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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Compelled by the Gospel

Written by: Sarah

We have certainly enjoyed all of the traveling and visiting with friends, family, and churches these past 2 months.  It has truly been a blessing.  God has given us so many people who support us and bless us in ways that are unexpected.

We love when you ask us questions about our experiences in Niger and we love to share how God has been at work.  But sometimes y’all ask really difficult questions!  For example, “What was the hardest thing about living there?”  That’s a hard question to answer because there were a lot of hard just depended on the day.  Here are some of the hard things about living in Niger - heat, lack of privacy, no church, no English speakers in my village, no ‘easy’ meals to cook, no fast food restaurants, homeschooling, seeing babies die, living amongst poverty yet not being poor myself, seeing my kids and husband struggle, lack of conveniences, power outages, lack of friends, being away from family...etc, etc, etc. 

The past three years were very stressful and very difficult.  But God is good.  He is SO good. And HE has been our joy and HE has been faithful to sustain us.

He has taught me (again and again) that He is my strength.  Spending time daily in prayer and Bible reading is essential.  Many people these past two months have also told me they think I’m brave and they could never do what I do.  Well, that’s certainly true.  Not the part about me being brave, but the part about not being able to do what I do. 

The truth is I CANNOT do it either -it’s only through the strength of Christ.  I have gone back to the story of Martha and Mary many times.  When Martha tells Jesus to tell Mary to help her with the work instead of listening to His teaching, Jesus replies, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)  Listening to God’s teaching is NECESSARY.  That word necessary really stuck out to me one day and I’ve read this story many times to remind myself that it is necessary to be in God’s word.  The Lord is my strength.

Another popular question asked by some of you has been, “Do you want to go back?” The honest answer for me (especially when we first returned) was “NO”.  I have enjoyed being back in the states and there have been feelings of not wanting to return.  However, we will return because the GOSPEL compels us. 

It’s not acceptable that 2000 years after Jesus brought salvation there are still people who have never heard the name of Jesus and the gospel message.  They live without hope.  Without joy.  Without light.  Without life.  They serve a false god and have hell as their destiny.  It’s simply not acceptable. Jesus Christ came and “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Tim. 1:10)  This news is too good to keep to ourselves! 

As Christians, we have been commanded to take the gospel to all nations.  Until that task is complete, we must be willing to GO -- even to the difficult places.  And even through the hard times we have joy in Christ and we learn how to rely on Him more and grow in our faith.  

I’m grateful for those of you who’ve given sacrificially so that our family can bring the gospel to the Songhai people.  And I’m thankful for the many people who have partnered with us in prayer. If you’d like to join us in Niger (short or long term), we’d love to talk with you.  Also, we will again be offering a summer missionary opportunity for young adults the summer of 2015.  

We’re looking forward to seeing more of you as we visit churches in the months to come!

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