Jennifer and I went for a bit of tour today. It's been over a year since we've been to the north end of Niamey, but this morning we went up to see how much things have changed. It's clear that construction is ongoing and that end of the city is expanding. We're looking at settling in this developing area. There still lots of open lots but neighbourhoods are also beginning to develop where there were once wide open spaces. Everyone seems to have an agent to recommend for finding a house to rent but we need to know where we want to be first, in such a big city.
The boys spent most of the day with friends down at the school dorm. The dorm mom had invited them over to play, and her son, Justin, wanted to try out the boys Wii video game. Justin is one of Cole's classmates. They weren't in a hurry to leave when we came to pick them up this afternoon.
There were some concerns about the rains when we first arrived last week but I think that was resolved over the weekend. It rained most of the day Sunday, and the Pastor joked in church that morning, commenting, “People weren't coming to church because they complained it was too hot, so last week we prayed for rain; today people stayed home because it was raining—I think we should pray that rains will stop so people will come back to church.”
Monday night we were invited over to dinner. Hajara and Habou are a vibrant Christian couple. We first connected with them at Sahel where Hajara is the French teacher. Her two oldest children Ezzy (Ezekiel) and Rachelle used to ride home with me when I picked Ben up at the French Preschool. She has a passion to see Christian education develop in Niger, as a result of her frustrations with the national system which is often crippled by strikes and other problems. Her husband is the director of the Alliance Biblique—that is, the Bible Society here in Niamey. We had a simple but wonderful meal of beans and rice—Cole and Ben had about three helpings apiece. She confessed that she was a little embarrassed to serve something so simple but Ezzy had insisted that it was Ben's favourite and she'd given in. Ezzy was right! She'd also prepared her own mixed drink—squeezed lemons with pounded fresh ginger boiled into a concentrate; it was like a nice ginger ale without the fizz but if you mixed in too much with your water, the ginger was spicy. Mmmmm—refreshing. It was good to connect with old friends.
Please continue to pray for us as we search for a home. We've been consulting with various church and mission leaders with regards to opportunities and needs. Pray that we will receive wise counsel and advice as we listen and look. Also, pray that the rains would continue to come because they have been late this year. We have a big dust storm this afternoon that we thought was going to develop into a good rain, but we only received a little sprinkle.