Friday, November 21, 2014

Like Crazy

How do I begin?  Niger is quite unpredictable sometimes (who am I kidding, I mean all the time), hence I'm finding it difficult to write a cohesive blog post.

First and foremost, God has been working in my heart like crazy.  I have done a great job of trying to ignore Him (I am guilty of that way too often), but He is constant and consistent in my life.  Thank God that my sinful nature does not affect the rock-solid character of Jesus Christ.

When I think about my time here in Niger as a first-year teacher, I can't help but wonder how can something so hard be so good?  It doesn't seem to make sense!  I often reason that if it is not easy, then it cannot be good.  And if it's hard, well, I must be doing something wrong.  And yet life here has proven to be so rich.  Each trial and hardship (though small in eternity's eye) is creating in me a refined spirit.  There are so many beautiful and incredible things proving God's sovereignty.  He is at work and I am changed.

I had hoped that after 3 1/2 months of living in Niger I would have completely transitioned.  But I'm slowly learning that I'm not done yet.  And I'm learning that no matter where I am or how long I've been there, my need for God remains the same.

As a 22 year old, I have found myself in awkward places at times.  I am the obvious "rookie," and yet I am transitioning into life as an "adult."  And yet, I feel as if I have a foot in both camps, one in college adult and one in grown-up adult.  How does one gracefully navigate life in such confusion?  For example, I am on a first-name basis with people whom I would have typically addressed by Mr. or Mrs..  Students here call me "Miss Knox," and yet I do not feel so different from some of these high school-ers.

I think what I am learning from it all is humility.  "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement..." (Romans 12:3).  No matter how I feel my role or title affects my position among the relationships formed, my attitude and posture must be that of humility.  The first part of the word humility comes from the Greek word humus, which means "soil, earth."  I must be like rich and fertile dirt, perfect for planting seeds.

Yes, things are continually difficult and I transition still.  And how humbling it is to ask for help, to recognize that I am not, and cannot be, independent.  But I rest in God's good grace, knowing that I must take life one blessed moment at a time.  I hide in the knowledge of all that Christ has done for me and confidently forge ahead as a child of God and heir with Christ.  Praise God!


Mallory had a birthday!  We celebrated with friends by eating cake and other delicious sweets.  What a blessing it has been to live with this beautiful woman of God!    

Rachel, April and I led worship for NEWS (Niamey English Worship Service)!  It was so good to worship God by playing the keys again :)

Game night at our place!  I played Settlers of Catan for the first time!

Rachel and I visited SIM Education's ministry with kindergarten teachers.  We helped craft together Nativity scenes out of toilet paper rolls and fabric for each teacher to have in their classroom.  The ladies crafted and then learned how to teach the Christmas story.

High School Bible Study!  Elena made carrot cake for us!  I have been so honored to get to know these ladies better.  I am excited for God to do some awesome things!

Last weekend, a few fellow TeachBeyond members came to Sahel Academy to led a Staff Retreat.  It was a wonderful time of spiritual refreshment, good food, and learning.  These people were such a blessing!  We had them over for dinner before they had to leave. 

Field Day for Sahel Academy!  All the students and staff spent the day at the Stade, a professional soccer stadium, participating in track and field events.  What a fun and tiring day in the sun!

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