Skip to main content

Christmas in Niger

Days spent going to the market, buying a 100-lb. sack of rice, big squash, spaghetti, huge tins of tomato paste, spices for the sauce, a nice fat goat, and firewood…… Preparing a message for Christmas….. Hiring women to cook the food….. Making numerous trips to Doumba to get people …. Trying to control unruly kids….. Preaching….. Singing and playing the guitar…… Hosting 100 people for the meal in our yard….. More trying to control unruly kids….. Playing games with people….. Making popcorn and Kool-aid for a late afternoon snack….. More trips to take people back to Doumba….. Cleaning up the mess….. EXHAUSTION!

This year, even before we decided to move to Niamey, we realized it was time for other people to take more responsibility for the Christmas celebration. We enjoyed it, but it was so exhausting every year. We felt like if everybody wanted Christmas, then they needed to get involved in it.

To make it simpler this year, we decided to go to Doumba since that’s where the greatest number of believers live. That would automatically eliminate the problem of crowd control with the kids who live in Tera! A_____ said he was willing to do the message and plan the program.

So, we packed our truck with 11 people and headed to Doumba. Once there, John made one trip out in to the bush to pick up people who live there. We waited in the quiet of the new church building. Most of the people who came with us were ladies from my Bible study group.


A______ led the service and gave the message. He did a good job. The Gourmas are very musical so we enjoyed their antiphonal songs as well as some western-style music.










Afterwards the women cooked a delicious meal for us. I didn’t help much….just held somebody’s baby, talked, and took pictures. Suzanne and I went and sat in some comfortable chairs in the shade of a tree. She had woken up that morning around 5 a.m. terribly congested and sneezing. She asked me for some medicine and without thinking I gave her a full dose of a Dristan-type medicine. It knocked her out and then three hours later I had to wake her up. Those pills last about 8 hours so she felt like she was on drugs all day.





I had some magazines I was looking at and the kids were fascinated by them. Good thing I don’t mind close contact with kids!






The food wasn’t served until 3:30, so we were good and hungry by then. It was really delicious. While I had my hands plunged into the rice, my parents called on the cell phone. I got up to go somewhere where I could hear better and when I came back all the meat had been eaten! Somebody went and found me a piece, so I didn’t have to go without after all.






It was one of the best church Christmases we’ve had in a long time.

Comments

Georgene said…
I'm so glad to know you had a wonderful Christmas! I loved the story about the 'kids club', too! I always enjoy reading about your life. God bless you!
journeyer said…
Very glad to hear that it was such a joyous Christmas, and glad too that God had already known that the people needed to help with Christmas - next year they can do it on their own again.
Aji said…
I am looking forward to the day when we have more believers so that they can do more on their own. They help now, but it is still exhausting.
Anonymous said…
Were there any other missionaries with you?
So funny about the picture where you are the only one who is smiling, I can just picture you looking at it and laughing!
Glad to hear you had a good Christmas with less work. I am curious about the whole goat thing, did you go to the market and buy a live goat?

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…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.



While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…

Happenings in November

Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November.  It was a fun, busy, and eventful month.  We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.

We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month.  Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight.  He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now.  We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.  





We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.



Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed.  Whatever the …