“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”
~ Psalm 63:1 ~
“I shall rise from the dead…
I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines.
I shall be united to the Ancient of Days to God Himself,
who had no morning, never began….
who had no morning, never began….
No man ever saw God and lived.
And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen Him, I shall never die.”
~ John Donne ~
There is so much we could share in this letter… seems like a lot of “wonderful” has happened… and in that wonderful we see God’s grace and His hand so unmistakably, making us long for His Presence all the more. To be honest, there are times when this life is such a wonderful gift it is easy to wish it could go on forever. Remembering that this life is, however, only a foretaste of all that the Almighty has for our forever future, helps keep our eyes and thoughts continually heaven-bound.
One of the wonderful parts of this past month has been receiving visitors. First, Pastor David Warren, from our home church (Calvary Baptist, Midland, Michigan) spent a week with us, teaching an acting seminar that has greatly challenged and encouraged a local Christian acting group to consider the impact their ministry will have as they focus not only on material but on technique and presentation. The acting seminar followed a script writing seminar that Richelle was privileged to teach. While Pastor David was here, we also welcomed Richelle’s sister Julie and her daughter Leandra. Leandra will be spending the next 11 months with us in Niger and it has been a joy to share our ministry and home with them the past few weeks.
We also want to share a “finally!” wonderful: “Thru the Bible” is finally on the air in Niger. The possibility of airing this classic radio program (30 minutes a day, five days a week of systematic Bible teaching), was first presented to us back in 2002. We encountered problem after problem… difficulty after difficulty… yet by God’s grace Tim persisted and continued to look at opportunities and other avenues to broadcast this series. Last Friday completed the second full week of radio programs. After a long spiritual battle characterized by so many technological difficulties, it is a fabulous feeling to tune into the radio station every weekday evenings and hear solid Bible teaching floating out over the airwaves.
Radio ministry in a mostly illiterate country is an interesting paradox: We know intuitively... studies show... research "proves..." that radio is the most effective and efficient way to communicate crucial, life impacting messages to majority illiterate people groups, particularly when they are scattered over a large geographical area. And those words describe Niger to a tee.
The irony in this paradox is that the very illiteracy emphasizing the importance of radio often prevents us from receiving feedback from listeners, letting us know that programs, songs, or truths communicated through the programs we produce are touching lives, have been fruitful and result in God's name glorified.
Just this week, however, we received an awesome bit of encouragement...
Folks working in another W. African country (and not one just next door) contacted us via our web page, Wrights Broadcasting Truth to Niger. They explained that they had a Zarma man working for them and he was a recent believer, therefore could we send them a Zarma Bible, Zarma "gospel" music with parables and stories ("Trust" and "Choose" are the names of the two we sent) on cassette, and some literacy materials so they could teach him to read and truly begin discipling him. We gladly collected materials... then they had to be hand carried back to the States where they were mailed back to a W. African postal box and this family then came in from their place of work to pick them up there.
This past week, we received the following letter:
Dear Tim & Richelle,
Thank you for mailing the Bible and other Zarma items. We have received them.
I've started teaching him the letters and sounds, and he is excited that he will soon be able to read and write. He wants to read the whole Bible for himself.... I was surprised that he was singing along with some of the songs [on the cassette tapes]. He later explained to me that he had heard some of the stories while he was growing up. His father would turn on the radio in the AM to listen to news, then leave it on all day. He and his brothers would change the radio channels, looking for music. He had heard some of the stories told in parables (like the tiger wanting to be as powerful as the lion). He had also memorized some of the songs.
At that time he was a Moslem in a Moslem family. Only one of his brothers is... [a] believer at this time. His father would often leave the radio on and then leave for the day. The children would... change the channel to look for music and ended up hearing Christian programs and learning the songs.
Thanks for all your help!
Isn't God amazing? The father in this family turned on the radio hoping to hear the news... and his children ended up hearing the best and most important "news" of all, and for at least two of his children, it has changed their eternity.
Please pray with us as we learn to choose to continually trust our God's faithfulness in cultivating the seeds that He allows us to sow, whether in person or via broadcast mediums and audio-visual tools... whether or not we hear of results this side of eternity… and that we keep our eyes fixed towards that goal.
All because of Jesus,
Brendan, Rebekah Joy, Nadia, Anna, Victoria, Jonathan, Elsie Mae and Mary Michelle Wright