I know, I know. Will there ever be an end to this drama? Pun intended.
The team is now home – and I’m still writing! Just so much to say. Thing is, we’re also getting ready to travel. We’re leaving tomorrow morning for Benin Republic. We’ll spend the weekend in Cotonou where we’ll minister in our friend Rev. Joseph Nwobodo’s church. Then Monday we’re off to Grand Popo – to the beach! And by beach I mean the real thing – complete with ocean and all. I enjoy sand a lot more when it’s accompanied with a large body of water. Quite looking forward to getting out of this dust for a bit. In spite of the 2 day drive on rough roads. But one thing we’ll be giving up is the dry weather. It’s hot now, but it’s also dry. Benin will be humid. Very humid. But it will be tropical. But I digress. Let me get back to the story at hand…
The youth meeting on Friday was great – and Saturday was just as powerful.
Neal and Scott opening the meeting. They’re both wearing dresses.
TTC performing King of Hearts
Vie Abondante performing Thank You.
The youth responded to the call to GO into their world with the Gospel. It was a powerful time of impartation.
Our pastors were very encouraged by the youth. One of my favorite parts of the day was when Scott had everyone learn the sign language to the chorus of ‘Thank You’ and then he asked everyone to go and thank people that made a difference in their lives while the song was being played. As soon as the music started, it’s almost as the youth all rushed together as one over to where all the pastors were standing – to say thank you. A teary moment and one that I believe had great significance. Here they are.
Then there was a time of prayer where the TTC team prayed for the Vie Abondante team.
The next generation was there to. This is Bulus and Abigail – children of 2 of our pastors. They responded to GO as well.
TTC & Vie Abondante. What a team!!
It wasn’t over though. Sunday morning we took the team to 2 of our churches in town. First, it was Vie Abondante – Ali Dan Tsoho
Then it was on to Vie Abondante Maradi to minister with more dramas. The people loved it – even though we went beyond the normal time to dismiss.
Taylor, Nichelle, and Emily have collected several kiddos they’d like to take home.
At the end of the service, the church prayed for TTC. It was a special time.
After the service, TTC leaders met with Vie Abondante pastors and youth leaders to talk about how to continue what’s been started. The training provided tools and now our youth will use those tools and will do greater things than any of us could have done alone.
For lunch, we headed to the French Club. The term ‘French Club’ could conjure up all kinds of images – likely none of which are correct as it applies here. I didn’t get pictures of Neal & Scott playing tennis on the clay court but I wish I would have. Actually, video (at least sound) would have been even better. They used to play each other many, many years ago. Who thought they’d ever play tennis together in Niger! Here’s where we ate – and you can see the lovely pool in the background. And it really was lovely. Too cold for me to go in until I commandeered Emily to work out with me so we’d stay warm. We did dorky laps. Sort of.
Now, not just any French Club comes equipped with camel rides. This one doesn’t either. But Mainassara, the man who has worked at the club for over 30 years, was able to contact some friends in a nearby village and they brought a couple of their camels over for our team to ride. If you’ve ever been on a camel before, you know it’s just for a photo op.
Pretty sure Taylor is loving it.
Josiah – and that ‘saddle’ really is that uncomfortable. And crooked.
Keagon. Ride ’em —-cowboy? Check out the guy on the left. Wonder what he’s thinking…
Look Ma! No hands!
Emily – really, she’s enjoying this. I have no idea what’s up with the santa hat though.
And the fearless leader. I think.
Take The Challenge! I’m talking about serving God, not riding a camel.
This is the SIM guest house – their home away from home away from home. One is never too old to enjoy the merry-go-round. I take that back. I’m too old for that. I can NOT spin like that. But looks like they’re having fun!
Monday morning we packed up for our return trip to Niamey. It was a long one. It was without incident, if you don’t count being asked for papers at the police checkpoint and having to return to Maradi to renew our insurance and start out again 2 hours later. But we made it. If you want pics of that – refer to the previous post about our journey here. Not sure which one that was.
Tuesday morning Scott taught 4 hours at our Bible school, while I took the team to the National Mussee. They saw some cool stuff, saw some crafts being made and did some shopping. Didn’t take any pictures because frankly, I was tired of carrying my camera around. We met Scott and Neal to finish up souvenir shopping then had lunch at Chez Chin – yep, a Chinese restaurant.
After that, we took the team to see our primary school. It’s a great vision and a work in progress.
All too quickly it was time for everyone to pack up and get ready to say goodbye. Several of our pastors came by to do just that.
Jenga – passing the time before going to the airport for the 12:45am flight.
It was pretty hot… and this was with the AC running – the one you see at the top of the picture above.
Here we all are together.
Some sad faces ready to go to the airport…or not.
Me and the girls. And what great women of God they are!
This is the temperature on the porch after we got back from the airport.
TTC has arrived home and our team members have returned to their villages and homes. But no one has returned the same. God used each of them to effect the lives of each other. And they have all made an impact on the nation of Niger. And this is only the beginning.
To God be the glory great things He has done!