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.'