Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flying Ant Invasion!


The other night, after a big rainstorm, I forgot to close the glass doors and all the window before Gary turned on the generator and the lights came on. BIG mistake! Soon we had flying ants fluttering everywhere in the kitchen where I was fixing supper, plopping down in the batter, or swooping down into the salad! We sprang into action, battened down the hatches, sprayed the room, and turned off some lights. But...
We had forgotten to turn off the light in the office bedroom. Just before bed and turning off the generator, Gary walked into the room...and into a big surprise! We hadn’t shut up that room, and it was FULL of flying ants! This picture can’t even capture it really, but maybe it will give you an idea of how bad it was!

Maryama

Recently we had a new Gourma couple move to Makalondi. Our good friends, Zainabou and Kunwatta really took them to heart and helped them to settle in. The first place they rented was with Muslims, and life was hard there, because they were new Christians. So thanks to our friends, they were able to find another place near other Believers.
We got to meet the couple with their two boys at church and then the following week, the wife came to visit me. Maryama is young, has a 3 yr. old named Daniel (a jolly holy terror), a toddler named Lazarus and was expecting their third child. We had a nice visit, aside from Daniel’s ‘interruptions’ and Maryama told me that she loves to read and learn about the Bible. She doesn’t own any books or a Bible and told me that if we had any classes, she wanted to come. "If I save up my money, I’m going to buy some of the books" (Gary has a ‘bookstore’ of Christian Gourma books that are quite cheap).
About a week ago Sunday, we got the news that Maryama had had her baby...another little boy. A chubby, healthy boy. Then Monday we left for the city so that I could attend a seminar on Christian Education, so I was gone all week. When we returned on Saturday evening, I was shocked to learn from Zainabou that the baby had died the night before! Zainabou told me that all week long, she and other women had been taking the evening meal to the family, washing the baby, rubbing shea butter over him, and wrapping him in his blanket. He would nurse and then be put down for the night. She had done all that Friday and when she left, the baby was sleeping. Imagine their shock, when the next morning, Maryama’s husband showed up at their place to call them. Zainabou checked the baby, but it was already gone. No sickness, no apparent reason.
Life is so hard here...so fragile!
So yesterday morning, Sunday, at church, Maryama was sitting next to me with her toddler on her lap. I asked her "how her heart was" and she told me, "well" with a smile. I am amazed. She held my songbook as we sang and clapped. When time for the message came, she leaned over to read along in my Bible...but she couldn’t, because I had brought my French Bible. The girl on the other side of her had a French Bible as well. After a few minutes, she got up, walked down the aisle, tapped Zainabou on the shoulder and whispered something to her. Zainabou left her small perch on the overcrowded bench and the two ladies went and sat down on a mat, put down for the children. Now she could read the Bible passage and hear the speaker!
Like I said already, I’m amazed at the way many of these people LIVE life...embrace it...the good and the bad. They don’t quickly judge God, but turn to Him instead and confide in Him. What a lesson for me!