Jody and Sarah Fox - this phase of our Journey as IMB missionaries in Niger, West Africa

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adjusting to the Heat...Sort of

Written by: Sarah
Why would you move to Africa?  This was a common thing we heard as we were preparing to move here to Niger.  And this month...we've asked ourselves that question more than a few times!  It's been a difficult month, but we've also seen God at work and we've been reminded of trusting in Him for strength.
The source of the difficulties has been our electricity, or should I say the lack of it.  It has been come and go the last 3 weeks...and with that our water also comes and goes.  Normally, this would be manageable, but since hot season is still here and the cool rains have yet to come...well, it's been unbearable at times!  And last week the electricity was completely out for the entire week!  The heat takes so much energy out of you and it's hard to even get a good night's sleep. But we know that this is where God's called us to be and we know He will sustain us.  This is a hard place to live which is one reason it is still unreached.  Just yesterday I talked with several women and not one had heard of the name of Jesus or the Bible!  I was reminded of the importance of being here and sharing the gospel with many people.

As we've been reading the book of Numbers with our girls in the mornings we are constantly reminded of the Israelites' sin of complaining.  So we pray for God to be merciful with us and pray that we may trust Him and depend on Him each day.  And if we have a good day...there's no guarantee we'll obey Him the next.  Each day we have to fully rely on God or we're sure to fall into sin!   And instead of complaining we need to remember the MANY MANY blessings God has given us...salvation, health, His written Word that we can read, and so much more!   

When we look at the people around us we see their physical poverty, their spiritual lostness, and the many struggles they go through each day.  God has truly blessed us, and we need to share those blessings with people around us. 
Here are some pictures of how we adjusted to not having electricity.

After seeing body outlines of sweat on our girls sheets, we decided to start sleeping outside under a mosquito net.  They loved it and would sleep there every night if they could!

All ready for bed!

Washing clothes by hand with my cute little helper!  We let the laundry piles build up in hope the power would come back on, but there came a point when we had to wash some by hand.  After all, you go through a lot of clothes when you are sweating 24/7!

Lauren taking a load of wet clothes outside to the clothesline.  I think she's having too much fun!

Keep it up, you're almost there!

This is how the people in our village keep their water 'cool'.  The water evaporates through the pottery to help it cool down.  It's not as refreshing as a cup of ice cold water, but it's better than the hot water we had in our house.

Camryn's dipping her cup in to get a drink.


The girls also enjoyed eating dinner outside!  It was way too hot inside.
 Ok, the truth is we didn't make it the whole week without electricity. After about 5 days we had to get away from it.  We were totally drained, so we took a few days off and went to Niamey.  They've had their fare share of power issues, but we found a guesthouse with electricity (and a/c) and finally got a few good nights of sleep.  We also took advantage of our new Rec Center membership and went swimming three days in a row!  The pool was as warm as a bath tub, but we still had fun! 

Lauren and Jordan


Lauren swinging high

We've been back in our village a few days now, and the electricity has been much better!  It comes and goes, but that's so much better than completely going without.  And I've finally caught up with our laundry!  In a couple of days we're headed to Kenya for a missionary retreat and we're excited about fellowshipping with other missionaries and getting a break from this heat for a while.  It'll be in the 70's there, so we'll probably freeze, but I think we can handle it!  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pray for Baby

Written by: Sarah
Please pray for this sweet little baby - Husseini.  Here's his story.

His family lives in our village.  His mom was pregnant with twins.  His dad is a friend of Jody's.  He has come at night a handful of times over the past year to speak with Jody.  Jody has shared the gospel numerous times with him, but he always goes away saying he has to think about it.  We believe he is considering the truth and may even believe what we say about the gospel is true, but there's a great cost in following Christ that he is unwilling to give up at this time.

About 3 weeks ago the mom gave birth to twins.  She did not deliver in our village, but was taken to Niamey.  One of the babies died either during the birth or shortly after.  Baby Husseini weighed 1 kilogram (about 2.2 pounds).

Just two days ago Jody was at the river with our girls taking some volunteers to see the hippos in our village.  The babies dad was there and started talking with Jody.  He informed Jody that his wife's milk had not come in.  He told Jody they had been trying to get goat's milk to feed the baby...but only a few times a day.

So Jody and I went to see the baby.  I could not believe my eyes!  I had never seen such a little baby.  He is just skin and bones.  I could not even believe he was alive.  He was born little, and then hasn't eaten much for his first three weeks.  We took the baby some formula and a bottle.  But, this baby needs prayers!  I prayed for the baby while I visited and told them I would be asking some Christian  friends in America to pray.  Pray that God may use this time in the family's life to show His glory and reveal Himself to them.  Pray that they may confess Christ and follow Him.  Pray that God may protect the life of this baby and that he may grow into a healthy little boy!

Here are some pics...

Notice his legs compared to my fingers

Mom feeding him with a bottle

The bottle's bigger than him!