A Brave Question That Hits the Heart

We field a multitude of questions regularly. That is a big part of our “job” right now as we raise financial support for our return to N!ger. So, we truly welcome the dialogue! One question that has been repeated time and again is something like this: How will your ministry work in the cultural context of N!ger – with the Musl!m influence, and the traditional African influence, and the obvious fact that you are a white family from the affluent USA?


The friends that pose this question are brave to ask – since this hits right at the heart of our whole intent to be there! The implications in that one question are diverse:

Why bother going to all the trouble if we are facing insurmountable obstacles?

Are we wasting our time, naively believing that a dent can be made in the reality of injustices that exist in N!ger?

Will the people listen to white folks who’ve experienced nothing of their hardships and their historical inequalities?

Is it worth the cost – financial and personal – to uproot our entire family to live there?

These questions motivate Andy and I to be prepared when we arrive in Niger – with materials we can share, to have a plan, anticipating the cultural barriers we will face.

Recently, though, I pondered this question longer than usual. I left our most recent event speculating why in the world we are naive enough to do this? I wasn’t questioning our calling to go, but I wondered why that question wasn’t stopping us in our tracks.


I prayed about this.

I asked God to show me how to reconcile the audacious nature of our journey, with the reality of the obstacles we face. 

And he showed me something interesting, almost comical!

He posed this question to my heart – “Nikki, when you look at the Puget Sound bodies of water, would you have ever believed that a bridge could be built for cars to cross? Or, when you consider the incredible force and technology required for a man to fly to the moon, would you have believed it?”

I had to laugh! Because, I do actually wonder, as I am driving over the Narrows Bridge near our home, how in the world someone actually thought it was possible! Didn’t they see the obstacles? The impossibility of the task? How did they embark on such a ludicrous enterprise?

I’ve asked these things out loud. My family politely giggles at my curiosity.

In this March 27, 2013 aerial photo, the control tower and other facilities at the Tacoma Narrows Airport are shown in Gig Harbor, Wash. with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the background. The planned closings of control towers at 149 small airports, including the Narrows, due to government-wide spending cuts, are being delayed until mid-June, federal regulators announced Friday, April 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

I realize there are countless wonders of the engineering world that I could mention here, but those were the things God brought to my mind. And it brought me to this realization: God gives us the faith to do the things He is asking of us. Plain and simple, it is God’s gift.

I am not deterred by the ridiculous nature of our ministry. I don’t lose sleep over whether or not the truth of God’s word will affect the people we meet in N!ger.  I simply know that God is going with us, and God’s Word will be our message, and God’s love is in our hearts, and to God be the Glory.

Love. Truth. Grace. Forgiveness. Freedom. How can this message not have an affect?

God has given us faith for the possibilities, rather than fear of impossibilities.

And He will lead someone else to build bridges and fly to the moon.


Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”





4 thoughts on “A Brave Question That Hits the Heart

  1. Nikki, you absolutely made me weep with this one. The words, the pictures, and especially the heart. You’ve expressed the questions and answers so well, and captured some of my own journey too. You and your family continue to inspire me, thank you.

    God speed.

    1. I wrote you all my Thesis but I got a message that it didn’t go through and now I can’t recall just what I said. =) But I do know I loved the way you expressed your feelings. I love your honesty. The pictures were great. My goodness how y;our 3 are growing. Nathaniel really has shot up. What an adventure God has called you 5 to. Do know of all the prayers that are going with you.

      In Him, Betty and Greg

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