Saturday, May 26, 2012

this week's daily thrills:

4 year old girl with an Australian accent saying she was here to share Jesus with a people group. Shop owner knowing to hand me a pack of Nescafe aka NesPersonality. Laughing at sleepless night stories after loud crickets mate in the corner of the room. Smiling toothless grannies with smiling toothless babies. Blow pops and church sermons while laying on my bedroom floor. Hearing a mom say she's grateful her kids would be more exposed to the other's lives than the American dream. Taking a short coma and feeling refreshed. When kids drop their backpacks outside and then run inside to school. God surprising me through Bible verses. Little eyes at my door asking for Kool-Aid. Receiving a super hero shirt from my Partner in Crime. Seven year old’s dance moves in his pulled-up-high argyle socks. Sitting on Nigerien nurse friends' laps in laughter. Having enough ice to make a snowman after defrosting my freezer. Prayer battle partners. Eye contact with Auntie Barb over hilarious students. Rahamatu's daughter. Tearful goodbyes. Patients beckoning you over to pray for them. Not losing my patience. Kids with loose teeth. Kids in bandages smiling at you. My oven not lighting so I don’t have to bake. The Holy Spirit speaking encouragement. Sticky fingers in awe of your white face. Funny emails about bird attacks. Benefiting from other people's spiritual gifts. Walking through the hospital at night. My neighbor being so blunt it tickles me with delight. Spirit-filled dreams. Skype dates in the wee hours of the morning. Sitting on mats next to skinny toddlers and friendly mothers. Sprinting to catch an afternoon squeeze. Writing "whatever" on my dusty table after a wind storm. Getting handed someone's beautiful brown-skinned baby. Making a fist to say thank you. Girls carrying bowls on their heads and yelling my name on the street. Surrendering. Not waking up in the middle of the night. Wrapping my skirt right. "Being bold means not pretending”.

Sometimes "the problem with life is that it's so daily".

But we forget that Your love is better than life. Psalm 63:3.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Football's always familiar?

Five of us watched the UEFA championship soccer game in Galmi town last night.

Felt like watching Bears games with my brothers except with darker skinned and sweatier boys (the heat added to the intensity of the game watching, I think)….and it was football not American football…no couch either, more mats and a bench.…and there was no coke and munchies just my water bottle…and I didn’t get in trouble for talking because no one understood me…and the reception was more twitchy…and we were outdoors…and I wasn't wearing pants...

Practically the same thing. 

I also realized that boys from every tribe, tongue, and nation take off their shirts in sport-watching victory...why is that?!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just for the record...

Update: I am still very much in love with my house helper. Once again, I came home to her singing as she worked in this rich, white girl’s house.

I can’t wait for the switch in heaven, where I visit her in her mansion with millions of treasures. The treasures she stored up while being on earth and singing as she worked, doing things no one asked her to do, thanking people even though she was serving them, and always looking past the mundane and at Jesus.

Not to mention, she swept out the hairy SpiderBeast I had trapped under a bucket, stacked with books on top for extra safety (because I swear the spiders here can move buckets!!). The adrenaline rush had worn off after the capture and, in fear, I had left him for days.
...If that doesn’t get you a million treasures in heaven, I don’t know what does.

Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted...  Luke 12:33

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hey Mamas...

 I love going to pray for the mothers and their new babies! And by that I mean holding the babies and gushing to the moms until I remember that I came to pray.

Happy mother's day to all the mamas around the world!

can you spot two wee ones in this photo? sometimes it's like where's waldo.
oh my goodness, small human by my feet.
such pretty mamas!
and such young mamas!
proud grandma.
may i just say that getting photos without women's
breastfeeding goods out was quite the miracle....cuz they are hanging EVERYWHERE in this hospital.

this one is minutes old!! helped push her out with my gloved hands!
c-sections always blow my oh cool, the doc is doing some cuts...then all of a sudden...OH MY LANTA, WHAT THE WHAT?! there's a child in there?!?! i repeat, there is a baby in there!!!
 all happens so fast. gets me every time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

God Hands Out Benadryl

What I  am about to tell you will shock you right out of your pants and into a Nigerien skirt…


What the what?!?! After seven months of this dusty, cracking, thirsty land, I didn’t think this place ever saw any drops of rain. I stand corrected, my friends.

As you can imagine, it was a screaming, dancing, running, wet, muddy free for all (no, I was not the only one participating, your assumptions offend me…and no, Chel, I did not streak [self-control never ceases to surprise me]).

I’m so glad I mentioned my 3 am-on-the-ground-naked-and-rashy-too much information-all-nighter yesterday so that we could all better understand how much that rain felt like grace.

That being said, pray, that Niger’s rainy season actually brings rain and that the soil actually drinks it up and produces a crop, for our world‘s poorest and starving people. Lord, You see them.

Until then, hello to you, 24 hours of cooler air and a breeze.  Slept like a drugged out cat last night…God handed me Benadryl.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of Grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16. ...rain down on Niger!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sorry, can't talk, scratching my scalp

I look like shizah.

Seriously, the heat has declared war on my skin.

My face and neck and back are freaking out. Rash on my stomach. My legs are expressing their disgust for being covered in sweat and yet smothered by my skirt 24/7 with  in an itchy, bumpy layer. I would say I have lice but I think the incessant itch on my scalp is from my head also being suffocated by long, missionary hair and head wraps in never ending 110 degree temps (Should I shave it?! Go big or go home?!).

Not exactly walking around singing “Sexy Can I” (oh the days of Ray J).

But the good news is I don’t feel like shiznits. I mean other than being more tired, moving in slow motion, and looking like a sweaty heap, my spirit is doing prettay good and God is for sure doing a daily work on the whole purify my heart thang (so it's definitely looking way more attractive than my neck…).

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord looks on the heart...not on the heat rash.

Why am I telling you about my skin shenanigans at 3 am after already blogging?? Too hot and rashy to sleep. Safe to say hot season has hit, peoples.

too many potatoes

You buy some potatoes from the trader….they want you to buy two more bags of potatoes…oh, wait, now all of a sudden the bag costs three times as much…and they have lots of children at home…and it’s hot and they need to sell this for food…and I’m lost in figuring out the numbers and the truth and all of a sudden I have four bags of potatoes and no money…what the heck am I gonna do with all these potatoes?!?!

And then I say “thank you” in Haussa and “for robbing me” in English and walk away.

I don’t really know what is too much sometimes. Lord knows the beloved woman who sells fruit every Monday really is dying quickly (unlike the other traders)…so yes, I often gladly spend more on less.

But God’s been teaching me that giving more than I have is not the boundary problem (APPARENTLY, God likes to stretch us)…it‘s the gladly that becomes the problem. Not usually with money (good thing I raised support so it‘s your money…eh, eh??) but He’s been whispering that saying “yes” to giving time or service doesn’t work if my heart is screaming “no, I don’t want to!”

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Never thought that verse could refer to giving time or service, did I?! So Lord let my “no” honor You and refresh me when my heart is too reluctant to speak a faithful yes. And let my “yes” be full of the honest and cheerful generosity that You dig!

(Luckily, it wasn’t just potatoes today…mango season, babay…that’s a cheerful “aw yea-uh!”).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pillow Talkin

I had a “bad hot day” yesterday.  Vented the heck out about it to God last night in my bed (may have also been because I was sentenced to drink the potion of death, also known as Oral Rehydration Salts, to make a final break from the intimate relationship me and my toilet been having…).

Woke up this morning with laughing women cutting a monster pile of onions and garlic outside my door, rams being slaughtered in my neighbor’s yard, and festivities on the court across from my house. Got to eat ram intestines and participate in an African women booty shakin’ congo line (how DO they shake it without looking skanky??...this young grasshopper has much to learn here).

The Big Dad certainly knows how to cheer me up. No, seriously, congo lines and intestines, my kinda pick up…I now appreciate our pillow talk even more knowing that Someone's got the next day down, over, and out.

The left-right-left action...think that's how they do it??