Skip to main content


Monday -- Grocery shopping here is pretty basic, which is fine with me.  I find grocery shopping incredibly difficult back in the USA when I have to make so many choices!  Here there are two brands of spaghetti, two brands of olive oil, three brands of mayonnaise, etc.  And then a lot of the items available are eliminated off my list because I can't afford them.  So when I find something here that I've never seen before and it's affordable, I get pretty excited.  Last week I found both oat bran and wheat germ!

Tuesday -- John and I went for a date to one of our favorite restaurants. 

 It's by the river and has really basic fare....brochettes and french fries.  They have a few other things, but not much.  It's a laid-back atmosphere, is affordable, and it doesn't matter what time you go.  (A lot of nicer restaurants don't open until 7:00 or even 8:00 p.m.) This was our last chance for a good conversation before he headed off for England.

Wednesday -- I like how John used a real-life example in our Bible study on Matthew 6.  We were going over the passage about why do you worry about what you will eat or what you will put on.  He explained to the guys how when he waters, the termites come out of a hole (in the house?!!!) and then the lizards come and eat them.  He said the termites didn't wake up this morning worrying about what they would eat.  With their little minuscule brains I'm sure they didn't even remember they had termites for dinner yesterday.  But God fed them (and good riddance to the termites).  Likewise, we need to not worry about what we will eat or wear tomorrow.  One of the students asked the excellent question, "Is it wrong to plan ahead for our days and even years to come?"  What do you think?  How would you answer that?  

Thursday -- John left early, early Thursday morning.  Thursday noon the office ladies had lunch together at my neighbor's house.  Her girls had made three kinds of quiche and muffins.  I'm so thankful for my friends....and that I had something special to do on John's first day away.  Unfortunately one of our friends couldn't be there because her mother-in-law is sick and she needed to go home and check on her during the lunch break.

Friday -- Rocks, you say?  Yes, well, under those rocks, which is our driveway, is the septic system.  I came home Friday to find workers here with the lids of the tanks (septic and dry well) and both of them full to the brim.  No wonder our toilet was having such difficulty flushing! I'm thankful that our neighbor (three of us have the same septic tank) called the workers and dealt with the whole mess.  I just held my breath and tried to not look!  And aren't you glad I didn't take a picture of the tank with the lid off?! :)

Saturday -- I made hummus and had that for a snack.  Mmmm, it was delicious.  It's so easy to make.  This is how I do it....and I know I got the recipe off the internet, but I don't know where so I don't know to whom I should give the credit.  

Whirl in a blender until smooth:
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans) (I used a 14 oz. can)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of two lemons
1 bunch of cilantro (I just used some dried cilantro and didn't really measure it)
1/4 cucumber, peeled and then diced (I didn't even remove the seeds, but you could if they are really big)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
This turns out creamy and tastes great.  It's good as a dip for veggies or with pita bread.

Did you notice my little photo bomber in that picture?  Don't worry, she didn't actually stick her nose in it.

Sunday -- Our services are often pretty long and today we had three extra things on the end, but all three were real celebrations.  The first was a baby

dedication.  I love how all the moms in the church come up and support and encourage the family.  (I know our churches in the US ask if the family and church will support and help the family and that's great.....but I really like how the African-American church we attended in Maryland had the entire family come up with the parents and's just a very visual reminder that we stand behind you, that it does, indeed, take a village....or, if you please, a Church.  So this isn't a criticism, just a statement of something I've grown to appreciate.)  

We have had a short-term couple who have taken their retirement to come to Niger for part of each year, I think, seven years in a row.  Each time they have ministered wherever they've been asked.  This time they came and did a family/marriage ministry which they really enjoyed.  The ladies sang for them, then had them come up and receive a gift.  It was a very fitting appreciation for a couple who have attended this church whenever they've been in Niger.  The other day they were leaving the office (they stayed in an apartment above the office) and I heard our receptionist refer to them as "les jeunesses"....the young people.  Isn't that great?! 

And the third celebration was that one of the ladies in our church had attended the Trauma Healing Training seminar.  Part of the program is that those who are trained hold two groups in which they go over the materials with others.  This lady had already held her two groups and presented the participants with certificates.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that.


Deb said…
Thankful for you being thankful .
To answer the question , "Is it wrong to plan ahead for our days and even our years to come?" Not as long as you're seeking God's will while making those plans. This verse talks about the worrying we do. God has our lives in His hands. He supplies our needs.
Yes, I'm thankful you didn't take a pic of the rseptic tank! But the rocks are beautiful <3
Thank You Lord for looking after my sister as she serves You.
Love Deb
Don V said…
"Is it wrong to plan ahead for our days and even our years to come?" Here are my thoughts:
No, of course not! It is wise to do so. By "wrong" I'm assuming you mean "sinful". Nowhere in the Bible is planning for the future declared to be sinful. In fact just the opposite. Read Proverbs 31:10-31 and ask yourself how much planning and discipline must go into being the "woman of worth" described in these verses. Think of how the story of Joseph would have turned out if he had NOT planned for seven years of famine by storing grain during seven years of plenty. Proverbs commends the ant for its diligence in storing up for its future, and condemns the grasshopper for its lack of planning. At the same time if we begin to TRUST in only our own planning and lose sight of He who has promised, or has already provided us our daily provision, then the sin is in our ignorance and misplaced trust - "worship" even - in our own skills and abilities.
Hannatu said…
Thanks Deb and Don. I totally agree with you. We are always pleased when students ask questions like this as it shows they are thinking things through. But as we tell them, you shouldn't build a theology around just one passage. What do other passages say, as well?

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…