Friday, November 27, 2009

Recent Events & Prayer Needs

Sorry it has been so long in getting this posted and a lot has been happening so I will try to give you just the highlights.

Field Day for the boys’ school went really well. I was especially impressed with how Cole did. He was even able to “compete” while running the 100m, instead of feeling like he was miles behind everyone else. (Cole thinks he is flying in this picture! The other is Ben and the boys in his class.)

The Sunday after Field Day I approached a missionary by the name of Susan who was in town to help with the medical needs of a friend’s child, to ask if she would house-sit for us while we were in Canada for Christmas. She contacted us the next day to say that she was free from her responsibilities with the child and would like to see our house to see if it would work to help us. However, God had another plan, instead of coming to see our house, I ended up taking her to the doctor to get the results of some tests that she had done. The short version of the story is that she needed to stay in Niamey for treatment and the people she had come to help had to return to Maradi (a city 9hrs. away where she had been working), so she moved into our guest room. Please pray for Susan the treatment that she has been on to thin her blood has not been working and she is waiting to hear from her insurance company to know whether they recommend that she return to the UK for further treatment or whether she will remain and go into the hospital here for treatment.

We are looking forward to Dan Sheffield’s arrival in Niamey on Sunday evening. Please pray that all will go well with his visit, that it will be a productive time and that God will use us to be a blessing to each other during his stay.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fever & Field Day

Fever, fever, go away and don’t come back another day…

That is the chant that has been coming to mind this week. I have been sick for a little over two weeks now and last weekend with all of the craziness of Dave’s classes and a pastor’s seminar, I actually thought that I was starting to get better. Until Sunday, somewhere in the middle of the service we were attending another sledge hammer of fatigue fell. It was so bad that I had Dave drop me off at the house to sleep instead of going out for lunch with the boys. I used to think that I had an understanding of what it felt like to have a temperature in this heat, but all my theory fell apart this time, instead of feeling chills I just thought I was a bit warm. I even went to church in the evening after sleeping all afternoon and it wasn’t until sometime before I went to bed that I had Dave take my temperature, not because I thought I had a fever but “just in case”. Needless to say I clocked the highest temperature that Dave can remember in our time in Niger (with no bone numbing chills to my amazement). In some ways I wasn’t surprised because I am a bit prone to sinus infections—maybe I need to learn a better way to blow my nose. I am happy to say that as of Monday I am on some antibiotics that seem to be helping, or at least I have been able to get a few things accomplished over the last 24hrs, which is a whole lot more than I can say for the day before.

Dave tells me the pastor’s seminar went well, I was healthy enough to do some behind the scenes running, take a picture and be home with the boys (it was the lull in the storm for my cold). Thanks to all of you that were praying for it! You can keep praying for us Cole and Dave seem to be coming down with the cold now too.
Also this coming Friday is Field Day for the boys’ school which takes place in the national stadium. This always seems to be a struggle in our house, it is difficult when you are a competitive ten year old that isn’t very athletic and have to wear orthotics, even if it is a team based competition. Please pray for the safety of everyone involved and for emotional stability in our house.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My haunting this year didn’t come Saturday night in the form various trick-or-treaters looking for candy. (Halloween isn’t celebrated here in Niger.) But, I was haunted Sunday morning when I sat behind a beautiful little girl of two or three years old with sad eyes. The Tuesday before I had gotten up from what I thought was going to be a sick day to go to her mother’s funeral. It was great to watch how the church was reaching out and making a difference in this family’s life. There were a number of ladies in the church who were helping to care for the little girl and her older brother and their father got up to testify about how much the people of the church had been caring for him and his family over the past few weeks. That is the church in action and what being a church family is all about.

My heart still breaks for this little girl who will soon have a hard time remembering what her mom looked like, especially because her story is not an unusual one here. I was buying “fadi masa” (a deep fried dough something like a timbit) on the street here the other day and talking to my friend who sells them. She said that she became a widow last January and that she was raising three little ones, the oldest just started to school. She is in her twenties. And she isn’t the only widow with young children on my section of the street. Please pray for these families that have faced tragedy and hardship and pray that God will use us to share His love.

Please remember Dave this weekend. He is leading a pastor’s training seminar on pastoral care and counseling and he is also preaching on Sunday. Thanks to those of you who prayed about my cold. I am glad to say that it hasn’t spread too far with the rest of the family, but I am still having a hard time getting over it. It keeps moving back and forth between my throat and my sinuses. I am truly grateful that I was feeling well enough to go to my neighbour’s wedding last Saturday.