Been Waitin’ For A Word

Maybe I should say “wading” for a word? Not funny, I know, considering the circumstances. But you have to laugh a little when things go completely haywire.

Totally unexpected…


Unforeseen detour…


Plans awash…literally…


Dreams & expectations all drowned…


Vision now blurry…


This explains my recent silence. Waiting for God to show me the next step. Waiting for God to speak to my heart about His plans. Waiting for that reassurance of His guiding hand…not wanting to move without it, without Him.

The Niger River flooded our campus last week, and changed everything. All plans, all priorities shifted with this one unexpected event.



Many of my colleagues have written beautifully about this crisis and the aftermath, sharing pictures and thoughts and Scriptures. (I’ll share those links!)

I’ve been busy with the seventeen dorm kids (plus three of my own) — getting them out, then getting them back in (to get their stuff) — then back out again…all by canoe.



Then … housing them in a lovely guesthouse, feeding them, washing their very-dirty clothes (ten loads in one day — please come back my beloved househelp! — I cried!) Finally, getting them back to their homes (or to someone’s home!).




What was that heroic statement Frodo Baggins made at Rivendell? When all the mighty warriors were arguing over what should be done about that blasted ring? When all the more-qualified ring-bearers were bickering over strategies? What brave words did he manage to eek out?

“Well…um…I’ll take the ring. [pause..silence…] It’s just that…well, I don’t know the way.”



I have this strange feeling…just like that one — where I feel just barely brave enough to move ahead with whatever God is bringing or doing in this community. In me.

I do not know WHY He has me here at this time for this challenge and this responsibility.

I definitely do not know the way!

I just know that He has me here. Right now. For this.



“Show me your ways O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9





Nitty-Gritty Update: Thank you for your prayers and words of support and encouragement! We are doing well and learning so much! We have shelter, food, and God has met our physical needs in generous ways. Our kids are handling the stress of being “homeless” with child-like enthusiasm! Today we found out that our beloved campus pet Rover was found alive, floating on some logs! So much to be thankful for. My emotions have been (predictably) up-and-down, but Andy has been true to his college nickname “Steady-Andy!” His faith has been unwavering, but his strength is sapped with all of the physical labor of it all. We all need rest now.

Our Nigerien friends who have lost homes and were working for the school are receiving aid already. They have a long road ahead — rebuilding their lives in a new location since the river is not expected to recede for many months. Keep them in your prayers — they are beautiful, hard-working people who are truly grateful for simply a kind greeting. We love them and are eager to see them back to work and providing for their needs!



My nursing skills could use some help. These poor children fell victim to my neosporin-bandaid treatment for mosquito bites! Seriously…this is embarrassing.



Someone reminded me recently that I said I would boast in my weakness….I AM A LOUSY NURSE! 

There. Was that loud enough?



I’ll finish this post with a picture of a really good-looking guy! (this was taken before the flood waters broke the dike and the water poured in.) He has been a champion — so glad we are on this journey together, babe!

Stay tuned for news of our RELOCATION!

3 thoughts on “Been Waitin’ For A Word

  1. Beloved friend – I am fascinated that God sovereignty chose THIS as the time for your family to be in Niger… All of the years waiting, shifting plans, nursing dreams, seeking God’s heart… And NOW is when he has you there.

    I’ve seen from SIM how we can help your school and the other missionaries and workers… How can we help YOU?? What kinds of things would be particularly helpful to receive in a care package for your family right now? (and where would we send it?!) please share BOLDLY what would be helpful, because then you provide us with the HONOR and PRIVILEGE of serving you.

    May the LORD Almighty give you rest in unexpected places.
    Love you friend
    Nicole Zinn

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