January 2003

As I write this we are nearing the end of the year of 2002. There have been so many times that you have lifted us up and made a difference in the lives of many and in our ministry here. We want to take this time to say a very special thank you for your dedication for lifting up the Zerma work.

Next year I am sure there will be many changes: We will be joined by two young women in January, Faith Scarbrough and Charity Hawk. They will be in Niger for 2 years, we will have at least 4 volunteer teams, the Bolls will go to the U.S. and the Cains and Ledlows will be returning to Niger. Rick will be with us for at least 10 more months. There have been several types of discipleship classes and trainings and hopefully the Zerma will have a call to share the Lord with their own people. It's gonna be busy! and lots of changes. but we know that one thing never changes, and that is why we celebrate Christmas. Thank you Lord for sending your precious Son. - It's because of Christ that we are here and that you are praying for the Zerma. We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas Love to all...

Wednesday 1 January - As we all begin this New Year with hope and anticipation, pray that the Zerma Muslims, who have few hopes and no assurance of salvation, would come to know Him who fulfills our hopes and grants eternal life through Christ. Pray for Pastor Moussa and Kadie in the loss of their son, Issaka due to Malaria. He died 3 December.

Thursday 2 January
- Please pray for Faith and Charity's family that the Lord will give them a faith that will bring them to a complete trust in the Almighty God and put all their fears at ease.

Friday 3 January - Pray for Faith and Charity as they prepare to leave their families, pack suitcases, say good-bye for two years. With all the excitement surrounding Faith and Charity's arrival in Niger, we remain aware that the need for laborers is great. Pray that God would continue to send His servants among the Zerma until all have had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel.

Saturday 4 January - Please pray for the Christians in Gutumbou - that they would continue to study God's word and seek to share with others. Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to their Muslim friends, family and neighbors that Jesus is real.

Sunday 5 January - Pray that the Zerma team would have a love for each other and a love for the Zerma people and a burning desire to share this with others. Also please pray for the President and the other government leaders in Niger. Pray that they would govern with wisdom and discernment and that there would continue to be a climate of religious freedom in this country. Pray most of all that they would come to know Christ personally.

Monday 6 January - Faith Scarbrough and Charity Hawk, the newest members of our team, will be arriving in Niamey January 5th. Pray for them as they confront a culture vastly different that what they've known in the U.S. Pray for grace, patience, and perseverance as they make many adjustments in their lifestyle and experience separation from family and friends. Pray for them as they begin language study, that the vocabulary and phrases, the grammar and idioms, would come quickly.

Tuesday 7 January - Pray for Rick as he continues the Storying Class on compound. Praise the Lord that the men that take the class are willing to help translate and help others to understand.

Wednesday 8 January - Please pray for Harouna and the church he wants to start - Fonda Yeena. He has been trying for over 2 years. Pray for wisdom and that it is not just Harouna that wants the church to begin but that we would do what the Lord wants and in the Lord's timing.

Thursday 9 January
- Pray for the Literacy Class that is being taught in Rick's yard. As one of the men shared with us about learning to read: "Now I can read and study about Jesus and understand. Now I can read it to others and maybe they will know."

Friday 10 January - Pray for the Christians in Tilwa, as Alhassan is teaching Literacy class to basically the whole village. It was so exciting to see and hear them in class. They all sat around in darkness after 9pm with 3 lanterns- after a hard day of work. The next day most come to the chalkboard to write their lessons from the previous night. Their desire for knowledge overwhelmed us. Pray for more Zarma/Christian literature.

Saturday 11 January
- Pray for the Radio broadcast on Yilwa 95.1 in Simiri that will be broadcast on Sunday 9am. Pray that the people that hear will want to know more about the True Lord and Savior. Also, remember that there are lots of audio cassettes with gospel messages on them floating around Zerma villages. They are being listened to and passed around. Pray that as God's word goes forth in this manner it would penetrate the hearts of unbelievers and draw them to the Savior.

Sunday 12 January - Pray for Moussa and Ramatou in Kaoura - the only 2 Christians in the village, yet they get together and study the Bible and try to show God's love for them and for others.

Monday 13 January - Pray for Don and Rick as they continue Discipleship classes in various villages. Pray for wisdom and communication skills. Pray that the men that are studying the classes would have a real desire to draw closer to the Lord and share this knowledge and love to others.

Tuesday 14 January
- Pray for Mrs. Royce who is drawing many pictures for the Bible story and health books. Pray that we would be able to use these books to the utmost for the glory of the Lord.

Wednesday 15 January - Salamatou is now teaching the kids Bible stories in Ouallam. Pray for Salamatou as she shares with the kids, pray that the kids would continue to come to the classes and continue to learn about the Lord and how much He loves them. Pray that all Zerma believers would speak God's word with courage and conviction. Pray that they would not be just hearers of the Word, but doers as well.

Thursday 16 January - Pray for the Storying classes that Teresa has with various women in various villages. This is garden season and the women are very busy. Please pray that the women would have the time to come to the classes.

Friday 17 January - Please pray for Balaraba in the village of Dokimana as he teaches the children literacy classes as well as Bible Stories and pastors the church in Dokimana and Say.

Saturday 18 January
- Pray for Charity as we visit villages and she will be deciding in which village she will live and minister.

Sunday 19 January - Please pray for the Cain's as they speak at churches and share with them about the Zerma.

Monday 20 January - Please pray as we choose a village for Faith - a place where God would have her to witness and minister for the next two years.

Tuesday 21 January - Please pray for the public schools and for the children that attend them. Expectations, standards and discipline for the children are different than we are accustomed. A difficult event compels a request for an unspoken prayer for little Amina.

Wednesday 22 January - Pray for Moussa as he continues translating the "Way of Righteousness" that could be used for various ministries: Storying, radio broadcast, various classes of literacy, Bible etc. Pray for wisdom.

Thursday 23 January - Today is the market in Mang'ize. Pray for the many that will be traveling to market and for the Christians there that they would give a positive testimony to others around them. Pray that all the Zerma believers would have a vision for seeing churches started in villages across West Africa; that they would have a passion for reaching the lost with the Gospel.

Friday 24 January - Pray that we would have the Vision that the Lord would want us to have, the love of the people and to know how best to share that love with those around us.

Saturday 25 January - Please pray for the small church in Ouallam as it continues to have problems. Pray that they would look to the Lord for their needs, that they would have a desire to share the Love of Jesus with others around them and that they would love and forgive each other.

Sunday 26 January - Pray that our faith will increase and that we will not be overwhelmed with the HUGE task the Lord has called us to do, but rather understand His work in it all and His desire to be glorified. Pray that as God used the apostles to encourage, exhort, and train new Christians in the first century, A.D., so too He would raise up leaders among the Zerma in the twenty-first century who will serve as examples and role models of what it means to follow Christ in Niger.

Monday 27 January - Volunteers from Wildwood Baptist Church, Clinton, Mississippi will be arriving in Ouallam around 10 February, but will probably still have some last minute things to do. Pray to arrange their schedules so they will be able to come and be effective in the work (Prayer walking, moving the Community Center and construction work)

Tuesday 28 January - Pray for wisdom as Faith will be choosing a village in which she will be living and ministering for the next two years. Also please pray for the physical needs of the Zerma. Pray that they would have adequate nutrition, clothing, and shelter. Pray for those who are experiencing illness and pain, that they would find healing and relief.

Wednesday 29 January - Pray for the Zerma people that the Lord in all His Sovereignty is preparing their hearts to receive the gospel and the scales will be removed from their eyes, so they may see the mystery of Christ. Pray for the imams (Muslim priests) living in villages across Niger. Pray that even as they say their daily prayers and go through the rituals of Islam, God would reveal Himself to them in such a way that they would be convinced of their lostness and turn to Him in humility and repentance. Pray that God would do a mighty work in the hearts of these men of influence. Pray that as they find salvation through Christ, they would lead their followers to know Him as well.

Thursday 30 January - A volunteer team from MO. is coming to Niger. Pray that they will be able to get all the paperwork done and get the necessary supplies for their work in the Ouallam area 28 Feb - 11 March. Friday January 31 - Please pray for the two Christians in Kwadabio Kwaara. Pray that they will be able to remain faithful with so many Muslim temptations around them and their family. Pray for the children, all of whom suffer from various illnesses.

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