Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour….
See then that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:1-2, 15-16
“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa…. I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk of ‘sacrifice’ when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us.” (David Livingstone, speech at Cambridge University, December 4, 1857) We’d have to echo Mr. Livingstone’s thoughts! Being even just a tiny part of what God is doing in West Africa and having the privilege of loving Him and loving others through His ministry in Niger hardly seems like a sacrifice. Saying goodbye to friends and family is always sad, but each hug is full of His hope for the future and the knowledge that this is how God has called our family to “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us… to redeem the time…” Thus, although we are under-supported (We are at about 79%, leaving us $1,500/month short of our total support need), we are eagerly anticipating and preparing for our return to Niamey this summer.
There are, however, a few remaining hurdles as we approach our desired late July departure date.
1. We need an additional $5-6000 to purchase our airline tickets. We hope to make those reservations by the end of the month of May, and are hoping to leave by the end of July. This will give us about 2 weeks before Brendan and Rebekah start school. If you would like to contribute to our passage fund, please mark the gift designated to our “Passage” subaccount.
2. There are several steps we need to take to secure the permission of both our sending church and our mission board to return to the field with less than the recommended amount of support, including a detailed plan and budget. If you are one of those persons to whom the Lord has been speaking about possibly supporting this work, please let us know as soon as possible to help with that budgetary process.
3. The 4-bedroom apartment we had hoped to rent upon our return to Niamey is no longer available for long-term leasing. Please pray that God opens up the doors for both immediate short-term housing as we return and also affordable long-term housing, which will have to be procured after our arrival.
We’ve recently been asking ourselves the question, “What are we doing right now that requires faith?” remembering that biblical faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Another way to think about this type of trust: Are we confiding our lives to “…Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through?” (Francis Chan, Crazy Love, p. 124)
God’s Word promises us that "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river…” (Jeremiah 17:7-8) This verse reminds us of a tree we’d occasionally drive past as we headed out to the plateau west of town for picnics and campfires. Can you see the Niger River behind and below in the background? We’ve driven past this tree several times a year now for the past 10 years and it is obvious that its roots spread far and deep, and that those roots have access to water, absolutely critical for life and growth when your home is the desert. During dry season, it looks like a skeleton; but each June, after the first few early rains, the tree is covered with buds and the promise of new life in those developing leaves. God’s creation preaches a powerful message to us each time we look at this photo or see that tree.
God has also used watching Rebekah, “fly,” this year as a cheerleader to repeatedly illustrate that sometimes when He asks us to trust Him, He is encouraging us to trust Him to work in the hearts of others - His people - as He uses them to both throw and catch us. How would God have you participate in this step of faith with us?
All because of Jesus,
Brendan, Rebekah Joy, Nadia, Anna, Victoria, Jonathan, Elsie Mae and Mary Michelle Wright