First Baptist Church St. Marys
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Stonecypher Page

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The Stonecyphers

September 1, 2018

Greetings from Mike and Becky,

A very timely request to begin with—in August in Niamey it’s time to pray for God’s protection from flooding. Six years ago, as Becky and I were beginning our service at Sahel Academy the Niger broke through the levy and flooded our campus, forcing all of us into emergency operations to save furniture and books. God provided miraculously, and we began school again in one month in two large houses. We returned to our refurbished compound the next August. Pray with us that up-river rains will moderate and that our re-engineered walls complete with a berm will hold against any river water that crosses or breaks the levy. Becky and I would rather not finish the same way we began at Sahel Academy.

Speaking of finishing, we are doing just that—finishing our years in Africa both separate and together. Becky began this adventure as a Journeyman, 1980-82 in Port Harcourt, returning to Muncie, Indiana in June of 1982. Mike picked up the adventure, arriving in Jos in April of 1982. After meeting Mike in 1985 during his first Stateside Assignment, and after he returned to Jos in January of 1986, the two returned to Jos together in March, 1988 after a very brief but joyous Stateside Assignment, having been married January 2, 1988.

We have served together in Jos at Baptist High School; as Coordinators, Facilitators and Convention Liaisons; and at Hillcrest School from 1993 until June of 2011. We moved to Niamey, Niger in January of 2012, where we have served at Sahel Academy, planning by God’s grace to move to our home in Southside (Gadsden), Alabama in December.

Join us in praising God for a thoroughly remarkable life together with our children in Nigeria and Africa. We have seen Him direct and redirect lives for His glory all around us, while we have been loved, nurtured and challenged by wonderful colleagues in Nigeria and Niger, and from countries all over the world. We have had the privilege of teaching —as God has designed and equipped us to do for His glory and our joy.

This July we spent an unbelievably happy two weeks in Nigeria as we were hosted and loved by colleagues and former students from Baptist High School and Hillcrest. It’s not overstating it to say this experience gave us a brief, but delightful foretaste of Heaven.

This last semester has Becky concentrating her energies on middle school and elementary students with English Language Learner and special education challenges. She has one high school student who is receiving intense dyslexia therapy. She is also leaving a voluminous paper trail and electronic footprint for her successors. Pray with her and her students as they work hard day-to-day. Pray for one possible successor who is working to raise support with the goal of getting to Sahel in time to receive solid turn-over.

Mike is working as Secondary School Principal on an Admin Team blessed by God’s provision of new teachers who are giving full coverage to our classroom needs. He also has the opportunity to teach the Book of John to tenth graders in Bible Class and to direct students in a production of a hilarious Christmas play. Pray with him about his admin and teaching duties and in his efforts to mentor a first-year teacher from Ohio. Pray for God’s provision of a Director and a Secondary Principal, and for the Admin Team as they make other provisions in the meantime.

Continue to pray with John David as this time of year (the coming Fall) generally stretches Red Cross personnel and resources, as large-scale disasters tend to affect people across the country. Pray for his involvement at church and in Bible Study. Pray for enjoyable and relaxing activities with friends.

Pray with Rachel, Luke and Jack and their hectic schedule with two jobs, pre-school, church, family time, a change of apartments and hopefully, some rest.

Pray with us as a family as we look forward to being on the same continent for a change.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Because of God’s goodness and your prayers and support, we have lived the missionary life of our dreams (Actually, much more than our dreams!) and find ourselves anticipating what He has for us in the future. Do be praying about your missionary support gifts, which for many of you involves a deeply meaningful Christmas gift through the Lottie Moon Offering in your church.

Mike and Becky