Tuesday, 23 August 2022
Rae has served with SIM in Niger since 2018. As well as teaching high school maths at Sahel Academy, she was the Year 12 Homeroom teacher and involved with the school worship team and student prayer group. Sahel Academy, which started in 1986, provides the opportunity for missionary kids in Niger and surrounding countries to receive quality education.
As well as staff teaching a Biblical outlook on the curriculum, the school also nurtures a community that is dependent on God through prayer. Rae shared, “Prayer is central to teachers at Sahel and we try to incorporate it into daily activities with our students. We have a weekly lunchtime prayer meeting that the students run. In my classroom, I make sure we pray before sitting tests or exams. The staff get together to pray once a month. In past years we had representatives of the missions of our students’ families come to share during these prayer meetings.”
It was a joy for Rae to journey with her students for the past four years and her biggest reward was seeing their personal growth over that time. As well as the connections with those at Sahel, Rae also created friendships with those in her community, including a woman named Daania*.
In 2020, Niamey experienced terrible floods and the water rose between 1-2 metres on both compounds of Sahel Academy. Daania’s home, which was next to the Academy, was also destroyed. Daania shared, “On the night of 23 August, all the inhabitants of the district panicked and gathered their belongings to leave the district as soon as possible. Others didn’t even know where to go in this moment of distress; I was upset to see my lovely neighbourhood about to become a ruin.”
At 9am the next morning, the water came into Daania’s mud brick house. Daania recalled, “I stood on a big rock with tears in my eyes as my father and mother walked away leaving our beloved neighboured destroyed by the river water. By 10am, I had left the place in hopes that one day I would have a beautiful house made of fine materials where all my family would be happy by the will of God.” Daania and her family stayed with her aunt as they reassessed their future.
A few weeks later, Rae returned from Australia and visited Daania and her family with good news. Thanks to her prayer and financial partners in Australia, Rae was able to help Daania and her family move into a new home. Daania said, “She wanted to help us get a new house away from the river. We were very happy to hear this. Rae sought help from people in her church who were also very happy to fund people in our situation. We can’t thank them enough.”
Reflecting on God’s provision for Daania’s house, Rae shared, “There are many mission workers, past and present, praying for Daania and her family. They are aware of these prayers and appreciate that God has worked powerfully through them. They named their sixth child Ishmael because it means ‘God hears’ and they wanted to thank God for hearing their prayers. We continue to pray that Daania and her family will know the difference between the Christian God and the god of the majority religion.”
Rae shared that her prayer supporters were essential to her longevity on the field in Niger. “It wasn’t always easy so it meant a lot that I could share prayer points with supporters back home,” she said. “It was hugely encouraging to know that I wasn’t doing this job on my own, but that God had sent me and people were praying for me.”
Do you have a heart to make the Gospel known with your skills and talents? Get in touch with a Mobiliser today to learn how you can serve with SIM. Visit sim.org.au/startaconversation
to learn more.
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*Name changed for security
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