Sunday, January 27, 2008

What a Baby doll!

Natalie Joy at 4 days...She's so alert!

Natalie Joy

Last Sunday eve. Gary and I received the wonderful news that our 6th grandchild had just been born! It was number 4 for Nicholas and Karen, and both mom and baby were doing great. Me, Nana Joy, was particularily pleased with her name: I love the name Natalie, and I'm abit partial to Joy as well. I realize that her mom's middle name is Joy as well, so I feel honored to be in such good company! She's a beautiful little girl and was warmly welcomed into the family by her big sisters and big brother. Now if Nana could just get her hands on her too!

Burning offenses at the Prayer Summit

People wrote down the names of those who had offended them in any way, and then forgave those persons those offenses. To seal that decision before the Lord, all the papers with the names were burned. What rejoicing after that!

Niamey Prayer Summit

Last week was an extra special time for many pastors, church leaders and missionaries. Niamey had a Prayer Summit and we were all brought together for Prayer. There wasn’t any set agenda, and the Summit leader just led us in waiting before God. If we had a prayer, pray it; if we had a song, sing it; and if we had a verse, read it. And that’s just what happened...and more. God met with us and lives were changed in the process. Worship, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and encouragement were all part of the 3 days we spent together. It awakened a desire in everyone for a deeper prayer life. I sensed that the committee is eager to begin a College of Prayer here in Niger in the near future. How exciting!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Christmas in Makalondi

Sandra Scott (on couch) and Lisa Rohrick (between Gary and I), two C&MA missionay friends, joined us for Christmas eve and Christmas morning. We celebrated Advent together, did puzzles, some Christmas shopping in the Makalondi market, and enjoyed opening gifts together. Lisa surprised us with real stockings stuffed full of goodies... chocolates, oranges, candy, and even Tim Hortons coffee from Canada! We had a special time together celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus! Made some great memories!

David's Progress

Do you remember David, who moved to the city of Niamey last year to begin attending a private school? Well, most of you who get our letters know that he passed the exams last summer to allow him to begin High School. This past October we helped him get re-registered at the same school and get moved in to a nicer "hut" in the same compound where he'd been living. He has really enjoyed living in this compound of one of our fellow workers, and she (Brigitte) is like another "Mom" to David...also helping him forward in him school work. Recently we came in to town and dropped by the school office, where we were warmly greeted. It seems that they are quite tickled with David. He is FIRST in his class of over 40+ students! He has a good testimony and is highly respected by the students and staff! We are just thrilled. It is wonderful to see David growing up and maturing into a Godly young man. David feels that God is calling him into ministry, and we see such potential in him. Thanks to many of you who have invested in David's life in many different ways.

The picture shows David, on the left, and another of our boys we've placed in the same school, Yemindieba. From time to time we take them for a fast food meal and a good visit. They are "our" boys, after all!

Makalondi Dorm

This year has seen big changes in the Makalondi dorm. We were so happy that Kalambori and his wife, Nuadiba, returned to be our dorm parents since they are a Godly couple and a good example before the kids. This year we went from 8 students to 17! Alot of the new kids were those leaving their village elementary schools for Jr. High level, and that is located in Makalondi. It's been encouraging to see all the kids come together with the dorm parents and become one big famliy. Everyone has his part to play. The Jr. High boys have to go to the well each day and bring back 2 jerry cans of water. The elementary boys bring one. The girls all help with the meals, in pounding the grains or spices, keeping the cooking fire going, or actually helping cook the millet mush or the sauce. Pray for the dorm family, that as the village of Makalondi sees their family life, they will be a testimony of Christ's love to them.