Saturday, March 26, 2016

A wedding, an election, a baby and Holy Week or is that Spring Break??

Guess who is behind the paper!

Waiting for a wedding

This has been an incredibly busy week in our house. My plans to get a head start on the sorting, sifting, and packing that goes into moving have not really worked out as I had hoped but I guess that is life and sometimes other things have to take priority. This past weekend started with the wedding I mentioned a little while ago (after four trips to the tailor we all had matching outfits that actually fit!). Although the ceremony started an hour and a half late things wen
t well, the electric company even cooperated and kept the power on for the whole time. Four hours after our arrival the couple were married and starting to enjoy the wedding feast.

3hrs old, ears pierced & eyes open
The next day was the final voting for our presidential election and our present president was re-instated for another five year term. As far as we could tell this election went smoothly and without incident (not that we have much knowledge of these things) –other than the fact that the other candidate had to be evacuated for medical reasons just before the election.
In addition to the wedding we had a naming ceremony to participate in. Our house help had a baby girl last week so that means that eight days later there is a big celebration to announce the baby’s name. We were happy to be a part of the celebration that brings in not only family and friends but everyone in the community. By the way they chose Leila for her name.
In addition to all of these celebrations and events we have been remembering the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour this week as a family. Taking time to read the stories and follow the events leading up to the cross and more importantly the empty tomb, has been a good reminder of all that Christ has done for us. It is our prayer that you will know a fresh sense of God’s goodness and Christ’s sacrifice this week!

I have a few prayer requests this week. We have discovered that because the architect was financially unable to restore the building to where it was when it collapsed the money that we had left is not quite sufficient to complete it. Please pray that there would be finances in place to at least get the building closed off before we have to leave this summer. Also, Ben received a letter this week indicating that he was chosen to represent his school at the National Student Leaders Conference at one of a number of leading universities in the US this summer. Pray that if he is to go that the finances and details will come together for it. Also, please pray that despite the business of the break that we would be refreshed and ready for the final quarter of the school year as we go back this week.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Investing in People: Glimpses of God’s Goodness

“Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children” Ps 90:16

Investing in people is difficult and costly. It usually consumes way more time, energy and resources than you expect on the front end and I think maybe the most frustrating part is that you rarely get to see the results. But God is truly gracious and every once in a while we get to catch a glimpse of what He is doing. This week was one of those times. We went to visit a friend that we haven’t really seen in a long while—partly our fault, partly his... Anyway, while we were sitting around drinking tea he told us that he had heard recently from a really good friend of ours that had left the country about 7 years ago and that she had been asking about us. I got excited and asked for her phone number because the old one she had given me hadn’t worked for awhile, but before I even got the number in my phone she sent him a text message. He took our pictures and sent them to her through one of his apps and she sent us some voice messages telling us how much she appreciated the bible teaching and discipleship that Dave and I had provided when she had been in Niamey and went on to mention how she was using it to invest in those around her.
It made me think of a poster that I had seen on fb (see above) that read:
“People will let you down—welcome to life. People will also lift you up, save you, love you, embrace you, teach you, guide you –welcome to life!”
My first response to that poster was, “Lord let me be one of those people that does a whole lot more of the latter!” May that be your prayer as well.

Here is the latest updates on the building:
The look of the week: arches forming and stair case going up!

Adjustments needed on the main floor before the roof goes on the second floor

Hand made windows

Have to finish the staircase to help support the roof.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Over the years there have been a number of dinner table conversations in our house that have gone along the lines of: “You know that the people who are seated at this table are some of the best friends that you will have in this life because they are the most constant. They understand you better than most anyone else can because they know your past and lived it with you. Family is about loving and always being there for you because that is what family does.” Sometimes those conversations were followed with the “so you better get over whatever the issue is and start living like it...” (any of you with siblings or kids I’m sure can relate). But more often than not these conversations were the result of dealing with our transient life style and grieving the loss of a really good friend or extended family and just remembering that when everything else in life seems to be changing there are still some constants that you can depend on.

Yes, I bought both!
This week I had a reminder that we are blessed with multiple families in this world. The reminder came in the form of African cloth for a wedding. I need to explain that African printed cloth is sometimes used in a similar way to printed t-shirts in North America; they can be used as a “uniform” that gives you a sense of belonging and identification with a group. When important occasions occur like a wedding you will see a number of people wearing the same cloth, the outfits may be entirely different but the cloth will be the same. Usually at weddings the family of the bride will choose one print and the family of the groom will choose another. I had the unique experience this week of being asked by a member of the groom’s family if I wanted to buy the uniform cloth after I had already been asked (and had purchased) the bride’s family cloth. I was deeply touched, because I have been to a number of weddings where I was seen as the outsider and not invited to wear the “uniform” and here I was not only asked to wear one but both! (This was a young couple in our church that was getting married and the groom’s family had been neighbours of ours long before he started to attend the church.) That was when it struck me that the church is a big family. It doesn’t matter where we go in the world the church is there. And in the church we should be able to find people who will understand us, forgive & love us (with all of our warts, wrinkles & other peculiarities) and help us as we grow and develop into the people God wants us to be. Because that’s what family does.
An example of a "uniform" from a friend's wedding a while back
Praying that you have a special sense of family this week in your church and thanks for praying for the election. The first round of voting seemed to go well the next will be on March 20th.