Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Opal

This greatly encouraged me where I do....having experienced some difficult circumstances over the past 8 months. I love how God speaks specifically into our lives with a word that only HE can know to give at just the right moment.

""Do you know that lovely fact about the opal? That, in the first place, it is made only of desert dust, sand, silica, and owes its beauty and preciousness to a defect. It is a stone with a broken heart. It is full of minute fissures which admit air, and the air refracts the light. Hence its lovely hues, and that sweet lamp of fire that ever burns at its heart, for the breath of the Lord God is in it.
You are only conscious of the cracks and desert dust, but so He makes His precious opal. We must be broken in ourselves before we can give back the lovely hues of His light, and the lamp in the temple can burn in us and never go out."
- Ellice Hopkins

(Taken from the book "Gold Cord" by Amy Carmichael....definitely a Must-Read!!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Get-Away Surprise!

Recently Gary and I needed a “Get-away Day”, but the question always is, “Where to go to get away?!” Recently, while traveling to and from the clinic in the bush, I had seen some new flowers beside the path which I just had to have in my garden. We decided to go dig some of them up…and while we were at it, we’d throw in a picnic lunch and see if a cool, shady spot would present itself out there somewhere.
We retrieved the flowers – beautiful fuscia and yellow tiger-lily looking flowers.

After making sure they were in the bucket of soil and well watered, we took off driving to see what we could find in the way of an uninhabited, secret spot under a tree.
Gary finally spotted a tree and when we got out to inspect it, we saw that it had a lot of bushes at the base, but…as he looked through to the other side, we saw that we had found THE perfect spot: a grassy lawn under the shade of the tree in a secluded spot “off the beaten path”. Just what we had been looking for! And God gave us our hearts’ desire!

We spent the afternoon reading, snacking, listening to music and enjoying the cool breeze blowing around us.

We had a short visit by some flocks passing through, grazing as they went, but that was the only visitors. Totally relaxing!

I don’t know when the last time was that we’ve had such a pleasant, unexpected surprise day, but we are certainly encouraged now to try again in the future…

6 Weeks

The last month and a half has been jammed packed with events…some expected and others totally unexpected. Hence a lack of presence on our blog… I keep thinking that maybe one day we’ll get a routine established, but I’m finally realizing that our “routine” is No Routine! Part of that comes, I’m sure, from spending 3 days each week in Niamey and 4 days in Makalondi. Anyway, here are some of the highlights of our not-so-routine life of the past 6 weeks:

Victoria arrived to do her internship. She observed different medical operations here and helped me with various jobs… but mainly she got a feel for life in Niger. She spent 6 weeks with us and we really enjoyed having her.

Our laptop went completely berserk… although everything possible has been tried, it refuses to operate on any system but Linux! At my age, I don’t think it’s possible to learn Linux! So we’ve borrowed a laptop and are using an external hard drive to “get” needed documents, etc. Finding anything becomes frustrating quickly…

Micah was officially adopted by the Banke family. A real miracle when you consider that it actually happened in three and a half months! We kept Micah for Bankes while they took a long-planned vacation in Europe for 10 days, and thoroughly enjoyed having him with us one last time. His mother returned to pick him up and they flew to the States to join the rest of the family. We went through a second parting with Micah…

David, our Gourma “son”, studying in Niamey, took his BAC exam – the exam for all students finishing High School – and passed With Honors! We were all thrilled and have been thanking God! He’s hoping to attend University in the fall and study Medicine…

(shown here returning home, with his mother and sisters)

We got 8 young students off to camp and back. They loved it and came back encouraged!

The clinic was busy this month and we added Pre-natal Check-up days. Due to a lack of good care, far too many mom’s die in or after childbirth in this country! In memory of Micah’s birth mother, (who died after a good delivery, due to anemia,) we began plans for an additional exam and treatment room at the clinic…

We did a lot of traveling in the bush…it becomes transformed in rainy season to beautiful green countryside, complete with flowers

We were in two accidents… both times we were hit by other vehicles…

We visited the giraffes in their home…

We hosted game night in our home…

And that’s just beginning to scratch the surface… Life isn’t slow here, that’s for sure!