Skip to main content

CSEN Community Service

A lot of things have happened in the past few weeks. I hardly know where to begin, so I'll start with the community service team I'm on. We still don't have internet back at our house, so I'm doing this from the office.

It has been my privilege this year to drive a group of high schoolers to the children's home. We call it "the orphanage", but the children there aren't orphans in the strictest sense. They are children at risk either from poverty, abuse, or neglect and CSEN provides a safe home for them. There they are fed, clothed, taught, and kept off the streets. Best of all, they learn about Jesus.(Daniel and Trae unintentionally dressed in almost the same shirt. They are both wearing #22 for Kaka, a Brazilian Christian football (soccer to the Americans) player.)

The Sahel students go once a week to play with the kids there. I provide transport, but I enjoy being with the kids, too. So the last day of our time with the kids, instead of going to their place we brought them all to Sahel Academy for a party. There are about 30 kids and we stuffed them all in two vehicles.

They played on the playground equipment for awhile, but the highlight was when somebody turned on the hose and started spraying the kids. There were shoes, shirts, and shorts strewn all over the school yard as they stripped right down to their undies to enjoy the cool, refreshing water. When it's over 100 degrees that hose sure feels good!

Moise has become my little buddy this year. He doesn't laugh a lot, but he loves being tossed up in the air. I can't really throw him....he's too heavy and my shoulder hurts....but holding him up high like this gets a good laugh out of him. You can see he's not too sure about it, though, because he's holding on to my shirt for dear life.

After playing for awhile, we had snacks for them. There were also some gifts for them. My dad used to always say he could tell when we'd had a party at school because we'd come home with Kool-Aid mustaches and glazed eyes. I think these kids went home looking the same way. They had so much sweet stuff to eat they probably were all hyper the rest of the afternoon and they probably all refused to eat their suppers!

The same day, as we were having our party, about half of the Grand Marche burned to the ground. I never have heard how the fire started, but many of the shops were made of plywood and tin and they burnt quickly, spreading from one little shack to the next. The firemen had a hard time containing the fire because the wind kept switching directions. Sadly, a lot of people lost their livelihood. It is a real blow to the local economy. I loved shopping at the Grand Marche, so I will really miss not being able to go there. Maybe when we return in two years it will be rebuilt. Check out John's blog for a full description of the fire: Here (click on the word "here").


Maxwell Family said…
Love your update and story about the kids from CSEN. I did not realize that you would be gone for 2 years. WOW! We will miss seeing you when we arrive.
NIGER1.COM said…

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…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

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…