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.


Anonymous said...

Wow! How cool to have 19 kids with their parents' permission! And the supporting witness of a neighbour! You are making some cool connections in the neighbourhood, Dave and Jenn! Maybe in the end your church will start with just kids... I'll definitely pray that this neighbourhood work continues -- and that your family manages to get a break soon.

Dan said...

sounds like all the baptemes and tea drinking are starting to produce a return