Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Week 1 in Africa

With a home in Boubon quickly approaching, we are eagerly gobbling up any kind of wisdom and advice we can receive on living in the hot African bush! It has been such a blessing to have the Living Hope team here with us for our first week in Niger as we learn language, get acclimated to Songhai culture (and the heat), and find our way around the village. It'll be a huge blessing when we actually move into the village. Speaking of, allow me to introduce you to our humble abode, yet to be named:

And of course, true to form, I go to kids like a magnet. I don't know why I ever doubted that I should be an elementary teacher! One of the most frustrating things about the animism in this culture is that you can't call children "beautiful." To those without Christ, it is believed that the demons only come and take the most beautiful children. So, of course, it is an offense to call someone's child beautiful! This kills me, but it causes me to want to love on those kids even more and show them that "Yesu ga ti ni cado"- that is, Jesus is their gift! That being said, pray for the children- pray that they and their parents will hear and believe the Gospel. My heart breaks for the futures that these precious Songhai children have.

This picture is of some sweet kids in Ayorou, one of the villages Living Hope-ers are very familiar with! Some of these kiddos have parents who are boldly following Jesus, despite persecution. Pray for them.

If you haven't noticed, prayer has become a common theme in this blog. We have shared the Gospel (the story from creation to Christ) countless times with over 100 women in Boubon, and we have found a few who want to hear more. The few believers who do live throughout Niger are persecuted in ways that make this American girl feel like a wimp! The Gospel is not just some ordinary thing over here, and I've come to value it so much more. PRAY that these people will understand the message and will have a desire to learn more! Pray that they will desire Jesus more than anything else. Pray that the believers will be strong and courageous, despite being practically thrown out of their communities.

It has been an encouragement to see the four villages we have heard about for so long: Ayorou, Karma, Tagiboty, and Boubon. While Ayorou has about 12 firm believers, Karma and Boubon each have only one. Can you imagine- being the only believer for miles around? Satan has his grip on these places, but Christ has conquered Satan. Our prayer is powerful and it can change things through Christ alone!

This parched land needs a bit of Living Water, don't ya think??

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