Thursday, October 25, 2007

Warm Welcome

We received a “warm” welcome on our return to Niamey from our holidays in Ghana. The temperature was at least 10 degrees warmer. The winds had changed direction and had left their calling card on my house, a nice thick layer of fine sand (note: this sand is orange not the white that you see at the ocean or the beige that I usually think of when I hear the word sand, having grown up on the shores of the great lakes. It is also fine enough to enter any crack or crevice that exists and my house has many of those so EVERYTHING was very thoroughly coated.) The cockroaches had come out to greet us but died waiting—we found 20 of them in our master bathroom alone not to mention the rest of the house, but at least they were all dead. I much prefer that to the living kind! We also had new friends that had moved in with us while we were away-- somehow ants had found their way into the kitchen. Our car greeted us with three flat tires, one that we had expected because we have been nursing it along adding air at least once a day, the other two were just a bonus. Just like an animal lets you know that it isn’t pleased that you left it at home when you went away our car did two things to let us know that it didn’t like being left; the one tire that we had to repair the first day we arrived back in town went flat again the next day (that along with the spare) and in addition it has also developed this nice back fire when you are driving that it didn’t do before. I think that it is trying to tell us something and I’m not sure I like it or trust it to get me where I want to go. It is a good thing that I rarely have to go anywhere without Dave because he doesn’t seem to mind driving it.

I am smiling as I write this because for one it’s true and not an exaggeration, secondly because it has all been dealt with (except maybe the heat and that is just life in Niger—and I know that the “cold” season will come eventually. Oh and the car is still backfiring, but I don’t have to think about that until Thursday morning when I have to drive myself to mom’s prayer meeting at the school and there is still a chance that I can talk Dave into taking me.), so it is in the past and not my present reality and thirdly because it was ok at the time because I had come back well rested and was able to cope with what we found. God is good and thank you to everyone who was praying for us!

Lately, I have been reading Psalm 36 and I really like vs 5-7 “Your love, O Lord reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.” I like the pictures that it paints in my mind of God’s glorious creation and how much more amazing is his love and provision for us. It seems to be a theme that had been coming up for me lately between snatches of songs and just generally meditating on Him, His greatness and His word. My prayer for you is that you will have opportunities to sense His love, faithfulness, righteousness and refuge this week.

Oh, I almost forgot, my praise item is that I got a washing machine this week. Also I found out this week that neither of the boys have teachers lined up for next year. Please pray that God is preparing someone even now to meet this need for the boys’ school for next year.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ghana on vacation

Thanks to everyone who has been praying that we were able to get away for a rest. I am writing this from the SIM guesthouse in Ghana where we are staying. The weather has been a refreshing change from what we were experiencing in Niger, much cooler with a lot more rain. We didn't get to spend all week on the beach as we had originally expected, but that worked out for the better in the long run.
When we did get to the ocean it was a magnificent reminder of the splendour, power and creativity of the amazing God that we serve. The waves were fierce. We got to the beach in Accra yesterday with friends from the guesthouse and they told us that they hadn't seen the water so rough or so high as it was yesterday. It is amazing how facing the power of nature can help to bring your life into perspective. God is good!
I am hoping that guest house has a quick enough internet connection to let me post pictures (unfortunately the pictures for some of the other blogs are still on my computer back in Niger!) Oh and by the way, Ben lost his first tooth this week!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Changes and Spirit Week

This afternoon I have spent some time reading a friends blog where she was grieving the loss that comes with change. As I was reading her blog I was relating my last few months and I had to agree with her victorious ending that no matter how much she loved where she presently was this was not her home and that the One that she loved even more was calling her family somewhere else. I think that I might have to work a little harder to recount the praises of Niger It isn't that I can't come up with a number of things that I can honestly say that I love about this place, but lately it has been a little harder to love. But God does know what he is doing and I am trying to rest in that.
This week we were able to get an internet connection (after visiting three different locations on three different days and spending another entire day in an office working out a contract with the phone company!) Yeah! Unfortunately, I'm not sure that the connection is actually fast enough to post pictures on the blog with, but we will keep trying.
Ben also got his new glasses this weekend and so he is able to see the blackboard at school. We still aren't sure whether it was quite the prescription that he needed or not, but it is better.
This is the last week of school before the kids have a break. The school always schedules this break around the Canadian Thanksgiving (partly because it is the mini hot season when we are blasted with heat and humidity as the sun slowly burns away the moisture in the air that has been left over from the rainy season). So we decided that because Dave hasn't had a vacation in the past year and a half that we would take this opportunity to go to Ghana on vacation. We are hoping to connect with the Cockram's another FM missionary family from Barrie, ON that are working there. Hopefully, we'll still be able to afford the washing machine &/or the air conditioner when we get back.
I am going to try to include a picture of the boys in their "Super Hero Day" outfits. (Note: Cole is dressed as"Pumpkin Man" a super hero of his own making). This last week of school is also "spirit week" where each day there is a different theme that the kids dress up for. Tomorrow is "class spirit day", so Ben's class is having a "stripe day" and Cole's class is having a "western"day. On Thursday they are having a hobo day and everyone is supposed to bring in a can of something to make into a hobo soup (hopefully they will choose wisely what they bring with them). You'll notice that everyone gets in on the costume design. I'm not sure that you will be able to see from the picture, but Dave cut up an old inner tube (that he had used part of the day before to fix the sink) to make Ben's mask.