Last newsletter, we mentioned briefly the Romans Project, which some of the churches here in Niamey were participating in. People are asked to read the book of Romans 20 times, and then copy it out by hand one time. There were a total of 14 people who completed the project, including 4 of us from our little church.
I (Jonathan) had encouraged my friend, Issa, who we talked about in our last newsletter, to participate in the Romans Project. Here is Issa's testimony.
Before this reading and copying of Romans, my faith often depended on my own experience, that is I was trying to make myself holy, looking at my degree of purity, in order to make myself useful so that God would accept me.
After this project, I understand that the work that Jesus accomplished is perfect and this thought started to be present in my spirit and in my daily life. I understand that I can obtain nothing from God by my own efforts, I must simply receive the free gift.
For Nigerien Christians, Christmas is less about getting together with your immediate and extended family, and more about getting together with your church family. Here in Niamey, the activities started the week before Christmas. SIM and our 5 official church denominational partners organized a special "Noel Ensemble" (Noel Together) service on Saturday, 17 Dec. This was a great time of celebrating Christ's birth, but also celebrating the unity that we have in Christ, regardless of our national or ethnic backgrounds. Songs were sung in multiple languages from different choirs, and a number of speakers shared on the message of Christmas and the importance of working together to share the Joy of Christmas. 10 years ago, this celebration would not have happened, and the spirit of unity that was shown was only a dream. We are so very thankful for the many church and mission leaders who have worked so hard to bring about the reconciliation of this group of churches and with SIM.
- Pray that Issa would continue to grow in his understanding what Jesus accomplished for him.
- Pray that he would realize the importance of being in fellowship with other believers.
- Pray that the SIM-related churches would continue to live out the unity that we find in Christ.
We hope that 2018 will give us all many opportunities to share the love and unity that we have in our Lord Jesus!
May you have a blessed 2018.
Jonathan and Bonnie Moore