First and foremost, I want to thank you for all your prayers through these past 10 days. They have been deeply felt, and our God has been good and faithful in answering them!
My time spent in Ouallam consisted of a wide variety of activities ranging from organizing pictures, traveling around to different villages to visit with people, praying for the sick, sharing Bible stories with adults and children, coloring pictures with children, going to the market,...even milking a goat! Yes friends, I milked a goat, haha!
Overall, it was a good ten days. I had my share of ups and downs, however. Satan tried to attack a few different ways and times. His evil schemes consisted of trying to throw division and disagreement in our midst in order to keep us from completing tasks, he tried to discourage me, tried to make me think that my time here so far has been wasted and all for nothing. But this only caused me to dig deeper into my Lord. God brought reconciliation to the disagreement Stacey and I encountered with our supervisor. He encouraged me various times through His word, and through two other books ("The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers - I highly recommend both!) He revealed so many truths in His word and always confirmed them through repetition in these books, all resulting in the perfect encouragement I needed to carry me through. Can I simply say - Our God is so good and faithful! I love seeing Him pull through in every single trial!
The absolute highlight of my time in Ouallam was, by far, the children. The beautiful, precious children. At the sight of a white person walking or driving by, their little faces light up so brightly! They wave in awe. They yell, "FOFO!" or "MADAME! MADAME!" simply to get your attention. And when they finally get your attention, it's like they are on top of the world. They laugh and giggle with one another. And when some of them finally learned my name, it was so precious to hear their tiny voices yell, "JAMILAH!!!" (my new Zarma name) from down the road. Blessed my heart so deeply. They are absolutely beautiful.
Since being back in Niamey, I am now under new supervisors. They are an incredibly sweet couple and I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with them now. Yesterday they informed me of what my options are for ministry for the remainder of my time here. They have asked that I be praying through these options, and we will discuss on Monday what I for sure will be doing. I ask that you too would be praying with me for guidance and direction as to which option the Lord has prepared for me. The options are:
Volunteering/evangelizing at orphanages with one of the girls here
Teaching ESL (English as a second language) to a lady
Prayer walking/evangelism with women & children in one of the neighborhoods
Participating in a taxi ministry
Assisting at one of the churches here
I don't know complete details of these tasks, which is why those options sound very broad and general. But I am so extremely excited to finally begin some sort of ministry here for the remainder of my time!!
To conclude this rather long update, I want to leave you with, and ask you to join me in the two prayers I have claimed for my time here in Africa. One of which I have been praying since just before I arrived, and the second of which the Lord revealed to me last night. I'll simply share with you what I wrote in my journal last night:
Oh dear Jesus, I earnestly pray and desperately plead these two things -
1. Lord, sanctify me!
2. Father, glorify your name!
That's ALL I want from my time here in Africa. I desire it from my inmost being.
Lord Jesus, intercede on my behalf for these things. You know my heart. Fight for me. And give me strength to endure whatever trials may come my way in order to accomplish these requests.
YOUR WILL BE DONE!
To quickly explain where that simple prayer of sanctification came from and what it means, here is an excerpt from "My Utmost for His Highest," the July 22nd (my birthday!) devotion:
Am I willing to reduce myself simply to "me," determinedly to strip myself of all my friends think of me, of all I think of myself, and to hand that simple naked self over to God? Immediately I am, He will sanctify me wholly, and my life will be free from earnestness in connection with everything but God.
When I pray - "Lord, show me what sanctification means for me," He will show me. It means being made one with Jesus. Sanctification is not something Jesus Christ puts into me: it is HIMSELF in me.
To go along with that, and I promise I will end with this, I am claiming 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it."