Amazing Race: Sahel Dorm!

IMG_2608Last year we had “Dorm Survivor Day” on May 1 (a holiday in Niger, so no school).This year we changed things a bit —  two dorm teams competed in the Amazing Race: Niamey 2013!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but the challenges were:

1) Three Sisters mountain climb (team tied together as they climb the mountains looking for clues), 2) Market Mania (team had to buy certain items with only a little cash), 3) Ameoba (one team throws water balloons to the other team tied together), 4) An all-out city photo scavenger hunt – even “uncle Andy” was hiding!, and 5) Water challenges at the Gaweye Hotel pool! I’ll let you know who “WON” at the end of this post…(can you feel the suspense?) Enjoy!

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And the winner is…… Team S.W.A.G. (stands for something I honestly can’t recall!) by a slim margin over the Villagers!

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Contentment with the Unexplained

Before coming to Niger I rarely took time to read blogs. I simply had enough going on in my life (and I love to read books) that I couldn’t figure out how to squeeze in the reading of one more thing.

Now, here I am, keeping a blog about our journey to Africa as a family… what a difference a year and half can make! I have ventured to make this a place where you could learn about our time of serving here, as well as get inside the mind & heart of one first term missionary. It is strange to write things for an unknown audience – I hope it has been beneficial!

ImageNow that we are nearing the end of our term, and aren’t sure of the future yet, I find myself struggling to make sense of the journey we’ve taken.Image I’m hopelessly hungry to understand “the big picture” of things, and it is a serious discipline for me to “enjoy the moment’  because I’m already looking ahead to the next step or analyzing one we’ve previously taken. This isn’t a good thing, mind you…I’m just being honest!

I often wonder about things like…

Why are we in Niger, of all the countries in the world?

How does this fit with my “calling”? (And what IS my calling, anyway?!)

How will God use these experiences in the lives of others I know and love?

Was this just for me and my family?  

Will we live here again?

Did I learn all that God wanted me to learn while we were here?

… Maybe you can relate to those thoughts and questions too? I figure no matter where you live in the world and no matter what you are doing, those types of questions come to mind.

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“The secret is to find contentment with the unexplained”. I read that in a devotional by Amy Carmichael recently. Yes, however…easier said than done! 

But the truth of that statement resonates in my heart.

Much of the experiences from our time here will remain unexplained, at least for a time. Will I find contentment with that? I am not guaranteed answers to all of my questions.

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Lately, as I’ve had my moods and emotions and highs and lows (sorry, Andy!) regarding the immense challenges we’ve overcome, trying to “figure it all out”, I eventually find myself back to the beginning: we felt a stirring in our hearts to “go”, we pursued an opportunity that presented a need, and we did whatever it took to make it happen. Hear and obey. Fairly simple.

On a journey…

Oh Lord Jesus, steady my heart and give me contentment with the unexplained. Help me to rest in the satisfaction and joy of following You on this incredible journey!

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“We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

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