Keeping Up with the Ludwigs
October is a huge month for the EERN (our partner church in Niger - Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger). They are planning their first ever leadership conference, where they hope to gather all 163 of the pastors and evangelists across the country to focus on Christian leadership. Following the conference leaders will attend the EERN General Assembly and discuss budgets and planning.
Please pray with us! For our children’s health and school needs; for the Church as they are transitioning in leadership; for peace; for crops in Niger (with unreliable weather and famine in part of the country); for the evangelists (who have an extremely difficult job in the least developed country in the world and a majority Muslim context). All our love and prayers, Michael and Rachel Ludwig.
We’re back in the saddle again after being in the US for visiting churches and vacation time. It’s been a difficult return but has had some bright spots. The EERN President, Mai-Aiki Kadade, resigned. While we don’t expect any problems in our relationships, it has been a big blow as we’ve been working closely with him and were very comfortable with his implementation of the vision of the church leadership. We’re excited with the work of CHE trainings coming up for micro-business and regional trainers. Before we returned our faithful watch-dog, Barka, died. But already a new puppy has been found for us, which we’ve named Hakuri (Patience). The new school year has started for all our homeschoolers, and everyone is excited for new challenges. Thank you for your prayers!
The relentless heat has returned along with more electricity problems. We appreciate your prayers for us as Michael takes big steps in leading the local congregation’s weekly prayer service. We appreciate your prayers for our church and the big encouragement your interest in Niger is to us! Please pray for the EERN Bible Schools and new students, evangelists coming for training, and for our children Hassan (taking high school exit exams) and Isaac (for his adoption to be finalized quickly.)
Mark your calendars! The Ludwigs will visit First Pres on Sunday, June 17. Come and learn more about their experiences as mission co-workers in Niger. Watch for more details about this event.
Community Health Evangelists Update - The evangelists did further training this past month on basic health and agriculture techniques that they can share with their villages. We heard great testimonies of how they put in place the CHE training we’ve already given them. The natural fertilizer made with an easy composting method has been a success, and their children have been excited to use the handwashing stations designed for families who have to carry water from long distances.
About Michael and Rachel's Ministry
The November 2014 Mission Committee meeting voted to accept a report from the Mission Co-Worker Selection Task Force to support Rev. Michael Ludwig and Rachel Ludwig and the people of Niger.
Michael and Rachel work alongside the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger (EERN), helping them develop a literacy training and evangelism program. Niger is among the world’s poorest countries, has a literacy rate of only 29 percent, and experiences frequent famines.
“It’s captured our hearts as a place of great need, where people with skills in language and teaching can make a huge impact in the lives of ordinary Nigerians through literacy training and exposure to the gospel," they write. “We believe this program will help the church grow in reaching out to its non-Christian neighbors, helping them physically through teaching and spiritually as they read the good news of Jesus.” (Source: PC(USA) Ludwig prayer card)
About Michael and Rachel Ludwig
The Ludwigs, who will be accompanied in Niger by two children, anticipate their life will be full of opportunities and challenges. “We expect to encounter joys of close and friendly family life, vibrant worship, and excitement at helping people learn new skills that help them, but we anticipate challenges of dealing with very hot conditions, malaria risks, learning multiple languages, dealing with different time expectations, and answering the needs that God wants you to focus on instead of answering every need,” Rachel explains.
Michael, a native of Holland, Michigan, was an associate pastor at Overbrook Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio, for four years prior to entering mission service. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and a master’s degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He also has done graduate study in the classics at the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of Scioto Valley Presbytery.
Rachel grew up in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, and has spent most of her professional life as a middle school math and science teacher. She has taught in public school systems in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the College of Wooster in 2001, she spent one year as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Young Adult Volunteer in Guatemala and one year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Cincinnati. Rachel is a member of Overbrook Presbyterian Church.
Please keep Michael, Rachel and their young son and daughter in your prayers for the work they will be doing in Niger.
To learn more about the Ludwigs, their ministry, subscribe to letters, and more, visit the Ludwig's Mission Connections page on the PC(USA) website.
Video: Listen as Michael and Rachel Ludwig share their sense of call to mission in Niger.