Northeast Leadership Conference: Scheduled for Saturday, April 21st at Central Baptist Church in Southington, CT
Missionary Visits: The Marshalls from Mali will be with us on Sunday, April 22nd for all 3 services. Fellowship planned after the PM Service
RICHARD AND ANNA MARSHALL
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
God called us to a ministry to the Tuareg people, desert shepherds of northern Mali in 1982 as Rich was finishing up Bible college. We joined Evangelical Baptist Missions that year and raised our support before heading to France for one year of language study in 1984.
We had envisioned a nomadic ministry among this unreached people group, but God had other plans for us. A famine forced many Tuaregs out of the desert and into northern cities. We were asked by the government to begin an agricultural project just south of Timbuktu to help them during this crisis. When we understood that the project was for them, we agreed to try it for three years. God has given us many opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ over the next 28 years. We found that the Living Water Project opened doors not only in the Timbuktu area but even in many bush villages where relatives or friends of our project families lived.
In addition to ministering on the Living Water Project, we were involved in the small Baptist church in Timbuktu. Rich served on the deacon board and Anna taught Sunday School and Ladies Bible studies our first terms. As the national believers matured and were able to take over the ministry there, we took on more of a role of encouraging and mentoring them.
God opened up doors for evangelistic trips to desert towns and villages north of Timbuktu during our term of 2005 – 2008. South of Timbuktu through some Grassland Conservation efforts of bailing hay and building fire breaks, God opened up an area where the gospel has never been preached. We were just beginning to follow up on these efforts with evangelistic outings, when we had to evacuate in 2012.
God miraculously provided a drilling unit for us in 2011. This opened up a whole new ministry both of evangelism and assisting local churches. We were able to drill three wells before the fall of the North of Mali in April 2012, when the Islamic occupants took possession of the drill rig.
We took a one year furlough and then God led us to spend 10 months in Niamey, Niger rebuilding walls that were damaged by flooding for the Sahel Academy. Anna was asked to teach at the school during these months. We enjoyed fellowshipping with a Tamasheq church there in Niamey during our stay.
Now we are back in Mali again. God arranged two quick survey trips to Timbuktu and Gao in February. Things are still not settled enough for us to return to our ministries in the north. God has given us the job of helping Faye Obgartel, one of our missionaries who was widowed last year, in finishing up her home in the bush at Bancoumana, 40 miles outside of Bamako. We remain active in preaching, teaching Ladies Bible studies, and caring for administrative responsibilities.
We continue to seek God’s direction and open door for returning to our ministries in the north of Mali.