21 January 2011

Our January 2011 Prayer Letter

January 17, 2011
"…that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience…” (Col 1.9-11)

Four year olds are incredible! Their capacity to grasp spiritual truth surpasses that of many studied theology students – and they still have the innocence to share their new-found understanding is plain, simple, and straightforward language. Elsie Mae, our present resident four year old is awakening to all things spiritual, loves hearing Bible stories, talking and asking questions about Jesus and delights in praying, stopping many times throughout each morning to ask if she can talk to Jesus. One of her prayers earlier this week touched our hearts:

 “ Jesus, you came and died to save us from all the bad guys. Bad guys are people that sin and do bad things. Me sin sometimes, so that makes me a bad guy sometimes…
...Jesus, you help save me from me? ”

God really spoke… continues to speak… through the prayer of our sweet little girl. We really do need the Lord to help save us from ourselves, for often that is the harder enemy to battle. When we fight that which attacks from the outside, the enemy is clear. But when the enemy strikes from within, there is no victory success some loss or even self injury. When we war against our own flesh, sinful nature, and worldly desires, we want that part to lose… mostly, but it is often a choice and it usually involves some discomfort and/or pain. Most importantly, it is not a battle we can fight alone – just as Elsie Mae expressed, we need Jesus to lead us through, strengthen us in those battles as we learn to die to self so that we can follow Him, walking worthily, pleasing Him in all respects.

Beginning the foundation for the new office - right next to the studio!
It seems like so much has happened since our last letter just a few weeks ago. We’ve sold our office property and begun more construction on the studio property – Lord willing, this summer we will have a new office adjacent to the studio and two homes – one for us and one for our regional coordinator. 

And in the photo below, workers are beginning to level the ground for the foundation of our house! It is exciting to watch the work progress and we make daily trips by the property to see what is going on!

We also finally found a buyer for our last property holding in another city; Tim has been very busy finalizing details from these two sales.

We were privileged to participate in the spiritual life conference of a sister mission organization and thoroughly enjoyed the encouragement and challenge from God’s Word as well as the opportunity to meet and fellowship with other missionaries who live and work throughout our adopted homeland. We particularly enjoyed hearing this testimony, also posted on both our web site and our blog.

The kids and Richelle have all started back to school – it is hard to believe the school year is already half done. So, evenings are once again filled with homework and earlier bed times, much to their chagrin and disappointment.

We are looking forward to several upcoming visits:
·         The end of February begins our annual Tri-M and IBBS Spring modules. They will be taking place in the big recording studio because the new office won’t yet be ready for use. That means Tim and Richelle have some work to do over the next few weeks to make sure the studio is ready.
·         We also have a couple coming out from our home church, Calvary Baptist of Midland, to help with the audio wiring of the studio addition… and we’ll be getting ready for a grand opening celebration!
·         Super exciting to us… Tim’s dad, Grandpa Gene, is making plans to travel out the end of February with this couple. WE CAN’T WAIT! The kids are already praying for safety when he travels and that all the details work out for him to really be able to come hang out with our family for awhile.
·         We’ve been contacted by a pastor from another supporting church – he and his wife hope to come see the work here sometime in 2011.
·         We are hoping and praying to get a team out from our church to help teach an acting workshop to voice actors who help and minister through the studio and who are also wanting to transition from improvisational acting to scripted acting for video. These folks really have a vision for using audio visual tools to minister through evangelism and discipleship.
·         Our niece has begun the application process to spend the 2011-2012 school year here, ministering with us at Sahel Academy, in our church and Lord-willing, at a local orphanage.

Also upcoming – Tim is scheduled to begin the post dubbing work on an evangelistic film, and translators are already a little behind schedule. Please pray that this project moves forward. God continues to grow a hunger for His Word in the ladies’ Bible study group – the group is praying about several ideas: meeting as a Sunday School class, doing Zarma literacy, and discipling one of the ladies to begin preparing and teaching her own Bible studies. We are thankful that our colleague, Sarah Beckley, has begun teaching this great group of women, also one Saturday each month! Additionally, Richelle has much paperwork to complete for her work at Sahel Academy. We appreciate your prayers for 1) protection from distraction and 2) diligence in each of these areas.

We also want to thank all of you who have contacted us - emails, Facebook, blog comments, letters and cards… or who have called to express your sympathy and prayers for our family as we both grieve and celebrate the home going of Tim’s mother, Betty Wright. We sincerely appreciate your love, concern and many words of encouragement. It is so hard to be so far away when our hearts long to be with our family – but we can certainly attest to God’s faithfulness and strengthening, particularly as expressed through the love and care of His followers.

One final note: many of you may have seen news reports (search Niger on BBC, Reuters) the past few weeks detailing and discussing dramatic events here in our city.  We continue to feel safe, but we do appreciate your prayers for wisdom, discernment and safety during this time of heightened tensions and some uncertainty.

All because of Jesus,
Tim, Richelle,
Brendan, Rebekah Joy, Nadia, Anna, Victoria, Jonathan, Elsie Mae and Mary Michelle Wright

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