This has been the craziest time out in the bush. Every morning Hailey and I pray that God will guide our steps and the steps of everyone on our team. We just pray that we will be sent to the people who are ready to hear what He has to say and that He will use us in our villages. Well this week a young girl and her mother asked Hailey and I to play the preaching at a bread shack right outside the Mosque. So as the men came out from praying they sat, holding their beads, on the benches and listened to the preaching. It was so amazing. I just sat there praying for all the men who kept coming out, just asking God to help them truly hear what He is saying through His word. When the tape was done we prayed for them and handed out more cassettes for everyone. I really felt like crying watching these men listen to God’s word and then when it was over saying it is good! This was just one of the many awesome experiences we had sharing the Bible tapes with the people in our village.
This week we had a volunteer team of 10 mostly college age people come in from Texas. They stayed with Brandy and Kanessa and just went to all the different villages in Kollo with a translator telling people about God. It was so cool because Hailey and I pray everyday that God will send men here to Niger to bring the Gospel to the men. We really believe that if the men are open to the Gospel it will make it okay for the women to be. Sadly the women are very oppressed here and it is very hard for them to choose to follow God if their husband doesn’t. No matter how much we talk to the men about God they will respect it more coming from a man. So this week three men, who are just finishing studying at the Islam school, gave their lives to the Lord. One of the men’s father is a Muslim priest. The persecution is so great here whenever you give your life to the Lord but they didn’t care. Then through Cody’s ministry out in his village 2 more guys gave their lives to the Lord. It was the most amazing 2 weeks. God is really working in this place and it is so exciting to be here to experience it.
The most amazing thing I have got to see while being in Africa happened just 2 days ago. Three of the men who got saved this week and two women who got saved a few months ago wanted to get baptized. It was so great because one of the boys was supposed to go to exam preparation at the Islam school but at the last minute he skipped it and went to get baptized. The service was so amazing. It was in Zerma but we had an English translator, our friend Hauma. Everyone in the room was crying watching these five people go against everything they have ever known and everything against their culture to follow the Truth. When it was over one of the boys gave his prayer beads away because he said he didn’t need them anymore.
Oh so I got an amoeba this week. Basically you get the rhea like you have never known and you are in constant pain. My whole body ached and I really thought I was going to die at times. I went to a German clinic in Kollo and my doctor was a Nigerian man who spoke French. Thankfully Kanessa knows French so she translated for me. haha So I got some medicine for my amoeba, for all the bacteria that is probably living in me, and since I haven’t been sleeping in probably a month I got some sleeping pills, oh and some rehydration stuff and was told to rest. Of course the medicine has awful side affects, it makes you nauseous and tired and weak. Then I went and stayed at Brandy and Kanessa’s house for a few days because there is no such thing as resting in the bush. Oh yah one of the guys from the volunteer team went to Oklahoma State and he made a big deal about me being an Ohio State fan so he named my amoeba Bucky. Haha but I’m feeling so much better now!!!
This American weekend has been crazy. We had the baptism, we went shopping, we went to Hosanna church, and we got to ride camels and ride a boat to look for hippos. Hosanna church was amazing, there were over 13 languages represented and they were all singing and preaching. It was just so cool to see these people who are being persecuted praise the Lord. So the camel ride was terrifying, I went to get on the first camel and well my legs are short and it’s hard in a long skirt so I screamed a little and it scared the camel so he jumped up. Of course I jumped back and the African that was holding my legs almost dropped me. It was so funny. So they decided to have me ride a different camel and well let’s just say this one was worse, once it stood up we realized it was the tallest one. I got up there and my skirt was hiked all the way up to my thighs and then the saddle started to fall off. I was riding with one of the volunteers and we were screaming so loud when the camel (which we named Obama) stood up. I almost started crying I was so scared, I really thought we were going to fall off and die. haha The Africans were freaking out because they thought I was to scared to ride. But it was okay, I decided to suck it up because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. Well the wooden back of the saddle was pushing into my back so hard that I have a huge bruise across my back. It’s pretty awesome… Then we got in a tiny little boat and road all the way back down the river looking for hippos. I was again freaking out because I thought we were going to fall in the river of death, but we didn’t. When we got back all the Africans that helped me on the camel were asking me if I was okay and how I liked it. They were laughing so hard when I said I hate camels.
God is so good!! This trip has been so amazing. I love thinking back about my expectations and pre-judgments of this trip and just seeing how much bigger God is. I mean I haven’t even seen one snake! haha I can remember multiple times freaking out and crying before I came because I didn’t think I could do it. Well I was right I can’t do it but God can and He is my strength and my everything out here in the bush. I love Africa so much and I love these people so much and I am going to be really sad to tell them goodbye. But I am really excited to come home, talking to Mom the other day and just hearing about life made me really miss home. I have so many stories and things to tell everyone and I can’t wait to come home and tell you all about it.
Please keep my team and myself in your prayers. We are all completely worn out and a couple of us are getting over illnesses. I had Buck, Kanessa has an amoeba (Fred) a urinary tract infection and probably Malaria too, Cody had an amoeba, Brandy had a cold, Mandy has an ulcer or something, and Dani has some kind of illness (we really aren’t sure what yet, maybe an amoeba or malaria). We really want God to use us till the very last second and to continue to use us even when we leave. This country needs prayer and especially the people of Kollo. Please just pray that God will remove the fear these people have in coming to know Him. Many people here know the truth but they are too scared of what will happen to them if they accept it.