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David and Bethany Nightingale's Blog

Living in a country where over 90% of the population is Muslim is an interesting thing during the month of Ramadan! For those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is a month-long period during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan’s date, similar to Easter, is based on the lunar calendar, and thus shifts by 12 days each year; this year it started on May 26th, Bethany’s birthday!

 

One day at the beginning of...

If you can remember all the way back to March, you might remember that David and I spent a week at a Trauma Healing training, learning how to lead Trauma Healing support groups with the Trauma Healing Institute’s curriculum. Since then, we have been planning to lead one of these support groups with the young people at our church. Before we left for Senegal last month, we talked to the pastor, set dates, and put an announcement in for Sunday...

These past 2 weeks, we had the opportunity to spend time in Senegal, so a few Sundays ago, we headed off to the airport and flew to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. As soon as we stepped off the plane onto the tarmac, we were delighted to feel a beautiful cool breeze blowing off the ocean. The temperature was around 30 degrees, but with the refreshing breeze, it felt more like 25: very refreshing coming from the 40+...

Yesu Kunnuna! (He is risen!)

Easter here in Mali was very lively and very busy!
Friday evening, we had a Good Friday service at 8 o’clock (for which we arrived at 6, thinking we were right on time!). Coming from a church whose Good Friday service is a very dark, somber affair, it was very interesting to experience a service that was actually quite lively and upbeat (Jesus died to save us! What a reason to celebrate with dancing!)....

Imagine that you live in a completely Muslim village. Now imagine that you just became a Christian. You are the only Christian in your village, and there are only a few other fellow-Christians in the surrounding villages because Christianity is a relatively new thing within your vast tribe. Who do you go to when you have faith questions? What support and encouragement do you have in your faith walk? How do you respond to those in your village who realize...

This past week, we were privileged to attend a four-day trauma healing workshop. This workshop, put on by World Renew using a curriculum developed by the Trauma Healing Institute, is actually a “training for trainers,” specifically tailored to train others to lead workshops for church members, teaching them about walking through trauma, grief, and how to help others do the same. Learning about this was especially interesting for me (Bethany) because of my psychology background, although David really enjoyed himself...

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of learning, working and adjusting to the heat! We can hardly believe that we have been here for a month now, yet it also seems like we’ve been here for a long time. I find that drastic changes in life always do that – make you feel like the “other side” of the change was a very long time ago, although only a few weeks or a few days have passed.

Most of...

After flying in from Paris, we arrived in Mali on a Friday around 8:30pm. After a long wait for our baggage, Harouna (a World Renew staff member here in Mali) graciously picked us up outside the airport and drove us to the guesthouse where we will be staying until the end of April. It is located in what used to be the East German Embassy (pretty cool!) but is now home to an evangelical mission. The guesthouse is run...

Three months ago, on a cool afternoon at the beginning of October, I was biking home from school before a phone meeting with a representative from World Renew to discuss possible employment opportunities. Suddenly a thought popped into my head, “What would I do if they offered me a position overseas?” A few hours later, I was asking Bethany what she thought about spending 8 months in West Africa.

This position with World Renew seemed to fulfill all of...