Our weeks are still full of learning, I am beginning to suspect that I just can’t guess when life will feel normal.
Last week I said I would tell you about an exciting new ministry opportunity. Ministry opportunity is such church speak – so I am going to say this is “an exciting new way to love others!”
SIM Niger has done a ton of work over many decades translating the Bible into 6 different local languages. All of these translations have been recorded orally. And, they can fit on a tiny memory card that fits into cell phones here – and no matter what language you speak, unless you are completely destitute, you have a phone. So, one of the missionaries has handed out over 1,000 SD cards in the last 6 months. She gave one to a security guard she sees every day. He took it home to his village of 100+ people. The village elders have played it on a speaker each evening for the villagers to hear. They all now have questions and want someone to come and explain to them about this Jesus. The guard went to the woman and asked her if she would come. She is a short term missionary – read as “she speaks no zarma.”
To continue this story, I will tell you there is a long term missionary couple here who worked with nomadic people for many years. They are now in our large city, and have been praying about how to spread a message of hope and love to people in this setting. They know about the SD cards, but the cards seem an impersonal tool. This couple speaks zarma. And, they know this short term missionary.
So, a few weeks ago, this couple drove out to the village for their first visit. It gets dark here after 7 pm. They arrived in the village, pulling up with their headlights beaming at a crowd of everyone in the village waiting patiently for them, wanting to hear more about this Jesus of the New Testament. What an exciting time!
Please pray that a message of love would forever permeate this village. Yes, there is poverty, illiteracy, disease, hunger. But, the message of the gospel; that there is a God who loves you, who has gifted you, who cares what happens to you, is being heard. And, when people follow Christ, and learn to treat others as they want to be treated, that honoring God means helping your neighbor, that you are loved so you are of value and have something to give – faith, hope and love have found their way to this village through an SD card! God is good and He does amazing things!
If you would like to be involved in the SD card ministry, shoot me an email. I’ll send you the details!
This week I am thankful for Ken’s dad, Charles Faulkner, who could fix about anything. He seems to have passed this trait to Ken, and God knew we would need it. In the last week of August, we continued to have amazing storms in the night. I would wake up the next morning to a swamp-like campus. This has caused us some issues with our well water. Really, the big issue one afternoon was discovering we had no water. The well isn’t someone’s assigned job, and you can’t just call a “well guy.” So, Ken walked out to the well area and began to examine the system. After some study, he figured out what part he needed, knew what it was called (??), and called two other men who work as missionaries off-campus. One of them had one of these parts on hand and could bring it over. Both men came over, and voila! we had water within a few hours! The well is not the responsibility of either of these two men. And, just like in church life, they saw the need, stopped what they were doing, and worked on the problem. The director called that evening to see if she needed to cancel school for the next day, and we could happily say, “We have water!” I am thanking God for water, which, in the past, I have always taken for granted.
Last night, we new people came together to listen to a talk from an experienced missionary on what to do when confronted by beggars. You can’t leave your house without facing this issue. He said there are people who harden their heart and give nothing (they have their reasons, like not teaching someone to beg for a living) – to the opposite, which is people who give to everyone and go broke doing it, but are fine with that. He has landed in the middle of these two camps. What resounds with me, is that he has decided to take the time to have a conversation with each person he gives to. So, before giving, he responds to their request for food by asking them how they are and listening to them. How many times a week does someone ask a beggar how he is doing? I’m guessing not many. I am going to try it! May my French not let me down! I’ll keep you posted.
In a nutshell new items:
It’s very humbling when someone sees your pantry, and you have purchased enough food for a family of 5 for a week, and they live day to day. Their facial expression speaks volumes.
When your daughter’s friend asks her if she’d like to see the worm moving around inside her friend’s foot – and goes on to explain she names each new worm after the next letter in the alphabet so she can keep count of how many she has had – Sabrina’s expression, priceless.
When your husband jumps and yells (!) and you see that a 3 foot long lizard has come to visit. I stayed in the house.
I drove on Friday! My first time since we left Colorado! Taxis, donkeys, pedestrians, camels, motorcycles, and mud – wishing I had eyes in the back of my head.