Andrew and Esther Schaeffer
Prayer Letter/Ministry Update
BWAMU NEW TESTAMENT DEDICATED!
April 23, 2013
"The Bwaba people may not be very well known outside of Burkina Faso," Burkina SIL Director, Mike Steinborn, announced to the large crowd gathered this past Saturday under tents and trees outside the Alliance Church in the village of Ouarkoye. "But God must really love them because He has gone to great lengths to see that they have God's Word in their own language - the Bwamu language!"
The Bwaba, with a population of around 300,000, make up less than 8% of Burkina's total population. They may be few in number, but they have not been forgotten by God! More than 60 years ago He called Nyack College graduate James Riccitelli and his wife Ruth to Burkina Faso. After several years of service in Burkina, the Riccitellis moved to Ouarkoye in the late 1950s and began to translate the Bible into the Bwamu language. When the Riccitellis were called to a Christian radio and bookstore ministry in Bobo Dioulasso in 1965, their Bible translation ministry in Ouarkoye ended abruptly.
But our loving God continued to reach out to the Bwaba. Shortly after the Riccitellis departure, He sent Dave and Betty Shady from the Alliance's Ohio Valley District to Ouarkoye to continue the work of Bible translation. Dave and Betty invested years studying the Bwamu language and culture. Before long Dave began to translate portions of the Bible into the Bwamu language, with the help of native speakers. When Dave was elected Burkina field chairman in 1985, he was no longer able to give himself wholeheartedly to the Bwamu Bible translation. Eventually the Shadys were reassigned to Cote d'Ivoire, then Guinea.
But our faithful God continued to provide for the Bwaba. In 1989 He sent Wycliffe missionary Sharyn Thomson to pick up where the Shadys left off. Sharyn partnered with Bwaba Christians, Charles Bicaba and Simeon Bonzi, in the translation project, while Honor Bicaba focused on Bwamu literacy training. In 2006, Maranatha Institute and West Africa Alliance Seminary graduate, Emmanuel Bonzi, joined the interdenominational translation team. They translated, consulted together, corrected the text, shared passages with Bwaba readers, and labored together until the text was perfected.
Last month Dave and Betty Shady returned for the Burkina Alliance Church and Mission's 90th anniversary celebration and Dave preached (in Bwamu!) at the Ouarkoye Alliance Church. After the service, Poundou Bible School professor Antoine Tamini presented Dave and Betty with the very first copy of the Bwamu New Testament. Through tears of joy, Dave shared that it was a gift they would treasure for the rest of their lives ... along with thousands of other Bwaba-speaking believers!
"The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart!" (Psalm 19:8)
Rejoicing in His Word,
Andrew & Esther Schaeffer
90 YEARS OF GOSPEL ADVANCE
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Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
Prayer Requests for Andrew and Esther Schaeffer May 19, 2013
1. Our three sons are now college graduates. It was good I wasn't there because I would have cried to see them graduate Magna Cum Laude, taking high honors in their field. We are thankful to the Lord for His mercy and to you who have prayed faithfully for these boys.
2. I will visit the prison tomorrow morning to see about working with the underage prisoners. I am most interested in their schooling situation and am praying that the Lord would open doors as He sees fit to use me to bring Christian education to these young people.
3. Our colleagues Toby and Kiersten Hull leave this week for a year of home assignment. I have been working with Kiersten for more than ten years. We have been a team in every sense of the word, even in caring for our different children. I hardly know how to work without her. Pray that the Lord would fill this huge gap. Kiersten's daughter Kenna is Rebekah's best friend, so both of us will feel this loss.
4. Sunday, Lord willing, I will travel to the village of Farakoba for an all day seminar on the family. Pray for me as I prepare, that the Lord would guide and show me His Word for this group of believers.
Prayer requests for Andrew and Esther Schaeffer May 13, 2013
1. Andrew leaves this evening for Ohio, to visit his dad, who is doing much better and also to attend the graduation of our three sons from college. We are so thankful for Paul, David, and Stephen and this huge milestone. Pray for their mother who will not be attending, that she will not feel sorry for herself. She should only be thankful for all that God has done for these boys.
2. Our national women's conference starts on Thursday. Pray for Kiersten Hull and me as we travel there to join with about a thousand women. Pray that their will be a spirit of victory and change. We are so burdened for these women and are praying that the light of Christ's love will shine through to each one.
3. I will be meeting at the prison this week to see if there is some way we can start a school program for the underage prisoners. Pray that the Lord would open this door for us.
4. We will be saying goodbye to three colleagues in the next month. First the Hulls will leave for home assignment, then Wolters and Clousers will be making a permanent move to other countries for ministry. They have been co-laboring with us for many years and it is hard to see them go, especially with a huge work still before us and many doors of ministry being opened at this time. Pray with us that the Lord of the harvest would call others, both nationals and missionaries to help in this work of pushing back the darkness.
Prayer requests for Andrew and Esther Schaeffer May 6, 2013
1. This week, leading up to graduation on Saturday, promises to be a full one. Andrew gives his last exam this morning, I hope to turn all my grades in today, but he will still have a lot of correcting and calculating to do before grades are handed out on Friday. We traditionally have the students in for supper on Friday night. Pray that this will be a meaningful time for all and that the Lord will greatly use our students to bring light and freedom wherever they go.
2. We were in the prison yesterday and were very shocked to see one of our former youth leaders come and greet us after the church service. Please pray that the Lord will get a hold of this young man and that he can once again have a life that matters for Christ.
3. Andrew has a radio meeting on Wednesday to discuss solar installations at our stations and some other upgrades to help our radios funtion more efficiently. Pray that these meetings will be a time of encouragement and vision for our four Christian radio stations in Burkina.
4. I had my first women’s Bible study in the village of Peni last Friday. It has been two years since I have been there. They have been without a pastor for most of that time and one of our key women has turned back to her former religion. Her name is Fatimata and I would ask you to pray that the Lord would chase after her and bring her once again to Himself. Pray that I would be able to connect with her in the short time I am in this village.
Prayer requests for Andrew and Esther Schaeffer April 29, 2013
1. These next two weeks are the last of our Bible School year. Pray for Andrew as he finishes up several classes and gives exams. Pray that our students will finish well, especially our graduates. We are thankful for the Pondou Bible School students that have completed their studies and will now begin full-time ministry. Pray that they and their wives would be people of influence in their villages.
2. Pray for a women?s seminar this Wednesday on time management. Also, I will be teaching women in the village of Peni for the next several Friday afternoons. Pray that the Lord would use these efforts to strengthen women believers.
3. Continue to pray for the young woman in my Sunday School class that is overcome by evil spirits. We hardly get started with our singing and she interrupts the class. Pray for complete deliverance in this situation.
4. Pray for our pastors? wives as we meet on Saturday. Some of our pastors? wives are going through very serious situations in their churches. Pray that our gatherings will encourage them in the Lord.
5. Andrew?s dad continues to improve and we thank you for your prayers for him. To God be all the glory.
6. Last month over 3100 people gathered in the Bobo stadium to celebrate God's faithfulness to the Burkina Alliance Church and Mission during the past 90 years. Check out Esther's video clip of the celebration and parade: http://youtu.be/qfLyhYmMXG8
7. Pray for the Poundou and Maranatha Bible Institute graduations on April 27 and May 11. Pray for the graduates who will return to their districts and be assigned to pastor churches, that the Lord will anoint their ministries and use them to build His church.
8. Paul, David and Stephen graduate from Grove City College on May 18. Pray that the Lord will provide an engineering job for Paul and medical school openings for David and Stephen: http://www.gcc.edu/academics/Pages/Profile-Home-.aspx?storyprofileid=7
9. Looking for a summer missions project? Please consider one of the projects listed on our Bobo Team webpage: http://boboteam.weebly.com/our-projects.html
April 22, 2013
1. I thank the Lord for 56 wonderful years, for the family that the Lord has given me, for good health, a fulfilling ministry, and a risen Savior who supplies all that I need. This was the verse I happened to read on my birthday and the promise that I claim for this year: "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." (Ps 65.11) Thank you for all the greetings for my special day.
2. Andrew will be in meetings this week at Pondou Bible School and then will attend their graduation on Saturday. We are thankful for the 18 pastors and their wives that will graduate. It is a sad thing to have churches or Christians in a village and no pastor to disciple them. Continue to pray that the Lord will call many more into full time ministry.
4. Pray for a young woman in my Sunday School class who is being controlled by demons. She needs your prayers to be completely delivered.
April 14, 2012
1. You can't imagine the thrill of driving a long ways up a dirt road, then driving on a path trying to make a road, and then seeing the crowd of adults and children running towards the car singing and clapping. But also the sadness to know that this group of one hundred or so believers have so few benches in their church that most either sit on the floor or stand for the three hour service, to realize that not one person had a Bible, not the three elders, not the person leading the service, not the Sunday School teacher. The sadness that their pastor is also overseeing another church so he often only gets there once a month. And the difficulty of passing other large villages like Kofila where there is no church, no Christian witness. Pray that the Lord would raise up a pastor for this church. Pray that we would be faithful in our training of pastors.
2. Monday, I will be at the Pondou Bible School teaching the women. This is our last visit for the year. Pray that our teaching will have a lasting impact on the women.
3. We have a team meeting on Wednesday night, plus I start three new Bible studies this week. Andrew will be traveling on the weekend with our church President. Pray that the Lord would be glorified in all of these things and that we would be used to strengthen people in their walk with Christ.
4. Please keep Andrew's family in your prayers. His dad has decided not to continue with chemo therapy. Andrew is hoping to finish his classes and give finals by the end of April and leave for the states shortly thereafter.
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Updated: May 20, 2013
- 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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