Niger Summer Mission 2011 – Aug 2

Training at Tsibiri is going smoothly.  In the morning Joel continued with the review of last year, throwing in a few new things.  In the afternoon, it was Beth’s turn to lead the class, and she did very well.  Coleen served as her translator.  The challenge, even for Joel, is to feel certain the participants are paying attention.  There is a tendency for them to get stuck on something, not move on, and then have two or three colleagues lean in to help.  The volume of those conversations begins to compete with the voice of the one leading.  I can only imagine how difficult that is for Beth as she is trying stay on track, give Coleen a chance to translate, and know if she is being heard.  A couple times in the morning I stood behind the students offering what assistance I could as Joel was lecturing.  My French has its moments … it can be passable, it can be comical in its syntax, and it can be in reality not French at all … nonetheless, I think (I emphasize think) I helped a couple people.  Overall the program Beth and Joel are putting on is really good.  If I weren’t busily taking pictures or shooting video, I’d like to be at a laptop firming up the basics I know I overlook.

Tonight we dined at the home of Ibrahim Ado, the Permanent Secretary of the EERN.  Remember in French words don’t often come in the order English speakers think they should, so Ibrahim is in essence the Secretary Permanent.  He is often referred to as S.P.  It is not meant disrespectfully or taken that way, so I have begun to occasionally call him S.P.  There is no way that I can do justice in this short space to the type of man Ibrahim is (I wrote of his coming to Christ in an earlier blog, but it goes beyond even that); suffice to say: he is organized, exact, kind, ready to laugh, patient when dealing with my French, and one can not overstate the reality … he is a man of courage.  His wife, Hadeeza, served a fabulous meal of rice, couscous, chicken and beef dishes.  Joel and Isti joined Kara, Coleen, Kara and me.  Ibrahim and Hadeeza have a seven-year old son, Samuel.  Sam enjoyed taking pictures around the dinner table.  Notable for American parents: when Samuel’s father quietly told him enough was enough, Sam quietly returned the camera without complaint.   Good food, good conversation, great fellowship.  Thank you, God!