Thursday, January 5, 2012

No Skirt Day

I was able to visit my friend who lives in a village (even more remote than Galmi) north of the capital the past see her and another couple’s ministry.

the clinic!!
As I learned about doing ministry in this village, I was also thrilled to see how the simple act of getting to know someone can change your perspective and make the foreign more familiar.

But seriously, my friend lives without power and running water and makes it work!! The outside of a mud hut may look like something you’re not used to living in but on the inside it's quite homey (note: when God hands you a mud hut, paint the inside).  It's much easier to relate to the villagers when you’re sitting with their family in their compound talking about how windy it was yesterday. The couple who started their own clinic and church in the village (awesome, right?!) seem like superheroes until they start fake photo shoots for putting on chapstick, make you chase their van for a ride home, and hysterically laugh in the New Year with you…then realize that they’re secretly really fun, normal people, as well as superheroes.

J. with a healthy baby whose survival she
 prayed for just a few months earlier...

...J. falling off a mountain...
(send in your support!)

But one of my favorite 'things are not always as they appear' stories is when a girl,that I had played duck-duck-goose with the day before showed up with no pants on the next day.

When asked where her skirt was, she replied with “I left it at home!! I DON”T WANNA WEAR MA SKIRT!!” (this is in French but, when I imitate it for people, I prefer to do it in my best 'kid with attitude' English accent). If I could’ve translated ‘you go, girl, this is Africa, run around without cho pants!” into French, I would have.
playing games with some younger girls.
(please see girl in the front of the line)

So even though I don’t want to underestimate the severity of the poverty here, and most of the dusty kids are wearing their only set of clothing…now when I pass a pantsless child, I will always wonder if they own pants or if I should be congratulating them on their day of freedom.

some girls with skirts.

Either way, I am now in the capital (might as well be having culture shock) for a conference with the SIM missionaries of Niger… and guess what phrase I’ve been yelling at my host (/friend) as we get ready every morning?


    i am going to start yelling this at my roommie ;)

  2. "make you chase their van for a ride home"?... glad to hear people are picking up where hoover and I left off

  3. thank you for this needed reality check.
    season of Epiphany - Jesus manifest;
    happened to hear a bit over the radio from a man who wrote a book on miracles. he mentioned the word manifest comes from Latin: mani/hand & fest/festival,dance. God's eternal kingdom appears to us rather randomly like a "dancing hand!"