July 2004

Thursday, July 1 -- We requested prayer for Zongo who has been blind for about a year.
Finally in May she was able to have the operation and have plenty of recovery time. Pray that she will be able to do the work she wants and needs to do and that she will "see" the work of the Lord through what she has been through this past year.

Friday, July 2 -- "You have done all the evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart." (1Sam. 12:20). Pray for the Zerma people that although they are wicked and evil (as we all are), they will still receive the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ, turn from their ways, and serve the Lord with all their heart.

Saturday, July 3 -- Please hang with us on prayer for the Pepper project. It still has great potential to help increase an average income of less than $300 a year as well as open new doors of ministry.

Sunday, July 4 -- (July 4th) Happy Independence Day! As you celebrate the freedoms enjoyed in America, remember those who are not so fortunate. We are grateful that Niger is a country that has religious freedom; pray that the Zerma would exercise that freedom and not be afraid what of what others think.

Monday, July 5 -- The demands of ministry and daily living can often be spiritually draining. Pray that each of us would be committed to walking with the Lord on a daily basis, spending time in the Word and in prayer. Pray that God would fill us with His Holy Spirit enabling us to do more than we can think, ask or even desire. Ephesians 3:20

Tuesday, July 6 -- From the Ledlows.."let us fill you in on our lives a little since our return to the field: It began last May as we exited the plane on the hot dry ground of Niger. Not sure of what our expectations were, just that we were "home". We hit the pavement...OK, DIRT... running! We began the process of completing the construction of our new home which was finished last December. We moved in, and are now settled...and now the house is showing settling signs as well. Anywhere a seam is, there "seems" to be a crack! (Just the way the building is done here)

Wednesday, July 7 -- "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and over flowing with thankfulness." (Col. 2:6) Pray for the existing Christians in the villages. Out of 2.8 million Zerma people, only 180 are recorded to be Christians. It is VERY difficult to remain strong in the faith without much teaching or encouragement from other believers. Pray that the Holy Spirit would teach them and give them perseverance, that they may continue on in the faith. Pray also that they would be zealous in sharing their faith with others so that the number of believers may increase, to the glory of God.

Thursday, July 8 -- Please pray for rain. Niamey has been "blessed" with several rains since April (early!) But Ouallam and Torodi have not received enough rain to plant as of June. Please pray that the rains come and the people will be able to plant, cultivate and harvest. Pray also for the gospel seeds that are being planted, that the words they have heard would grow to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Friday, July 9 -- Mark Ledlow is involved in his office work and all the construction projects we have going on. He reports, "Our mission property is a nine acre parcel, which slopes at a drop of about 80 feet from top to bottom. You now realize the extent of which drainage is a major problem during our rain season." And Deanna continues, "Mark truly is in his element here with his construction background. We certainly don't question God as to our calling here. In addition to all the construction projects, Mark also runs the office for all the missionaries. You all need to know how excited we are that the Niger field is growing. We now have three new families that will be working here in Niger, which means Mark has three houses to construct or get ready. Full plate, but doing well."

Saturday, July 10 -- "This is my command: Love one another." Faith has just finished with a conference that opened her eyes to just how much Satan attacks the saints by causing dissension among the brothers/sisters. Pray that they will be FILLED with the love of the Lord, for not only the lost, but more so for one another. He said, "As I have loved you, you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples." (Jn 13:34,35). May we begin to truly love one another, showing the world the love of the Father and Son. May we be united one in Spirit, as we are One Body.

Sunday, July 11 -- Pray for a Muslim friend, as he reads the Bible and compares it with the Quran. Pray that God would open the eyes of his heart and lead him to conviction and understanding of the truth of scripture and the claims of Christianity. Pray for his salvation and that of his family.

Monday, July 12 -- Through the mobile center ministry the Bolls have been able to minister in 3 villages and about 300 people have heard the gospel during the span of about 2 months. Pray for these people. It is amazing to see how God is answering prayers - the way He is molding and changing the presentations. Thank you for the prayers.

Tuesday, July 13
-- We are giving thanks and praise that God has led a new family to join our
team. Pray for Ben and Cindy Sustar, and their children Rachel, Christin, and Karis as they prepare to join us in August. Pray for their health and well-being and for the difficult process of packing bags and saying goodbye to family and friends. Ben and Cindy will be serving as church planters in Niamey.

Wednesday, July 14 -- BIRTHDAYS...Jeremy Ledlow just turned 18 on June 10th and Stephanie turned 16 in May. Jeremy will be a senior next year and Stephanie will be a Junior. They could both use your prayers. Both are struggling with friendships, or lack of, and just the fact that Niger has nothing to offer teens. Both have had moments of wanting to leave and go to school in the states. Please make this a matter of top prayer priority. Missionary kids don't have of variety of friends to choose from, so they get put with kids that they normally would not be chummy with in normal circumstances. This is hard to explain, but put yourself in a position of maybe your place of employment...if those were the only people you could choose from for friends, would you choose them?

Thursday, July 15
-- Deanna Ledlow has been busy with running the guesthouse and the household. She says have an never-ending revolving door with groups of teens. But, "We love it though! Soon, OH TOO SOON, they will be out of the house and we will be EMPTY NESTERS! OK, I'm teary eyed!"

Friday, July 16 -- The Ledlows will be traveling beginning on June 18th for a Spiritual Retreat and ending with a few weeks of Vacation. They will be traveling by car on June 18, June 23 & 24 and then again on July 16 & 17. They could use prayer on those specific dates due to bad roads, banditry and other West African specialties. They are going to So. Africa to have an MRI done, for a chronic knee problem Jeremy has been suffering with for several months. It should be a nice break for all of them. Deanna says, "We hear they have normal malls, which Steph and I will enjoy and they even have movie theatres!"

Saturday, July 17 -- As the mobile center changes villages every month or so, so does the manner of presentation. Please pray for the village of Guesse, this village already had 50 young girls that have not been able to attend school, (there is only one school in the village and they need more) so the chief of the village is making sure that the young girls are learning how to read, write and some technical skills. The Bolls were able to join them the day they were making insecticide (to sell) and will be helping them to learn how to make soap. This will also evolve into the "classes"; health, hygiene and Bible! Please pray for the changes, as well as the "changes" that hopefully will take place in the lives of these young ladies.

Sunday, July 18 -- HEALTH...Deanna Ledlow writes, "For some reason I feel that this term has been full of sickness because of my lack of interaction with all of our prayer warriors. We have all struggled with one thing or another. Currently, Mark and I are trying to identify some bug we both have had for about two weeks. I have also had some pain in my back that just won't let up. I am having non-stop nausea and just getting discouraged. Stephanie was sick for a few months straight with this-or-that. Jeremy for the most part it healthy as a horse, of course he eats as much as one, so he should be a strong as one. Just kidding! As most of you know, having teenagers in the house requires lot's of food. They are like vacuums"

Monday, July 19 -- We are well into the main growing season, (June, July, Aug.) when most food is grown to last until the next year. Pray for the farmers as they are now cultivating their fields, hoping for adequate rain and a good harvest. Pray that they would strength and endurance to get them through the long, hot, days and that God would provide for their physical needs as last year's crops are beginning to run out.

Tuesday, July 20 -- And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly." (Luke 18:6-8. referring to the persistent widow/judge) Last month, I asked you to pray for the young girl, Hawa, in relation to her abusive husband and family. As of now, her father has been raising the money to pay back the bride price and they have stopped beating her. Also, her husband has ceased to demand her back. So she has been living safely in her village and simply waiting for all the money to be raised. I have not seen her since the day they came and took her away, but I have heard news that she is well and happy. Praise God for His mercy on her life! Although He has heard our prayers and answered them greatly, please continue to pray for the situation until it is completely reconciled, giving God no rest until we get justice.

Wednesday, July 21 -- The Bolls would like to share the news of their newest granddaughter - Sydney Annabelle Noeleni Bolls, daughter of their son, Matthew and wife Christie. Thank you so much for your prayers. Mom, Dad and Baby are all doing great! She was born 17 May following a C-section.

Thursday, July 22 -- "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded towards your brothers and towards the poor and needy in your land." Deut. 15:11 Pray for the Zerma people, who are struggling to grow enough food at this time of year to be able to put some away for the non-growing season. It is a problem every year, and many people end up going hungry for a portion of the year.

Friday, July 23 -- Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father." (Col. 1:9-12) Many of you have followed Faith's journey since day one, and some even before that. She writes, "I thank each of you for your faithfulness to pray for me, and it has made all the difference. I have 6 more months until I am finished with my job here in Africa. Please continue to lift me up, that I might be faithful to my Savior and continue on in the work that He has given me. Pray that I will be found worthy of His calling, and that I might continue to grow in the knowledge of Him who is my treasure. Thank you all so much for your prayers."

Saturday, July 24 -- Again, from the Ledlows: Matter of prayer..."We are just going through a bit of discouragement. That is why you don't hear from us more often. Our ministry here is so different than that of others who interact daily with the local people. Our jobs are different because they are jobs of facilitation and we work mostly with missionaries. Even though we know our jobs free up others to spread the gospel, we still find it hard." This has been a struggle for Mark and Deanna this past year. She continues, "After our move, I lost my neighbor, Ayssa. I still see her, I just don't see her everyday. We always want to write but feel our newsletter is not one of "Missionary newsy-news". We still need prayer though!!"

Sunday, July 25 -- From the Ledlows: Please pray for our whole family in the various things mentioned above and I know God will heal our bodies and our hearts. Thank you all for your continued prayer support and financial support through the Cooperative program and Lottie Moon.

Monday, July 26 -- Just as one seed planted in the ground can yield a stalk of millet with hundreds more seeds, pray that the seeds of the gospel planted in the lives of the Zerma would multiply itself a hundredfold. Pray for churches that would reproduce, and believers who have a passion and vision for reaching the lost.

Tuesday, July 27 -- Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory." Many people want to put "missionaries" on a pedestal, thinking that they must be mighty, strong warriors for the kingdom. This is a MYTH!!! We are weakest of all people. We struggle some days just to walk out the door, and some just to get out of bed (not because we are sleepy- we just hate the world!!! :) ) But whatever are struggles are, however weak we are, one thing is true: God is faithful; God is strong; God is good, and He gives us the grace to keep on. All glory goes to Him. He is our life, our strength, our joy, and our SALVATION!!! Glory to him forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, July 28 -- Christians in Niger are under constant attack. They are hard to keep focused and they need discipleship desperately. Many of the newer Christians are strong now but watch the old ones and are very confused. Please pray for strength and direction of the Holy Spirit

Thursday, July 29 -- Please pray for the village of Bugar - possibly one of the next villages that the mobile center will minister. Pray that their hearts would become prepared to hear the news of Jesus and would respond positively - accepting Christ in their lives. This village will be different as there is one Christian there and some Seekers.

Friday, July 30 -- Pray for the new members of the Zerma team, Ben and Cindy Sustar. They have three young children and will be on the field next month.

Saturday, July 31
-- We firmly believe that God is working in the hearts of Zerma across Niger.
Pray that God would continue to draw Zerma men, women, and children draw to himself and that he would lead believers to those who are responsive.

" I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you: I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." Psalm 9:1-2

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