Wednesday, May 21, 2008


You know there is no way to out give God.
I did something strange not too long ago. I had been going through a low time you know one of those that makes you kind of forget the amazing things that God has done for you or at least makes you think that they were ancient history. I had heard a speaker at a ladies conference challenge us to ask God to delight in us—she gave us suggestions of how God had done that through nature and little answers to prayer that would seem important to only her. Well, I decided to ask God to delight in me and I really wasn't prepared for what He would do.

We came home to go to our church conference this week (interestingly the theme was one of generous living) and while we were travelling God provided a place to rest in Casablanca and plenty of food to eat. We had friends that blessed us by taking 2 days out of their lives to drive to Montreal to get us and drive us to my parents (the trip home was in the middle of the night because we arrived at 2am). My mom had gone shopping and had warm new clothes for all of us to wear to conference—she even had new shoes for me that fit! My sister offered us her car for the time we are home. Someone brought us a bottle of real maple syrup from St. Joe's Island (liquid gold), another church gave us a bag of things and some money for extra baggage, and a third asked if we had room in a suitcase for some things. But I think the most humbling thing happened before I left, when a little old Nigerien lady came up to me after church on Sunday and said “go with God in His peace” and slipped me some money that she could little afford to give. I was shocked and didn't know what to do with her generosity.

There are people that have told us that they are amazed that we could give up the good life in Canada to go and work in Niger, but we feel like we have done so little in light of the churches that have been sacrificially giving to put us there. Thanks so much. And thanks for the prayers for our safe travel. Next week there are a lot of doctor's appointments lined up for us please pray that things go well especially with Cole's orthotics and Ben's glasses and that they won't be too expensive.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The church in action

A few weeks ago I was invited to share a Bible study at a local church. As a way to get to know some of the people I invited them to share some of their faith journey with me. One young man who stood up happened to be an acquaintance already—he works as house help for friends of ours. He told how a friend had shared Jesus with him about two years ago and invited him to church. Though faithful in attendance he said was still growing and felt young in his faith. His wife is not a Christian. This morning we visited the church and were shocked to hear the testimony he shared. This past Thursday evening, he was at home while his wife prepared supper and their infant daughter played on the floor. Their home was a sort of row housing with six mud brick homes attached, and each one having a kind of thatched “front porch” you could say. Suddenly a fire blazed through all the “porches” and swept right into his living room. He’d been saving up for months, and only two weeks ago had bought a new motor scooter. The scooter’s engine exploded and shot flames across the room virtually everything he owned was destroyed. (Our friend that he works for saw the scooter and said that the all that was left was the metal frame—even the dipstick for the oil reservoir had melted away into nothing.) This morning as he recounted the story, he said that he’d heard that the Bible says we should thank God for both the good things and the bad that come into our lives, and so he was thanking God because he and his family were still alive and amazingly their injuries were only minor. A part of me wanted to go over and “fix” everything, being the rich white person, but at the same time I knew that his church family needed to respond. Sometimes throwing money from a distance isn’t nearly so meaningful as watching the spiritual family that a person has been fellowshipping with kick into gear and be the church God created it to be.

Tonight we met with hi s “boss” at the English service. Bryan said he was impressed with the church because when he went over to visit this weekend one of the pastor’s showed up with his wife to mourn the loss and pray with him. Before the pastor left, he pulled an envelope out of his pocket and said, “This is from the church.” Bryan has found him a temporary place to live which is next to our old compound at the Bible school. Jennifer is thinking of visiting his wife with some material and taking her to meet one of the one of the Bible school student’s wives who is a seamstress.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance” James 1:2-3

Please pray for Pele and his young family.