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Showing posts from January, 2015

Liebster Award

Have you ever heard of the Liebster Award?  No?  Me neither, until yesterday!  Suzanne at The Glorious Mundane nominated me to participate in this get-to-know you blogging challenge.  So apparently the Liebster Award is when one blogger asks other blogging friends a series of questions.  Their blogging friends answer the questions, then nominate other blogging friends to answer questions.  So here are the questions Suzanne asked me:

1.  How did you decide on the title of your blog?  Most of you know me by "Nancy", but that's just an odd and unusual name here in West Africa.  A Nigerian friend, over 30 years ago, told me I needed to have an African name, so he called me "Hannatu".  The cool thing is that "Hannatu" would be "Hannah" in English and Nancy and Hannah have the same derivative word.  The name means grace.  Happenings just goes well with Hannatu as the blog is just kind of a journal of what's happening in my life.

2.  What are som…

Beauty from Ashes

This past week has been difficult.  Very difficult indeed.  Last Saturday in about six hours, around 58 churches were burned in Niamey alone.  Churches were burned in two other cities and attempts were made in some other places.  John just told me that of the 12 churches in Niamey that we have visited this past year as part of his research, nine of them were burned on Saturday.
SIM has been working hard all week to set up a project to provide relief to those who lost their homes and to help rebuild the SIM-related churches.  I know other missions and aid organizations are doing similar things.  If you are from the USA and would like to help out please click here and mention "Niger Persecution Relief Project #97308".  If you live outside the USA and would like to help, please click here for information on a SIM office in your country.
Rather than doing a separate blog about last Saturday's events, I'm going to show you some pictures I took at two different local churche…

Choosing to Give Thanks

There are days, weeks, even, when my natural reaction is not one of thanksgiving or praise.  On Monday morning when I connected to the internet, the first thing I found out was of the death of a young man just a few years younger than Suzanne and who had been in the same youth group as our kids in one of our supporting churches.  Then the week ended with churches and Christian schools as well as businesses and homes owned by Christians being burnt in three different cities in Niger.  
How can I give thanks for those things?  It's interesting that "rejoice in the Lord always" and "in all things give thanks" are not "if you feel like it" sometimes, maybe statements.  They are commands.  And it's hard.  I think the key word here is to have "joy" which is not to be confused with happiness, silliness, or frivolity.  It means to see how God is present in the situation.
For example, I remember the smiles this young man who died so young shared wi…

Conference, Cold, and Cleaning Up

This has been a busy week!  Our Spiritual Life Conference started a week ago Saturday.  We had meetings and times of fellowship every day through Wednesday.  Thursday it was back to work and trying to settle down into a routine again.

 Our speaker for conference was Joshua Bogunjoko who is the Director of SIM.  He is on the right in the purple and black shirt.  He was being translated into French by Gaston Slanwa, the Director of TearFund in Niger, but who is a Field Associate of SIM.  Both are men I respect greatly and I'm thankful for their godly leadership.

Ever since Tuesday we have had harmattan....dust that blows down from the Sahara Desert.  What you see in this photo is not an out-of-focus picture nor fog, but dust in the air.  I'm thankful for the harmattan (even though it makes a mess of the house!) because it keeps temperatures cooler as it blocks the heat of the sun.  The harmattan today was even heavier than in this photo.  I doubt if one could even see across the r…

Thankfulness Photos

Two years ago I read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.  She challenges her readers to write down three things a day for which they are thankful.  If you do that, you can easily get to 1,000 things a year for which to give thanks.  I've been doing that for the past two years, but as with anything one does repetitively, it has begun to feel like I've fallen into a rut and that I am just writing things down to fill out a list and get to 1,000 in a year without really focusing on being thankful.  So this year I thought I'd change things a bit.

One thing I really enjoy as a hobby is photography.  I'm not professional by any means and would really like to learn more about taking good photos.  I like the way taking pictures causes me to look at the world differently and in a fresh way.  So I thought I'd combine photography with thankfulness.

My plan is to take a photo a day of something for which I'm thankful.  I'll post the photos on my blog and on Facebo…