing the gospel and more income than the approximate $300. average per year.

Thursday 22 March - Pray for believers who are facing persecution.  Often this takes more subtle forms such as being mocked at or laughed at or local merchants refusing to sell them food.

Friday 23 March - Pray for safety as we travel.

Saturday 24 March - Pray for our relationships with our African brothers and sisters.  Pray that we would develop deep friendships based on mutual trust and encouragement.  Pray that through these relationships we would help our friends develop a deeper walk with Christ.

Sunday 25 March - Pray for Kimberly as she continues to meet with Aissa.  Pray that Aissa's heart and eyes would be opened to receive the truth of God's love through Jesus Christ.

Monday 26 March - Pray for Teresa and Don as they will be traveling to Niamey.  Pray for Teresa as she will be finishing up packing and all that entails to be leaving for the U.S. for one month.  During the next month she will be having her medical check-ups, spoiling that grandson, and hopefully visiting with their families.  Pray that she will have prepared  enough meals for Don!!

Tuesday 27 March - Please pray for Teresa as she travels for apx. 22 hours; Leaving Niger at midnight Monday, arriving in Little Rock at 16h34pm.

Wednesday 28 March - Pray for Caroline to grow in her faith.

Thursday 29 March - An answer to prayer with much work, thought, and many failures in between, seems to be taking place in the person named Djibo.  He is a small businessman that has taken on the job of providing garden seed to a large area of gardeners around Ouallam.  Djibo is a Muslim, very humble and open in attitude.  Pray that he comes to know the real Jesus, continues to provide a much needed access to garden seed in remote areas as well as provide his family with extra income.

Friday 30 March - Pray for the women who received milk and goats in Kwaara Taji.  Pray they would keep coming to church and give their hearts to Christ.

Saturday 31 March - Pray for our church leaders to have a hunger for God's Word, hearts that thirst for righteousness and lives that consistently reflect personal integrity.

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