Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas in Niger

He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

This has been tiring Christmas. I (Dave) preached last Sunday, Christmas day and I’m preaching again this Sunday. That in itself is not a hardship but Jennifer has developed a nasty ear infection that has progressively gotten worse over the week to the point that ear drops were useless because her ear swelled shut. The pain has made sleeping difficult, as well as bouts of fever. The church had a late night Christmas Eve program scheduled but Jennifer’s fever started to spike that evening and I was concerned to leave her alone for too long. (The church program was intended to start around 7:30 with the Jesus film, and continue on until 1 AM. I was later informed that it continued until almost two in the morning!) I made a quick stop at the church with the boys to drop off our Christmas Santa gifts and then visited a few non-Christian families in our neighbourhood to deliver cookies. One family lives next to our house in a grass hut. As I walked into the yard one lady said, “Oh David, do you remember my little sister who got married awhile back? Well she’s here now and she just gave birth! Come and see the baby.” In the darkness I was led into their hut and in the faint glow of someone’s cell phone, a sleeping baby was brought and put into my arms. I couldn’t help but thinking that in the simple family’s hut with sheep out in the yard, I was here holding baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Surprised by it all my Zarma language skills went out the window, and the family giggled because all I could keep saying was “A ga bori—it’s good.”

I hope that somewhere in your holiday season you’ve encountered the Christ who was born at Christmas. Jennifer is still fighting fever as the pain and swelling moves out from her ear and into her jaw and neck. We did get to a clinic today and hopefully the meds she received might allow both of us to get some sleep tonight.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Building Advances & Signs of Christmas

This first picture is what the construction site looked like last week when we where there with the architect and his wife.

The beginnings of a ceiling/floor!

This week we were able to see some advances with some of the walls and ceilings going up.
Building some walls for support!
 We are so grateful for so many of you who keep us in prayer. We were reminded once again of how vital that is when a friend in our congregation talked about the accident that he was in this week during bible study. Thankfully his injuries were minor, but driving in Niger is never without its risks.
 Holidays have their own challenges here. Please pray for many of the staff at the boys school who are experiencing the challenges of living in a place so different from home and so far from family. Pray that we will be able to come up with some creative ideas for engaging our community for Christ as we celebrate this year. The last picture is one of the signs that the holidays are approaching here in Niamey. I was at a Christmas bazaar today at the American Rec Center where I ran into this.

Our prayer is that you will experience the Christ of Christmas this year in a fresh new way.