Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Crazy Week!

This week has been crazy. Dave got a driving infraction for something he didn’t do, which meant a trip to the police station to pick up his license (when you get a ticket here they take your license away and you can pick it up at the police station when you pay the fine). We thought we had made arrangements to meet with one person and found out that we had made arrangements with someone else (same title, completely different organization). But it didn’t really matter in the long run because we were stood up anyway. We found out that a friend had been sick with typhoid fever for ten days and we weren’t even aware of it. We received a package from home 4 months late that the post office kindly charged us to store (even though we had come looking for it 3 times earlier and they told us it didn’t exist!) We also found out that the airport employees are on strike so Air France isn’t landing here. (Please pray that they work things out in the next ten days before a group comes from Brantford to see us.) Oh and I forgot to mention our Manioc “tree” that provides most of the shade in our front yard crashed in a rainstorm last night. At least it provided a great deal of entertainment for the kids on the street and we shared the stock with our neighbours so at the end of the rainy season they will be enjoying the roots. All this and the week is only half over.

On the positive side, I learned how to do the paperwork so that I can trade in my Canadian driver’s license for a NigeriĆ©n one, hopefully that will go through without any problems because my international driver’s license has just expired. We were told by a friend that it would take a week to ten days, but when I took it in to the office on Tuesday they told me to come back on Friday. Maybe I just had the right time of year for this. Until then I’ll let Dave do the driving.

Dave has been having some interesting conversations with a neighbour friend recently. You can pray for Moussa. He has also posted on Facebook (although our connection at home is too slow to do much). It has been nice to hear who he has been able to reconnect with through that.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend escape...

This weekend we decided to escape to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. It's few hours down the road, and even though we'd never been we had a friend who had and was willing to show us around. As we headed to the border, the countryside became increasingly greener--Ouagadougou is south of Niamey and gets more rain as we discovered Friday night. The rains poured down that evening, and then on and off throughout Saturday. Last night we went to a "German" style restaurant, and unfortunately it's cuisine had a lasting effect--all through the night and on through today. About the only one who's been unaffected is Ben, who took a few bites and decided he wasn't hungry--I made the mistake of finishing it for him! This morning we hardly moved but finally sat down together to listen to a sermon podcast--we'd intended to visit a local church but couldn't get out the door. This afternoon Cole and I lost our cookies again. We're hoping our stomachs will soon settle so we can begin our journey home tomorrow.

We have received sad news. One of our friends and supporters, Phyllis Knoll, passed away this weekend. Her husband Rev John Knoll was an encouragement to me when we pastored the Caistor Centre Church. She will be dearly missed. I'm sure the family would appreciate your prayers.

Back at home the electricity situation is improving, though some have suggested there may be a few problems yet. We really only had one evening without power this past week but unfortunately our street must be the end of a line. When the power initially came back on, it ran at less than half strength
--80 volts rather than 220 volts. I quickly ran around the house and unplugged everything and turned out the lights lest they burn out the motors, etc. It remained like that for a few hours but around midnight I checked again and things we're back to full strength.

God is good we give thanks for his faithfulness in all cirumstances.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Last week we had a major rain storm that rained most of the night and on into the day. In the morning when I went out to pay the water bill we discovered that the heavy rains had caused the ground around our false septic to cave. We've since had it filled in but it was a good excuse to stand in the street and chat while it was there. A more common occurence during rainy season is frequent power outages. When we lived here before it seemed I could predict a rain storm because it was always prefaced by a short blackout. This summer things are different. We've consistent power outages since our return and they seem to be progressively getting worse. In the last two days we have had roughly two hours of power, that is one hour a day--it's just come back on which is why I'm quickly typing this out. The information that slowly seems to be trickling out is that Nigeria our countries only source of electricity has virtually cut the country off, though no official explanation as to why has been offered. We are in the finishing stages of our seminary course work (which is due Friday) but the battery on the laptop doesn't last forever... What's of a greater concern is the fact that when the power goes out so does the pump at the local water tower and after a couple of hours there is no water in the tap. We do have back up reserve of water for just such occasions, but with the little information we've been getting, there is no knowing how long this will last. Please pray for us as we've attempt to finish our assignments as I prepare to preach this Sunday at a local church.