Friday, 20 March 2009


Oh, the wind! It seems that just before rainy season every year that the wind picks up and makes things dreadful for everyone. It blows dust and dirt and sand all over everything, in your eyes, down your shirt, through the air vents in your car, etc. This is the time that I wish it would just rain! But it's not quit full fledged hot season yet, we still a few weeks to go. By the time I leave here I will be ready for cooler days. Right now the temperatures haven't been above 110 and that's been nice. It has even been cooling off nicely during the night (low 90s). So much that I pull my sheet up over me just before sun-up. I have my ceiling fan on in my room to keep the mosquitoes off of me and to keep it cooler before the sheet time of night comes. But just the same, it's nice to have the lower temperatures for the time being.

Things have been very different here since Karissa has been gone. It's been funny having just me at the house. I will be talking to myself about something and think "I should tell Karissa!" and then I realize "she's not here anymore:("
The people have asked since the day I got back from vacation where she was and why she didn't come back with me. The work world in America makes no sense to them and they have no clue as to why we can't just stay here forever! Some can, those who are career, but for Karissa, she was a volunteer, so it's different. They always ask me when I talked to her and how she and her family are doing. They ask if she was tired of Niger and if that's why she left. Then when I tell them that she loved Niger but needed to go back to America to find a job and be with her family the Fulani consensus is "Ohhhhhh, she has a boyfriend! She had to go back because she wants to get married!" And, well, that's not the truth either... The Fulani for some reason think that when us single girls head back to America it's so we can get married. It was that way for a Journeyman two years ago, but not for the journeymen since that point. When they hear me talk about leaving in a few weeks, they all tell me to send them pictures of my boyfriend and to tell them when the wedding is. Sometimes I just want to "make-up" a random guy so that I won't be told I'm lying to them! But then to make someone up would be lying, so I'm sticking to my "single" story, even if they don't believe me.

B has been excited about hearing more stories. Him and I sat down the other night and I told him about the story from Luke 5 about Jesus healing the paralytic. I told him there were so many people in the house listening to the teachings of Christ that the men couldn't get in with their friend on the mat. They had to go to the roof and lower their friend down on the mat in front of Jesus. I told him that once Jesus saw their faith that He told the man his sins were forgiven and for the man to get up and walk. B was amazed! He thought it was awesome that Jesus healed the crippled man right then and there! As always, B repeated the story to me to make sure that he understood all of it. Then I ask him if was liking the cassette tapes that I had given him to listen to. He said "yes I do! But I'm finished listening to both of them and I want another. I also have one that Jay gave me and I like it a lot too." I went in the house and got the third "Look Listen and Live" book and cassette and he made sure that the tape worked in his cassette player. He was so excited about it!
Please continue to pray for him. I feel as though he may be finding it difficult to tell those he is closest to about his new found faith. You see, K has many friends that have become B's friends as well. They all hang out on my compound in the evenings for a few hours. Many of them pack the bread on nights that it is brought. I find B very reluctant to talk and very watchful when one of his friends walks by us or sees up talking with the cassettes and the Bible story cloth laid out. He says that he has been telling his friends at his work and they all listen to the cassettes. But I do believe that K and B deal with a certain amount of persecution from the guys that they are with in the evenings. K has told me for as long as I have been here that the guys are always nagging him about not praying during prayer time or not fasting during Ramadan. K tells them the truth about his faith in Christ. B hasn't said much about things his friends in the evenings have said, but I know he deals with it too. B and K need prayer as they try to live out their faith in the midst of this Islamic culture. Pray that they would be bold and not hide their light from those that need to see it.
Fati, K's wife, and I have been able to begin building our friendship again. She returned to my town in late January after being with her family for a few months. Karissa had the opportunity to love on her and become friends with her as well. She has never seemed interested in the Bible or listening when I've wanted to share. But lately she has been more open to anything concerning Christ or the gospel. Pray for her and she sees K, B and myself live out Christ. Pray that she would let the walls fall down around her heart and that she would believe. It would bless my heart to know that Belki, K and Fati's daughter, would be raised in a Christian home and not a divided one. Pray the Lord's salvation to take place on my compound even more than it already has!

As you know, Susan has a night guard just like I do. His wife was very pregnant up until last Monday when she had the baby! Altine and Aissa, Susan's guard and his wife, have three boys and Aissa has wanted a girl this entire pregnancy. I have prayed for the Lord to give her what He willed, but I prayed selfishly that His will would be a girl for them. And... she had a GIRL! Altine called me (at my request) in the middle of the night on Sunday into Monday morning. I popped up out of bed, made myself decent and drove to Susan's as fast as I could. Altine had said on the phone that he wanted me to take Aissa to the hospital. Before I left my house I called Susan to let her know I was on my way over.
I got to her house and ran to check on Aissa and she had already had the baby! There was Aissa's mother giving the tiny baby a bath in cold water and holding her up by her little right arm. I couldn't believe it! Aissa sat on a stool watching. She had her head and body covered with a light cloth and didn't say much as I and Susan stood by and took everything in. The baby's body was so light in color that she could have been mistaken for a white child. I told them right off that the baby was really mine and not a Fulani... They all laughed!
I called my mom right away and told her about the baby. I ask her many "baby and birthing" questions knowing that she would more than likely know the answer.
After the baby was bathed and placed in a clean cloth Aissa laid down and they put the baby next to her. I encouraged Aissa to nurse the baby even though she wasn't going to. She said that she didn't have any milk but that her milk would come in a couple of days and she would feed her then. Aissa's mother has been with her for a few weeks waiting until the baby was born so she could help out. You have to be careful in this culture to not go against what the older people say. They are "older and wiser" and I didn't want to offend her at all. I did though want to throw my opinion out there and then let them chose whether or not to heed my advice.
I told them "I just talked to my mother on the phone and she has had nine babies! She wants you to know that even though you may think you don't have milk right now you have to nurse the baby and it will come." I continued to talk to them and tell them how good it would be for the baby if she nursed right away. Aissa and her mother were both very surprised by this and Aissa's mother handed her the baby right away and told her to feed it! Amazing!
Aissa got to the point that she didn't feel the need to go to the hospital so I left her house a little before 5 that morning. Susan had already gone back to bed.
After I had slept some more and eaten breakfast I went back over to hear that the baby had eaten again and was doing great! Praise the Lord that He worked in that situation! I couldn't even begin to imagine Aissa going two days without feeding the baby just because she thought she didn't have milk for the baby. Just because she thought that her breasts were dry. The Fulani have some crazy ways of thinking and this is just one of them.
I have taken some cute pictures of the baby and I will try to post some of them once I'm back in America. The baby naming ceremony will be on Monday when the baby is a week old. I will let you know the name after the buki! (A buki is a ceremony of just about any kind. A wedding buki, a baby naming ceremony buki, a graduation party buki, a going away party buki... they are all called the same thing - Buki).
She is a cute as a button and perfect in every way. Her eyes are as black as night, yet her skin color is just a little darker than a white baby. Her hands and feet, knobby elbows and knees have been formed without flaw. This baby was known before it was conceived. Her nose sits in just the right way and is "flat" as the Fulani say their noses are. Her ears are tiny and fragile and her hair is as black as coal. This baby is beautiful. She sleeps all the time and I've only seen her eyes twice. I've seen her everyday since Monday but only her eyes on the day she was born and then again today.

Once I was home on Monday morning the night air was cool. I closed myself in my house and felt a wave of unrecognized tears flow down my cheeks. Many of you may not know of the desire I've had for many years to be a mid-wife. My plans through the beginning of college were to go to school to be a nurse then continue my education and get my midwifery degree. The Lord had other plans in store for me. Although I know it's not His plan for me to be a mid-wife, my heart swells and cries when I think of how much I desire that sort of thing.
My mom had my last four siblings at home with a mid-wife and I couldn't get enough of that kind of work. I wanted to know all I could. I wanted to soak in all the knowledge on the subject that was available to me. But after my first semester in Nursing, I knew that the Lord was leading me in a different direction. I always wanted to be able to help with births and build a ministry overseas that was centered around babies. I wanted to use it as a way to share the gospel and love on women.
Since I was in ninth grade I knew that the Lord wanted me to work with women. I didn't know how or where or in what way. Well, when I began to desire all of the above, I thought midwifery was it. But now, after being led from that I know that the Lord is leading me somewhere new. I love high school and college age girls and would love to do ministry with that age group. I would love to work with youth (or be a youth pastor's wife) and be a Sunday School teacher. I have also thought and prayed about pursuing Biblical Counseling in Seminary. And I am definitely not opposed to serving overseas on the mission field. There are many options and I know that the Lord can use me in each one at one time or another. I also believe that I have the gift of teaching and speaking. I am anxious to see where the the Lord will lead me in the near future.
Please pray for me as I seek Christ about the next chapter in my life. If you didn't catch my drift, I'm very passionate about working with women and I would love to pursue that, but only if that's what the Lord wants. So my prayer is that I would step out of the way and allow the Lord to work in my life. He will give me the desire to do what He wants me to do and I want to be out of the way so He can do that.

I've had a bad cold this week that has slowed me down some. Pray against illness for me so that I can end strong and do as much ministry and village visiting as I can. My time here is short and I don't want to use it sick in bed!


The Black Family said...

I love your passion Anna! Young girls need a person like you who has a passion for Jesus and for life! Rachie's guidance counselor at school has had a huge impact on her this year. It might something to pursue. Also, I'd love for you to talk to my cousin - she is a youth pastor's wife and yet her heart has always been on the mission field - she might have some thoughts. We'll be praying for where God leads you!


We all miss you and we'd love for you to come and visit us when you are back on this side of the ocean!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog and can't wait to see pictures. I'm so glad you could be there for the new mom and baby - for them and for you! How exciting! Know we are all praying for you and the direction the Lord is leading. I love you bunches!- amy

Cliff4JC said...

Hi Anna! Thanks for lunch!

Boppie said...

Hi Sweet Girl!

Oh, Anna! You fill my heart with such joy! You will answer the Lord's call--whatever it is--and He'll make it clear to you in His time.

Can't wait to hear more about that beautiful baby.

You remain in my prayers.

Loving you from afar!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anna,

I love to read about everything thats going on in your life. I can't wait to see the pictures that go along with it.

A/C Linda