Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Mosquito

I remember in Manitoba that when you got attacked by mosquito's it was a full out onslaught.  When they came you knew it.  They were so big you were concerned that with the quantity they might just carry you off to feast on later.

Not here in Niger.  They are smaller and craftier.  They are stealth mosquito's.  When you see them it is very difficult to kill them.  When they attack, you don't realize it until its too late. 

Grace has felt like a feeding ground lately.  She has bites all over.  A couple of weeks ago Orest had over 40 bites.  We have taken precautions but obviously not enough.  May have to get some military help or ship in some dragonflies.

Just as I am typing this one flys by.  I swat a couple of times but it evades my best efforts.  Then it just mysteriously vanishes, all in the hopes of a more profitable counter attack, or maybe it was just an advance scout.

I guess this is in preparation for Aug - Oct when they really get bad at the height of malaria season.

We need a good mosquito blaster.

Pray for us, we are desperate.  Oh no, they are coming in from all sides.  Aaagh, it's to late.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I may not know a lot of what is going on, because of language, but Church in Galmi is cool, even in the heat.

This is the congregation departing after service.

Here is the green gate, with crosses, that marks the Church.

Church was great despite the heat.  Defenitely the hottest Sunday so far.  Was feeling the heat at times and wondering what it will be like during hot season.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Feb 13, 2011

Just wanted to share a few of our weekend pictures. 

This is a picture of a boy we met who just had his broken leg repaired and is staying at one of the patient housing units next to the Nutrition Centre.

This is Grace holding one of the malnourished children.  The mother is getting help through the Nutrition Centre.

The young fellow below is delivering manure in the barrels.  300 cfa's per barrel.  That's about 60 cents.

This Grace and I with some other missionairies.

If you look closely, this fellow is holding a snake in each hand and he has a scorpion on his nose.

The camel herder comes through once in a while to give rides to whoever wants one.

This is the back yard of our home taken from the airstrip behind the house. 

We climbed to the top of the hill overlooking Galmi.  Just followed a narrow camel trail through some of the brambles to get above the two water tanks that supply the hospital and village.  If you look down beyond the tanks you can see the top of the hospital buildings.

That's all for now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jan/Feb 2011 Newsletter

Here is a copy of our latest newsletter:

Hello to family and friends

We have officially been in Galmi for four weeks. Wow, time has flown by so fast. Before we left Canada for this journey we spent a lot of time studying the country. We can honestly say that Galmi is everything we thought it would be. It is a poor impoverished country full of amazing people. Amazing missionaries who have served and are serving in this country and amazing Nigeriens who work so hard day and night, every day, to survive.

Thank you for your faithful prayers. We certainly have felt covered and protected. Our lives are filled with firsts, including our first camel ride.

We are grateful to participate with an early Morning Prayer meeting on the compound daily at 6:45am. This Friday evening was our monthly missionary 4 hour prayer meeting.

Pray for an engineering team coming in from Canada and US to overlook the progress of the hospital reconstruction and consult for the plans for the next phase of the project. One member from Calgary is bringing us some equipment we realized we needed after our arrival here. Construction teams and individuals are always appreciated here.

Orest has a French tutor whom he works with several hours each week. Ali is a teacher and head master in the local public school. Orest has been working with the outgoing finance person daily for a smooth transition.

Grace now called “Alheri” in Hausa has begun informal language training. A lady called Mydoba has been arranged to work with her. Unfortunately, Mydoba’s grandson was involved in a motorcycle accident in town and has a severely fractured leg. As is the case in majority world hospitals, a family member needs to be the bedside nurse. Because Mydoba is retired and the boy’s parents work, Mydoba has been too occupied to be available. When a 15 year old boy drives a motorcycle with 4 passengers, the results were devastating. Sadly, one young man lost his life.

Pray for the many short term medical teams coming to do speciality procedures as well as physician relief. Pray that visas, transportation and details are all completed on a timely basis.

Continue to pray for our adjustment to Galmi life. Pray for Orest’s French language consolidation. Pray for Grace’s Hausa language learning. Pray for seamless transition into our roles.

As you are aware, we came during the Harmattan season. We are glad that the weather was cooler but we were not that thrilled with all of the dust. Clean the place up in the afternoon and you would not know it by the evening.

As we go about our daily routines of work and life we are continuously in contact with the people of Galmi. Despite the hardships of life in this area, and all of Niger, they have been an amazingly welcoming people. It is through these contacts and their use of Hausa or French that we realize how important the language acquisition is.

Not long ago the hospital had to deal with a major outbreak of malaria. This had a severe impact on children of the area. There was great sorrow for those who lost children. Children and family are very important for these people and their history. Please pray for the great many that lost family and have to deal with the sorrow. Pray that God will show His way into their hearts during these times.

Galmi hospital continues to go through the long process of redevelopment. The hospital has been here for 60 years and right now it is showing its age. There is a new surgical wing being built, but the whole hospital needs to be redone. We ask for prayer that people and resources would be made available for this to happen.

There are so many needs here. There are so many needs for additional workers. If you have skills as a doctor, nurse, construction manager, general construction, IT specialist, teacher, general helper then consider coming here to serve. Put Galmi in your regular prayers. Visit

“..and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

-Isaiah 58:10-11

Blessing to you

Orest and Grace

SIM missionaries to Galmi, Niger, West Africa

Tomorrow’s weather forecast - 40 degrees, 9% humidity

Our mailing address:

Galmi Hospital

BP 44

Madaoua, Republique de Niger

West Africa

email:  or

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Please check the side panel to the right for an updated prayer list.

Thank you all for your ongoing support of this ministry through prayer.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Church in Galmi

What can one say about church at Galmi?  It is upbeat, it has flashing lights, it has a preacher (or 2 or 3), it has offerings (or 2 or 3 or 4), it has lots of music, it has multiple languages, people are spontaneous and it does last more than one hour.

Church in Galmi is essentially fun and interesting.  The flashing lights refers to the state of the electrical power as it fluctuates between being on or off.  They don't stop because the power is flashing, they just continue with their worship.  Nothing is going to stop them from fullout joyous praise. 

So far there has always been more than one offering.  There is, of course, the usual offering like any other church, but then there are other ones.  People will come up and express a praise item to celebrate.  Then the offering basket gets put up front and the music starts.  People can then come up, if they want, to put money in the basket so they can participate in the celebration of praise.  If people like the music, or the singing, they will give money to that specific performer.  This is usually done by pressing money to the forhead of that particular performer they like.  The money then falls to the floor and then is gathered for the collection.  All of this is very unique and intriguing.

Todays service went from 9:00 am to 12:30.  I can't say I felt tired or bored, even though I did not understand most of what was said.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hot Season

Everybody tells us that hot season pretty much starts sometime in March.

It was 110 degrees today.  I think that that qualifies as being pretty darn HOT.

Yesterday was cooler by a whole couple of degrees.  What did we do?  We went to the Wednesday Galmi market - for 1 1/2 hours.  We were feeling a little hot after that.

The experience was ever so sweet, finished off with homemade chocolate ice cream.  Made by an enterpeneural missionary kid (young man). 


To all of our friends suffering through a very cold winter all I can say is:

Wish you were all here

Blessings to all