P.S. From The Maxwells

Phil & ShannonMaxwell Serving in Niger, West Africa

Maxwell Ministries 5432 Theresa Way, Livermore, CA 94550 maxwellministries@comcast.net

September 2012

Flooding

Sahel Academy, the mission run school which our boys attend, began Aug. 8th with praise for how the Lord provided the necessary staff for this school year. A week and a half later, the school was evacuated due to the Niger river rising to levels not recorded since 1929 and the levees being breached. Flooding was chest deep in some spots. A massive salvage effort was begun, around the clock by some to preserve and save many resources. The mission community came together in a wonderful way. Of 17,000 books in the library, only 3 were lost. School was postponed as administration met to make plans for alternative temporary sites for the school year to continue. This planning and finding school buildings for rent for a year, as well as housing for 53 missionaries including children is ongoing and a very big PRAYER REQUEST. We see God working and providing through each day. Pray for the new staff, some who arrived weeks or days before the flooding and were forced to evacuate before even being able to settle in –and they’re still working through culture shock.
Pray for many decisions needing to be made for the mission Bible College, Esprit, which was also flooded and for the Sahel Academy and missionary community. There will be ongoing salvage work, repairs and restoration once the river level drops in Mar-Apr. of next year. Over 100,000 nationals along the river have lost homes, and livelihood of crops. Pray as we participate in salvage, and relief efforts, and also sharing the story of Jesus with all those we come in contact with. Pray that this natural disaster, may cause men, women and children, to think of the brevity and frailty of life, and consider if they are ready for eternity-that they may seek God and find him through his son, Jesus.

A Disciplined Life

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1,2a

We are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to “go and make disciples.” This is the great commission. In Mathew 28:19, Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” To be a disciple implies the discipline of one’s self in “obeying everything that Jesus had commanded us-through his WORD, the Bible”

For spiritual growth to occur in individual lives, there needs to be self discipline, which is one of the fruits of the spirit. (Gal. 5:22,23) A disciplined Christian is one who spends time on a daily basis in God’s WORD, learning the commands, principles and disciplines that Jesus commanded. And time in prayer, which is simply, listening, meditating, and speaking to God our father in Jesus name. In prayer, the greater discipline is to listen and meditate, as it is the more difficult to listen vs. talking-or telling God our needs and wants. Hebrews 12 starts with the key discipline needed –fixing our eyes on Jesus. Too often our vision is on ourselves, our work, our ministry, our coworkers, our circumstances, our problems, our pains, the cares of this world—-everything but Jesus.

Paul gives the metaphor of an athlete who is disciplined. And throwing off every entanglement, he runs the race, so as to win the prize. If an individual lacks spiritual discipline-and this individual is a spiritual leader, then those under the leader suffer, and may even be led astray. Pray that the Lord will strengthen the church body in Niger, that missionaries, national pastors and church leaders throughout the country may be disciplined in reading and meditating on God’s word - feeding on the word of God, not simply dispensing it. Pray for the ACEN Church as they work out godly discipline for ongoing public sin in the church.

Ongoing Work

CSEN Orphanage

The CSEN Orphanage was grateful to not be touched by the flood, though water is all around. Part of their property will be used to give the Evangelical Church of Niger space for temporary meeting under a tent, until they are able to return to the Bible College compound.

Pray for the children who are still on summer vacation, for health, and spiritual as well as physical growth. We were recently able to assist with a food donation to the orphanage. Continue to pray for the director and his wife’s health.

Translation

The Hausa translation work being done for Multiplication Network Ministries by Hassane and his co-workers was completed the first week of August. Hassane is now revising and reformatting the text. Pray that this work will be greatly used to further the work of the Lord in Niger and West Africa by strengthening churches and planting new ones.

Pray that the work will go forward on the translation of the God Story Project into Gourmantche. Gourmantche is the language of our church and over 250,000 people between the Niger-Burkina border. It is a people group which needs to hear the good news of Jesus. Pray for a translator who speaks English, French and Gourma.

Thank you for praying for

 

Those affected by flooding: for missionaries, and nationals who lost homes and belongings. For institutions such as Sahel Academy and the ESPRIT Bible College, they will spend the next year and beyond, salvaging and restoring operations at a great cost. For our children and many others as they adjust to a big change. The need for temporary facilities for this school year. Housing for 53 displaced missionaries. Housing for close to 100,000 displaced Nigeriens.

Safety: For daily safety as we travel on the roads here in the busy city. While there is unrest in Mali and Nigeria who neighbor us, pray for the Lord’s protection and provision here in Niger.

Health: We are grateful that our family remains healthy. Pray as malaria seasons approaches that we continue to remain healthy and strong. Protection from the many diseases that the standing water will bring to our community.

Ministry: Pray for God’s ongoing work in maturing and disciplining leaders in the ACEN Church as they face some difficult decisions.

Pray for an upcoming baptism at the ACEN Church. There are 13 individuals attending a 5 session class. This is the first baptism the church has had in the 3 years we have been working with them. Pray that this will be a time of testimony to others in the church and community and a time of maturity in believers who are baptized.

Pray for us as we work alongside the church leaders in counseling, helping, encouraging, and giving –that we may share the love of Jesus not only in word but in deed.

 

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