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Category Archives: Niger

Niger: June ’08

The Lord started teaching me things before we even started on our journey. Before doing fundraising, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on my stewardship of money and that I did an OK job trusting the Lord to provide for me. However, it didn’t take long for me to start worrying about whether I would be able to raise money. I guess the idea that God is my provider was in my head but not my heart. Despite me, God did provide abundantly the financial resources that I needed for this trip. In addition, I was humbled by both who supported me and the amounts that certain people gave. It was obvious that certain people gave with a joyful heart. The made me realize that I often give out of duty and obligation rather than in joy.

Written by Hugh Medal

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger

 

Niger: June ’08

Today we visited a number of schools in Niamey. We started by visiting Sahel Academy, a Christian boarding school. Although most of the students at Sahel Academy are the children of missionaries, this quality education has prompted families with non-Christian backgrounds to send their children there. Praise God that a tenth grade girl accepted Christ into her life this past year. Also pray that God will provide for Sahel’s need for more faculty and staff people.Next we visited Esprit, a seminary specializing in training servants of God to do ministry among Muslims in the Sahel (region below the Sahara Desert). Please pray that God would provide for Esprit’s financial needs and that he would provide them with a professor knowledgeable in Islam, a big need to them.

This afternoon we worked on making new desks for one of the public schools in Niamey. It was a blessing to meet a need for them. In the evening we had our Games Night at the Foyer Evangelique Universitaire (FEU). This Games Night might be the highlight of our trip thus far.

The FEU serves as a student union at the University of Niger in Niamey, providing a computer lab (paid for by Lightbearers!), a library and study space, resources which are scarce in Niamey. Also the FEU is run by SIM so they seek to build relationships with the students and share the Good News of JESUS with them. It is really cool to see that the FEU ministers to a lot of the Muslims.

During our Game Night we were blessed by being able to get to know quite a few students and exchange contact information with them. Please pray for the follow-up with these contacts. Also, please pray that God would bless the FEU’s ministry.

Early tomorrow morning we plan on visiting the sand dunes outside of Niamey.

Written By Hugh Medal

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger

 

Niger: June ’08

Last night we visited Cornerstone, a Christian School in Niger. Cornerstone was started by two Nigerien Christians who have a vision to provide Nigeriens with quality education from a Christian world view. This is significant because quality education is lacking in Niger and teaching is often done from a shame-based world view. What I mean by a shame-based world view is that teachers teach in such a way that students will not become smarter then them (which would bring them shame).Cornerstone is a private school that teaches the State curriculum from a Christian world view. Because of this, the Nigerien government is delaying their acceptance as a state-certified school. Please pray that Cornerstone would receive favor from the government. Please also pray that they would get the funding and equipment that they need and that their students would perform well on the State exams demonstrating the quality of the Cornerstone education.

Although we planned to travel to Milo today, the Lord had other plans. We ended up breaking down about halfway and had to be towed back to Niamey. Praise God that although it was very hot, we made it back without any problems. One good thing about breaking down was that shortly after we stopped, a herd of giraffes passed by. The giraffes were beautiful and formidable animals.

Another good thing about our car breakdown is that we experienced African hospitality. Within 15 minutes of our breakdown there was a crowd of people around us that had emerged from the bush. They were willing to help but not insisting… they mostly wanted to talk and hang out.

We were disappointed that we were unable to reach Milo, especially since the whole town was expecting us. Milo is a town of 8 – 10 thousand people and is 98% Christian. Unfortunately, with the last rainstorm Milo received only enough rain to wash away the fertilizer in their fields. Unless God does something, the people in Milo will experience famine. Please pray that God will work mightily to save the Milo people from famine. Please also pray that God would comfort them despite the fact that we were unable to see them.

Tomorrow we will be working on making some new desks for the public school. We will also be putting on a games night at the University Students Centre. Please pray that God will work in the hearts of the students who attend.

Health has been largely good.

Written By Hugh Medal

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger

 

Niger: June ’08

We’re back! On Thursday morning we visited some sand dunes outside Niamey. Our breakfast was interrupted by a sandstorm, which was a neat experience. We spend the rest of the day packing and at the market. The market serves as the super Walmart of Niamey, where you can by food, fabric, and clothing.

In the evening, the girls and guys put on separate events for the female and male missionaries, respectively. The girls spent the night giving the missionary women foot facials while the guys played volleyball and basketball in the hot Niamey evening. Both events were well received.

Before bed, our Nigerian friend that we met during our travel to Niamey came and visited us. She looked beautiful in her traditional African dress and was excited to see us. We exchanged contact information with her and hope to connect with her in the States. As I mentioned before, her and about 5 other Nigerian families are living in Louisiana. Please pray that our friendship with her would blossom and that we would be able to connect with her in the US.

We arrived into Fayetteville around midnight on Saturday morning. Our return travel went well. The highlight of our return trip was that we met a Muslim lady who was traveling to the States to meet her new husband. She was anxious because her husband had just become a Christian and she wasn’t sure if she would be able to become a Christian and stay in the US or if she would have to move back to Morocco. To make things more difficult, since she was moving to the US she had about 8 bags with her and was worried that she wouldn’t be able to carry all of her bags to her connecting gate in time. We were able to help her move her bags and she was very grateful. Please pray that she would see the hope in Christ in her husband and as a result would place her faith in Christ.

Overall, the trip had an impact on all of us. Since we cannot fit all of our experiences into one blog entry, we encourage you to seek out someone from our team and get them to tell you all about it. We leave you with a challenge: please continue to pray for Niger. It is a broken country that desperately needs Christ and his ability to transform culture. God is doing amazing things there in the midst of fundamentalist Islamic opposition, especially in the area of Christian education. You can keep up with SIM-Niger at http://sim.org/index.php/country/NE.

Written By Hugh Medal

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger

 

Niger: June ’08

It feels a little strange, but we leave for Niger tomorrow. Our flight leaves from NWA regional airport at 9:15am tomorrow. We will be traveling to Niamey (Niger) via Chicago, New York City, and Casablanca (Morocco). There is a level of excitement among the group and a continued increase in unity. Praise God that Jason received his visa yesterday! We have been blessed so far to have had little to no setbacks.Last night we met and packed bags with supplies to take to Niger. We will be taking school and medical supplies. We will also bring some items to a missionary couple currently in Niger.

During the time until we reach Niger, we would appreciate prayers for safe travel, prayers that we would make it Niger with minimal distractions and difficulties, and that Sarah, who is slightly ill will be feeling better by the time we depart.

We would also like prayers that the Lord would focus our hearts more and more for the task at hand, that we would be ready and eager for what he has for us. In addition, we would appreciate prayers that we would be open to being shaped by this experience. Finally, we would appreciate prayers that we would be aware of “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding” in the midst of our individual anxieties.

Written By April

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger

 

Niger: June ’08

Yesterday, Sunday, we split up and visited different churches in Niamey for their services. The atmosphere was quite different… One of the churches met in a straw hut, and in another people reclined together on rugs. Over all, the sincere worship was encouraging… it was exciting to get a picture what worship will be like around the throne in heaven. In the evening we attended a service for all of the missionaries in Niamey – it was exciting to see that they have a lot of unity amongst themselves.

Today was filled with activities. We visited two orphanages, one Baptist school, and one public school. We all got mobbed by kids everywhere we went. One of the neatest things we observed was that the Baptist school had 549 children and only 9 of them are Christians. Praise God that He is working in the schools – in fact, the principal of the public school is also a Christian, however, Muslim government officials are starting to put pressure on the Christian schools and orphanages even though 4 out of the top 5 schools in Niger are Christian.

Please pray that God would grant favor to Christian school leaders and teachers. Tomorrow we will spend the day visiting the village of Milo – about 4 hours away, depending on the roads, of course.

 Written By Hugh Medal

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger

 

Niger: June ’08

The main activities of the day were meeting missionaries in Niger and learning more about the country. We began the day by having brunch at the home of a SIM missionary family. After eating, they explained SIM-Niger’s vision and their six initiatives. They have a heart for educational reform in Niger, giving children an education with a Christian worldview. In addition, they have plans to start a hospital specializing in fistula, a severe medical condition resulting from mothers giving birth too young and without proper medical attention. One of the most unfortunate things about fistula is that once a woman gets it, she is shunned from her tribe and left to fend for herself. Our team prayed for each of the six initiatives. Please join us in continuing to pray for that the church in Niger would become vibrant and mature in Christ. It was an encouraging meeting for all of us.In the afternoon, we visited the museum/zoo in Niamey. We experienced haggling with locals for their hand-crafted items. We concluded the day with dinner with another SIM missionary couple at a local restaurant. During dinner there was an intense thunder storm, a rarity in Niger. The rain was a blessing for the Nigerien people because they hadn’t received any since September!

Tomorrow we will be visiting churches and Jason will be leaving for a Nigerien village to serve at a hospital there. In the morning the men will visit the Fulani church and the women will visit a church started by SIM-Niger missionaries. It is a blessing to attend church with the Fulani people because both Brenda and I did our Perspectives project on the Fulani people of Niger. In the evening we will attend an English service attended by all of the local missionaries.

During the day we drove through Niamey a number of times. The city has a population of about 600,000 and has the feel of a third-world city. One thing that stuck out to me was the warmth we received from the people on the street when we waved at them. One of the SIM missionaries commented that while children in the US grow up thinking “I can do anything”, children in Niger grow up thinking “I can’t do anything” because of poverty and lack of food. Please pray that God would open their eyes to the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

The temperature has been high as expected and we have been drinking a lot of water. Please pray for our health and strength and that God will give us endurance for our trip to a Nigerien village on Tuesday, as it will be a difficult day. We would also appreciate your prayers for focus and seeking out the opportunities that God gives us. Finally, please pray for Jason Foster and his service at the hospital. Jason has a long bus ride ahead of him.

Thank you all for joining with us in our efforts to build God’s kingdom in Niger.

Written By Hugh

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2008 in End of the Earth, Niger