Have you ever thrown a pebble into a pond? It makes a quiet plop, creates a small circle of ripples, and then disappears. Have you ever thrown a rock into a pond? It makes a loud SPLASH, causes waves to form, and creates a large circle of ripples that spread across the pond—much farther than the pebble spread.
The ripple effect happens when an initial event is followed by a chain reaction of events. It happens when we throw pebbles and rocks into ponds, and it happens when we share the Gospel.
Kristi Hopf is an international worker in Niger serving the Fulani people, a group of people the Jaffray Project is reaching. She is involved in a program that teaches local Fulani agricultural strategies, such as zaï holes1 and composting. Christophe, the agricultural trainer, had a village representative plant an experimental field to demonstrate what was taught. The rains were scattered this year. The Fulani farmers had planted multiple times, but there was not enough rain to sustain the millet. People were saying that, “An invisible umbrella had been placed over Niamey, the capital city, to keep the rains out.” Other people said that their religious leaders were saying that, “There will be a drought this year and no millet will be harvested.” While all of this was happening, Kristi prayed. And when the rains still did not come, Kristi urged others to pray with her.
Robert Jaffray gave his life to Christ when he was 16-years-old. Shortly after he made this commitment A.B. Simpson, founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), mentored him. Jaffray had a burning passion for missions and this created conflict in his home life. His father owned the forerunner to the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. Robert Jaffray Sr. intended to pass his money, influence, and power onto his son—but only if his son chose not to pursue missions.
Jaffray faced an ultimatum, and he chose to follow God. His radical sacrifice led him to China where he relied on God for strength and perseverance. Jaffray and his colleagues led many people in the Guangxi province to faith in Jesus and they planted churches in the Wuzhou areas of China. In 1911, Jaffray launched a mission into Vietnam. Today, the C&MA in Vietnam has more than 1 million members, over 550 ordained pastors, and over 2,500 churches.2 Jaffray worked and trusted God. The result was a ripple effect which continues today.
This year in Niger, Kristi helped plant a field, and she trusted God for rain. The day before the millet would die due to a lack of rain, God answered her prayers and provided. Though the rains continue to be less than normal and some fields are dying, while others are still growing, the villagers have noticed that the height of the millet planted in the experimental field surpasses that of the regular plantings.
Through the agricultural program, Kristi has developed relationships with the Fulani. Every week a group of them gathers and Kristi tells them a story from the Bible. As Kristi teaches agriculture, she has been telling the stories of Noah and Joseph. She teaches patience and tells them that, just as God showed Noah and Joseph how to prepare for lean years and hardships of the flood, the Fulani can prepare for what may come. She is astounded at how many of the village chief ’s family have begun attending the story times! The Fulani are thirsty to hear more about God
There are people all over the world who are eager to hear more about God. The Jaffray Project sends international workers to least-reached people groups such as the Fulani, Wolof, Yazidis, and Balinese Hindus.3 This annual campaign launches new workers and supports the Global Advance Fund.4 Today, Jaffray Project donations are at work training new workers, like Bryan and Jessyka who have spent the past year studying the language and culture of their region.
When we listen to God’s calling and take up His task, we can trust God to create a ripple effect from our actions. The same way a rock makes more of an impact than a pebble, we can make a larger impact with more support. Through the support of our Alliance church family, we have seen people impacted across the nations. Just as Jaffray, Kristi Hopf, and Bryan and Jessyka did, we urge you to consider what sacrifice you can make to add to our ripple effect.
Pray with us for the initiatives we are taking to reach these groups to share the Gospel.
Partner with us financially by donating to the Jaffray Project.
The Fulani are thirsty to hear more about God.
Kristen is the Copywriter/ Copy Editor at the National Ministry Centre for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. She has a passion for words and creativity. Kristen and her husband, Chris, enjoy board games and taking care of their house plants.