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Showing posts from December, 2006
This is a post I've considered not posting. Yet I know others are struggling with the discouragement and maybe something I say here will be an encouragement. Also, I'd welcome any feedback.

Even though I'm an introvert I'm not terribly introspective so I find it hard to put into words difficult situations I'm working through. And I want to be honest, but I don't want to sound hopeless.

As you may know, when we returned to Niger we found that none of the "Tera Six" were coming to church. Indeed, not one of them has come to a service since our return in August.

Recently we talked more in depth with one of them. He told us that "we offered a gift, but didn't make it possible to receive it." In other words, we offered salvation but we didn't make it physically and financially possible to leave their former religion and be independent of their families.

My first reaction to the situation was “Why continue on? What’s it all been worth? …

Church Work Days

Remember the wall we built around the church property? While we were gone on home assignment, a grass mat shelter was built so we could have church there. But during the rainy season we didn't meet there because we had to go way out of the way to get there because of having no good place to cross the river. Then the weeds took over.

So we organized some church work days to clear the property and we have since started meeting there. That is, the adults go over there and I stay in our ministry room with the kids for Sunday School. This picture was taken during the first work day. Does it remind you of another famous portrait?

This past Saturday there was another work day and Jeremy goes over there quite often on his own and works at clearing brush. We will have the Christmas service there.

I was not able to help this past Saturday. Years ago we met a Dutch lady in Tera and got to know her and her husband a little. They have since returned to Holland, but she comes to Tera every now…

My Double Found

You know how they say everyone has their double? Well, mine has been found. A little girl was looking at one of my old Good Housekeeping magazines. She came across a picture of Brooke Shields and said, "Look! It's Hannatu!" I said, "No, that's not me!" She declared, "Well, it looks just like you!"

Now, you look at these two pictures and be the judge. Do you see the similarity? Striking resemblance, don't you think?

By the way, that was supposed to be a baguette which are normally crunchy on the outside, but this one was soft all the way through!

It's Cold!

It's cold, folks! The wind blows and howls and dust swirls in the air. People who normally sleep outside crowd into their small houses, close the doors and windows, and thrive in the warmth of each others' bodies. (Except Jeremy who started sleeping outside when it got cold.) Children squat around the cooking fires in the early morning and evenings. Skin dries out and chaps from the dry cold. People wear sweaters, hats, and winter coats.

And how cold is it? Down in the 50's at night, up into the 80's during the day!!!! It was down to 49 one night. But seriously, when you're used to 110 degrees, that's pretty cold. And it is dry -- if there could be negative humidity, we've got it. We don't know what the humidity is because our reader won't read below 20%. So all we know is that it's below 20%.I've posted some of my favorite pictures of people trying to keep warm in the cold season. This is our favorite season, by the way, because we feel more…

Our First Funeral

We had a very sad thing happen on the same day as Jeremy's birthday. The same day that we celebrated his life, we mourned the death of a believer.

John and I had just started peeling potatoes when Maimouna came and told us that Mariama had died. Mariama attended our church faithfully last term. Then when we went on furlough she began going elsewhere. I had gone to visit her twice since our return to Tera, but she was not home either time.

Anyway, we went down to her house to mourn with the family, but nobody was there. Mariama's children told us that they were all at the hospital and that she hadn't died yet. We went immediately to the hospital. We met another believer on the way and he went with us. As soon as we went in her room we heard the death rattle and knew it wouldn't be long before she would be gone. Her mother told me later that her heart had been bothering her and that she had been in the hospital four days. We prayed for her and then went home to f…

Jeremy's Birthday

Jeremy asked if he could invite three of his friends for his birthday supper: Sumeyla, Ibrahim, and Moussa. We said sure and we'd make American food. So I made hamburger buns on Saturday, then Sunday night we made hamburgers and French fries (that means the potatoes had to be peeled, cut up, and deep fried). John helped me with the cooking. We also made a salad and a marble cake (white and chocolate swirled together in a marble pattern).

The boys came dressed in their most cool clothes and sunglasses. They loved all the food, especially the cake. That really surprised me because they often don't like sweets. I wanted to serve them Cokes, too, but there were none to be found in Tera that week.

After declaring that they were going to die of happiness because of the delicious food, they got out the Twister game. At first they all played, but then they became more competitive and played by twos. The winners of each group then played against each other.I think Jeremy won this particu…


Palmer asked how I dust in a house made of dust. That's one of those questions that made me laugh out loud. If he only knew!

The house itself isn't too bad because it's covered with cement inside and out.It has a mud foundation which has sunk or "melted" and so the house is developing huge cracks. Indeed, mud houses aren't expected to last forever.

The real challenge to dusting is not the house itself so much as it is the climactic conditions in which we live. As you probably know we live fairly close to the Sahara Desert. This time of year the wind blows from the north and brings with it the Sahara dust.Some days we have a clear blue sky, but others, like today, the dust is visible in the air. It even has a special name: harmattan.These pictures were taken this morning at around 8:00. We could look directly at the sun because its brightness was obscured by the dust.

We can close our windows, but the dust still drifts in. Usually we decide fighting the dust is…