Leaving Africa Again

Lord willing, I will board a plane in Niamey tonight, leaving Africa again. Every time I come to this wonderful, difficult place, God teaches me more about himself and his work… in the world and in me.

Our time in Gaya, Niger and Kandi, Benin was packed full of gospel-preaching opportunities. We preached in villages along the road to Gaya on Friday, in Gaya on Saturday, and in Kandi on Sunday and Monday. We established contact with Songhai people in two areas of Kandi, which was one of our purposes in making the trip there. The people were willing to hear our preaching and often expressed gratitude for our coming. But the darkness of Islam is very deep here. Praise God, the light of the gospel can and will penetrate the deepest darkness.

There were some in Kandi who said to us, “You are loving us. You come and speak truth. But we have many questions. We know that you leave tomorrow. When will you return to answer them?” Please join with me in praying that the Lord of the harvest will send gospel workers to the fields of Kandi. Perhaps he would even choose to send someone reading this very blog….

I have included a couple of photos. One is of a group of young men I shared with. The other photo is of me and Mohammadu, a man I met in a village near Niamey in 2013. He is now in Gaya working. It was so good to see him again and to study the Word with him. Please pray for his walk with Jesus.

As I leave for Louisville tonight, please pray for my travel. Pray for the Fox family as they continue to serve the Songhai with the gospel. Pray that Bethany BC will have more opportunities to come alongside them here to serve with them. Pray for the Songhai to be freed from darkness into the glorious light of Christ’s salvation.

Thank you for laboring in prayer.

Until the whole world hears,

Ken

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Niger Update

The last three days have been quite full… very hot… and richly blessed by God. It has been so encouraging to study God’s Word with these Songhai brothers. We have studied the sure promise of our Lord’s return and the sure promise that his people will persevere as He preserves us for that Day. We have seen the wonderful implications that these realities have upon our lives as citizens of His eternal kingdom. It has been such a joy to, yet again, see how these truths transcend ethnic backgrounds and cultures to show plainly that we Christians are One People, called by the Name that is above every other name.

Thank you for your prayers for us. I am including a few photos from our conference.

Early tomorrow, we will drive 12 hours south to the city of Gaya, stopping at several villages along the way. We will be teaching “creation to Christ.” We will spend a day in Gaya before crossing the Benin border to the city of Kandi. Please pray that the gospel will bear fruit.

I miss you and am praying for you!

Until the whole world hears,

Ken

    

Greetings from Niamey!

Thankful to report that I had a safe and on time arrival in Niamey on Saturday.  I deeply missed celebrating the resurrection of our Lord on Sunday with my Bethany family, but was thankful to celebrate with the Evangelical Baptist Church of Niamey.

Today, we traveled to Boubon to share “Creation to Christ” in the village. Please pray for conviction in the

hearts of those who heard.

We also taught Souley-man and Apollonere (2 believers) from the Word. It was so good to see these brothers again.

 

Tomorrow, we begin to teach 12 men who are going through the leadership training. The photo below shows 6 of the men, along with myself and Cephas, the translator (far right). Please pray for these men by name (2 names not provided here, but pray for them still!). Pray that they will grow in their knowledge of the truth. Please pray for me as I teach, that the Holy Spirit will minister the Word through me with power so that our Lord Jesus is proclaimed and exalted. Thank you for praying!

Hamadon, Koanjora, Bendi, Yienlenna, Joseph, Ibrahim, Alhassane, Hama, Aziz, Yacouba, 2 more.

Grace and peace,

Ken

Why Should Bethany Have a Blog?

This is a good question. Communication has changed in the last few years. People today rarely write letters and are reading newspapers less and less. Now people are looking to websites, blogs, and social media to get information and to interact with others. As a church we must be in tune with this changing tide. In the words of the apostle Paul, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:22b-23). In the first century the best way for people to communicate, beyond face to face interaction, was through letters. Therefore, church leaders like Paul spent a significant amount of time writing letters to the churches. In the same way, it is important for us to communicate information in the same form as the culture around us. Our church needs to communicate with people who are becoming more and more accustomed to using digital media. Therefore, the leadership of Bethany Baptist has decided to begin a church blog. This blog will not replace any existing forms of communication. Church members will still receive the Blueprint and calendar by mail, and will receive e-mails from the pastor and the staff when necessary. The Bethany Blog has three main purposes: connect, teach, and inform.

Connect

It is our desire to connect Bethany members more and more to the life of our body. All blog posts will have an open comments section so that anyone reading can respond to the posted blog. Hopefully this will create dialogue between members about spiritual issues. Further, it is our goal to connect with those who are outside of the church. Those following the blog are encouraged to share posts on social media. This will be a good way for us to reach out to our friends and neighbors with the gospel. Finally, this blog is not meant to be a substitute for what is happening as we gather on a regular basis. For example, no one in our congregation should ever say, “I am not a part of a DC Group or Sunday School class, I just follow the blog and get my spiritual nourishment that way.” Those who are writing blog posts will seek to write in a way that helps us connect with one-another and the life of our congregation.

Teach

This new blog is also meant to teach. We will regularly post blogs that will help us instruct one another. Paul tells Timothy, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). As Christians we are a teaching people. We should always be ready and eager to instruct one another and to be instructed with “sound words.” Therefore, The Bethany Blog will regularly post articles on what it means to live the Christian life faithfully in the various areas of our lives.

Inform

The final purpose of this blog is to inform. We want to help the members of our church and others to stay up to date on what is happening in the life of our body. Therefore, every edition of The Blueprint will be posted to the blog. Next, as our church sends out mission teams they will post blogs to keep everyone else informed about what is happening and how the Lord is working while they are there. It is important for us to stay informed so that we can know how to encourage and pray for one-another.

We are excited about using this new form of communication to glorify God and to advance his kingdom. We encourage everyone to follow this blog through e-mail so that you can stay up-to-date on its most recent posts.

-Jeff Lane

Pastor of Students and Media

Instruction, encouragement, and announcements from Bethany Baptist Church of Louisville