the call

Our world is full of needy people.  As Christians we are called to love the hurting, the hungry, and the lonely.  This call is given by God.  It is undeniable and repeated again and again throughout Scripture.

Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed.

Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17

This is God’s heart, that we would join him in compassionate care of those who are abused, neglected, and rejected.  He wants us to be his hands, providing for those who cannot care for themselves.

In Niger, one of the poorest nations in the world, there are an estimated 970,000 orphans.  These children need help.  We believe that God is calling us to dramatic and radical action on behalf of those who cannot cry out for help on their own.  We want to partner with the local Church in ministry to these children.  By engaging local believers, we hope to create a culturally sensitive ministry that aims at local sustainability.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me.

I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:35-36

help -> heal -> hope

We want to see God help the needy, heal their hurts, and restore hope to their lives.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27


Today is Tuesday, and this Tuesday that meant we were back at the Banifondu School doing art with the kids.  

We are ending the fifth month of school here in Niger and our Art at Banifondu has (finally) made it to every class.  It’s been a while since we’ve been here.  Teams and holidays and other complications have kept us away longer than we like.  This afternoon we did cat hats with the sixth grade class.

There are 60 kids in this class, and today there were on!  This is one sharp class.  The kids at the Banifandu School are both Christian and Muslim.  It is a Christian school run by Assemblies of God missionaries from Burkina Faso.  Tuition at this school runs close to 15-20% of some Nigerien parents’ yearly salary, and the education the receive is considered excellent.  Every child in this school knows that it is a privilege to be there.

Their teacher, Monsieur Lambert, asked you to pray for him and for the class.  At the end of this year they will all take the BIG EXAM.  In the French system, you must pass this exam to move on to the next level.  The Banifondu school has a very high pass rate (especially compared to other schools), but there is still a lot of pressure on the teacher and the students.

The highs here all week are hovering right around 110 degrees.  It had to have been at least that hot with 60 kids, the teacher and us.

And everyone was smiling.  They did so well.

We love our Tuesdays at Banifondu.



I have hesitated to share with you about the Niger-to-America adoptions that we’ve been working on this past year.  I have mentioned, once or twice, a few details about the joys and heart breaks that we have shared together.  Truly, these stories are not our own, and I have not wanted to tell you other people’s stories.  Some times the emotion has been a bit too complicated to verbalize.

This week, we have welcomed Rachid into our tribe.   All of us have found so much pleasure in having him here.  He has such a quiet, timid way.

God willing, in mid May he will become part of the Billotti family and live in a suburb of Atlanta.  We think that he will be with us now until he boards that plane.

Please pray for Rachid.  In our brief experience so far, we have learned that these last few steps can be very difficult for the child.  Saying goodbye to friends and a homeland, and jumping into the wide world of the unknown can be such a scary thing.  We hope that these next few weeks at our house can provide Rachid with a ramp that will help him adapt to his Online Casino Georgia life.

In the mean time the cute stories abound….

Like last night when we had read books, given kisses, and done all the normal things we do.  Nata turned out the light.  Dave was in the kitchen juicing something.  I was busy at the kitchen table working on a project of my own. And then I heard Nata.  Was he crying or screaming? …. or maybe laughing?   So I went to investigate.

When I opened the bedroom door I saw Rachid pass by in a flash followed by Mulligan, tail wagging and bursts of laughter from Sam, Nathaniel, and Rachid.  When I saw Rachid’s smile, I had to focus on my “Mommy-you’re-in-trouble” face.  They were playing.  They were disobeying.  They were having a blast.  And I was so glad.  I feel like it was a breakthrough moment.  We have all relaxed enough to create a little mischief when we should be sleeping.  So, I told them to all get back in their beds.  Explained they were disobeying.  Give S and N two swats each.  And smiled and hugged and told all three I loved them and they better not get out of bed again.  🙂  What a great moment.  I love my life.

Hellos and Goodbyes

There have been so many fun times, here lately, that I’ve been neglecting my work.  And my work is updating you.

My mom and sister arrived just before Christmas.  Mom was able to stay for two weeks.

We said goodbye to Mom and Rachel last night.

Thank you, Rachel, for an amazing four months.  Your helping hands were so needed.  And your smile will be missed.  We love you.

We have more picture than we can post.  To see our favorites click here.

Some children see Him lily white,
The baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
With tresses soft and fair.

Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav’n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
With dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
This Savior whom we kneel beside.
Some children see Him almond-eyed,

With skin of yellow hue.

Some children see Him dark as they,
Sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
And, ah! they love Him, too!

The children in each different place
Will see the Electronic Cigarettes baby Jesus’ face
Like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
And filled with holy light.

O lay aside each earthly thing
And with thy heart as offering,
Come worship now the infant King.

‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

Just thought I’d share a few photos of the merriment we made this morning preparing for our Christmas musical.  Thank you Shannon Maxwell for taking the photos and sharing them with me today.  We are very excited.  The BIG SHOW is Friday morning and then again Sunday night.  For me, life just doesn’t get much sweeter than moments like this.  Wishing you joy in this season of light!