TCC Background: Ian & Beka have been TCC supported missionaries since 2000.
What is your ministry?
Ian works as a pilot with the aviation branch of SIM (SIMAIR). SIM’s goal is to see a mature church In Niger which is reaching out to the people of Niger and beyond. The overall purpose is to see the Church established and mature and the Gospel shared with the most unreached throughout the world
What is your role in that ministry?
Ian flies/maintains the airplanes and does related paperwork of flight clearances, etc. Beka works in the office coordinating directorate details.
What religious groups do you serve?
The country of Niger is over 90% Muslim. SIMAIR partners with all the evangelical mission groups in West Africa.
What age groups do you serve?
All ages! Boarding school students, families with small children, returning retirees, people being medically evacuated, those coming in and out of the city for mission business, short term doctors, and the list goes on… all might fly with Ian and/usually pass through the office as well!
What is the country and location of your ministry?
We serve out of the capital city, Niamey, of the country Niger.
What is the geographic area you serve?
SIMAIR covers the countries of Niger-also Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Togo.
Briefly describe you current ministry
Ian & Beka Rideout work with SIM in Niger, West Africa, in support of the many varied ministries in which SIM is involved. Ian oversees the aviation ministry of SIMAIR and has many opportunities to care for missionaries and ministries through his flying and airplane maintenance. The hours and fatigue saved by flying instead of traveling by road enables missionaries to focus on their ministries and be much more effective. With ever-increasing security concerns, the ministry of SIMAIR is becoming an even more essential tool for spreading the Gospel in this area. Beka lends a hand in several key ministries. She works as the Administrative Secretary to the SIM Niger Field Director and has also served as a Regional Director encouraging and helping people in services roles in Niamey.
These ministries often mean the difference between missionaries being cared for and staying on the field to continue the work the Lord sent them to do or leaving discouraged and burned out. Ian & Beka enjoy seeing the Lord working to encourage those around them to continue in their ministries of advancing the gospel.
Tell us one brief story of how God is working in peoples’ lives through your ministry.
This is the story of what happened following an emergency landing of our SIMAIR plane. My plan was to put stakes in the ground to tie the airplane down, as there was a storm headed my way. The chief of the village had come to greet me. He presented me with two young men, Bashir and Moussa, who could serve as guards for the airplane overnight. They were very helpful and willing to serve and helped me tied the plane down securely.
A fellow missionary doctor from Galmi Hospital, Dr. Christopher arrived shortly before the storm. We were joined by a local pastor and all 5 of us climbed in the vehicle to wait out the storm. As the pastor was chatting with Bashir and Moussa in their language (Hausa), my friend Christopher turned back to me and said, “I’m thinking these guys need to hear the story of Lazarus. What do you think?” “Go for it,” I answered.
Christopher turned and began talking to these young Mslim men in Hausa. He then plugged his phone into the car stereo and loaded up a Hausa recording from the Gospel of John. As the reader began to tell the story, the two guys beside me leaned forward listening so intently to these words they had never heard before…in their own heart language. There we were, two missionaries, a local evangelist and two mslim men, stuck together in a car in the pouring rain with nowhere to go listening to the Bible. As the story played I could hear these guys making soft sounds of amazement and interest. When the story came to an end a lively discussion started among the Hausa speakers. After a few minutes they asked to hear the story again. Praise God!!
List the three specific goals you had for the past year and describe the degree to which they were reached
- Sell one Diesel Plane and move toward the purchase of a Cessna 210
– A Cessna 210 was purchased last year and work has begun to prepare it for Niger. The first couple phases of work have taken much longer than expected so we are hoping to have the plane in Niger within the next year. It is badly needed. The Lord brought a buyer for the plane we were trying to sell. That money combined with additional gifts puts us in a good position to cover the costs of the work needed on the Cessna 210.
- Pray for and work toward a deeper understanding of team mates and team unity at SIMAIR
– There was good progress made in this area opening up dialogue and overall better communication. We will continue to make this a priority for the years ahead.
- Follow up on work at the Tahla airstrip. Make sure visits are being made, etc.
Communication has continued with the Chief’s son. This led to him visiting us in the Capital after Ian picked him up with the plane and then flew him home again. An evangelist makes monthly visits. This too will remain a priority in the years ahead to follow up on the work that has begun.
Please update your children’s (thru High School) activities, school / college plans, ages (birth dates), etc.
Heidi is currently a freshman at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. She entered with a biology major with the goal of heading to graduate school for occupational therapy down the road.
Kay is in her sophomore year of high school. She is attending Wellesley High school while we are in the US.
Tom is spending his 8th grade at Veritas Christian Academy where he spent his 3rd grade year. He definitely misses Niger and his friends there, but is reestablishing some friendships and making some new ones as the year progresses.