Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As far as family news goes…I was saddened, yet I rejoice to hear that my grandmother, Lila Muck, after almost 97 years of life passed on to glory to be with her Savior. While we celebrate her new life with no physical ailments, we will miss her here on this earth.
It was difficult to be away from family in the (as Mikaylah calls them, "Ohio States") during this time of remembering my grandmother. However my brother sent us a video of her memorial. Thanksgiving will not be the same this year without Grammy. But life here on earth was getting to be a big burden for her so we rejoice that she can enjoy heaven with our saviour.
Aside from that, things have pretty much fallen into a routine. We wake up with the kids, see them off to school, make snacks and bread and supper in the afternoon, dinner, devotions, and see them off to bed. However, in what seems to be a rather mundane day, is just the opposite! This schedule provides us all kinds of opportunities to talk with these kids, which is why we are here.
September was Ramadan, a month of fasting for the Muslims and two of our three African workers. We praise God that one of our workers, Jean, is a born again believer! But, during the month of Ramadan, we were able to strike up several conversations with Ladi and Mariame about why they fast from sunup to sundown.
Our kids continue to amaze us. I have to get on our blog more often because our kids just say the funniest things. Jayson is really starting to talk now. He knows 2 colors…lellow and puple(yellow and purple). John Kwak, one of the boys in the dorm picked some purple flowers and taught Jayson how to say purple and flower. Now, when we ask him to say flower, he says, “purple”. ☺
Mikaylah is getting very excited about starting preschool next month. It was supposed to be starting this month, but due to some complications, they will begin November 3. This is a preschool that has been started by Cornerstone, a group of mostly Nigerien teachers who are passionate about Christian education in Niger. It will be all French (and some Djerma) for her, so please be in prayer for her. I think she will enjoy very much once she gets into it. She has been learning some French from our workers as well. She has become very accustomed to communicating with the people here on campus.
I leave you this month with some more prayer requests.
1. Continued opportunities to talk with our workers about Christ.
2. Language…as always. Once we feel comfortable in French, we will start Djerma or Gormachi to talk better with our workers.
3. Mikaylah’s school which starts November 3rd.
4. Some happenings in the dorm that aren’t fun to deal with. Just pray that God supersedes everything that we do and that He will show His face to some of these kids who really need Him now.
We praise God for each of you and your faithful giving…especially during this whole economic “panic” in the States. Through all of that, I don’t think we have lost one supporter…praise God☺ Please continue to pray for our finances as we try to make ends meet being under supported as we head into 2009. The Canadian dollar has dropped against the US dollar and that takes more support away since about 30% of our support comes from Canada.
If you are considering giving to this ministry of raising up MK’s, you can do so online at www.ebm.org and go to the giving section. From there, just follow directions.
We thank God for each of you, for your prayers and support. Have a wonderful week☺
Tim, Janice, Mikaylah and Jayson
For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Address in Niamey: Sahel Academy, BP 10065 Niamey, Niger or Mission Evangelique Baptiste, BP 11324, Niamey, Niger
Friday, October 17, 2008
Jayson will be two years old in one month!! Hard to believe in some ways that two years have almost already gone by. We have been a little concerned for his lack of speech. He just learned how to say Papa a few weeks ago and has no sentences except "I go" and "me too" while copying his big sister!! Yesterday we were having lunch with Chris and Diane Marine and Jayson used his default word for what we thought was his attempt to say popsicle.... Aigoba. He usually tries to open the refridgerater and stands there saying "Aigoba, Aigoba" If Mariame, his babysitter is nearby she will give him a popsicle or a piece of cheese or a cookie... Yesterday Chris told us that "Aigoba" is the Dzerma word for "I want it" or "I like it". Poor kid, no wonder he is a late talker, he isn't just processing English, we knew he was surrounded by French because he was only six weeks old when we arrived in Quebec, but we had no idea he was also processing Dzerma, a language Tim and I do NOT know!!
Monday, October 13, 2008
So sorry we haven't been on the blog lately....like over a month. Things here in Niamey during September and October go a bit NUTS. That stands for Niamey Universal Tournament of Softball. Yes, for a month and a half, that means that we eat, drink, and sleep with softball. Now, those of you who know me must be thinking that this was a great thing for me. However, there is a lot of work put into all of this from practicing three or more times a week, playing scrimmage games, getting the field ready, organizing teams, etc. We actually had three teams from Sahel Academy this year. I am told that is a record. I was also told that since I am the dorm dad, I had to play and coach and organize, and drive, and ump, etc.(Yes,Peter, that was a run-on sentence!) While I had absolutely no idea of what I was getting myself into, it turned out to be a lot of fun. Two of our teams played in the social division, and my team, in the competitive. On Friday, the 10th of October, we began with a couple of games, but Saturday and Sunday are the big days. While we only had to play 3 games on Saturday, our youngest team had to play 4 games. Now, some of you players out there may be saying, big deal, I have played 7 games in one day before. Don't forget, this was all during the temperatures of right around 100 degrees. I never looked at the temp that day because I didn't want to be depressed.
Anyway, on to the real news...my team, comprised of mostly high school boys, one teacher, the director of the school, and myself. These boys really put it all together when they had to. I saw all of them really grow up as ball players. Their skills improved dramatically during the tournament. There were only 3 other teams there for us to compete against, but all of them were made up of men and women from around Niamey and Ouagadougou. There were some fantastic hitters from the embassy here and from Ouaga. We only had to play 5 total games to win the whole thing. Only once did I ever think we would not win. I told these guys 6 weeks ago that I thought we had all the makings of a champion. They sure made me look good!
We opened the tournament with a fairly easy win on Saturday morning. While that was fun, we really started getting into the drama of a tourny like this one. Our second game, against the Angels from Ouaga, had our guys looking like deer caught in headlights the first two innings. They scored 6 unanswered runs against us. But, as we took the field, we just simply said, one at a time and let's go have some fun with this. We chipped away and won 12-7 at the end. The following game was against the team that we knew best. Two of the boys dads played on this team from the embassy here. They had some Marines on their team with a ton of speed. Well, our worst fears were realized when they beat us 9-4. We had beaten this team before, but our bats just weren't swinging. So, we were #2 behind that team heading into the semi's. As it turns out, we had to play those Angels again. But this time, the boys had some confidence. However, we still fell behind and heading into the last inning, we were down by 5 runs. Sounds impossible, yes, but all I said was that nobody makes an out, we bat all the way around and win this thing. Several hits later, with no outs our boy Phil hit a triple with the bases loaded and the 6th and winning run crossed the plate and we were headed to the final games against the USA embassy team...again. What drama, after that game, you would have thought we were the Cubs who just won the World Series(or one playoff game:)) We had one hour to wait before the final game and our boys were flying high!
Needless to say, the embassy team stood no chance against our guys. Everyone hit this last game and just kept hitting, It was great fun. They only reason why they scored was because of an error and a questionable call, but that still didn't discourage us, we just went out and had a 2 out- three run rally.
We were behind in every game except for the last one. I guess we were a bit of the cardiac kids, and little too much for my old heart, but I am still alive today.
One thing our boys really wanted to do was to allow Jesus to be seen in our play and I think they accomplished just that. They were always encouraging to one another, the other teams and the umps. Way to go Sahel Suns! I thought as the last fly ball was going through the air, I began my celebratory run in from the outfield (before Ryan even caught it) thinking....for all you Reds fans....And this one belongs to the Suns!