Yes, these are the normal discombobulating senses of returning from Niger. I miss the sounds, smells, faces and noises of a place that has caught my attention and a people who have captured my heart! Perhaps the sound of silence has struck me the most this morning. I appreciate the rain that keeps the lawn and garden green. I am grateful for the alone time to rest and think. Yet, I am missing the voices:
...of the Islam's call to prayer broadcasted 5 times throughout the day-reminding ME to pray for the lost and least of these dear people in need of physical and spiritual healing of the Great Physician, our Savior Jesus Christ
... of the many hospital guards and other employees greetings, Bonjour, Ca, va? Mamma Maureen!
...of the caregivers and patients in the outpatient hostel. Fou, Fou! Bangagie, Madala.....words of greeting and gratitude in local languages.
|Caregivers at hostel|
|Caregivers calling out a morning greeting as we visit them|
|"Papa Toureg" selling bracelets|
...of the hawkers on the street selling everything from phonecards to floor tiles up and down the streets.
...of the donkeys, sheep, goats and camels bleating, bellowing and protesting under their loads and severe treatment!
|Nurse Rabi and I enjoying a joyful moment in the OR|
The sounds of CURE Niger were missing from my first day back! Readjustment and reorientation will take several days. Voices of people are an important part of daily life. They remind us of where we are living and what activities are happening about us. Voices also remind us of the relationships in our lives.
The one voice that can be heard in my heart everyday is the voice of God's Word speaking...
truth of who God is and His character
an invitation to join Him in joyful obedience and fellowship
direction for His kingdom work
help to think, speak and act in a manner pleasing to the Lord
comfort for the hurts and issues that challenge the life of faith
assurance that I am His and He is mine
all this in the pages of my Bible!
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."