We’re already underway with Day 3! It’s a busy schedule but all is going well. So you can get to know them, here is our Take the Challenge (TTC) mime team.
Taylor, Emily, Nichelle, Josiah & Keagon
They’re on their way out to minister in the village of Nikoye.
I don’t know how old you think these lovely faces are, but I can tell you Tobi was in quite a state of shock when he learned the truth for himself. During the first workshop they did a get to know you game. Tobi was there. He later came to me and said, “Did you know these guys are only 16 or 17 or 18?! I couldn’t believe it! I thought they were 30 or something!” Now to someone who is 30 or even 25, I’m pretty sure that’s not a compliment. But coming from a 12 year old to teenagers, I believe that is a very high level of flattery and a compliment that speaks volumes of their maturity. It should be noted that Tobi not only observed them in ministry, but they are staying in our house…that even speaks louder volumes.
We have completed 2 days of training with our youth here. This is Josiah at the opening meeting. He did a great job explaining the purpose of mime/drama was for evangelism.
Enough talk! Let’s get started! We have divided our youth into 2 evangelism teams – a Niamey team and a Gourmantche team. First everyone was together in the church, learning some basics.
TTC demonstrating a mime.
The group was then split into their teams to learn some specific mimes. These ladies are learning how to be ‘created’.
Some people might find it fun learning how to be the devil (for these purposes, someone’s gotta do it!) But not Tobi. When he heard them say ‘this group is going to learn the devil’s part’, Tobi looked in what I could safely describe as horror and said, ‘I will never, ever, be the devil!’ I’m pretty sure there would be no negotiating with him. But Habibu – looks like he’s doing a pretty good job…
Let me insert here that teaching someone to move gracefully, use intense expression and follow music cues can be a challenge under normal circumstances. But there are some obstacles that don’t translate well in the pictures…
Language. The TTC team is teaching in English. They are being interpreted into at least 2, and sometimes 3 languages. Its tedious for all involved. It would go something like this: “First, you put your arm at your side. Then you touch your middle finger to your thumb. Then relax it. Then let it roll up.” Etc, etc. But each of those instructions had to be translated not one, but two (and sometimes 3) more times. But everyone is doing amazingly well and there are great cheers when they ‘get it’.
Heat. We are in the beginning of hot season in Niger. It’s well over 100 each afternoon and getting hotter by the day. I don’t know if you noticed in the pictures, but the church/bible school is not equipped with air conditioning. It’s also very dusty. It’s amazing how ‘crisp’ the pictures make things look. It’s just not so. The girls are wearing skirts and are having to sit/move/slide on the floor. The very dirty floor. Combine that with sweat and well, you get the picture. Thankful for our washing machine!
Oh – and during hot season, electricity often goes out. Which was the case at the church during last night’s workshops. That means no fans, no lights. We had our praise and worship in the dark (and it was awesome because no one felt inhibited by being watched). Then the lights came back on right before Josiah was going to do his Bible study – and he did a supreme job – talking about the need for the power of the Holy Spirit. Lights remained on the rest of the workshop. We’re thankful for both the big and small things. That was a big thing.
I can assure you these guys are not doing ballet. They are creating the world.
Meanwhile, the training of the Gourmantche team was taking place upstairs in the Bible school classroom. Emily is teaching them and Neal is the interpreter.
Here, Scott is helping God create the birds.
Taylor showing the guys how to move their hands gracefully. They’re looking pretty good!
I just thought this was a funny picture. We were having fun!
Practice doesn’t stop when we’re at home. Here is the team, teaching the drama to Delfin. He’s one of our worship leaders and a great drama student.
Practice, practice, practice!
I’ll stop for now. I have more pictures and even some video to post. But I haven’t uploaded that yet. And uploading the video literally takes hours.
We believe that TTC is here ‘for such a time as this’. Our youth are motivated, capable and anointed. The tools they are learning are going to produce a great harvest in this great nation!