Then in May the humidity comes back with a vengence as the inter-tropical front begins moving north. As it pulls north, it brings the rain with it. Existence in Niger is dependant on the rain we get from June through September. Good rain...good harvest...plenty to eat. Poor rains...poor harvest...famine.
This year it looks like the rains are NOT good at all. Since our last request for prayer there has been some rain, but we need a lot more to get a harvest. In fact, we are going to need rain well into October. Keep praying that rain will come at the right times (it doesn't help if we get it all at one time!) and that the rainy season will go well into October.
Another missionary who lives in Maradi, about 500 miles east of us related that they were having a prayer meeting for rain and while they were praying it began raining. Pray for Christians in Niger to pray and to see God at work in miraculous ways.
I must admit my faith is sometimes weak on this one. Why does Niger have to suffer so much? They already are the poorest country on earth. We dread going back to a famine situation. We have more than everybody around us, so they look to us for help. But we sure don't have enough to help everybody so it always puts us in a tight place.
These are pictures of a dust storm. The inter-tropical front moves north-east, then our storms come from the east (I don't know....ask a weather expert). As they come they pick up the Sahara dust and the early storms of the rainy season are almost always preceeded by a dust storm. Enormous clouds of dust come rolling in. The air is perfectly still as you watch the dust approach. Then it hits with high wind, obliterating the sun and often making it black as night. The clean-up afterwards is huge! It feels like half the Sahara desert was dumped in your house. The storms are so powerful that they are the excitement of the year. Unless you've experienced one it's hard to explain why we actually enjoy them!