February 2013 Update
Ken & Sarah Beckley (1984)
Dear Prayer Partners,
Putting new calendars on our walls at the beginning of a new
year is always fun, especially ones brought by friends from the US. Great Lakes Lighthouses, Puppies, and Lego calendars are
among our favorites. As we look back on last year, we are amazed at how quickly time flew and say, “Yikes! It's been too long since we sent out a prayer letter!” Let us start with last September. Ken attended a workshop for Dendi evangelism and was encouraged
to hear the testimonies of Christians from Nigeria. Their ministries among Muslims in spite of severe persecution gave us some good ideas for our work with the Dendi. Sarah started our homeschool
year that same week. The next week, a medical team came from US.
They—doctor, dentist, and assistants—ministered in four different villages, where the mission started churches, while the gospel was shared. Our boys ended up taking a “break” to help the team. They
mainly sterilized dental tools and ran errands for the team, while observing and learning about serving! In October, we enjoyed
a spiritual life retreat for missionaries in Benin. Otherwise, we kept plugging away at school, Bible translation, and ministry. Our boys have been learning to play basketball and football, as well as increase their skills at other sports for gym class. Often,
neighbor boys will join them. After sports Tuesday evenings, Colin Ovenell (our team leader) teaches a Bible study for the youth. We pray many of these young people will trust Christ as Savior and
someday become church leaders. Saturday afternoons are highlighted by another youth meeting— this one is at our church in Malanville. Marc and Andrew accompany Ken as he leads church clean-up, choir practice, games, and a Bible study. Sarah
started teaching “children's church” during the Sunday worship service. November brought Troy Manning, Bible translation
consultant, to us for several weeks. He and Ken enjoyed the intense
review and revision of 1 and 2 Samuel with the Dendi translators. Having completed these books, they are now working on revising the
first 10 books of the Old Testament, hoping to print a test-version of Genesis through 2 Samuel before the end of the year. Christmas always means warm fellowship in an Afri-can church. We spend most of the day there, wor-shiping, visiting, and eating with the believers and sharing with whoever may come for the celebration. Our gathering was small, because most of the church youth, who go to school in town, return to their village homes and churches for the holidays. We continue to pray God to raise up a Dendi leader to pastor this church in Malanville. Perhaps he is among one of the youth who join us for youth group on Saturdays? Already in January, the medical team paid us an-other visit! They were only here for a week, due to a missed flight and late baggage. Yet, they ministered to four villages, sharing the Gospel and helping with physical needs of more than 600 people. Some of our sons managed to work ahead on their academics so they could assist the team once more!
We are excited about more opportunities in 2013. Our “Dry Season Bible School” for 15 village pastors and leaders has started. Ken translates notes for those teaching, as well as teaching a course himself. In just a few weeks, our col-leagues, Colin and Teena Ovenell will be-gin an early furlough in preparation for the birth of their third child. So you can pray for them, as well as for us. Our family would all like to make much progress this year in communicating in Dendi, so that we might effectively share God's love and message to the lost. We also intend to communicate more frequently with you in 2013 than we did last year!
Thank you for pray-ing on our behalf! Continue praying for the country of Mali. In the last month, the international community has joined forces to push the terrorists out of the north. The battle is on! The French forces have already taken back some major towns. Only God knows the end of all this. We are so glad He is in control and we are on the Victor's side. Please pray for safety, wisdom, direction, and bold witnessing of His children in Mali during these trying times.
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