Life in Nigeria

25 01 2009

We couldn’t ask God for a better welcome, a great first 10 days at school for the girls, a more complete library collection than Gary expected, and beautiful weather. It feels great to finally be settling in here after 8 months of planning and preparation. However, it is also very hard as we miss home and miss people! Life is so different here with cooking, shopping, the driving, curfew, and a long school day with homework afterward (with homeschooling we were always done by 4 pm). I am still adjusting to not having my kids with me all day. There are positives to that too, but I miss them. I am proud of how well we are all doing, but we want to be honest with you…we have our hard moments too; tears, breakdowns, arguing, frustration, but those moments will probably follow us wherever we go!

Some other highlights from our week:

Jordan is part of a weekly 6th grade discipleship group after school. There are 18 girls in her class (and only 3 boys)!

It is reported that Isabell has the most fun teacher at school, however this was a tough week for the 1st graders. After returning from Christmas break they are having behavior problems and sometimes having to all miss out on recess and computer time. Isabell says she is always listening and obeying her teacher, so I am proud of her. It is a hard lesson when a class is disciplined versus the individual, but we are praying for an obedient class next week!

Cypress had the privilege of having her mom as her teacher for one day! After volunteering in the 3rd grade class for 90 minutes the day before, I received a call at 7:30am wondering if I could substitute. Not having any formal teaching experience I felt very unqualified. The teacher assured me of a plan I could follow throughout the day, so wanting to help in a time of need I said ‘yes’. Fortunately, there wasn’t even enough time to panic. I have been praying for my willingness to step out of my comfort zone to serve the Lord, but teaching was not what I had in mind! The day proved to be a great experience for me; the 13 kids were wonderful and we managed to learn together! There is a huge need for substitute teachers here, but I am not yet feeling called to do that.

Gary spent the first full week of classes getting more familiar with the K-Grade 5 kids and studying the library collection so he can jump into developing a library budget for next year and prepare orders for more library materials in the next month so they will (hopefully) arrive before the next school year. He is enjoying story times with the younger grades, and working with Grades 4 and 5 on library skills. In addition, the middle and high schools come to the library during their study hall times, so he’s working on learning more names and helping them find library materials for classes and leisure reading (you can keep up w/ more library-related activities at his other blog, Jos Librarian).

And that infamous clause in everyone’s work contract, “other related duties” includes being one of the Freshman class sponsors, which mean helping them w/ class activities and events. The Freshman class runs concessions for all the sports activities, so helping the kids sell concessions provides opportunities to meet parents and others in the local community. He was also asked to come to the 9th grade boys discipleship meeting (similar to a cell group) to get acquainted and perhaps become more involved with that group over the course of the semester. Please be in prayer with him about this commitment!

There are so many ministries going on in Nigeria, it is amazing. As we meet more missionary families, we hear of incredible work being done. Here is one we wanted to share with you…

We met a missionary who travels the country working with the Fulani tribe. They are a huge nomadic tribe in Nigeria who are primarily Muslim. Their cows are their life, and Tim has a college degree and experience in animal husbandry. He loves working with the Fulani people, helping them grow healthy herds of cows, and developing friendships with them as a way to open the door for planting seeds of the Gospel message. He also trains other Nigerians and Fulanis Christians to do what he is doing, so they can reach their own people and expand the ministry.

Here’s a link to an article that will give you an example of some of the beliefs that are very prevalent here: Nigerian police detain goat over armed robbery (thanks to Lauri S. for spotting the article!).




8 responses

5 02 2009
Brenda Bonner

Hello! I added your website to my Favorites, of course. I miss seeing all of you at MOPS, but I know that you are on a Godly Adventure. Thank you for letting me share it with your words and pictures. Love, Brenda Bonner

5 02 2009
Auntie Misty

I am so glad to hear that the kids are doing so well with there new schools and that you are all enjoying the time there you all look so happy and i want you all to know I love you and miss you, I love the pics you add here and hearing about all the things you do. Please tell the girls I said Hi to them and I hope you and Gary are doing well. I will send a letter as soon as I can and please tell my bowling partner I miss her alot Thanks and talk to you all soon.

30 01 2009

It is reassuring to be able to read about what you are doing everyday and enjoy the photos. The distance disappears for a few minutes. My love to all of you.

29 01 2009
Pastor Mich

Hi Gary, Kimberly and girls;
Just got home from Haiti last night…and I’m a bit “wiped out.” I know you know the feeling after you arrived in Abuja. So, how are you…really? Berna, the kids and I keep you in our prayers regularly. It’s great seeing those pictures. I love the picture of you in the kitchen (Gary) and the girls under the mosquito nets.

Sure do miss you guys around the Chapel. It’s just not the same without you there. I guess I kind of “subconsciously” keep thinking I’ll see your face there…but WRONG. I know you’re all following your hearts and God’s voice.

Gary — Anything I can do for you from over there…you just ask, OK?

Love you all,
Pastor Mich

26 01 2009
Christy Headrick

Hello my friends! Wow! It is so neat to be able to read about all you’re experiencing daily. You give so much detail, and then being able to see the pics it’s almost like we can imagine being there ourselves. I have no doubt’s about your teaching abilities Kimberly…I’m sure you were great! It certainly sounds like you all have plenty to learn, see and do there in Jos. I’m so glad God is giving you a rather smooth transition. I’ll be praying for your requests…thanks for being specific! Love you all, Christy

26 01 2009
Amy Perkins

Thank you so much for these interesting updates and photos. It is good to hear how and what you’re doing, and to have specific prayer requests too. Kimberly needs to get in a photo, besides the rest of the Payne family! Your girls always make a nice photo with their smiles. I notice no one – Paynes or others – are wearing hats or sunglasses, but I suppose sunscreen is a necessity.
Last week at MOPS Candice was walking around carrying a little girl who would cry whenever she tried to put her down, in fact at first she’d cry even if Candice tried to sit down with her. It reminded me of Jordan walking the halls with a stroller.
Dwight has just completed his first week as a bus driver with a regular route, instead of being on the “extra board”. We were delighted that he is able to be off on Saturdays, which gives him a two day weekend, since there is no bus service on Sunday.
Love and blessings to you. Amy

26 01 2009

Great pictures! I love seeing the girls with smiling expressions. It looks like you are all adjusting quite well. I am astonished you’ve done so in such a short time. Thanks for keeping in touch! Love M

25 01 2009
The Clem family

Hi Paynes!! It’s so wonderful to be able to read about the details of your daily life- thanks for letting us peek into your lives. The pictures are great too. We love having the prayer requests so we can know how to pray. Here’s a big hug from all of us!! love from the Clems

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