Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Moving Story, Continued

On March 15 we went up to Tera and were there until March 25. John had tons of work to do. He had a two-day seminar on evangelism. All the believers in the area were invited. Then he spent a lot of time working with Amadou. Suzanne and I did a lot of cleaning and finished the packing. But we were bored a lot. We read books, played some games, did cross-stitch, and watched almost all of Season One of Monk. Suzanne was more bored than me. I shouldn't complain because it isn't often that I have nothing to do!!

Here are some pictures of our time in Tera and the official and final move to Niamey. The moving in to our house in Niamey isn't finished, but the move from Tera is.

Suzanne lying on the couch watching something on the DVD player.

Cleaning out the oven.

Spending time with Genghis Khan. Such a rascal, but so lovable. Gonna miss the little guy.

Easter Sunday at the church in D......

Hanging out with the neighbors. The woman on the left is my good friend.

The moving truck arrives. It barely fit through the gate. The writing on it was in German. But it was called "Fauss" and "fausse" in French means "false". It made you wonder about their competency, but everything went well.

Stuff piled up in the living room.

Everything has been moved out.

All the furniture out in the yard.

Watching the white people move their mountains of stuff.

Emptying the water storage tank. Chad Winsor, David Gunderson, their boys, and Chris Potratz came up to help us. I don't know what we would have done without them.
Moving the water tank. The truck left hours before us. It took John all day to get the water turned off. An important paper had been misplaced and he spent all day going from one office to another, making photocopies (or trying to, I should say), etc. The electricity turning-off process took only a few minutes.

We arrived in Niamey around 8 p.m., hot, exhausted, and starving. We were hot because while we were in Tera the air conditioner in the car gave out. I had a little thermometer in the truck and it said it was 106 in the cab! By the time we got to Niamey it was dark and had dropped to a cool 98.

Friends helped unload the moving truck on the Niamey end. Unforunately the "new" house isn't quite finished, so all of our stuff is on the terrace. We hope to start moving in today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


As you know, the place where we are living at Sahel Academy is temporary. A block of three apartments near the SIM office is being remodeled into a duplex. Our end of the duplex will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a storage room, a kitchen, and a living room/dining room. The living room will have it's challenges: it's a long, skinny room with lots of doors on the sides and windows on the ends, so there isn't a lot of wall space to work with.

They are making good progress on the work. These are pictures from a few weeks ago. We were in yesterday and it looks like they are getting ready to paint. We hope to be officially moved in the last week of March.

John in our bedroom.

The kitchen. Yes, both the stove and the fridge should fit in there now!

Suzanne's bathroom. Pretty gross. It's just cement splattered on the walls, though. I hope they clean it up!

The living room/dining room. We are looking towards the dining room. You can see the three doors on the left and there is one on the right plus the kitchen which won't officially have a door.

Outside on the terrace. We have a nice terrace with lots of potted plants. It is shady in the yard...what yard there is. Room for a clothes line and that's about it! Of course, we don't really need a yard since we don't have small children.
John on the terrace.

Y'all come and see us, now! (Wait 'til April, though! :) )

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tera Outreach Trip

Last Wednesday afternoon John, Suzanne and I went up to Tera. We went mostly to get ready for the team of Sahel Academy students and staff who would be coming up to do a weekend ministry team. On Friday 24 people from Sahel arrived at our house in Tera for the 4th annual Tera Outreach Trip.

Every trip seems to have its adventures. On the way up, Suzanne wanted to practice her driving. We let her and she was doing a great job when all of a sudden she started weaving all over the road. As is typical with learning drivers, she was over-correcting, but she finally got it under control. It was pretty scary, but she handled it well. John soon switched with her....not because of that, but we were getting closer to Tera and more populated areas. It was then we realized we had a flat tire! No wonder she lost control of the vehicle!

I think Suzanne did a great job taking these pictures.

Then when the team came on Friday, they had an adventure, too! The road from Niamey to the ferry is being repaved, so it is mostly dirt/gravel. Vehicles fly down the road at a pretty good clip, flinging little rocks right at your windshield. The first vehicle in the Sahel convoy saw some Land Cruisers flying down the road, coming towards them, so he got over as far as he could and was ok. But the 2nd vehicle had a stone hit his windshield and got a pretty good ding in it. Then the van also had rocks hit his windshield. I think he got two dings. But the really bad thing was that a side window in the van blew out. It just shattered. Fortunately the two girls sitting by that window were not hurt.

Here are some of the things the kids did during the weekend.

Eating good African food and just hanging out with each other in the evenings and at siesta time. 13 girls in one bathroom!!!!! The guys camped at the church property and were banned from the inside bathroom. This year the water tank filled every night so we didn't have to go looking for water.

Precious times of worship in the evenings.

They did a kids' club in our yard. This is "Mr. G" the giraffe puppet. The kids insisted on calling him "Minister G". Minister being an important government official, not a pastor.

One of the young men told the story in English and Suzanne translated it into Songhai.

Our eager listeners.

Here they are acting out the story of Joshua. Joshua is praying and the angel appears to him.

They worked at a girl's school. The school doesn't have enough classroom space, so we built grass-mat classrooms for them. The parents had already done a lot of the work to prepare for the building and had even built some of the grass-mat shelters themselves. Many of the girls who attend the school were there working alongside our kids.

They played football (soccer for you Americans). We didn't have a really good team that had practiced together or anything and the town guys were good, so we mixed up the Sahel team and their team. So instead of "us versus them" it was "rouge versus blanc" (red against white). White won. As Suz says, this is a sweet picture. She took it!

The team did the church service in Doumba. John also did some music and the believers sang some Gourma songs for them.