Skip to main content

Sahel Academy Outreach Team

On the weekend of March 9-11, a group of students and staff from Sahel Academy, where Daniel and Suzanne attend, came to Tera for a weekend of hard work. There were 26 in the group....5 staff and the rest students. Even more of the students wanted to come, but we just couldn't host more than that, so the youth pastor picked who would come based on applications and whether or not they had already done a ministry outreach trip this school year.

They were a great bunch of kids. Just the international-ness of the group was a testimony. One of the teachers, a Nigerien, was asked how we could all work together being so different and he was able to witness to the man of how Christ saves people from every tribe and nation. We had Americans, Koreans, a Nigerian, a Ruwandan, a Beninois, a Ghanaian, a Belgian, and a Nigerien.
They arrived Friday night and the men went over to the church property and set up camp. The young women stayed at our house. After supper we had an orientation and devos.
The first activity Saturday morning was a football (soccer) game between Sahel Academy and a Tera team. We were told that they picked the best players in Tera to play us! The final score was 2-6 and, ummmm.....we had the 2. But our guys had great attitudes and played hard. The wind blew ferociously the entire time and kicked up clouds of dust. It wasn't exactly ideal playing conditions!
After the football game, the group divided into three smaller groups.

One group went to Doumba to help them with their church building. They decided on their own to make bricks and put up their own church building. So, the Sahel kids went and helped them move bricks from the place where they were made to the building site. Daniel worked in this group. It will be a small, one-r00m mud-brick structure where God will be worshiped. Hallelujah!

The 2nd group went to the church property in Tera to help dig zai holes. I already explained zais, so if you don't know what they are, look at my previous post or check out John's blog at or Jeremy's at As I said previously, Jeremy had dug at least 1/2 of the property single-handedly. Other people had dug some (I dug a wimpy 28!....not all at one time!), so at the beginning of the day, probably 2/3s of the land was dug. They didn't quite get to finish it, but they dug a lot of holes and it is probably now 3/4s finished. Their rows weren't quite as straight as Jeremy's, but they did a good job.

The 3rd group helped me with a kids' club. The kids were pretty well behaved and enjoyed having a story, singing, making a craft, and playing lots of games. We had about 40 neighborhood kids. The work of this team was not as physical, but it was equally exhausting as they had the challenge of trying to communicate with kids whose language they don't know. We did have the Nigerien teacher, Suzanne, and myself in that group, so we were the interpreters.

On Sunday morning, groups one and two went to Doumba for a church service. One of the staff members preached and the kids did special music. The 3rd group stayed with me in Tera and did Sunday School with about 60 kids.

We're having a water shortage in Tera (still). We have a new big storage tank which helps with the problem, but we realized before the Sahel team came up that the tank was filling only about every 3rd night. We knew that with that many people we would really have to ration the amount of water used. Everybody had to use the outside latrine....which means you squat over a hole in the ground...and there's lots of huge cockroaches at night....and it stinks. Everybody got a bucket of water per day for bathing. We put one bowl of water out for washing hands before meals and everybody used the same water. The kids were good sports about it all and some even remarked that it helped them appreciate how easy life is in Niamey.

It was a great weekend and we were really glad the kids could come up. It was a great testimony to work together like that and to be of service to people in Tera.


NIGER1.COM said…
Hello very nice here is a weblink you can share with the students at Sahel academy it post daily Niger news in english
Dusty Penguin said…
How great to have the kids come out on a team. Although it makes alot of work for you, they'll never forget the experience. Plus, it sounds like they were a great help.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  

The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 

The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

Beyond Our Ability to Endure

I've been working on our home assignment audio-visual presentation.  It's been a lot of work, especially since it requires sorting through hundreds of pictures to choose the ones we want to use.  I was hoping to put together something that would be really "Wow!"  Well, in the end it's just a power point with some music and a few slides coming in with a fancy spin.  But it's our story, and our story is nothing more than God's story when it comes right down to it.  In fact, I have used Big Daddy Weave's song, My Story in part of the presentation.  If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here
As I looked over the past four years of this term there were days that we felt we had reached our ability to endure.  We started the term in July 2013 and we were still recovering from the flood of 2012.  We have all of our "normal" stresses such as living in an extremely hot climate, living in the poorest country of the world, livi…