29 June 2009

"Pawdners..." (said with my best southern drawl)

~ which I really can do, since I grew up in Oklahoma and since my parents/ grandparents/etc., are all from S. Illinois... like as far south in the state of Illinois as you can go and have it still be considered Illinois... but that is all totally off the subject.

Since we first arrived in Niger, we've seen our team change... go from three families --- to only us... then start to grow again... we are still reeling a little from disappointment, as this spring/summer, we've seen God directing some of those partners to other teams and ministires... which makes us all the more thankful for those who are still here. Working in a place like Niger, while there is no other place we'd rather be, is hard in many ways. I can't pick up the phone and call my mom or sister... letters and emails often disappear into cyberspace and responses never come because life is just so busy... I blog, which I love and which helps others feel like they know us a little, know our kids - but "feedback" and reciprocity is more unlikely than common. Facebook is fun, and it is amazing the little pieces of daily life to which you have access... that I've never had before. I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining because I'm not. When we told God, "Yes," this was all part of the counted cost. But it does make me sad.

And reality is - those people who are here, doing similar things to what we are doing, leaving and living elsewhere - whether a part of our particular organization or not - DO become family. So while we anticipate many wonderful hellos and so-DELIGHTED-to-see-yous in just a few weeks, it is a bit bittersweet because it also signifies many sad and difficult goodbyes to those we love here. I know it is hard for me... I think it is even harder for our kids.

See? It is making Anna act just a little wierd! *smile*

These photos were taken back in May, at a picnic with the Sahel Academy dorm family. Our colleagues, Tim and Janice Phillips are the dorm parents. They've been in Niger for a little over a year now, and they are a part of our missionary family. Although their ministry does not center on Nigeriens, what they do makes it possible for many other missionary families (from all over W. Africa) to continue to live, work, minister and live out God's calling on their lives.

This afternoon, we ate pig roasted in a barbecue pit, ate yummy salads and desserts (like homemade banana pudding... totally from scratch - even the vanilla wafers - which, by the way, can't be beat!). The kids swam in the river (that's why they look so icky and grimey), enjoyed the flame of a campfire (even though it was well over 100' ~ we missos are a strange lot, sometimes), sat and visited under the shade of luscious mango trees, spent some time singing, praising and worshipping the Lord and were encouraged by the example of Esther in the Bible as she faced upcoming changes and unknowns in her life.

Even with all the hard and heartbreaking twists of this path along which God is leading us, I don't think we'd change a thing... unless it would be to trust Him more completely, to believe Him always... to truly taste and see that He is good.

1 comment:

  1. How interesting to see that the God of the universe works to teach you a lesson similar to the one he is working on in my life here on the other side of the world...He is a good God...and wherever He places us...He is sufficient!

    And i think you were right in the comment you left on my swimming pool post...it is the many people in a small place that gives the disordered look I get so frustrated with...once again I must remember...someday they'll all be gone...it will all be orderly...and I'll be lonely...so I shouldn't complain.


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