May 17

17 05 2009

Well, I was excited to report about a fun party we were invited to at the house of a well-known family in Jos.  Jordan has become good friends with the daughter of the family and I have getting to know her mom a little bit.  The party was like a wedding reception with buffet tables of food, a swimming pool, and lots of people.   As we left the party, we agreed to get together soon for tea.  Tragically, eight days later, the mom passed away unexpectedly.  There is only speculation of how she died, but it was undiagnosed and sudden.   In the short time I knew her she was outgoing, friendly and sincere.   She had made an effort to make me feel welcome. Now this very sweet 11 year old girl is without her mom for the teen years ahead.  Jordan and I are grieving for her unimaginable loss.  Our cultural and faith differences are huge and we just hope we can reach out to her in tangible ways.  Please pray for Nawal’s journey ahead. She is pictured on Jordan’s right (from the party) in last week’s blog picture ‘Jordan & friends’.

I finished three weeks of substituting in the 11th grade chemistry class.  It was challenging, but a good way to get my feet wet at the high school.  I had to deal with an issue that led myself and the student to a meeting with the principal.  I have realized very quickly that I am not there to be their friend, but provide firm boundaries and an environment for learning, just like with my children at home!

We are now entering the last two weeks of the school year, and, in the words of Calvin (of “Calvin & Hobbes” fame!), “The days are just packed!” AP Exams are now over (Gary has been busy administering 38 exams to 20 students over the past two  weeks), and final exams, Bacalaureate, Awards and Graduation Ceremonies are all one week away. In between, we have a piano recital and  two concerts this week (HS and MS). Whew!

We had a warning issued on Friday to not go into downtown Jos.  Since the November crisis, everyone is on alert for possible future trouble any time there are crowds of people gathered for any event and/or large numbers of peopel come into the city from surrounding areas. There are still angry, troubled hearts that want to retaliate.  The Muslem vs. Christian mindset of some Nigerians reminds me of the Catholic vs. Protestant situation I learned about and experienced first hand in Northern Ireland many years ago.  There are extremists on both sides that get in the way of the rest of us who want to reach out (also on both sides) and get to know each other just as people. Please pray for  lasting peace!

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One response

1 06 2009
Sandy Solis

Hi Payne Family,

I’m so sad to hear about the mother of Jordan’s friend. What a tragic thing for them.

I enjoy reading your blog. It’s great to be able to stay updated Technology definitely has it’s pluses!

Will be praying for Jordan’s friend and for Jordan as she reaches out to her friend.




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