Goat farming might not spring to mind when you think of the role of missionaries, but Herald and Sarah Singer found a valuable way to build relationships and transform lives. As International Mission Board missionaries, the Singers use goats to share the word of God and help women provide for their families.
This is one of their ministries serving the lost in Northern Africa, along with their four children. Before they were forced to move during the COVID-19 pandemic, they helped to operate a goat farm with team members and local friends hired to manage much of the daily caretaking of the goats.
Serving the Sparrows
The Singers lovingly call the people they serve the Sparrows.
Sarah knows that a little sparrow may not seem important, but God knows when a tiny bird falls. He loves all people like the Sparrows, who do not know the truth of the gospel, and who are lost without a Savior.
Goats are one way to share that message. The animals provide milk, butter and cheese. The Singers helped to raise and give goats to Sparrow women who could sell these goat products at the markets. They tried to provide the women with at least one pregnant goat to increase their chance of continual self-support. These goats were made possible through Southern Baptist support for IMB’s work among the nations, to help those like the Sparrows find the solution to their lostness.
And though they no longer operate the farm, the Singers remain involved in the ministry. Friends in that area organize the purchase of the goats and secure needed vaccinations. Then annually the Singers come from the city to participate in the distribution.
Savoring every visit
When the Singers deliver goats, they can visit the Sparrows’ homes, and Sarah savors every encounter.
Not only do they give them goats, but Sarah works with others to host hygiene clinics to provide education on personal cleanliness and cloth hygiene pads. As they provide education to hundreds of women, they share the gospel.
“One of our goals is to get involved with the local people and share our faith in their daily lives,” Sarah said.
When they give the goats to the women and when they visit the families, they focus on sharing stories from the Bible, stories to which the women, who have often been abused, neglected and oppressed, can relate.
“Often, we are invited to their homes for coffee where we can share stories of truth and personal testimonies of our spiritual belief,” she said. “And we can pray for them and their needs.”
The Singers visit many women multiple times, their hearts more receptive to the gospel with each encounter. This is the significance of missionary presence. This is the power of God’s work among the nations.
Ways to pray
Below are some specific ways Southern Baptists can lift up this ministry.
- They will be able to train and equip their national partners to reach neighboring people groups.
- They’ll find ways to create and develop a social media presence in the Sparrow language.
- More believers will answer God’s call to serve among the lost.
Some names may have been changed for security reasons.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Janice Backer and Rory Bennet and originally published by the International Mission Board.