Thursday, May 31, 2012

Market Day

Here is a slideshow presentation of our recent visit to the Galmi market.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Long Church Service

The other day we heard about the number of people who will struggle with little food to live on. It is a sad situation. Although we have now had a couple of rains the big problem for people is surviving until the next crop is planted and harvested. Of course, that depends on the rains in the future as well.

Grace and I have talked about trying to expand our garden and growing some extra food we can share in the future. Certain garden items grew really well and got a great response from those we gave food to in the past year. Our neighbour will soon be leaving and we want to see if we can use their garden for this purpose. We will just have to hire someone to plough up the land and then plant and water until harvest. This way you employ someone and provide food in the future.

The other day we had the opportunity to take a number of locals to a Church about 15 km’s out of town. It was an exciting ride. We did have 7 adults and 7 children in the truck. Even though we were driving an old truck for these kids it was like going to Church in a limousine. It was great to see their enthusiasm in the children, most of whom were not from a Christian family.

The day was extremely hot and the service was outside, with tarps overhead to hold back the rays of the sun. The wind would not only give refreshing bursts of air but also sand. We found that we constantly had grit in our mouths. There were people going around with trays of food for the crowd – almost felt like being at a sporting event. We left at 8:30 and got home at 1:30. The service ordained a number of pastors in the local area churches. At the end of the service there was a reception line to greet the pastors in the area and the officials from the national church. In the meantime, the young people got the music going and they were dancing and praising God in the Church.

The children – well they sang and clapped going to Church and after a long day they sang and clapped even more vigorously going home. What energy. It was so good to see and hear the excitement that included non-Christian children. When we were leaving Orest went to start the truck and open up the doors. When he did we had a mass of children jump into the truck. Fortunately, Sara’s aunt was able to come and sort out which kids belonged in the vehicle.











Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rain

May 8, 2012 at 4:55 - it is raining. The first one of the year.

This is absolutely great.

I have a raging river of water outside my window - sort of - it's like 2 feet wide and about 20 feet long. But it is water, none the less.

Praise God.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Life can be hard

Recently Sara brought over a friend of hers who was visiting from Nigeria. This is a sad story of a family that was devasted by events in their country. The husband of Sara's friend "V" was killed needlessly for his beliefs and left behind a wife and four children. V has recently completed her post secondary education to work as a pastor. V is a woman full of joy and grace. Please pray for Sara's friend and the family as they deal with life challenges.


Okay, a blog about the heat, again

It's not like we are obsessing about the heat it is just that it is ever present and ever over whelming.

We have a very small house at Galmi and we are fortunate that SIM is putting up a screened-in porch for us. It is about 75% complete at this point. Interesting how we can feel how much cooler it is in the porch than in the house. I checked the thermometer in the porch - 42 degrees. Sadly, that was cooler than the house.

You know it is hot when you can feel the heat in everything - walls, floor, glasses, cutlery, toilet seat and bed sheets. Nothing like going to bed and hoping on to hot sheets on a hot day.

Blessings to all

CREN

The CREN is the Galmi nutrition center that looks after those in desperate need of nutrition but also nutritional training. Here families come with children in desperate need. They are taught proper nutrition and they stay until the children are healthy enough to leave.
We were so excited that our home Church, Southridge Community Church, did a Christmas eve offering to go to support the CREN. We were more amazed at the amount they raised.
Here are a few pictures of a recent visit Grace had at the CREN with a few other missionaries.
Grace has some clothing to hand out to the children. The last picture shows a youngster sporting new pants.





Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Anniversary

Grace and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. As luck would have it we were also offered the opportunity to use the truck of another missionary family while they are on home assignment for a year. We did have to go to Niamey to get the truck but this also allowed us to have a quiet weekend away for our anniversary. With Tuesday being a national holiday it also gave us the chance for an extended weekend.

While travelling back to Galmi we had one of the Kodak moments that so often happen when the camera is not available. As we are travelling through one of the communities we see on the back of a motorcycle an individual holding a very large pot on their head. As we got closer it actually looked like a goat was driving the motorcycle. They had positioned the goat in the front with its two front legs over the handle bar. The goat had its head raised and was facing forward, looking for all intents and purposes that it was in fact driving. Behind the goat was two people, one driver and the other holding the large pot. It would have made a very interesting photo.

We also noticed the bush taxi operators that had people crammed into their vehicles so tight they would not be able to move. These vehicles have no air conditioning and the days are extremely hot. Lucky are the ones next to the open windows. When I see how some of the people drive I am surprised that people have the courage, or whatever, to sit on the top of some of these vehicles and their loads.

As we travel between Galmi and Niamey it just seems that the Sahara is continuously growing. There are stretches that just show more and more desert like qualities. If I am not mistaken I believe the last rain received in Galmi was August 26, 2011. I marvel at some of the trees that remain full of green leaves despite the lack of moisture.

We look forward to the possibility of a good rainy season to quench the soil and soften the impact of the heat even though the rain brings other tragedy in the form of disease.

Galmi really is not a pretty place. Certainly not your top of the line vacation destinations. Galmi is a town of extremely aged buildings that are a throwback to the truly ancient of days. The town is littered with all forms of waste including the ever present plastic bags that cling and clutter so much of the landscape.

I have heard people say that if you travel to the absolute worst place in the world, then go another ten miles, there lay Galmi. I do not agree with this statement because Galmi has an amazing hospital and it has amazing people.

Blessings to all of you