Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter in the village

I celebrated Easter with a new group of believers this year. Our local church here in Niamey has been working on developing a relationship with a village an hour outside of town. While they are not the first to present the gospel in this village they have been hoping to start a new church there. Last fall one young man in the church took it on himself to move out to the village in order to be a witness there and in the surrounding region.  In the last month or so he’s moved on to some other villages but the church continues to maintain a relationship with the people of that first village.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a few young men out to the village to celebrate with them. We brought along some homemade “biscuit” (basically a timbit) and some frozen juice packages. We listened to them sing songs of praise in French and in their mother tongue. I was hoping to see what they did to listen to the Scriptures together but unfortunately white man often translates into preacher in these circumstances and so I ended up sharing about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Tomorrow I am having a meeting with the board of the Niamey church. Even though they have elected boards in the past they have struggled to figure out what is their role and as result the board have not functioned beyond a few meetings. Nevertheless, the church has good intentions and desires to move ahead but requires the necessary organization and administration to capitalize on the work that they are already undertaking. Please pray that the board will come together to identify the mission that God is giving the church and to see it accomplished by his grace.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Roof Repairs

Here are the before and after pictures of the roof repairs. They were finishing the ceilings and some of the interior walls when we were at the house today. Please continue to pray for the construction finances and timing. 
This is the end of the school break for the boys and myself. I have come to the conclusion that I am not a person that does "stay-cations" well (there is just always too much work glaring at me when I am home). It is kind of ironic because the boys would be happy to have all of their vacations at home!   Please pray that we would be able to finish the school year well as we are in the heart of hot season: between the heat and the power cuts our patience and perserverence gets tested  on a regular basis.

Friday, April 4, 2014


I think the only thing worse than waiting for an extended period of time for something to happen is when you do that and just when you expected something to happen things get delayed even further. I was blessed that that didn't happen when I was expecting my kids (in fact both of them came a bit early). I guess I am just not all that patient.

Building a building is a lot like having a baby, especially in Niger. It is an exciting prospect filled with lots of hopes and dreams about the out come. You have all kinds of ideas about what it will be like, but you don't really know what it is going to cost you mentally, physically, emotionally (not to mention monetarily!); until you walk through it. You can have the best counsellors that have had an incredible amount of experience in the area help you through, but when it comes right down to it each person (and each building) is different and you basically have to learn as you go knowing that God is doing a good things through the process and that some day it will produce fruit. Now that I think about this, isn't that what life is all about? Keeping your focus on the goal; learning through the challenging times and realizing that God is taking us through it all and creating something beautiful in us, through us, with us and around us.
We were able to have an engineer inspect the roof of the building and make recommendations to the builder and architect. There are a couple of places where they have repaired the roof (I hope to attach a picture but my internet has been very temperamental lately), but there are a couple more to be completed before they can start on the wind tower. In the meanwhile they have been starting to install the bars on the windows and doors that are used to discourage theft here. (Hopefully I can add a picture of that too). Pray that we will be able to get things done well and that things would continue to make good progress despite the heat. We are really excited to hear that there is a team coming this summer from Canada to help with the construction. Please pray that all the details of that will run smoothly: that they will be able to get the finances together; that we will be able to find the right equipment and supplies for them and that they will have a really productive time.

Please continue to pray for the Pastor and his family and the church here in Niger.