Niger Day 1
I’ve posted three things that really impacted me about this past trip to Niger. Thought I’d spell out my thoughts as I wrote them in my journal. I’ll scatter these around over the next few weeks and I hope that you enjoy. My purpose in doing this is multiple. 1. I want to solidfy and keep fresh the thoughts, experiences and things ongoing in Niger. 2. I want to share a little deeper from my perspective what these trips are like.
All the prep. All the planning. All the hopes and prayers.
Time to go!
At the airport in Tulsa I am excited and anxious. The first goal is checking the baggage and this is the first of many things that seem to “go” our way. I was expecting to pay $150 for baggage fees (we had four large rolling boxes). Total cost $0!
The second goal is getting through security. This is always a bit nerve wracking for me cause I tend to travel loaded down with technical gear. This trip I was traveling with a 17″ laptop, Canon Rebel XT DSLR, three lenses, and a Canon HV30. Despite all the equipment my first trip through security goes without a hitch. I am pulled aside for a friendly pat down, but only because I had left my hooded sweatshirt on. At this point I can relax a little. We have our boarding passes. The luggage is checked and ticketed all the way through and we are at the gate waiting to board.
First stop, Atlanta. This was seriously the fastest flight ever! The pilot said so. We had a tail wind and perfect flying weather so we made it to ATL ahead of schedule.
Second stop, Paris. After taxing out to the runway for takeoff in ATL we headed back to the terminal due to a mechanical issue. The air conditioning compressor had gone out appearantly and so we waited on the tarmac for about an hour as they fixed the problem. This was a little nerve wracking as catching the connecting flight from Paris to Niger is critical as there are only 4 flights a week. We made it. No problem.
Final stop, Niamey. We made it! On time! All our baggage (except for one of the bags with the group from Enid). We are greeted at the airport ALWAYS by #10. A porter who is a good friend of Yacouba’s and I assume the unofficial welcoming committee of Hosanna. It took a little while to get some of the bags through customs/security, but after about an hour we are ready to pack everything into three trucks and head to the house.
At the house Renate is already preparing something for us to eat. Over dinner Pastor Yacouba is sharing with us remarkable stories.
- Mustafa and his whole family test positive for HIV. After praying and truly agonizing over what this might mean for this little boy after two more tests he is found to be negative!
- Mustafa’s dad is a Christian and is attending Bible school. This is a miracle because he is the son of an influence Imam and in his youth persecuted other believers. Once he became a Christian his father disowned him and cut him off. Since that time they have been reconciled!
- There was a young girl who was crushed under a large steel door. It put her in a coma for 2 days and smashed her jaw. They did not think that she would ever talk again. After surgery and prayer she is smiling and fully recovered!
Only in country a few hours and my brain and heart are overwhelmed!