my heart, o take and seal it

the past few weeks have been very full and very satisfying. God has shown me much this fortnight. clearly He’s causing me to reminisce about learning british slang :o)

to the point.

i’m going to share some photos from my week in Dosso and briefly share some updates. it was very good for my soul to be back in Dosso with the girls. we visited with the families i met last time I was here and it was a beautiful thing to hear “Zeinabou!!” as we approached on the road.

*i suppose i should mention here that when i came back in February, April gave me the choice of my Zarma name. Gomni literally means grace, and Suuji means mercy. we are aware that those words do not hold the same meaning, but Suuji sounded more like a name, so i chose that. except that when we visited the first house, the daughters wanted to give us our Zarma names, and so they chose their own names to give us, hence my name in Dosso is Zeinabou. and here in Niamey, i am Suuji.

i spent the week reconnecting with the women and children i met last time: snuggling babies, getting peed on a few times, practicing language with Bisarra, sharing stories from the Bible and talking about the differences between it and the quran.

we also drove out to a few villages to visit and allow Melanie to test some wells for Ecoli and other bacteria. i’ll be sharing photos and a whole story about that soon enough. i recognized faces and was surprised by my brain’s capacity to remember names simply because i had taken hundreds of portraits. i never expected to remember so many, and now am thankful to God for writing their names and faces on my heart.

some exciting updates:

– a friend and i have decided to travel to Dosso once a week to work with April and the girls, and we are beyond thrilled. my supervisor just gave me the go ahead, so i’m very excited about the opportunity.

– i’ve been able to help at a kids club across town saturday mornings with a other missionary organization, and that has been wonderful. the fellowship with the team is much needed, and i’m getting a lot of Zarma practice in. also i just love being able to help kids hear about Jesus. it has become a big highlight of my week.

– i also decided to invest in another kids club here in my part of town saturday afternoons, and this week i was blessed to prepare the learning aids and craft projects thanks to Nicole (April’s sister) and the supplies she left at April’s. it has been affirmed more than a few times that these are the areas i need to be serving while i’m here, and it’s been so good to be used and to serve in this way. in two weeks, Kimberly (who leads the kids club in Goudel) will be at a conference. and i am praying right now that i will be able to prepare and learn enough Zarma to lead on my own in her absence. will you pray with me, that God may give me fast learning and comprehension so i can present the story and understand the kids that week.

– i’ve volunteered to host and lead a bible study for missionary kids, so i am able to teach and disciple while i’m here. it looks like it will be for an age group a little younger than i’m used to, so please pray that i am able to be a good and effective teacher to the girls who attend. i am excited for his opportunity to use my gifts, and in english no less! i am hoping to also get the girls involved in reaching our community here, as many missionary kids are not super involved in their parents’ work.

– i’m also in the process of volunteering to held lead worship at NEWS, our Niamey English Worship Service. it’s been a blessing to attend Zarma church in the morning and then have fellowship and worship in the evenings with other missionaries. i learned they have a rotation for leading worship and speaking, so i volunteered to join a group to sing. i am thrilled at the chance to sing again, because i do miss being with my STC worship team.

– last update. i plan on getting a bike very soon. this will be important for many reasons, but the one i’m most excited/nervous about is the chance to visit the Goudel area during the week so i can make good connections and invest more in the Zarma church and kids there. this is a big step outside my comfort zone because of my lack of language proficiency, but know it is what i am supposed to do. so you can definitely be praying for that!
and now, photos to let you see a little bit inside my life right now. :o)

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little nana. i was very excited for the chance to see her again this week. good snuggle time :o)

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April, Bisarra and myself. she gave me the best, most welcoming “homecoming,” and it was so great to share more of Jesus with her and for her to help us speak Zarma. keep praying for Bisarra, that she continue to be as open to the Word as she is. i know one day soon she will trust in the saving love of Christ.

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Zeinabou, Aness and Bibiya snuggle up with April. they love her SO much. it melts my heart.

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here, April reads a summary of the New Testament to Bisarra and fields many great questions. we help her understand why not all christian’s marry, the difference between the quran’s story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac and the Bible. a very blessed time of sharing.

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Bibiya likes to share my glasses. he’s a sweetheart and a goofball.

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Aness. eyes and a smile to melt your heart.

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Bibiya, fast asleep. he definitely fell asleep in 30 seconds. sitting in my lap one minute, the next slumped over headed to naptown.

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Melanie and April sharing part of the “creation to Christ” story in Zarma. Aness was engrossed 95% of the time.

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at kid’s club in Goudel this week we taught the story of Creation. we made telescopes so the kids could spend this week looking around to see all the things God created. they’re going to report back to us all the things they discovered. :o)

 

God has been revealing much truth to me recently. stay tuned for those thoughts… :o)

 

	Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall 
not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to 
you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives 
me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have 
come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all 
that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will 
of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should 
have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

(John 6:35-40 ESV)

(come thou fount)

4 thoughts on “my heart, o take and seal it”

  1. Thanks for the pictures, they bring a tear to my eyes.
    Also, I just want you to know that I love you and I am so proud of you. I will start adding to my prayers for you to learn the language easy & fast.

  2. Thank you so much Ladonna!! I can truly feel the prayers being lifted up for me and these people. It gives me peace knowing how much support I have :o) love you!

  3. Grace, Cool story about your Zarma names. Just like God renamed people… I am very happy for you finding a place to teach and sing, but more importantly you found some fellowship where you are living. Grooviness. Yay God! Love the pics. – Dan

  4. Thanks dan! Names are super important to me, as you well know :o) so many new rings to update on! Next week will be a good time to share!!!!

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