Dr. Denise & Roy Thagard -
"The Animal Bridge"
Hey WBC family,
We are aware of the coronavirus epidemic that is taking place in the US
and around the world. As of March 16 there are still no cases of
coronavirus in Niger, so we are not affected much at all. The President
here has limited travel, has required anyone who comes from an affected
country to remain in isolation for 14 days, and banned all public
gatherings of 1,000 or more, including any and all international
gatherings. He also asked all people to plead to God to have mercy on
the nation and people around the world who are being affected. We
thought that was nice that he is asking for prayer. We are certainly
praying as well. But we are able to go about our day to day activities
like normal. Thank you so much for praying for us.
Roy, Denise, and Abby
|Greetings Friends! |
The seasons are changing. In January, we experienced cooler weather
than we expected. The morning lows were in the low 60s, which was cold
enough to want to wear long-sleeve shirts. The high temperature barely
made it into the 80s each day for a few short weeks. We even saw a
picture where snow fell during the night in a northern, desert village
of Niger! Normal temperatures for Dec-Feb seem to be 70 at night to 95
during the day. The weather will change as the hot season comes from
March to May when highs maybe 110+ every day.
For many days we
have also had a lot of wind, especially in the morning. The wind
carries dust that we must clean off furniture and floors every morning.
Our house helper commented one day about how much dust was on the floor
as she was cleaning. I think she was right to be surprised! It was a
busy week and we had not taken the chance to sweep for a few days.
Another chore we have is cleaning our water filter. The water here is
generally good, but just to be on the safe side we run our water through
a filter before drinking. Over the years rust collects in the pipes and
collects on the filter. We have to clean the filter every 3 or 4 weeks.
When the filter is clean, it will fill a 2-liter pitcher in 3 minutes.
But when it needs to be cleaned, it can take 10 minutes to fill the
Abby enjoys helping us with chores. She can still
be seen doing “Abby-Daddy dishes.” She proudly carries her plate and
silverware to the sink after every meal. Mommy can’t load the washing
machine without her special helper to put the clothes in and push the
buttons to start the wash. Abby helps Daddy water the garden every day
by turning the water on and holding the garden hose. When we had a pipe
leaking under the bathroom sink, she quickly grabbed her plastic tools
and tool belt to help Daddy fix the pipe. And she picks up her toys
before bedtime each night. We are glad that she gets excited to help
|Roy and Abby fixing the bathroom sink.|
|Before and After cleaning the water filter.|
were encouraged by attending a spiritual life conference hosted by SIM
Niger. Each day we heard some preaching on 1 Thess 5:24. We were
reminded that God calls and is faithful to those he calls. During the
conference, there was an intentional time to meet new people and to pray
together. After the conference, we had 2 full days of team meetings to
discuss our vision for ministry moving forward. Since we are still
seeking God’s direction for our personal ministry focus, it was good to
be a part of these discussions as we heard what God is doing through the
people and missionaries in various areas around Niger. We continue to
hear that the ministry decision is ultimately up to us to decide. The
possibilities are endless, such as working in an agricultural setting or
evangelizing to neighbors. Other possibilities would be to work in a
small village and begin to see if doors open for prayer and small group
discussion of God’s Word. There are agricultural centers that are asking
for partners to do the teaching and lead the work being done. We can
choose to live in a city or a village. We have other workers that we
can learn from and partner with who have similar giftings. Learning a
language is still our priority and will be for our next year, but we
will continue to explore ministry opportunities for ourselves while
learning the language.|
During language class we have learned a phrase about hope:
Lisa Almasifu no hokka gokka gam himƃe gonƌinƃe. (Jesus Christ gives hope for people who believe.)
This sentence is important to us as Christians to convey because many
West African cultures do not understand eternal hope. They do not
believe that God gives hope. But we know for certain that we have
eternal hope in Jesus Christ God’s Son.
During our first few
months of transitioning into life and work in Niger, we have been asking
for you to pray that Abby adjusts well and begins to make friends. She
has naturally been shy towards others because life here is so different.
Praise God that this past month she has made strides in accepting other
kids her age as playmates. Now she enjoys sharing her toys with her
friends and being pushed on swings by older children. If Mommy or Daddy
is close by, she will explore with the Nigerien kids. Thankfully she is
starting to sleep through the night once again, too. Pray with us that
animal noises during the night will not disturb her sleep.
|Abby and her friend on a walk along the river.|
|Here are some ways you can be praying for us:|
- continued growth in learning Fulfulde and French
- Abby to continue to adjust well and sleep well
- that we will adjust to the temperatures as they become HOT
- that we will discern God’s call into a specific ministry
- that we will build strong relationships with our Nigerien friends
Thank you for supporting us with your prayers.
Roy, Denise, and Abby.
Roy and Denise Thagard, SIM, BP 10065, Niamey, NIGER
firstname.lastname@example.org TheAnimalBridge@yahoo.com Skype names: denise.ward jrthagard
Roy and Denise