Steve & Laura Newkirk

June 2011

Dear Faithful Prayer Partners,

It has been a while since I have written to you all. It doesn’t mean that God hasn’t been working in Senegal, or that we have no need for your prayers. It just means that I have not taken the time to write to you. We NEED your prayers, I don’t know why it is so hard for me to get around to writing to you. I guess part of me just wants to wait until something exciting happens. Yesterday, Melody asked me, “Do you ever just take for granted what Jesus did for us on the cross? It just seems so normal because I have heard about it all my life, but IT ISN”T!” It was so cool to just sit and talk with my daughter and be in awe of all that Jesus did for us. That was a good reminder. He hasn’t changed. Sometimes I take for granted all that God does for us each day. I decided to sit with you and awe over all the things I have seen God do recently:

  • A WONDERFUL team of ladies came from Grace Community Church in Tempe, AZ. They came to put on a Spiritual retreat for the 50 WorldVenture missionaries Senegal (that includes children). We worshiped, studied, prayed and ate well. The retreat was refreshing for body, soul and spirit. The retreat went great, but I think these women came just for me! Boy they ministered to me. I love to have my church family come and join me in my work and my life. They cared enough to come, and that made a big impact on me. (Picture below)

  • Telling the Easter story to my English class went better than ever! After class I could hear the students outside talking about Jesus.
  • Steve is making great progress at our beach camp. He and his partner, Pete, along with a great group of Senegalese masons remodeled and upgraded two of the older houses. Everyone is so pleased. Now they are building a dormitory. The roof will be poured next week. The nationals have been asking for a dorm so that they can house more people at the camp. The youth don’t mind sleeping outside, but it is getting more dangerous with an increase in theft. With this new dorm, the camp will be more effective for ministry with women, families, young children and church groups. (Picture below)

  • Our neighbors still care for us and are open to our friendship, if not our message. I was visiting with my friend, Deba when someone joined us. When he found out that I was a missionary, he said, “Are you trying to convert Deba?” I said, “Deba is my friend and I am just visiting with her. She will be my friend no matter what she believes. It is true that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I would like Deba to follow Him, because Jesus has changed my life, but she is my friend and we are just talking.” After that nothing has changed. She is not distancing herself from me, nor is she interested in Jesus. So....I keep plugging away, listening to the Holy Spirit telling me when to be bold and when to be quietly faithful.
  • Our electricity is much better. It still goes out everyday, but not for long periods of time. For several months the electricity was off more than it was on. We have a battery back up system that helps us run our internet and fans and a few lights, but not our refrigerator.
  • The MegaVoice project is coming along. We still only have three programs available to put on the solar powered MP3 players, but they are the most popular programs. We have been able to fill many orders recently and we still have money and resources to fill more. Pray that these will be well used and effective for evangelism and discipleship among the Wolof speaking people. (Picture of MegaVoice player below)

  • Melody and Kate are doing well in school and enjoy living in Senegal. They are both growing in the Lord. (Recent family picture below)

  • God is providing for our family financially.
  • So many more great things......(I don’t want to bore you!)

After reflecting on the many ways I have seen God at work, I got excited about our future plans. Maybe you can pray for these upcoming events:

  • June 12 – Pentecost Celebration. All the evangelicals in Dakar are invited to come together and celebrate Pentecost. This is a great place to show our unity and let the population know that Evangelical Christians exist. It also provides encouragement to new believers to see how big their Christian family is.
  • June 15 – Our dear friends, Jim & Kris Stewart leave Senegal after 13 years. Jim is a pilot for NTM, and they have closed the flight program in Senegal. Their children, Jimmy, Kaitlyn and Caleb, have been some of the best friends to our children. We spend our holidays and vacations together. We will have a big hole in our hearts when our friends leave. Pray for their future decisions. Pray also that the Lord will send me another friend.
  • June 17-19 – Formation Lois – This is the “training of trainers” program that I am involved in with Alice Statler. We are expecting 35 women to participate in this retreat. Pray that we will be effective with our time so that when they leave, the women will be able to teach others what they have learned. Pray also for travel safety for everyone as these women come from all parts of Senegal.
  • English classes are over for the summer, so every Wednesday I have invited the neighborhood kids in to watch a movie with my children. We won’t be showing evangelical movies, but this will open up lines of communication for my children and also for me with the parents.
  • July 3-10 Family vacation at our beach camp.
  • July 25-29 – Our annual Kids’ Club. I think we have found a speaker for this. Pray for me as I go and talk to all of the parents, seeking their permission for their children to attend.

Well, I am encouraged and excited about what God has done, is doing, and will do in Senegal and more specifically in our neighborhood. Thanks for your prayers for us. They are what make any ministry effective. I look forward to writing you soon and telling you about the impact your prayers had on the Formation Lois.
May God bless you as you have blessed us,

Steve and Laura Newkirk 


Steve & Laura on the Worldventure Website


Needs in Senegal (From Operation World)

Population: 12.1 Million

Religion: 92.1% Muslim, 4.8% Christian, 0.1% Evangelical Christians