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Riggs Family Update - October 2015

 

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Tabaski
On September 24th our Muslim neighbors celebrated Tabaski (or Eid al-Adha). Kris was traveling but the kids and I went to the family compound of our house worker/friend, Ali. Depending on how you look at it, we were fortunate to get there just as he was preparing to kill animals for his sacrifice. I have chosen one picture that I hope won't be too offensive. I have other photos that might be hard for those who are more squeamish. You can barely see the large logs behind the staked out animals. The fire burned very slowly to roast the meat over several hours.

We did celebrate with Ali and his family that day but for a completely different reason. It was also the day for the naming ceremony of his newest baby. The custom is that a baby is given its name on the 7th day. I had never been to a naming ceremony that fell on a major holiday. I gave a customary gift of money and prayed with Mariama and the new baby, Mousa (Moses in English), that God would watch over him, protect him and guide Mousa to one day seek after God. 
We have shared many times with Ali and his family. Pray for them to trust in the Savior who was the final sacrifice. 

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Thank you for your continued prayers for the IMB especially during this time of transition. It has been hard to hear of those who will be leaving - not because we think it isn't the right thing to do but because we will miss working alongside them. Please pray as each missionary humbly searches for God's will for them. Pray that the call to leave or the call to stay will be just as clear as the call He gave them when they first came to the field. We thank God for His faithfulness and steadfastness. 

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A couple of weeks ago a call came from school that Ethan was sick. The school nurse had given him a rapid test that was positive for malaria. It was a rough week of malaria treatment and IV for dehydration but we are grateful that his energy level and appetite have greatly improved. Give thanks with us for his recovery. 

 

September 12, 2015

This photo was taken in Zambia in August. We spent 3 days with a family in a village as part of the orientation program IMB missionaries use in that area. We will use our experiences there in developing our own program for new missionaries in our cluster.  

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 Latest IMB News

'Ripples in the water'

You may have heard or read news that the IMB has outlined a plan to address a financial shortfall.  According to IMB president, David Platt: “If we are going to balance our budget, we must reduce approximately 600 to 800 of our staff and field personnel,” This number represents about a 15% reduction in personnel. Yesterday we (along with some of our colleagues) listened to a meeting in Virginia where David P outlined a VRI (voluntary retirement incentive) that will be offered to those who are eligible. To accept or refuse the incentive is completely voluntary. This is the first phase in reducing the number of staff and missionaries. Other steps will be outlined in the months ahead.  Read more HERE about IMB news.

So what are we doing with this news? I confess that I am a bit anxious about the coming months. But we know that this comes as no surprise to God. I'm reminded of my grandmother's words to me when I was a little girl picking beans in her garden: "Shelley, you just keep your head down and keep pickin' and you'll be at the end of that row before you know it." It's so funny that those words have been such great advice to me over the years. And that is what we are doing. We will 'keep pickin' and we will pray. 

Please pray with us: •that each person will humbly and openly ask God what it is He would have them do •for leadership as they strive to move the IMB forward with innovative vision, wise stewardship, and high accountability.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7

Cluster Meeting

In June, personnel from the Central Sahel Cluster met together for our cluster retreat. We have a retreat every other year. This year we met in Benin. Because our cluster is so spread out (Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger) we seldom see each other. A volunteer team came from FBC Hurst, Texas to lead our worship time and bring a fun program for our kids. Cluster meetings are needed to give a little reprieve to missionaries who live in some hard areas and give opportunities for training and networking. The volunteer team and missionaries brought items for an auction. Through the auction our little group collected over $11,000 - all for the Lottie Moon Offering. What kinds of things do missionaries buy at Lottie Moon auctions? A 6-pack of Dr. Pepper brought the most: $800. Pop Tarts, Doritos and American chocolate bars were some of the other most sought after bids.

 Tabaski

 Around September 23rd Muslims in our cluster will celebrate the "Festival of the Sacrifice" or Tabaski. In other areas of the world it is called Eid al-Adha. According to Muslim tradition, this holiday commemorates the willingness of Abraham to offer his son Ishamel as a sacrifice. We know from Genesis 22 that it was Isaac that Abraham had on the altar. During this holiday Muslims will sacrifice a ram (or cow or goat) and the meat will be divided 3 ways: 1 portion for the family, 1 for neighbors and 1 for the poor.

Pray for missionaries to have opportunities to share about the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus, who died as an atonement, once for all. Are there Muslims in your area? Learn more HERE about how you can pray and use this holiday as an opening to share with them.

Shiloh and Ethan enjoyed their summer break. We visited 5 African countries from June to August. Shiloh is now in grade 8, Ethan is in grade 5.

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Sub-Saharan Riggs      April 2015

Thank you for supporting us for over 17 years with the IMB as you give through the Cooperative Program. 

The African Wrap Skirt

Use #23

The missionary woman in West Africa quickly learns the value of the wrap skirt. It's nothing fancy. Really it's just about a yard and half of fabric, hemmed on all 4 sides with fabric ties sewn on to tie it in the back. Usually it is worn with a shirt of matching fabric or with just a solid colored t-shirt. The wrap skirt has proven to be invaluable in other ways. It can make a place for a baby or toddler to sit and play. Because the fabrics tend to be colorful they hide dirty, snotty smudges made by little faces as they are wiped across it. When the power is out or when we are without a/c the kids have learned that they can get a skirt wet and lay under it to stay cool at night. On our recent road trip my wrap skirts were used to keep the sun from beating down on the kids as they rode along and, as you can see from the photo, to make a "fort" in the back seat. Whatever keeps them happy on an 11+ hour drive, right?  

Thank you for praying for safety during our travels. We were grateful for no mechanical problems - not even a flat tire! We visited IMB personnel in Benin and Togo, firmed up plans for a cluster retreat coming in June and made contact with Benin and Togo Baptist Convention staff. 

Please pray:
*for Baptist churches in Benin and Togo as they reach out to the UUPGs (unreached & unegaged people groups) in those countries.
*for our cluster meeting that will take place in June. Pray for safety as our personnel travel and for us each to examine our hearts. Pray for the meeting to be a time of encouragement and renewal for our personnel (I'll share more about this meeting in the next letter).
 
 
New Life in Christ

When we first arrived in Niger in 1998 it was to serve among the Fulani people. We were on the Fulani team for 16 years. Now, with Kris' new role we no longer officially serve on the Fulani Team but our hearts are still very much pulled in that direction. Gratefully, the Fulani Team doesn't mind if we tag along from time to time. Last week we were thrilled to be able to witness the baptism of a new Fulani believer. Since we live very near the Niger River we met at our home and traveled together. Praise God for this new believer in Christ! We'll call him "Beau". Pray for steadfastness for him in his new faith. Pray for 'Beau' to boldly share his new faith with family and friends around him. Praise God for the way He is moving among the Fulani people.
Copyright © 2015 Kris and Shelley Riggs, All rights reserved.

 

 

 


Spring 2015 - Sub Saharan Riggs

 
 

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Beauty for Ashes

 

Isaiah 61:3

Many of you may have heard or seen Niger in the news recently. If you haven't heard, in January at least 50 church buildings, pastors' homes, believers' homes, a clinic, businesses were attacked. Some estimate as many as 70 churches were attacked. Many churches were completely burned and gutted. Some pastors and believers lost their homes and all of their belongings. Protesters said the reason for the attacks was retaliation for offensive cartoons published in France. Others say the protests were for politically motivated. Whatever the reason, there was much destruction aimed at people who had nothing to do with any cartoon printed in France. 
Praise!
*There was no call for retribution or retaliation from Nigerien Christians!
*As soon as churches began meeting again, overwhelmi

ngly, the message preached was one of peace and forgiveness.
Pray:

*this would be a turning point for the Church in Niger
*for God to be honored and glorified as churches pick up the pieces to rebuild

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"Someone is always leaving!"

Downside of being a TCK

These were the words from Ethan recently as one of his friends prepared to return to Norway, probably for good. As TCKs (third culture kids) or MKs (missionary kids) our kids have the advantage of having many experiences and having friends from all over the world. Our ex-pat community is constantly changing. Some arriving for the first time, some going on furlough, others returning from furlough. There is a constant turn over of people and transition. Sadly though, sometimes we have to say good bye (or "see you later!") to friends that we have known for several years.
Praise:
*for the blessing of special friends who enrich our lives
*for the broad perspective that comes from knowing people from other countries and cultures
Pray:
*for our kids to keep their eyes on Jesus, especially when they are hurting
*for wisdom for us as parents to know how to comfort and help them

 

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ABCs and 123s

Literacy Class

For about a year and a half or more (time can be tricky to keep up with) I've been helping out in a literacy/sewing class. Now, if you knew me in high school I can hear you snickering. I'm the one in Home Ec. who accidentally sewed my guide sheet into the 'shirt' I was working on, really. Fortunately for these sweet young ladies, there are very capable Nigerien sewing teachers who guide them. I came on as a literacy teacher. My missionary colleagues and I listen to the girls read. We help them with pronunciation and phonetics and also practice some math skills with them. Most days I listen to the young ladies read from a French beginning reader textbook. Some days I get to read with a Fulani young woman in Fulfulde. Other times, I listen to another girl read in Zarma. The other teachers and I communicate in English. As you can imagine, when I leave this class my brain is MUSH. After the girls reach a certain level of sewing ability they receive a diploma of sorts that shows that they have received training as a seamstress. It is hoped that they will use those skills to gain employment to help support themselves, or in the case of the few married young ladies, their families. The girls that are stronger readers read simple French Bible stories. We hope that they leave with an understanding that Jesus loves them and wants a relationship with them.
Praise:
*for the relationships that I have made with these ladies
Pray
*for me to take advantage of every opportunity to share Christ with these ladies
*that these ladies will see Jesus in me as I show patience and love

 

Where in the world is Kris?
Thank you for praying for Kris as he travels to visit and encourage personnel in our cluster (Central Sahel Cluster) of 7 countries. So far this year he has traveled to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. While the kids are out for Easter break beginning late next week, we'll all travel to Benin and Togo to visit there. It will be a looong trip in the truck but we will be glad to not be away from Kris and we'll enjoy seeing some folks that we seldom get to see. Please continue to pray for wisdom for Kris as he leads our cluster. Pray for him to rely on God's strength alone and not his own abilities. 

 

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Thank you once again for your support of us through your prayers and through gifts to the International Mission Board and the Cooperative Program. We don't take lightly the sacrifice that many of you make to keep us here. Thank you for partnering with us to

reach the people of the Central Sahel Cluster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sub-Saharan Riggs - December 2014
Kris and Shelley Riggs serve in West Africa as missionaries with International Mission Board

Like last year, we'll soon be going online to give our gift to the Lottie Moon Offering. If you don't attend a Baptist church that receives this offering you can follow this link to donate to Lottie's Offering that supports missionaries and their ministries world-wide.
"What if thousands of churches came together this Christmas season for the sake of spreading the Gospel to all nations?" This is a link to a sermon by David Platt, IMB President.

T'is the Season

Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions

Most of you know the history behind this offering that has become the 'bread and butter' of IMB missionaries around the world. If you've never heard the whole story you really should check it out. Lottie Moon was a courageous, selfless woman who loved the Chinese people and gave her life for them. You can read more about her HERE. Last year Southern Baptists gave $154 million to the LOTTIE offering. Every penny, 100%, of this offering is used to support almost 5,000 missionaries and their ministries overseas. "THANK YOU!" doesn't begin to convey our appreciation to you for your faithful sacrificial gifts. 

Because you give:

  • We have a road-worthy, 4-wheel drive vehicle to travel not only the sandy streets of Niamey but also  gets Kris to the Niger bush and neighboring countries to visit our personnel there and transports Shelley to a literacy class where she works with young ladies in reading and math.
  • We live in a home that is comfortable and safe
  • We are blessed to send our kids to a Christian school primarily for missionary kids
  • As Cluster Leader, we are honored to hear countless reports of how your IMB missionaries are being the HANDS, FEET, and HEART of Christ to peoples of the Central Sahel Cluster (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger)

Connecting...
"...say the things that are consistent with sound teaching." Titus 2:1

As part of Kris' role as cluster leader, he spends many hours behind a computer or on the phone connecting with our personnel or to other IMB leadership. Earlier this month he was able to spend some time connecting with Fulani in 2 villages. In the first village where volunteers and a Fulani believer have shared for a number of years, Kris met with a group of new believers to encourage them in their new faith and to share about the meaning of baptism.  IMB International Service Corps missionary, Austin, has been living and sharing in the second village where Kris visited. There is a small group of Fulani who have followed Christ. This group of new believers is growing in their faith and want to form themselves into a church.  Kris encouraged them and shared with them from the book of Titus about leaders in the church. Please PRAY for the Fulani believers in these 2 villages. Pray for their faith to be strong. Pray for them as they endure persecution from family and neighbors. Pray for them to be encouraging to one another. Pray that these believers will share their faith with others. PRAISE God for volunteers and IMB missionaries who are called to sow seeds among the Fulani and the other unreached people groups in our cluster.
 

Close to Home...

Where There is no Emergency Room

We have gotten used to not having access to state of the art doctor's offices and hospitals. Gratefully we have been fairly healthy these past several years. Sure, we've had bouts with illnesses like malaria, scabies, & bumps and scrapes but for the most part we are a pretty healthy bunch. Back at the end of September Shiloh injured her right index finger. This was an injury that would have been emergency room worthy had we been in a country with an actual Emergency Room. If you know what a 'degloving' injury is then you know what I'm talking about. If you are not familiar with this type of injury you can 'google it' and be prepared to be grossed out. By God's grace we have some amazing doctors in our missionary community. One of those doctors put over 30 stitches into Shiloh's finger while Kris consoled her. Where was I?  I was at a women's retreat in South Africa oblivious to everything. When I learned what had happened it was so hard not to be back in Niger with my girl. While Kris was with Shiloh a dear friend of mine brought Ethan to our house and got him to bed. I can't tell you how relieved I was to know that our missionary community was taking such great care of my family. "How is her finger now?" It has been over 2 months. There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth (literally) but Shiloh has been a trooper though it all. The exterior wounds have healed, stitches have been removed, and we are now diligently involved in physical therapy at home. Shiloh has some brand-new, pink skin that doesn't even have the folds where her finger needs to bend so we are doing exercises to make those folds to make it easier to use her finger. Please give PRAISE with us that we were able to have this injury tended to here in Niger! Miraculously, there were no torn tendons which is such a HUGE praise! Please pray for complete healing of the inside of Shiloh's finger in the months to come so that Shiloh will have feeling and use of it.

Copyright © 2014 Kris and Shelley Riggs, All rights reserved.

 

 


Here's the latest on the Sub-Saharan Riggs...
September 2014

Back to School

Shiloh and Ethan started back to school last month. We are very grateful to live in a city where there is a Christian school for MKs (missionary kids). Most of the students are from our city but there are also boarding students whose parents are missionaries in Niger and countries around Niger. The teachers are all self supported short-term and long-term missionaries. This year Shiloh begins middle school in 7th grade. Ethan is in 4th. Pray that they would be respectful of their teachers and encouraging to their peers.

What about Ebola?

No doubt you have heard of the Ebola virus that is spreading in parts of West Africa. It is a deadly disease that has caused much death and suffering. Currently there are no cases of Ebola in Niger. While it is a very serious disease, there are other diseases that are also a threat. Did you know that, in Africa, malaria kills a child every minute? (according to World Health Organization) Malaria is spread by the bite of the female anopheles mosquito usually in the hours from dusk to dawn. HIV is another disease that killed 1.6 million in 2012 alone. Pray for containment of the Ebola virus. Pray for reason and understanding for those who spread the disease because of their lack of knowledge about how it is spread. Pray also for the many other afflictions that claim lives and livelihoods.
 
Shelley's News...
Since the kids are back in school, I've begun to meet again with a group of young ladies in a literacy class. They really keep me on my toes! I always enjoy my time with them even though I usually walk away with my ears buzzing from all of the languages being spoken in the group. Please pray that I will have openings to share Jesus and just the right words to use. Supervising 7 women, encouraging and communicating with our team prayer advocates, serving on the school board at the kids' school, being Mom to my kids...the list goes on.We are also blessed to be 'stand-in' parents to an IMB MK who is a senior, boarding at the kids' school. Please pray that I would  use my time wisely.

Kris' latest...

Over the summer, Kris attended a 4 week French course in Paris to improve and strengthen his language skills. While he was there he was able to visit with several West Africans who live in Paris. After his time in Paris we were blessed to be able to meet up in Turkey to celebrate 25 years together. Kris was home for about 3 weeks and took off again. He is now in Thailand to attend a meeting. Please pray for him as he is away. Pray for him to stay healthy so he can attend his meetings and be alert. Thanks for praying for Shelley and the kids too while he is away.
 

April 30, 2014

 

He is Risen!

We are grateful to live in a country where we can worship and serve openly as believers in Christ. For Easter we joined a group of ex-pats for a sunrise service. Afterward we joined a local Zarma (a local people group) church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Please pray for many believers outside the city who have no church to attend. Some believers are far away from others of like faith. Pray for them to have boldness to share their faith. Pray for them as they endure persecution for following Christ.

 

In March and April our family logged many kilometers traveling by road. Shelley attended a Baptist Women's camp in Burkina Faso in March. In April our whole family made a trip to Togo and Benin. In Togo, we attended the Togo Baptist Convention and were encouraged to see Togolese Baptist churches passionate to reach the UUPGs (unreached unengaged people groups) there. In Benin, we visited personnel and took a couple days to relax as a family. As we traveled, we saw many trucks like this one on the roads. The captions on the back read: "For Christ We Live" and "Little by Little"

(photo used with permission) It's that time of year when the temps are so high...you have to store your balloons in the fridge...you finish hanging clothes on the line and start taking down the ones you hung out first because they are already dry...and so on. It is HOT season! Gratefully rainy season is just around the corner. This dust storm hit Niamey last weekend. It didn't bring any rain to the city but it did drop the temps a bit and reminded us that rainy season (and relief from the heat) is on its way!

One advantage of hot season is that it is also mango season. We are enjoying fresh mangoes like these growing on a tree in our yard.

PRAISE & PRAYER:
This week Kris has traveled to Nigeria for the 100 year anniversary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. Praise God for this legacy of faith! Pray that churches there continue to be light in their communities. There are still many UUPG's in Nigeria. Pray for Nigerian churches to have a vision to reach out to them.

Thank you for partnering with us! "A multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation, knowing and adoring the One we serve."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

January 9, 2014

Last year while we were stateside we had snow on Christmas Day. No snow here in Niger this year.
 

Go, Tell it on the Sand Dunes

While we do miss our families during the holidays we have some traditions in Niger that we enjoy. One thing we like to do is drive just outside the city with a group of friends to the sand dunes. The kids enjoy 'sledding' and rolling down the dunes and we enjoy the beautiful scenery and the refreshing cool season temps. This year we took a picnic supper and some firewood. After eating we sat around the fire enjoying the bright stars and singing Christmas carols. A Fulani man walked up to warm himself at our fire (after all it was a chilly evening in the mid 60's!). Kris began to share with him about the songs we were singing, about Jesus who was born in a manger and about the shepherds (the Fulani know all about shepherds) who were the first to hear the good news. We are glad to be here to share this Good News with the Fulani and others. Thank you for your part in providing language study for us years ago so that this man could hear The Story in his own heart language. Even though our roles with the IMB have changed in the last year to be more administrative in nature, we are still called to be here and to be a light in the darkness. Thank you for partnering with us through your gifts to the IMB.
 

Yerwa Kanuri

In our cluster there are at least 83 UUPGs. The Yerwa Kanuri is one of those groups.They number about 136,000 in Niger but there are over 6 million in Nigeria. They are strongly Muslim and have been since the 11th century. The Kanuri's ancestors were mighty rulers before colonization. There are fewer than 2% evangelical believers among them. Please pray for this people group. Pray for other groups around them to reach out to them. Pray for the hearts of the Kanuri to be softened and open to hear the Gospel.To learn more about the Kanuri, visit the Joshua Project site here: http://www.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=12509&rog3=NG

Praise!

  • for a special time as a family over the Christmas break
  • for new personnel (Austin and Lizzy) who have come to serve among the Fulani

Pray

  • Kris' trip to Ghana and Ivory Coast this month
  • Continued wisdom and safety for our personnel in the 7 countries of the Central Sahel Cluster

Prayer Resource

Our fabulous media people have put together a Sub Saharan African Peoples prayer guide. The calendar features fast facts and topical prayer requests for the people of Africa. A printed version will soon be available from the IMB Resource Center (imb.org) or you can download a link to a PDF version by clicking on the icon above.
Our mailing address is:
In NIger: Skype addresses:
BP 10038 kris.riggs1
Niamey, Niger shelley.riggs1
West Africa
riggs@writeme.com

 

 
 
 
 

                  November 3, 2013

 
THANK YOU for giving through the Lottie Moon Offering so that we have a rough and tough dependable truck to drive on these West African roads. It has seen a few bumps and scrapes but it serves us well.
 

Road Trip!

Some of our personnel live in what you might call 'out of the way' places. Many live in rural areas where some roads are not paved and others are full of huge pot holes. So what do we need to make a 3,000 kilometer trip to visit these places?
  • a passport
  • country visas
  • paper work for 4 country border stops
  • about 413 liters of diesel fuel
  • hours of cassette sermon tapes (yes, some vehicles still come with cassette players)
  • lots of patience for questionable police stops
On a recent 9 day road trip Kris was able to see the work of our personnel in a Baptist hospital and a Baptist seminary in Ghana, visit a couple in Ivory Coast who have served with the IMB in West Africa for 35 years, and spend the night in a village in Burkina Faso with a team of missionaries hosting some volunteers. Kris was glad for a chance to visit with our people and Shelley and the kids were glad to have him back when his trip was done.

You make it possible for Kris to travel and for us to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle when you give through the Cooperative Program and especially through the Lottie Moon Offering. You also support personnel in hospitals, seminaries, long term and short term personnel. When you give through the Lottie Moon Offering 100% of every dollar goes to support IMB missionaries and their ministries. Thank you for your generous gifts that make our work here possible

To learn more about this year's offering go to imb.org and click on LOTTIE MOON.
 

2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (HCSB). As followers of Christ, we must give our all so people can know the love of Jesus. That’s what being totally His requires: pouring ourselves out completely to be His heart, hands and voice — individually, as a church, as Southern Baptists working cooperatively to reach all the nations. We are all part of the task to fulfill the Great Commission. And although Southern Baptists have been praying, giving and going for more than 160 years, the task is far from finished.
 
 

What is a UUPG?

In our cluster of 7 countries there are millions of people who have never heard the Gospel. Many of the larger people groups have missionaries living among them and Scripture and other resources in their language. However, 83 people groups or just over 2 million are Unreached, Unengaged People Groups. That means that there is no one targeting these people. Please pray for missionaries to go and tell. Pray for churches to adopt these people and commit to reaching them.

Praise!

  • Shiloh and Ethan have completed their first quarter of 6th grade and 3rd grade
  • Kris had a safe trip to visit our personnel
  • Cool/dry season is here and we are enjoying some low 70's in the mornings

Pray

  • Kris' trip to Nigeria in December - by plane this time
  • Continued wisdom and safety for our personnel in the 7 countries of the Central Sahel Cluster
 
 
 

                   July 12, 2013

 
It's rainy season! Dust storms like this one sometimes come just before a rain. This photo was taken from the roof of our home.
 

"A Jabama!" "Bien Venue!" "Welcome Back!"

These are some of the warm greetings that welcomed us when we returned to Niger in June...and it was a VERY warm greeting. The rains had not yet started and the daytime temps were high. We are all very glad to be back in Niger and even more glad that the rains have now started and given everyone much relief. Thank you for your prayers as we finished our Stateside Assignment in Oklahoma. Shiloh and Ethan finished their school year strong and even received awards in their classes. We once again said our goodbyes to family and friends as we returned to begin this next term in Niger.

'Hungry for Truth' in Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan (July 9 - August 7) Muslims around the world will be fasting from first morning light until sunset. They will refrain from eating, drinking and even swallowing their own saliva. The Mosques call them to wake up very early to eat and drink before the sun rises. During this time Muslims will be seeking favor and forgiveness from Allah. Please pray for us to be a witness to our fasting neighbors. As Muslims around the world are searching for truth pray that the God of Truth would reveal Himself to them. Follow this link for a 30 day prayer guide for Ramadan: http://www.worldchristian.com/searchproducts.php?category=islam&aid=WC13

The results are in...

In May the books closed for the 2012 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. It was the 3rd largest offering in LMCO history! The total is a $2.44m increase over last year. Thank you, Southern Baptists, for giving so sacrificially! Every penny of this offering will go directly to the field to help support over 4900 IMB missionaries world wide and their ministries. Because you give people are hearing the Gospel and believers are learning more about following Jesus. Our needs are also being met: medical needs, educational needs for our kids, a house to live in and a vehicle to drive. No doubt about it - missions is very near and dear to the heart of Southern Baptists. THANK YOU!
 

Oklahoma Baptists in Action!

In June Harry and Iveta Black led a team of 16 volunteers from the Capitol Baptist Association in Oklahoma City to Kenya to lead and serve our missionaries of the Central Sahel Cluster for a much needed week of encouragement and refreshment. This team was made up of members from 9 different churches. What a testimony of the Body working together!

Praise!

  • Rains have begun.
  • Cluster retreat went really well!
  • We're settled back in Niger.

Pray

  • Sufficient rain for millet crops.
  • A new Fulani believer, Boubacar, as he grows in his faith in Jesus.
  • Continued wisdom and safety for our personnel in the 7 countries of the Central Sahel Cluster
 
 
 
 
 

 

March 8, 2013

Stateside Assignment

We have been on Stateside Assignment (furlough) in Oklahoma since July 2012. The kids had quite a few adjustments to American public school but we are so pleased with how they are doing.  They have been a part of Girl/Cub Scouts, Upwards Basketball and soccer. We have all enjoyed spending time with our family and taking advantage of American seasons, restaurants and well stocked grocery stores. We have been blessed by the many churches that we have had the opportunity to visit.

 It has been a very busy time of traveling but we are always so encouraged by the people we meet. So far we have spoken in churches in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.  In the next few months we will be sharing in Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Missouri and a children's camp in Oklahoma. Kris has also made trips to Kenya, Illinois, Virginia and Nevada.

Many have asked about the situation in Niger in light of recent events in Mali. There has been an increase of tension in the area but our personnel are safe and carrying out ministry. We appreciate your prayers for continued discernment and safety for them and the people they work with.

What's Next? Our plan is to return to Niger in early June, settle in a bit and then travel to Kenya for a Central Sahel Cluster Spiritual Retreat. This is the first retreat for our cluster. A volunteer team is coming from various churches in Oklahoma City to minister to our personnel. Our role will be changing a bit upon our return to Niger. Kris will be stepping into the role of Cluster Strategy Leader for the Central Sahel Cluster. This will be a change in ministry focus but we do still have a heart for the Western Niger Fulani people and will continue to be involved in ministry with them as much as we can.

A BIG thank you to those of you who support us through the Cooperative Program and through gifts to the Lottie Moon Offering! We truly appreciate the sacrifices you make to support us and our ministry.
 


PLEASE PRAY:
  • for safety for personnel in our cluster who live in areas where there is a threat of kidnapping. Pray for wisdom and safety.
  • continued safety for the remainder of our travels.
  • for wisdom for Kris in his new role.
  • logistical plans for the retreat for our cluster
  • for peace in West Africa
  • for Western Niger Fulani people to hear and believe the Word.
 
 

   December 11, 2012

Update on Kris and Shelley Riggs

 

I want to thank the many of you who have prayed for us.  Time is flying by since we arrived in the US July 1.  We’ve  had opportunity to speak in many churches, conferences and other events over the past 5 months.  We also have been able to reconnect with family and friends along the way. 

Our kids, Shiloh and Ethan have adapted to living in the States and are doing well in school.  Both are enjoying participating in Scouts and basketball.

Just this week we have learned that Travis will join the Fulani team.  We’re excited to have new people joining in the work there.

For those of you who haven’t heard, when Shelley and I return to the field, we’ll be moving into a new role as Cluster leader, working with our personnel in 8 countries in West Africa.  We’d appreciate your prayers as we prepare to serve in this new position.

We want to thank those of you who faithfully give to support missions through your regular giving and who give through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  Many of our churches receive this offering during the Christmas season, the offering provides about 50% of our annual budget to help enable our colleagues to take the good news to people around the world.

Please remember Cherry and her work this week as she leads a team to a number of villages where they will be training up new believers. 
We are thankful for your prayers and support.

Gratefully,
 
Kris and Shelley Riggs

 


May 2, 2012

Western Fulani Team updates

Dear prayer partners,

Thank you for praying for our ministry.  Tomorrow I’ll be going to village “C” to visit the believing family there and follow up on the 2 seekers that I met last time.  Please pray that they would have courage to commit their lives to Jesus.  Another young man whom I met while riding bikes with Shiloh and Ethan has come by to visit a few times and is really searching for the truth.  He has asked to ride along with me on this trip tomorrow.  Please pray for M that he will see the Truth and follow Him.
As I’ve gone back to village “F” I’ve continued to have good opportunities to teach there with various groups, however, the new seeker I found just over a month ago hasn’t been in the village when I’ve been there.  Please pray that I would be able to locate H the next time I go out and that I could follow up with him.
In the village “D” I was able to teach with a large group that comes each time I visit there.  As a group there are many who are expressing interest in being immersed.  Pray that we will have enough rains before I leave so that the new believers will be able to take this step of faith before I leave mid-June.  Pray also as I prepare them to continue worshipping and growing using recorded scripture and group study of the Word.
I will be visiting IMB colleagues this weekend and will drive about 600 miles out to see our personnel in 3 different towns.  Please pray for my safety on the road and productivity for the visits.
Shelley and the kids have 6 weeks of school left.  They are looking forward to finishing up.  It has been a good year for Shelley as she has the kindergarten and first grade class with her 22 students including 10 English learners!  Most of her students are MKs, but they are from a variety of backgrounds.
Cherry is scheduled to return in less than 2 weeks.  Please pray for her as she wraps up her time in the US and for safety as she travels.  We are excited to have her back.
Blessings,
 
Kris and Shelley

 


April 5, 2012

Dear prayer partners,

 
Happy Easter!  As this season is upon us it is sobering and joyful to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us and the victory we have in Him through His resurrection.
Thank you for your prayers for us and the Fulani people.  Over the past few months, I have handed back over responsibilities to my supervisor who has made it back from the US and have been able to resume more of my outreach visits to villages.  In that time, I have worked with a small team trying to put in a water well, which resulted in repairing an existing well and seemingly has opened some doors.  In this village, “D” I had the privilege of immersing 5 believers back in August, but at that time few if any Fulani had anything to do with our meetings.  Now we have some Fulani coming every time I go.
I have also found a new seeker – possibly believer – in the village “F”.  I’ve been visiting this village off and on for years and have only had 1 man professing faith.  I’m hopeful both men will choose to have immersion experience in the next couple of months.  Please pray with me for them.
I’ve made a few trips to a new village, “C” where there is a family that are believers.  3 weeks ago, I met another man who is expressing interest in following Jesus and another who came who listened carefully.  Please pray with me as I follow up that the HS will guide these men into the truth.
Shelley will resume school for the final quarter of this year.  As we are now experiencing hot season, she will have the challenge of trying to hold the attention of 23 kindergarten and first graders with classroom temperatures in the mid-90’s.  Pray for her energy and patience.
Shiloh and Ethan are doing well and will be finishing up 4thand 1stgrade respectively.  They are both looking forward to their swim unit in May in which they both excel.  Ethan recently returned from South Africa where he and Shelley had gone so some tests could be run.  It was discovered that he has a condition whereby his body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone needed to keep his electrolytes in balance.  He has started medication for this and it is possible that he will outgrow it.
We will be packing up and preparing for our Stateside Assignment over the next few months too.  Pray that we will bring good closure to our ministries here as we will depart on June 21 and be away about 1 year.


Thanks for your support and prayers.
Kris and Shelley Riggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kris and Shelley Riggs are members of our church who are currently on assignment in Niger West Africa.  Please keep them and their two children your prayers daily.  Also don't forget to give to Lottie Moon and other mission causes!

Do you feel God leading you on a mission trip but only have a few days to spare?  Check out International Commission website www.ic-world.org for a great opportunity!