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Showing posts from November, 2009


It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone already. Daniel and Suzanne and Daniel's friend, J.R., came home on Wednesday. They got here a bit late due to some adventures along the way. After a quick supper, we all got into our car and headed off for CT, arriving there around midnight.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Tim and Laurie's house. There were a lot of people (three tables)....

Lots of pie (13 for 26 people, plus some to-die-for chocolate/peanut butter concoction)
A lot of laying around on the floor because we were too full to move....

A lot of singing, silliness, and game playing....
Christmas, as wonderful as it is, involves a certain amount of trying to please, lots of expense, and a certain amount of stress because you feel like you have to buy a gift for everybody. But Thanksgiving is all about family, food, and fun.

And what am I thankful for this year?

God's goodness and His sovereignty. He knows what He is doing all the time and He is good all th…

Thoughts on Poverty

I have been looking at the Human Development Index published by the UN. This is an index that ranks the countries of the world by compiling how they are doing in a variety of categories such as literacy, infant mortality, access to clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, life expectancy, access to health care, average yearly income, etc. The #1 country in the world is Norway. #13 on the list is the United States. And dead last at #182 is Niger.

Compare these statistics:

Life Expectancy in the US is 78 years.....Life Expectancy in Niger is 57 (That means, on average, I'm getting well into my old age in Niger!)

Adult Literacy Rate in the US is 99.0%....Adult Literacy Rate in Niger is 28.7%

In Niger 44% of the children under five are under-weight, and 50% of the children under five are stunted in their growth. We won't even talk about obese children in America.

The under-five mortality rate in the US is 8 out of 1,000, but in Niger it is 176 out of 1,000.

65% of Niger's …

What's on Your Plate?

We all have too much on our plates! Here in the USA, we have noticed a real overload of information coming at us. There is so much to do, so many places to go, and people to see. People run from appointment to appointment, taking their kids here and there, attending meetings, volunteering, and working long hours. For now, things are actually a bit slower for us, without kids in the house and our work being mainly on weekends. We do have a lot of projects we are doing, but we can move at our own pace.

But in Niger, we know the true meaning of exhaustion. We work, are involved at church, deal with crises with our friends, and attend social events. The amount of work is what wears us down....there are so many extreme and desperate needs in Niger and so few workers and we just drive ourselves to do more to help more. Many of our co-workers are on the verge of burn-out and we have been there, too.

So, what is on our plates? Each of the items on the plate represent something.