Jody and Sarah Fox - this phase of our Journey as IMB missionaries in Niger, West Africa

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Volunteer Testimony - Emily Dawson

God is sovereign despite our circumstances. God knows what He’s doing even when we don’t. God calls His sheep to himself.

That was the theme of this summer for me. Going into this summer, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew I was going to Niger for 5 weeks – and I knew it was going to be hot – and I knew I was going to share the Gospel with people who needed to hear it.

What I didn’t expect – some of the people we talked to had never even heard of the name Jesus before. I also didn’t expect the circumstances to be so hard. Sleeping on a mat in 90 degree weather or eating rice every day for almost every meal isn’t so bad for a week or two – but for 5 weeks – it gets hard. This was my first experience being on the overseas field for more than 2 weeks… and even before I went on this internship – I have had the intention of being a career missionary.

The thing that I learned over everything would be that this is God’s battle. Whether people stand or fall – accept the Gospel or reject it – is not my battle. My place is simply to obey what the Word tells us – and it tells us to go and make disciples. I learned to be more content in who I am, in Christ… and who God is. God is so big and mighty and unfathomable.  According to the psalmist, He can make the earth melt with his very voice… and He is worthy of all glory and honor and power. Words cannot describe just how much God is worthy of. Who are we to complain of our circumstances when the Son of God suffered so greatly and paid the ultimate price? God didn’t have to do that… but He did. What a marvelous mystery!

I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to serve among the Songhai people. I’ve been home for 3 weeks now – and I miss everything so badly – even the things I thought I wouldn’t miss.
I want to encourage everyone who reads this to continue to pray for the Fox family – that their faith would remain strong. I’d also like to encourage y’all to take the time out to share the Gospel with a co-worker, friend, or family member who isn’t a believer. Everyone needs the Gospel just as much as we do. Where would you be right now if someone hadn’t told you about the Gospel? Think about it.
Thank y’all for all your support and prayer!

Emily Dawson

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Volunteer Testimony...Bethany Baptist Church

For two years, our church has partnered with the ministry of Jody and Sarah Fox in Boubon through the labor of prayer.  We have been given the great privilege of praying that the gospel would be received among the Songhai, praying for new Songhai believers by name, and praying that churches would form in the villages along the Tillaberi Road.  In July 2013, God graciously gave us the opportunity to extend that partnership by sending a college student, Emily Dawson, to serve as a summer missionary intern for five weeks with Jody and Sarah.  We also sent three of us men in the church to Niger to work there for one week during the month of July.

Our time among the Songhai was focused on speaking the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as we could in four different villages.  We were given opportunities to speak to people of all ages, from the children to the village elders.  What a privilege to speak truth to a people enslaved to the darkness and lies of animism and Islam!  Our prayer of faith, then and now, is that our Lord’s sheep will hear His voice and follow him.

We were also given opportunities to teach new believers in some of the villages.  It was a joy to sit with our Songhai brothers and study God’s Word together and encourage one another in the faith.  We saw abundant evidence, in the lives of the believers there, of the power and love of God to sustain and grow His children through persecution and loss.  We sat with men who, I believe, grasp more fully than we what it means to ask the Father for our daily bread – and what it means to trust in the reality that those who are persecuted and reviled for Jesus’ sake possess the kingdom of heaven.  We were blessed indeed to meet these dear brothers.

Our fellowship with the Fox family and with Cephas and Odette, who bore witness with us and translated for us, was wonderful.  We are thankful for the ministry God has given them, and we have been given a far greater passion to pray fervently for them because of our time at their side.  (We were also present for Jordan’s 6th birthday bash, and much fun was had by all, especially the birthday girl and her two sisters!)

We are thankful for this extension of our partnership with the Fox family to reach the Songhai.  And we pray that we have many opportunities in the future to return and serve at their side, that the Songhai people might come to know our crucified, risen and reigning Redeemer.  As we boarded the plane to depart Niamey, our sentiment was not “Goodbye” but “To, kala tonton” (Well, see you later)!
Joseph Hedden, David Johnson, Ken Vickery – Bethany Baptist, Louisville, KY

David, Jody, Joseph, and Cephas walking across the "sand pit"

Joseph, S., Ken, and David

David teaching some children in Boubon
David, Emily, Joseph, and Ken presenting Proclaimers
they brought (audio New Testament) to I. and M.