Andrew and Esther Schaeffer
Prayer Letter/Ministry Update
10,000 STEPS! … 10,000 REASONS!
Having received a Fitbit for Christmas, one of my new daily motivations is feeling that congratulatory vibration on my wrist when I reach 10,000 steps for the day.
It often reminds me of Matt Redman’s 2013 song of the year, Ten Thousand Reasons. Esther and I have more than 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord. But, in light of space and time constraints, we will limit ourselves to 7.
Reason #1: Family Christmas
It was wonderful to have our kids home for the holidays! They’re all doing well, progressing in their work and studies. Rebekah arrives next month for a 3-week Easter break. Mark is enjoying his second semester classes at Grove City College. On March 17, David and Stephen will be “matched” to a residency program for the next 3-5 years. Paul & Brenna, who were not able to join us for Christmas, are planning a visit in July!
Reason #2: Maturing church leaders
During the past 2 months each of the Burkina Alliance Church’s 13 districts held elections during their annual conference. We thank the Lord that the elections went well and were pleased to hear that some of our former students are now serving on district committees. From Feb 20-24 the district committees came to Maranatha Bible Institute for a leadership summit with Dr. Tite Tiénou. The summit was timely and the feedback overwhelmingly positive.
Reason #3: 40th anniversary celebration
As the leadership summit came to a close, Maranatha staff and students organized a wonderful 40th Maranatha Bible Institute anniversary celebration. Tite & Marie Tiénou, founding director couple, and their successors – Peter Colman, Moussa Coulibaly, Emmanuel & Marthe Héma and Prosper & Justine Sanou – all participated in the special occasion. Emmanuel Sangaré, Poundou Bible and Agricultural School Director, represented the first graduating class by sharing stories of God’s faithfulness during those early years.
Reason #4: First semester is in the books
First semester classes – Christian Education, 1 Samuel to 1 Chronicles, several Pauline Epistles, Church History I and Alliance Church History – were completed last month. Second semester classes are underway, including Romans, 2 Corinthians and Missiology/Anthropology. We are thankful for visiting professors, like Peter Colman, who help to lighten our teaching load.
Reason #5: Zongoma Church building dedication
One of our greatest joys is to see our Bible School students serving the Lord and His church. The Zongoma Church, more than 50 miles from Bobo on a rough dirt road (that added some 5000 unearned steps to my Fitbit!), is not an easy place to pastor. But Pastor Florentin Sanou serves faithfully and organized a wonderful dedication ceremony for the village’s most beautiful building – the Alliance church!
For more, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtSl4etTIGY
Reason #6: Hospital visits
Last week it was a privilege to host PAACS (https://www.paacs.net/) surgeons Keir Thelander and Bill Wood and to introduce them to the Alliance’s budding medical center in Bobo-Dioulasso. The center is humble but they were so encouraging.
Reason #7: God’s protection
Last month another Western hostage – the 8th in captivity in our region – was taken in neighboring Mali, not even 30 miles from the hospital where my sister Jessica works. Such news is unsettling. But Tim Keller’s daily devotional on the Psalms, Songs of Jesus, has been a comfort to us. We are thankful that our heavenly Watchman never slumbers nor sleeps and cares for each of us, wherever we are. May you sense His loving presence with you today!
With love and prayers,
Andrew & Esther Schaeffer
For Esther's video clips:
BOBO TEAM TWITTER PAGE:
Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
March 17, 2017
1. Pray for a team of widows coming from Salem Alliance Church to minister to our widows and to raise awareness in our churches about ministry to widows. This will be two packed weeks of ministry. Pray for this to be of great encouragement to the widows, pray for answered prayers, and pray for the blessing of the Lord Jesus to be on this work.
2. We thank the Lord for the good training being provided to our prison team from Prison Fellowship International. Pray that we would see much fruit from this ministry.
3. Pray for our son David as he travels to Bongolo Hospital in Gabon March 25 for a medical school rotation.
4. Pray for our national church as they gather this next week for their annual conference. Pray for revival and unity and great blessing from the Lord Jesus.
February 24, 2017
1. Maranatha Bible School celebrated its 40th year of ministry (this is where we teach full time). We thank the Lord for the hundreds of men and women that have been trained at this school and that are now serving effectively all over Burkina Faso and even in other countries.
2. Esther will be heading out for two days of teaching at a village girls school. Pray for strength and a lasting impact on the lives of these young women.
3. We praise the Lord for the many people who came to Christ in the Kenedougou area these past two weeks. Pray for other evangelism outreaches planned for this dry season.
4. Thank you for praying for our prison ministry. We have seen a positive change and specific answers to prayer. This week the underage prisoners were standing at the door of the cell asking if we would be coming to talk with them. Pray that we will clearly communicate the message of truth.
February 15, 2017
1. Thankful for a good visit with Rebekah last week. She is busy helping to direct the school play and also giving a recital this weekend, plus AP classes, and lots of social activities. Pray that our children would all walk in the Lord's ways.
2. Prison ministry needs prayer. A demon-possessed girl is causing disturbances when we are teaching and singing. We will have a team meeting this Friday to talk through this and other challenges. Pray for unity on our team and that we would understand spiritual warfare.
3. Pray for a ministry opportunity given to us at the Christian High School. Over 80% of our students are non-believers. Pray that we will have opportunities to present clearly the Gospel of Christ.
4. Lots of seminars happening next week. Pray that we would remember the heart of the Gospel and that our Christian workers would themselves be sincere followers of Christ.
Andrew and Esther Schaeffer prayer requests January 30, 2017
1. We are thankful for a wonderful ministry trip in Tougan and Toma, teaching close to 80 pastors' wives. Pray for these women who are serving alongside their husbands in difficult settings. Some are struggling to feed their families after a poor harvest this year.
2. We have a woman prisoner who is creating problems for our team. She is keeping some of the women from coming to listen to the Bible stories. Pray that the Lord would show His power and that others would decide for themselves to come and listen.
3. Pray for Esther as she begins to teach women in the village of Peni this week. Pray that we would see women come to Christ and grow in their faith. Pray for the pastor at this church as he struggles with health issues.
4. We thank the Lord that Rebekah is feeling better. Pray for our sons, David and Stephen, as they seek the Lord's will for their medical residencies.
Andrew and Esther Schaeffer prayer requests Jan 22, 2017
1. Pray for Esther as she travels to teach pastors' wives this week. Pray that the love of Christ and the hope of His coming would encourage these women who serve in difficult situations.
2. Pray for a woman who came to Bible study this past week. She has been a secret believer but recently decided to make a stand and tell her family that she is going to follow Christ.
3. Pray for our widows group that will be doing several trainings to equip these women to make soap and peanut butter. Pray for the on-going moringa project.
4. We are thankful that Rebekah is feeling better and was able to get through her exams!
Updated: March 20, 2017
- Children's Names
- Field Assignment
- Country of Service
- Burkina Faso
- Mission Protestant C&MA
- B P 3050
- Bobo Dioulasso,
- BURKINA FASO
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