Andrew and Esther Schaeffer

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update


"Looking forward to what lies ahead. . ." (Phil 3:13)

Dear friends,

Our mission encourages us to do an annual self-evaluation of our life and ministries. This includes a review of the goals that we have put into place for our day-to-day activities. Years ago I sensed the Lord leading me to focus my efforts on teaching His Word. This led me to invest in Bible School, radio and prison ministries, and to participate in women’s Bible studies and conferences.

Andrew and I have also recognized the importance of training others – missionaries, evangelists, pastors, church leaders – who will in turn teach the Word of God to others, especially the unreached. As we prepare for several months of home assignment, it seemed timely to us to evaluate how we were doing.

So, last Sunday, Andrew and I each visited former students who are involved in church plants in unreached areas. The visits provided us with an opportunity to see how our precious "investments" are doing.

Andrew visited Adam, last year’s student body president, who was assigned to plant a church in M-dougou, about 40 miles east of Bobo. After last year’s graduation, Adam and his family rented a house in the village and began holding services in the village chief’s courtyard. Before the church was planted, the chief, a Christian, and a few other believers in M-dougou, would trek a few miles each Sunday morning to attend church in a nearby village. Now they have a church in their own village! And land, thanks to the chief's generosity! And a gifted pastor! Adam reports that, in less than a year, the church has grown from 25 believers to nearly 100. Envision teams recently built a hangar and drilled a well on the new property. Church members have built a simple, mud brick home for Adam and his family and hope to enclose the hangar with cement brick walls in the near future to serve as their church building. Andrew was thrilled to see how God is using Adam to build His church.

A few Bobo Church members and I traveled 75 miles west to a village in the Kenedougou Province, where we found a handful of believers meeting under a mango tree. En route to the village we picked up Desiree, a Maranatha graduate who pastors a city church in the Kenedougou. While Desiree is seeing many people come to Christ in the city, he also has a vision to reach the many surrounding villages, most of which have no church and no believers. He participates in evangelistic outreaches in these villages and returns to disciple the new believers. The "mango tree" church is small - one man, eight women, three youth and a dozen children - but they are determined to build a strong church in their village. It was really something to observe Desiree lead the service, counsel the women, and stand his ground when the village chief postponed the property talks.

Desiree shared that, during his first visit to the village, he encountered a man who had never heard the name of Jesus. Sobered by the experience, he is determined to provide Gospel access to the other unreached villages in his area.

These visits reminded us that the need is great, the doors are open and our "investments" are paying dividends! In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul exhorts us: "Don't look backward and think that you have accomplished a lot; look forward to what our Lord Jesus is still wanting to do." Thank you for your prayers and for enabling us to serve in Burkina Faso. Please pray that we will press on to accomplish all that the Lord wants us to do.

Thank you!

Esther Schaeffer

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Andrew & Esther Schaeffer
Mission Protestante C&MA
B.P. 3050; Bobo Dioulasso
Burkina Faso, West Africa

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Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

Prayer Requests May 18, 2018

1. With literally moments to spare we dashed onto our plane in Paris and made it safely to Dulles. Our soon-to-be daughter met us. Today, Lord willing, we head to Grove City for Mark's graduation. Thank you for praying.

2. Pray for Rachel Millogo, a woman who is quite ill with thyroid problems. She literally washed my feet with her tears, feeling very lost at our going. She has been well connected to strong believers. Pray that the Lord would bring complete healing for her.

3. Pray for students in Burkina Faso as they prepare for year-end exams. Pray especially for the children of our widows, that they would successfully pass their exams and be able to find work.

4. Pray for our Bible School students as they begin ministry. For most of them it means securing fields in their villages where they can plant a crop. Pray that their churches would love and accept them and that they would have open doors for the Gospel.

Prayer Requests May 11, 2018

1. Pray for the quick release of hostages captured by jihadist groups. This includes a missionary doctor kidnapped over two years ago from Burkina Faso.

2. Pray for one of our 12 graduates from Maranatha Bible School, whose newborn son passed away shortly after birth. This is especially difficult in the midst of graduation celebrations and the start of ministry. Pray for comfort and courage for this pastoral couple.

3. We thank the Lord for a very positive distribution at our local hospital. Pray for Christian nurses and doctors at this facility as they faithfully serve in often-difficult circumstances.

4. Our flight for home assignment has been cancelled and we are eager to get back for our son Mark's graduation from college. Pray that we can find an alternate route, though we will swim across the ocean if necessary!

May 3, 2018

1. We praise the Lord, finally able to bring two deaf children from village of Tona to enroll in Christian school in Bobo. What an experience for them to see all these children their age and also deaf. We thank the Lord for the ministry of this school and ask you to pray with us for this important work.

2. Andrew and I are finishing up our classes at the Bible school and giving final exams. Pray for our students, especially for those who will be graduating. Most have already been assigned a church. Pray that they will be well received and that the Lord will provide all that they need.

3. Pray for a distribution that we will do at the hospital next week. So many sad situations there, especially among the children. We are helping one little girl who has a large tumor on her face, another severely burned, another with an amputated leg from a motorbike accident. Pray that our distributions would demonstrate the love of Christ and that our prayers for the sick would bring healing through the power of the Lord Jesus.

4. This Sunday will finish up a series of village trips. It is sobering to visit believers and to witness the difficulties they face because they are Christ-followers. Pray that we can encourage them through the Word of God and be a blessing to the pastor and his family.

April 27, 2018

1. Poundou Bible School's graduation (and 40th anniversary celebration!) is tomorrow, April 28, and Maranatha Bible School's graduation is Saturday, May 12. Pray for the graduates as they begin their ministries, many of them in unreached villages.

2. Andrew and I are finishing up our school year and working hard to leave everything in order before we depart on May 14 for a 5-month home assignment. Pray for grace and strength to finish well. We will be based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania from May 15 to June 25 and in Cleveland, Ohio from June 26 to October 5.

3. Thank you for your prayers for our family! We are excited about 3 family events: Mark's graduation from Grove City College on May 19, Rebekah's graduation from Black Forest Academy on June 16 and David and Jillian's marriage on August 18.

April 18, 2018

1. Pray as our team reaches out to autistic children at the deaf school. Parents bring hearing children with learning difficulties to the school because they cannot be accommodated in public schools.

2. Pray for an outreach into a village this Sunday that has just a handful of believers. Pray as we go, that many others will come to hear the Gospel and that we can be an encouragement to those who know the Lord Jesus. Pray that a church can be established in this village.

3. Pray for our students at the Poundou Bible School as they finish up their school year. Pray for the graduates that will be sent out to different areas of Burkina Faso.

4. Pray for a young woman who attended one of our seminars who is struggling to keep her commitment to follow Christ. Poverty and being an orphan leave her vulnerable. Pray that as we meet with her we can find ways to encourage her to continue to trust the Lord Jesus.

Burkina Faso


Updated: May 18, 2018

Children's Names
Home Assignment
Country of Service
Burkina Faso
7545 Webster Rd
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

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