i’m going to do a quick update to share about how life has been over the past week or so, but that’s not the main purpose to the story tonight. we’ll get there soon enough.
but first, a quick recap.
- i finished my first full week at the office and it went well. bills, inventories, expense reports, check-ins and check-outs. feeling grateful that God is using my long season of experience at skycroft to help me feel very at ease here. it is a blessing to be confident in day to day tasks because it allows a great contrast to the moments i am drawn to say “ok, Lord, i am praying my way through this one.” as evidenced by the next story…
- yesterday as i was working in one of the apartments, one of the gardeners came to get me. he used hand signals to tell me what he needed. only i didn’t quite understand until we arrived at the location he and his fellow worker had been laboring. when we got there i saw the man on the ground with a towel over his foot, and i immediately knew this was not going to be routine. he uncovered his foot to reveal his big toe hanging on by just a small sliver of skin. the tree limb they had been cutting down landed hard and fast on his toe and did quite some damage. the squeamish in me nearly took over, but instead i called for our “do-it-all” guy who really runs the place, and he took the gardener to the hospital for a toe removal. yes, a toe removal. i’ll be sure to discuss the medical care situation here in niger soon, but that will have to be another day. in an instance when i don’t know the correct line of action, prayer is the best line of defense AND offense, and i exercised that gift a lot yesterday.
- taking a taxi by myself is proving to be a fun challenge, now that i know how not to get ripped off. not only is it a challenge, but saturday morning the taxi driver and i had a little bit of school on my way to kwara tegui kid’s club. he helped me with zarma, i helped him with english, and we had a very nice child-like conversation about school, animals and what america is like. i’m thankful for the basic language skills i have to get me where i need to go around here, but even more thankful for patient nigeriens who are kind to me as i learn.
- it’s no secret that i love children; teaching children, playing with children, photographing children… so saturday was a wonderfully full day of kid’s clubs here in the city. i was so thankful to join asia and charles in the morning, to sit with kids and learn with them as they were taught a clear message of who Jesus is and what He did for us. and then to be able to join kimberly here in goudel as she started her club back up from a summer break… well, it just felt like the beginnings of finding my ministry footings here; outside the guest house, that is. i am thankful for the opportunities to work alongside these missionaries, and i am using this week to prepare for future work with them. i am only as useful as my language skills will allow me to share and teach, and i want to be very useful here.
- i am thankful for new friends who invite me to dinner and conversation about teaching and curriculum. i am thankful for new friends who go to the store for me, help me cook and make it fun by hosting our very own cooking show. thankful for conversation about books, youth ministry, seminary knowledge and theology. thankful for trivia and flashcards on a saturday night.
- i’m feeling thankful in general. grateful for the time in the Word that has been so refreshing for my soul. grateful for the album that plays on repeat as i cook and bake and experiment with local foods, because it echoes all that i am reading and learning right now. grateful to God for taking me here and forcing rest upon me. i woke up this morning feeling foreign, and not because i am in a strange place, but because i feel rested. i don’t feel overwhelmed. i don’t feel too stretched. but there is a HUGE part of me that feels very wrong because of that. i don’t feel busy enough. i don’t feel like i’m doing enough. and it concerns me that maybe i have built this life of “doing-doing-doing” for myself, so much so that i no longer feel like myself if i’m not being pulled in 30 directions. so, perhaps more than anything, i am grateful right now to have the time and capacity to sit with God and work these feelings out with Him. for Him to show me the correct balance of service and sanctuary. that’s my heart right now. and i’m focusing and resting on God’s Word through john, “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and He knows everything.” (1 john 3:20)
i think this recap is just part one. and i can only leave you with the scripture that has been running through my heart and mind since i read it last week, and i’d be a fool to say any more…
(all sons and daughters- hear the sound)