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2006 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

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Collegiate groups evangelize the Konyagui of West Africa

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Ouachita Baptist University student Tyler Butler helps a Konyagui man build his mud-brick home in southern Senegal, West Africa. Arkansas Baptist Collegiate Ministries is sending teams of college students to serve among the Konyagui people for the next three years. Each trip is designed to build on the last to eventually evangelize, disciple and form a church among the Konyagui without the help of a full-time missionary on the field.
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Cramped in a pitch-black, mud hut while rain poured outside, Ouachita Baptist University students Austin Wadlow and Tyler Butler talked with the Konyagui man for hours.
      They searched Scriptures by flashlight to disciple the man with the sprouting gray hairs and infectious smile. He had been hungry for more teaching since the last students from Arkansas came through his village three months earlier. The previous team named him Nick -- short for Nicodemus -- because of his questions about being born again.
      “This guy, Nick, came up and had been studying his Bible like crazy,” Wadlow said. “He had all kinds of questions about God. It was awesome because he didn’t see the rain or the dark as a reason to wait for later.”

‘Hungry season’ leads to greater distribution of Gospel

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Journeyman missionary Nate Gunter works among the Tuareg people in Niger. Gunter spends much of his time speaking with fellow villagers and developing relationships with the Tuareg people.
BANKILARE, Niger (BP)--Villagers stand in a small huddle around a stack of 50-kilogram bags of rice, speaking the Tamashek language in heated tones.
    “This is the hardest part,” Nate Gunter, a journeyman missionary working in Bankilare, Niger, said. “They’re saying it’s just not enough.”
    After working among the Tuareg people group in a bush village for two years, Gunter said he became accustomed to people begging for food, medicine and money. It wasn’t until he returned from a three-week conference in July 2005 that Gunter said he realized the despondency of the situation.
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Nate Gunter, an IMB Journeyman, initiated famine relief efforts in Niger, and continues to work closely with Niamey partners to distribute rice to those villages that are in the greatest need.

    “I started asking around town and found out that some people out in the bush encampment areas had already died from hunger,” Gunter said. “Many were sick. Many had been eating grass for a couple of months and had developed sicknesses related to nutrition. It was at that point I came back to Niamey and met with my supervisors and said, ‘We need to do something about this.’”
    During his senior year at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Mo., Gunter struggled with the decision of how to use his college degree. While juggling the demands of classes, ministry and work, Gunter said he contemplated everything from church work to seminary to military service.    

Determined duo charts territory for mission work in Nigeria

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Clint and Harriet Bowman, IMB missionaries in Nigeria, study a map on the wall of their home reflecting their research into about 200 people groups in West Africa.
NIGERIA, West Africa (BP)--Abruptly, the white Toyota truck turns off Bauchi Highway. For a moment, it stops. With a hand-held Garmin GPS system, Harriet Bowman picks up latitude-longitude readings from five satellites.
      “Left the highway,” she prints in her black notebook.
      With frequent GPS readings, Harriet and her husband Clint later will plot newly discovered villages on a handmade map at home.

Nigerian gardener plants churches for Christ

NIGERIA, West Africa (BP)--Newly formed Zion Baptist Church meets in a clearing near the chief’s compound in Nigeria’s Bauchi State. On a recent Sunday he greeted Harriet Bowman and her 12-year-old son, James, with these words: “The house that does not receive strangers is not a blessed house. As we receive you, our strangers, we are blessed.”

Baptist medical workers in Ghana
persevere amid daily influx of needs

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General practitioner George Faile, an IMB missionary, makes his rounds seeing patients at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana.
NALERIGU, Ghana (BP)--All eyes focus on missionary surgeon Danny Crawley as he navigates an obstacle course of beds and sick children at the Baptist Medical Center in Nalerigu, Ghana.
      With only one other doctor and a handful of assistants and volunteers working that day, a “doctor sighting” is a significant moment to those desperate for medical attention. While making his rounds, Crawley tends to as many patients as possible before prepping for surgery. The others will have to wait.

Missionary’s prayer for fish gets teleconference boost

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (BP)--You’ve seen it displayed on car bumpers, printed on posters and worn as jewelry. The Ichthys, or Christian fish, has long been a symbol for Christian communities. For one congregation in Kentucky, the symbol has become a special reminder of answered prayer.

Missionaries brave spiritual warfare, sacrifice for Senegal

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Elliot Nichols (center) prays for a village chief who has been sick for many weeks.
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A Wolof Christian in West Africa, who was disowned by her family after becoming a believer, tells a Bible story in a village northeast of Dakar, Senegal.
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Something bad always happened on Tuesday.
      Not necessarily disastrous –- just bad. Something distracting or debilitating enough to make it hard for Elliott and Pat Nichols to get to the village.
      Tuesdays were the days the Southern Baptist missionary couple had set aside to drive from the town where they live in northern Senegal to a Wolof (WUH-luf) village in the area. The village chief had given them permission to come every week for a year to teach 52 chronological Bible stories. Each story builds on the previous one to lay the foundation of God’s salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Envisioning a movement of God from less than 100 believers

SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--A tear rolls down Jim Vaughn’s cheek.

Senegalese storyteller has lived the truth she proclaims

SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Coumba* knows how to tell a story.

Discouragement yields to God’s assurance in West Africa

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International Mission Board missionary Tom Smith talks with a Futa Toro man in West Africa.
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Missionary Debbie Hawkins smiles as she receives a hug from a Futa Toro woman. There are few Christian believers among the 2.75 million Futa Toro in West Africa; most are Muslims.
SENEGAL, West Africa (BP)--Tom Smith gets discouraged sometimes -- and he’s not ashamed to admit it.
      As a missionary strategy coordinator, Smith and his wife Shirley face the daily challenge of reaching the Futa Toro (FOO-tah TOR-oh), a Muslim people numbering more than 2 million in West Africa.
      It’s not just their size that gives Smith pause. It’s their far-flung locations and bewildering diversity.
      The Futa Toro actually comprise two major subgroups of the Fulani peoples of West Africa: the semi-nomadic cattle-herding Fulbe (FULL-bay) and the more settled Tukulor (TOO-kuh-lor). They live in many clans and castes scattered throughout northern Senegal and parts of Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Mauritania.