Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Body of Christ

The bible uses the image of a body and all of its individual parts to describe how Christians having varied gifts and talents are to work together for the greater good. This image was brought to mind this past weekend as I was thinking (and experiencing) some of the benefits and sacrifices of how that is lived out. Last Thursday night we went to the church bible study and as we were finishing, Dave was asked if he would drive the members of the team to the village where they were going for the weekend. This came as a bit of a surprise to both of us because we understood that they were taking a bush taxi there. We said that if we could make arrangements for getting the kids back and forth to school Dave would go. So I called a teacher friend from the school and asked if I could borrow her car to get the kids home from school (I offered supper in exchange, but she didn’t bite). She very graciously lent me her car to get the kids home from school. Friday became an extra busy day, we went to Zarma class, picked up the loaner car, went to the bank, gas station and tried to get Dave some food so that he was able to leave slightly afternoon. We were happy to support their efforts in evangelism and thankful for others that were willing to support us in our need.
Dave’s two cents
On Sunday I was asked once more if I would make the trip to pick the team up. I gave up my Sunday afternoon nap to drive all afternoon. On my journey I saw two cars that looked like they had rolled and were in pretty rough shape. When I got home I discovered a third. A wealthy neighbour of ours was in nasty accident on the weekend—broke both thighs as well shoulder and head injuries but is communicating without difficulty. I don’t know the man very well, though I often sit at his front gate having tea with his night guard. He usually arrives home from work around 10 PM or so. We stopped to visit at the hospital yesterday but no one could find him. My friend, the night guard led us to where his wife was waiting. She thanked us for stopping by and invited us to come visit at the house sometime. Later that evening the night guard explained that apparently he’d been taken in for surgery and that no one had been able to see him that day. We pray that he will recover well and that the Lord might use this opportunity as he sees fit.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We have much to be thankful for!

We have been blessed once again with many answers to prayer over the last little while. The school year has started off great for the boys and I am amazed at how God has been working to bring about growth in both of them. Ben has been blessed with a great teacher for the rest of the year, YEAH! God provided for the repairs on our vehicle after my car accident. The baby that was almost born in our back seat is healthy and growing and mom is doing well too. We even gave away all but one of our rabbits only to find that our single rabbit had become two rabbits a few weeks later! We are truly grateful for all that God has done and want to thank those of you that have been praying for us for being a part of that.
I am also really excited about what He is doing in the church that has affiliated with us. This past Sunday we had a commissioning service for four guys in our congregation that are heading out to a nearby village this weekend. Their plan is to work with a fledgling church there and with a representative from Campus Crusade for Christ to show the Jesus Film and help with an evangelism campaign. The pastor asked the congregation to join together to pray for them on Sunday and asked that all who were able would fast and pray on Wednesday for this team. So, if you are able and would like to fast and pray with the church for this team, I am sure that they would appreciate your prayers, there plan is to take a bush taxi out of town on Friday and be there until Sunday afternoon.
Our efforts are pointless without God’s Spirit at work. It is my prayer that the church will get a hunger for seeing God’s hand at work in their midst and will continue to reach out in new endeavours for Him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Long Weekend

Last week the boy’s school had a long weekend because of the end of Ramadan. At the end of the month of fasting there is a holiday and in Niger it is a national holiday. After the craziness of the month we were looking forward to the break of the long weekend and considered going away. However, we were invited by friends of ours for “tea” on the Thursday and thought that it was a good excuse for connecting with people. It turned out that tea was really an invitation to join in their celebration meal for the end of the fast and we were the honoured guests. On the way home from there we realized that there was a problem with our car (the kind that requires immediate intervention before you run into major problems), so instead of getting away for the weekend we were grounded at our house. We had already delegated our responsibilities at the church for the weekend so we decided to try something different in our yard. Saturday night we showed Prince Caspian on the street and had a really good crowd despite technical problems. Afterward Dave went to visit a friend down the street to ask if his kids would like to come for a teaching time at our house the next morning. He explained that I normally teach a bible story and had a colouring sheet with my Sunday school class, but we wouldn’t be going to the church the next morning because our car was in the garage until Monday afternoon. He agreed to let his kids come and the next morning when Dave went to open the gate, they were not only there but a large group of other kids too. Dave told the kids that they needed to go home and talk to their mom or dad to get permission to be there because he was going to teach a bible story and he didn’t want to have any trouble with their parents. So a number of them left and another neighbour across the street told us that her kids could come and that she had heard us tell the kids that they needed their parent’s permission to be there (she would be our witness if there was a problem). There ended up being 19 kids that listened to the creation story in Zarma and then spent time colouring a page on our front porch. They were especially happy to take their pictures home with them and we had kids in the street asking us every time that we came and went if we would do it again, “this afternoon”, “tonight”, “tomorrow”, “next week”.
Please pray that God would use these seeds that we are sowing and that He would give us wisdom in how to follow up what we have started and balance that with the responsibilities we have at the church in Kwara Tagui. Please also pray for much needed rest that didn’t really happen on the weekend. Finding a get-away is increasingly more difficult with the Canadian embassy suggesting that travel be limited to the city limits of Niamey and flights being expensive.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What a night!

This has been a really wild Ramadan for us, but I am hoping that the climax came last night (and that it is all downhill from here!). I am probably not the person to be telling this story, but he is trying to make up for lost sleep right now, so I will do my best and he can correct it later. Dave had been up late having tea with a neighbour (who was really touched that the tea had come all the way from Canada to be shared with him), but thankfully I had gone to bed. At 3 am I was woken to the phone, but didn’t make it out of bed before it stopped ringing. I figured that it was probably some sort of wrong number or they would call again if it was important. So, five minutes later when the phone started again, I assumed it was important. It was a friend who works for us part time, his wife was having a baby and he didn’t know what to do because there were no taxis running at that time of the day. So, Dave went to help while I stayed with the kids. When he got there he found out that our friend had been told this baby was coming hours before and he had told his wife to wait until morning, at which she had stopped speaking to him, so instead of having plenty of time to get them to the hospital Dave was afraid this baby was going to be born in our back seat—he keeps telling me next time I can go to deliver the baby, the only thing that he knew about it was a video that he had watched in prenatal class eleven years ago! Instead of going directly to the hospital, our friend directed us to an aunt’s house to get help, when they arrived there the aunt told him that there was no time to get to the hospital the baby was going to come now (which Dave had been telling him in the car all the way there). Within minutes Dave heard the baby cry from the other side of the wall and shortly after that everyone was cleaned up and back in the car to get to the maternity hospital. I guess they had brought everything that they needed for the delivery except for clothes for the mother and baby, so Dave and our friend turned around and headed back to his house, wondering if they were going to be able to get inside because the lock on the door had broken as they left the house. After fighting with it for awhile, Dave called me again to see if I had anything that would work for clothes (by now it was 5 am) and just as I was responding they jimmied the lock and got into the house.
Please pray for this couple and their new baby (especially that there are no complications because the birth situation was less than ideal!). Also pray that God would be at work in this situation, we have been sharing the love of Jesus with them over the last couple of years. I guess I better go see if I need to clean up the back seat of the car, have a great day!