In 2006, Ventura Missionary Church determined that we were called by God to reach an Unreached, Unengaged People Group (UUPD). We realized that this would not be a short, easy or cheap endeavor. Once an UUPG had been selected, a year-long process, the leadership of the Songhai Project made numerous trips to Nigeria to locate, identify and meet with various tribal leaders of the Songhai. After selecting a village to work in, we met with the village chief to explain we felt we were called by God to help him, help his people. After presenting various options, the chief requested that we bring primary health care to the community.
Over the past 7 years, we have made numerous medical trips to the village and added a clean water component to the mix. We have a Nigerian national, Ezekiel, that we fully support as a full-time missionary to the Songhai people. He has built a house in the village and shares the love of God on an ongoing basis.
Recently we shipped a container which included medical supplies for our doctor partners in Nigeria and for our medical outreach program to the Songhai. The supplies, which were donated and acquired at no cost to us, are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of the shipping were paid for by a non-church attender and arrived in Nigeria last month. Once all the items have been distributed, the container itself will remain on our missionary's property to be used for other missional purposes.
Although the teams have been given access to this people group by the government by agreeing to provide medical services, the objective has always been to share the Gospel with the Songhai people. Just last Thanksgiving, Ezekiel organized a conference where several dozen Songhai believers met together and determined that they needed to raise funds to send a Songhai missionary into the neighboring country of Niger to share the Gospel with the Songhai living there. PRAISE GOD!!
Our next short-term trip to Nigeria is tentatively slated for the Fall of 2017. Watch for details. To support Ezekiel, note "Missions & Outreach" on your check, bill pay or online gift.