05 April 2011

A Good Day of Gifts

A great big 'MERCI!  NA GODI!  THANK YOU!' to all of you who sent me such lovely birthday wishes!  My team surprised me with cake last night . . . it was very special.

I realized today, though, that the best thing about being 'abroad' on my birthday is that I don't just get one day.  Due to delays with the mail or SIM Air schedules or time zones, I just keep getting to celebrate!

Today, when I got to work, R. the secretary of the surgical ward grabbed me and said, 'Debo, I have something for you.' and from her purse she pulled out a violet and black head scarf!  She took the one I was wearing off and tied this new one on.  In Nigerien culture, gifts are a sign of friendship.  Pretty sure she didn't know it was my birthday, but the point is, I have a friend!

Not long after, I was in the Admin building where our mailboxes are.  Mine is normally empty, but today is was stuffed with a big yellow package.  The card inside said 'So you don't have to use a chainsaw'.  It was a pedicure set!  My 'new' friend B.B. in Niamey sent it to me (we've actually been following each other's blogs for almost two years now . . . just finally met face to face 7 weeks ago!).  THANK YOU my friend!!  (and a happy belated birthday to you too!)

But the best was still yet to come.

You see, for a few weeks now, I've been praying that for my birthday I would get some rain.  Nothing Noah worthy, just some.  Preferably enough to cool things down for a few hours and help settle some of the dust.  Most of yesterday was surprisingly overcast . . . there was a cool breeze and grey skies (which is different from the usual white sky).  I thought for sure it was going to happen.  I prayed . . . hard.  But then the sun came out.

This morning it was the same thing.  I began to pray again, telling the Lord that deep down inside I could be one of those Birthday-Week people who naturally extend their day to a full seven.  I prayed and kept praying.  

And around 5pm, God answered.  

The flood gates didn't open . . . and my teammates from Seattle tell me that it was more like the air was sweating than actually raining . . . but they were drops . . . of water . . . from the sky!

Silly, you may say.  But I really needed this.  Not so much the rain, as the answer.  As I stood there in the spattering of droplets, it was as if the Holy Spirit was whispering, 'Deb. see, My grace is sufficient . . . I do hear you when you call.'

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