9 01 2009

This is our first entry from Jos, Nigeria!

Our journey here went smoothly and the kids did great traveling despite very little sleep during the first flight from Seattle to London. We were able to walk around in London a bit but it was very cold! Cypress wanted to see Buckingham Palace so we took the Tube and walked through Hyde Park to get there.

In Abjua all our boxes were waiting for us. We thought something had broken in one box because it rattled as we loaded it on the luggage cart, but when we unpacked it, we found it was just Legos that had spilled! The inventory lists our Bible study group friends did were awesome (and thanks for all your little notes of encouragement we’re finding as we unpack boxes!). When customs started to question us about our boxes, we quickly produced the lists for them, and they only checked 3 boxes , then let us go.

The 3 hour drive to Jos became 4 when the school van died about 30 minutes outside of the city. Luckily, it was not too hot, so we opened the windows, enjoyed the breeze, and sat until our driver figured out and fixed the problem. We have had plenty of experience with broken down vehicles so we were calm and patient. We were thankful it was only a half hour…it could have been much longer.

We were greeted at Hillcrest by the Carlsons, the family who lives in the other half of the house. Others came to say ‘hi’ and bring us food. It was touching! Dinner has been planned with other families every night through Tuesday! Within one hour the girls met a friend who showed them around and invited them over for a few hours. It was great to see them excited.

We will be cozy in our new house. It is small and needs a few minor things done to be fully functional. It was cleaned for us and our neighbor Ruth made the beds, lent us a beautiful table cloth and put out a few of her decorations because she wanted it to look homey when we arrived. We are truly thankful to have it provided for us.

We learned there is a 7pm-6am curfew on the city and on Fridays it’s suggested that we should back to the compound by noon. Apparently, the Muslim’s begin their rituals on Friday afternoon and crowd the streets, and the missionary community chooses to stay out of the way. It sounds odd, but it is very safe within the Hillcrest Compound. It almost feels like a cocoon in the midst of the city.

The girls finally hit the end of their rope at dinnertime Thursday evening. They were falling asleep at the table and could hardly function. They went to bed at 7 pm (and I as well) and I am now wide awake at 1 am in the morning. It is going to take a few days to get in synch.

We miss everyone a lot. Saying goodbye hurt our hearts, but we are thankful to have God’s peace and constant reminders that He is with us every step of the way. Our first reminder was going through security in Seattle. God’s Word is truly a living and breathing tool, in this case without opening it up! Due to our 1 way tickets we were flagged for a detailed security check. We were pulled aside, given pat downs , and all our carryon bags (too many!) were searched . As one of the security agent was pulling everything out, she said to us “How did you get a double edged sword through security?” I had no idea what she was talking about then she showed us one of the Bible and said it again. We smiled and told her a little bit about what we were doing. She was so excited, wanted our blog site, asked us write down our names and favorite Bible verses, and wanted to pray for us. She told us the best part of her job is being someone God placed along the way to give encouragement to travelers who needed it. It was just what we need to hear as were sad and had lots of tears after saying goodbye to Kimberly’s dad, Pastor Mich and Berna.

Thank you for all of your help, love and hugs sending us on our way, and for your prayers…we can feel them lifting us up across the miles!

Prayer requests:

  • Health as we adjust to new foods and new germs!
  • Adjusting to our new home and new culture
  • Smooth transition into school for the girls next week (1/14)
  • Praise for the wonderful welcome and the blessing of new friends!



13 responses

22 01 2009
Cam and Lisa Fry

Hey Payne’s

We think of you and pray for you often. God’s continued favor and blessing on you all as you adjust to all things new!

17 01 2009
Lisa Dean

Hello Kimberly and family,
I echo everyone’s sentiments above. We are wet and chilly here and daydreaming about how warm it must be there. I’m so glad to hear that the girls are already making friends. My husband lived overseas as a child(saudi) and said it was the best adventure ever. Your kids are so lucky. We are thinking of you and praying for you. You’ve come a long way from when I met you in the cry room at church when Mimi and Cypress were babies.

15 01 2009
Virginia Sears

Hello Payne Family, Praising and Thanking God you are there safe. I have been praying the girls would feel welcome at their new school, and that you and Kimberly and the girls would feels the Lords wonderful love all around you. You are obedience is such an example to us all, thank you. Brett Reid and Roger Clem and some of our youth helped out filling sand bags, Stanwood was in danger of flooding in several places, but they stepped up to the hard work. And it was cold and wet, we have some wonderful people at the Chapel and I feel blessed to be part of this family. Tell Jordan Mop’s went well and we missed her smiling face and willing hands and feet. Look forward to more news from you.
Love & Prayers, Virginia

14 01 2009
Pastor Kris

Hey guys! You made it. Yeah! It’s been a long and thrilling journey…and I don’t just mean the plane trip….the whole adventure of God’s leading in your lives. What a blessing to have neighbors there to encourage you on your arrival.

You are loved!

13 01 2009
Amy Grannum

I’m so glad you made it safely!
Sounds like everything is going quite well!
We look forward to reading your blog often.
Love and Prayers-
Amy, Rob, Jack & Natalie

12 01 2009
Sarah Eschbach

Hello Paynes!
I am so glad the trip went smoothly. Your family has been in our prayers and I just feel so proud of you! It has been amazing watching your family as your thoughts went from “Is God calling us to Africa?” to “We leave for Africa in a few days!”. You guys are amazing and I am so excited to hear how God uses you over there. And I kinda wish I was there with you…hehe…
Love you and praying for you always!

11 01 2009
Don and Gail Barrett

Hi to our friends in Nigeria. Wow, I feel like a world traveler myself, having people in my life that are living in other countries. Your family crossed our minds during your trip and we continually asked God for your protection and that all would be well. We are so privileged to personally know our God and to know that He will be with you on your new adventure with Him. Such exciting times along with challenges will be ahead. We will be looking forward to your news and will keep you in our prayers times. Just let us know if there is ever any thing specifically we can pray for..we love you..don and gail barrett

10 01 2009
The Clem family

Hi all!! It was so wonderful to read of your trip, we prayed for you as you were traveling. I’m so glad you liked all the little love notes- we wanted you to feel loved as you unpacked in your new home! Please let Jordan know that Sadie has turned the corner and is getting better. We love you all and look forward to reading more. Here are big hugs for each of you. love, J.

10 01 2009
Lisa Anderson

Dear Gary, Kimberly and girls, Our family has thought of you many times and prayed for you each night. Tuesday was a big day for our hearts as we knew you were on your way as well as Ann to Iraq. Those we love, following the call of the One who loves us most.
I want to share something I uncovered in my devotions a few days ago. I was reading in Ex.34:29-35 about Moses and how his face was so transformed by light when he returned from meeting with God on the mountain. As I finished with this passage I found myself searching my heart to see if when I choose to meet with the Lord each day – can anyone tell? I continued to the book of Psalms and was in Ch 31 and vs 14-16…Here is what I read and this has been my prayer for me, but also for you these past few days “…Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.” Shine brightly friends, you are illuminated by a God who loves you deeply!!
You are missed greatly and I will do my best to keep in touch with you. Please give the girls hugs from me! 🙂 Love you! Lisa

10 01 2009
Amy Perkins

Thank you so much for your report, it is wonderful to hear of your safe arrival. The two edged sword story is a great blessing, and will be repeated often. Praise God!

9 01 2009

I am so happy to hear that you all made it and without any major catastrophies. We have been praying for your safe arrival and health. Give everyone mine, Shawn’s and Caitlyn’s love. Good luck to you Gary with work and to the girls with school, quite an adjustment as well. I am praying for patience for Kimberly as she helps to get everyone adjusted. We love you.


9 01 2009
Judi Seegert

Welcome Home!!! You have been in my thoughts and prayers. It was a joy to read your “Arrival” entry. Each day since the 28th of December, my mind has drifted back to Nigeria and our adventures there. It was a joy to watch God work in your hearts and minds last year preparing you for “just a time as this”.

You have done a wonderful job with this site, Gary. I look forward to future entries and pictures. In a way, we all will be able to experience Nigeria right along with you. Thank you!!

The lake is quiet today. The Mergansers, Cormorants, Pied Billed Grebes, Buffleheads and other beautiful divers are eating lots of fish just outside my window. They are so beautiful. It is hard to believe that just a few miles away our friends have 5 feet of water in their house. The snow has given way to rain, warm temperatures and lots of flooding. Nick and I will be busy next week helping Tom and Chris clean up. Gina worked almost 48 hours straight helping city workers and volunteers hold the water back from devistating the town. Our sweet Josephine Sunset Home residents were evacuated up to the High School as a precaution. Gina said they looked so confused. This all will soon be over and hopefully the rest of our winter will be calm and uneventful.

I wish I had been able to give each of you one last hug, but I think you know how much I love you and how very proud I am of you. It didn’t take you long to understand God’s plan for your lives. You answered the “call” with a strong conviction and without wavering. You didn’t linger long on the “Who Me?” Your example has already impacted lives, even before your “work” has begun.

Hug each other for me and know deep in your hearts that you don’t go to Nigeria alone. Besides God, 13 of us have gone with you!!!

Your friend, Judi

9 01 2009

Good to hear your trip to Nigeria went smoothly with God by your side. I look forward to reading your blog. Happy New Year, Norma

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