Real Life in the “Cold Room”

Okay, so it is not really a cold room, more like “the warm room”, but for us it is our hot season salvation! The five of us Grays may have seemed pretty courageous and full of adventure as we packed and moved ourselves to Africa….until now. Until this HEAT came upon us. It is a sly monster, lurking all night and then jumping on us at first light of day — nearly 90 or 100 by 9:00 a.m. (my guess) Our only saving grace is the cooler (air conditioner) in our bedroom. We knew the cost would be high, but it doesn’t matter — we NEED this room to be cooler than the rest of the world! The truth is that even when we run it all night..(.shhh…don’t tell anyone we do this!)… it still only gets to 79 degrees. 

Here is the fun part — all five of us slumber in the cold room. In fact, we read here, play games here, have our family meetings and Bible times here. We were gettin’ kinda silly tonight — you can imagine that would happen when an entire family lives in one room of a house –and took these cold room photos of ourselves!



So here is the layout…



Although we are quite cozy here in our cold room, we are enjoying the extra family time and thankful for all that we have. Nothing in the world could have prepared us for this — and nothing at all could replace this unique training of our hearts and bodies!

A’ tout a’lheure! (See you later!)

The cute little face peeking from the middle of this colorful photo, is my new friend Gail. From the first moment we pulled into the village, she plopped her mat down in what shade she could find, and began her literacy ministry! A steady stream of people — all ages — arrived into the night, and then first thing in the morning she was at it again. Till the last moment, when it was time to drive away, she was patiently teaching. These young girls arrived first thing in the morning, before their daily chores needed tending to. Look at Gail’s smile! She THRIVES on this service to the least of these!

Gail “Superwoman” Klippenstein!

Amadou's Mom

This picture is perfect, in my mind, because Amadou’s sweet mama is shy and does not look for attention. (I had to be quick to get this shot!) Her son is the first Christ*an convert in their village, and he is now attending Bible College in Maradi — a fact she is proud of, (despite the fact that she is musl*m). When Gail and Ish*y* visit their village each week, she happily spends all day preparing a huge dinner for everyone! She kept thanking me and holding my hands together with hers…even now, I recall her gracious touch and my heart swells with love for her.

Amadou’s Mom

Mon Amie Saratou

Here is Saratou, wife of Ish*y*, the evangelist we visited last month when we went to Maradi. Here she is serving us an incredible dinner — African chicken dish! I would describe her as having a peaceful strength. Through translation I learned that she battles her fears every time her husband follows the passion on his heart — to reach the lost for Jes*s Chr*st! Her selfless trust in God allows for others to hear the Good News!

Mon Amie Saratou

Mon Amie Hadeza

Here is Hadeza (pronounced “hu-deez-uh”), our house help and my friend. Can you tell by her countenance that she is an absolute JOY to see three times a week? She is pictured here with her husband (and our day guard) Salefou (pronounced “sal-ee-foo”). My kids love her cinnamon rolls and chicken curry, and I love everything about her. I am the luckiest woman in Niger because Hadeza is my friend. Someday I will write her life story in a blog post, but for now let’s simply savor that gorgeous smile!

Mon Amie Hadeza

Technical Challenges!

Well, they told us to be flexible as we left the USA to come here…once again I understand. The photos of the women I mentioned are not uploading to wordpress (too slow) so I will try later on, when the internet usage is less. Thanks for your patience!

Precious Pearls: Women I’ve met in Niger

On our trip to Mar*di this month, we met many women that have left an impression on my heart. The role of a woman in this culture is one I haven’t come to grips with yet, and do not know enough about to make any conclusions. But I can say that they are absolutely lovely, with a special style and grace all their own. Of course, with my language handicap, it is difficult to truly know these ladies, but not difficult to love them instantly. I think you’ll agree. Here are some photos of the women I’ve encountered in Niger … pray for them, if you like, or simply celebrate the beauty you see!