Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Yard Sale, A Power Surge, and a Good-bye

Last Saturday the junior class at Sahel Academy sponsored a huge yard sale. The class rented the tables and sold breakfast. Everybody who bought a table sold their junk. It was perfect for us because we had to get the stuff out of the container it was stored in because somebody who is going on home assignment needed to use it.. We rented six tables, had large pieces of furniture to sell that wouldn't fit in our house, and had 3 bookshelves full of books to sell. Thankfully we sold ALL of the furniture and most of the "junk"....well, treasures to other people. We sold a lot of the books, but unfortunately there are still a lot of them left. It was an exhausting day, moving all the stuff from the container to the sale, standing on our feet for hours, warding off over-zealous buyers, trying to drink enough in the heat to stay hydrated, etc. but we had a real sense of relief to be more or less finally done with the whole moving process!

When we got home from the sale we found that the power was off. This is a regular occurrence so we didn't think anything about it. It was so hot in the house that I decided to take my food outside to eat. At that point I realized the neighbor's outside light was on. We realized then that something had caused the breaker to trip. But it wasn't until Sunday night that we realized that our computer wasn't getting any power to it, even though it was plugged into a working outlet. We didn't know what had caused the power cord to stop working, but we found out when I went to work on Monday. There are had been an enormous power surge and it had completely fried our server. It took our computer tech all day to make it functional again. Then we found out that our neighbor and another missionary family in the neighborhood also lost their laptop power cords at the same time. Hard telling what all got fried in the neighborhood that day! There is no chance of getting any damages paid by the electric company.

Please pray for my friend and missionary colleague, Nancy. About two weeks ago she noticed a swelling on her neck. It appears to be a mass on her thyroid and she needs to go home for further medical tests. God has really worked for her family during this traumatic time. They live 1000 miles east of here, but "just happened" to be in Niamey for a few weeks. The insurance company usually doesn't agree to pay for trips beyond France or England, but they paid for her and her husband's trip all the way to the US, so they only had to pay for their two sons. They were able to get flights within 24 hours and already have a doctor's appointment for Friday. This is a very scary time for them as there is a possibility of cancer, so please pray for them. I know you don't know them and I don't want to put their last names on the internet, but please use what I've told you to bring them before God's throne.

I like to put photos on my blog, but I don't have any this time!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Tribute to a Friend

Way back in 1981 when I joined SIM, I spent a month at SIM headquarters for orientation. We had a fun group, many of whom are still on the mission field and with whom I am still in touch.

One of our group was Jim Collins. Jim and I ended up in Nigeria at about the same time. He came to Miango, where I was teaching at an M.K. school, for Hausa Language School. There he met a fellow teacher, Laurie Berg. They married and served together in Nigeria for a number of years before moving to Bolivia. In Bolivia they adopted two children before moving to Texas and joining Tech Team. Laurie suffered for years with rheumatoid arthritis before complications after surgery took her life.

At that point, Jim returned to Nigeria. His two children were young adults on their own and he still had a heart to teach in Nigeria. A year ago, right after Easter, he was killed in Nigeria in a car accident.

Chad Winsor came by one night to help us hang pictures. Chad grew up in Miango where I served for four years. His family lived right across the street from me and I taught two of his siblings. As we were hanging pictures, I said to John, "Guess who made this picture frame for me?" He didn't know, so I said, "Jim Collins". I was telling John what a good carpenter Jim was. Chad was just standing there smiling and then he said, "Guess who taught me to make those cupboards? Jim Collins."

So, when it comes down to it, I owe my beautiful kitchen cupboards to two friends: Jim Collins and Chad Winsor. Often when I am in my kitchen I think of how fitting it is for an older person to take a kid and spend time with them, teaching them skills. Jim let Chad, just a jr. high kid at that point, hang out with him one summer and taught him beautiful carpentry skills. Let's not forget that the time we spend with kids may have long-lasting effects!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Our stuff in our front yard....kinda looks like a tunnel don't you think?

The moving seems endless. You know how kids like to try to hold their breath when they go through a tunnel? Well, it seems like we've been trying to hold our breath while going through this tunnel. But, we are finally nearing the end. We are starting to feel settled. I have time to do a blog instead of unpack more boxes!!

Just a brief review:

**Monday, March 24 we finish packing up and tearing down stuff in Tera.

**Tuesday, March 25 Chad Winsor and some others, as well as a moving truck, come to Tera to help us move to Niamey. Our house is not quite ready, so the stuff is unloaded onto the verandah. We continued to sleep at the house at Sahel.

**Wednesday, March 26 More work is being done on our house. I go to the office and catch up on emails while John does some stuff at home and takes a bit of a breather.

**Thursday, March 27 We go all out on getting stuff moved into our new house. Oh no! It's not going to all fit! Too tired to cook. Food all packed.

**Friday, March 28 Took the morning off to go to our monthly Day of Prayer. Spent the afternoon unpacking. And getting frustrated. Back when we thought we'd be farther along in the settling in process we had agreed to loan our truck to somebody so they could go to the game park. Since we didn't have a vehicle we were limited in what we could move over from storage at the Sahel compound.

**Saturday, March 29 More unpacking. Our truck came back and with it 4 strong young people who helped us move lots of heavy things. What to eat? All food is in boxes. Stove not hooked up. Fridge finally turned on.

**Sunday, March 30 Church and then more unpacking.

**Monday - Saturday, March 31 - April 6 I worked mornings at the office every day this week. John kept working on organizing things. I worked from the time I got home until we went to bed at night. It is starting to look better!!!! Next week I hope to do a blog showing the final, finished, ready-to-visit-us home.

Part of the living room and dining room.

The kitchen before moving into it.

The kitchen with the fridge and stove in. Stuff finding its home in the cabinets. I hope the doors will be put on this week! I REALLY like my kitchen.

The office. It got a lot worse than this before it got better!

Our bedroom.

Suzanne's room.

Suzanne's bathroom.

Our terrace full of STUFF.