Friday, January 29, 2010

Humility or Humiliation

It is a fine line sometimes between humility and humiliation. There are two things that have been happening in my life this week that have brought me to this conclusion: my voice and our car. My voice has been giving me trouble this week because of a persistent cold that keeps knocking it out of commission (especially when I need it most). It is a humbling experience to realize how dependant we are on our vocal chords and the squeaking doesn’t really help (not to mention the fact that when you whisper most people whisper back). It is easy to take your throat for granted until it gets really sore and then it is hard to think about too much else. But at least it has given me an opportunity to enjoy some of my herbal teas!

My other humbling experience this week came when the clutch got fixed on our car. With the repairs, the response that the clutch makes to the pressure you put on it has totally changed. In other words it is really easy to stall if you aren’t used to it. There have been a couple of times this week when I have been out (luckily, on my own, so that the humiliation wasn’t increased) and come up to a stop light only to realize that the person in the front isn’t moving even though the light is green. So, I honk to let them know the light has change (this is a very common practice because it is so difficult to see the lights when you are the first in the intersection), only to stall the car just as the one in front of me drives away! Now I am probably over sensitive to this, because in North America that kind of honking would be considered rude (or slightly obnoxious) and then to stall and not be able to move right away is embarrassing. Oh well, I guess there could be a lot worse lessons on humility (and I could always blame the cold!). I suppose that if that is the worst thing that happened in a week that it was over all not a bad week. I pray that this would be the worst you face this week too!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Retreat & Tea Time

This has been a pretty full week. We were finally able to plan and have a short spiritual retreat. It wasn’t the visit to some solitary place to commune with God through nature that I envisioned, (I’m really not sure how well that would work in Niamey). So it was probably more productive just to be in a comfortable place to spend some extra quality time with God and do some ministry evaluation and planning. Thanks to all those people who prayed that it would happen, it made a difference! Who knows maybe some day I get that time in the mountains or by the ocean…

Dave is starting to make “tea time” a regular part of his week. No he isn’t returning to his British heritage! He is spending time in the evening having Tuareg tea on the street with our guard and anyone else who happens to come along. The local way of making and sharing tea here takes about an hour and a half and is always a communal thing. Please pray that he can make the most of the conversations that he has at that time and that God will lead him to other ways to connect with neighbours.

I have been able to visit a bit with friends in the neighbourhood this week, but have been struggling with a voice box that just doesn’t want to cooperate. I have been trying to do all the right things to stay healthy (well maybe not “all” of them—there were a few too many good things that came back with us from Canada for that), but I am still struggling with head colds or maybe it is allergies. It was frustrating when we went to a naming ceremony for one of our neighbours, I could only say congratulations and hope that I didn’t pass any thing on to the baby or anyone else. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to visit with the baby and mom in the next few weeks.

On more of a personal note…
Fifteen years ago last December, I married my best friend (for those of you that didn’t realize, the day after our open house was our anniversary so you were not only coming to see us and check in on our ministry, but you were also helping us celebrate our anniversary!). This past week he got a little bit older. He had the opportunity to celebrate with family back home, so he wasn’t up for a major celebration (not that Dave is into parties). We were loaned a BBQ from some missionaries that are home right now, so there was BBQ steak! I also made him a carrot cake with cream cheese icing which is a delicacy here because it is not easy to get cream cheese (but we had some treats from home) and had a family celebration.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I have been reminded once again of the goodness of our God. We felt so blessed during our three weeks in Canada. The doctor’s appointments went well. We were able to cover all of our expenses and had some left over (thanks to the many that helped with that!!). There was a good group that was able to meet with us at our open house. (We only wish that there was a little more time or a little more of us to go around—so that we could have had more of a visit). We got to enjoy the snow and have a white Christmas for a change, so the boys were able to go tobogganing and have a snowball fight. There was so much good food that I think we all put on 10 pounds (the boys needed it much more than Dave & I did!). And we wandered Walmart, Costco and various other malls and stores in awe of the abundance in our native land. My only regret was that I was too busy experiencing to think to take pictures. I hope a few family members were able to get some.

We are slowly trying to find the right time zone and get caught up on all the things that didn’t get accomplished while we were away. Please pray that we will find a time when we can get away for a personal retreat, so that we can focus on God, to know what He would have us do and get our priorities straight, in order to make the most of 2010. Continue to pray for our health as well, I am fighting a head cold that makes getting caught up a bit more challenging and I hope to not pass it on to the rest of the family. Blessings for your 2010!