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Showing posts from July, 2016

Installation of a Pastor

The year was 1992 when we first moved to the town we called home for the next 16 years.  We were there to do church planting among the Songhai people.  A year or so into our time there, missionaries in the capital city told us about some young men who were from a village near where we lived who had come to Niamey and who had become believers.  They asked if there was any way we could follow up on them.
We did hesitate a bit and prayed about it because our focus was the Songhai people and these men were Gourma.  But when God opens a door of opportunity, even if it isn't a door you were knocking on, you need to walk through it.  It almost sounds silly now, because the goal is to win those who are living and dying without having heard the good news of Jesus Christ, no matter what their ethnic group!  And it turned out, they spoke Songhai amongst themselves as much as Gourmantchema, so it never involved us learning yet another language.

So every week until the time we left, John headed …

Books Read in June

I read only two books in June and both of them were novels!    This has been a busy summer for me so I haven't had the mental energy to read more than novels.

So, the first book I read was called Quentins by Maeve Binchey.  Maeve Binchey is an excellent story-teller and she's a prolific author, but I don't read her books that often.  Of the ones I've read, this probably wasn't my favorite.  The basic story line was good, but even that was kind of sad since it was based on an affair the main protagonist was having.  Thankfully Ms. Binchey didn't have steamy sex scenes. The thing that really kind of annoyed me about the book, though, was that there were stories within the story and that kind of annoyed me because it was hard to make the mental switch, reminding myself, "OK, now, different characters, we're not in the main story any more."


The second was called The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison, which I liked a lot more.  I have both good an…

Visiting the TIMO team

On July 1st, we got to visit the TIMO team.  We are partnering with AIM to use their program known as TIMO, which stands for Training in Ministry Outreach. It is a program in which a team lives as closely as possible to the group they are trying to reach.  If the target group lives in huts, the TIMO team will probably not live in huts, but will have a style of house that is not unusual in the area and they will live very simply. If the target group lives in a city, the team members will live in housing similar to what their target group lives in (apartments, small houses, etc.) and will probably have appliances (or not if their target group doesn't).  The TIMO teams have focused mainly on rural areas, but are moving into city and more settled areas as well.  In brief, the team lives as closely to the people as possible, follows a missions study curriculum, and immediately gets to practice what they're learning.  It's missions training on location.

I'm serving as the TIM…

Bible School Graduation

"If you want to grow something fast, plant millet. If you want to grow something strong, plant a tree. If you want to grow something that lasts forever, train a person." That's a rough translation from the French of a quotation cited by the Archbishop of Niamey who was invited to say a few words at the Bible school graduation. Paul told Timothy something similar: "You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others."   (II Timothy 2:2).


This year three men who are now trained to pass on biblical truths to others graduated. We attended the ceremony a few Sundays ago. John has taught at the school for several years, so we wanted to be there to encourage the students and staff even though he hadn't taught this past year.


One of the professors of the school gave a speech and mentioned how the early missionaries were effective at shar…

May Book List

I've been writing book reviews kind of randomly, but I like Suzanne's (at The Glorious Mundane) idea of reviewing all the books read in month at the end of the month.  So for this blog we're going all the way back to May, in which I finished four books.

The first is called The Unseen Face of Islam written by Bill Musk.  This is a book I would highly recommend for anybody living in an Is[am]c country or who has Mus[]m neighbors.  In the first half of the book Mr. Musk gives a case study, telling a story that illustrates world view that might be other than what you think you would see in that religion.  In the second half of the book he goes into greater detail about what is often referred to as "folk Is[am".  For example, here in Niger, during the fast month, little boys paint themselves white, glue cotton balls on themselves, or put paper on themselves.  They call themselves "tobey" (bunny rabbits) and go around during the fast month asking for money.  I…