July 27

27 07 2009

We joined our new friends from Back2Back Ministries for a construction and medical outreach in a nearby village (Kissahyip).  Gary helped build storage boxes for the shelves in the village doctor’s office (a low-ceilinged hut).  Kimberly was in charge of the pharmacy portion of the medical clinic.  We had 3 Nigerian doctors, 2 missionary nurses, a prayer team to pray with patients and lots of helping hands.  We saw over 200 patients on the 1st day.  The team ministered for a second afternoon and still couldn’t see everyone.   About 20 people were referred to the hospital, and one patient was driven there right away.   It was hard work and we were all exhausted, but thankful to be used by God for such a need.    As we ran out of time and ran out of medicine, I was amazed at how appreciative and calm people were; especially after waiting for many hours….a very different attitude from how some patients react in the pharmacy in the U.S.

Jordan, Cypress and Isabell joined us for half of the day.  I was very proud of how they interacted with the kids and helped when needed.   Gary, Cypress and Jordan were willing and able to return and help again on the second day. Jordan and Cypress were welcome additions to the clinic again, counting pills and holding things at the ready for the nurses doing the pre-exam screening (temp/bp).

Back To Back then invited us to their celebration dinner before their short term missionaries headed home to the U.S.  Traditional African dancers entertained us and many joined them and tried to keep up with the beat.  The painted faces of the dancers and the whooping and squealing scared Isabell, but after awhile she joined the circle of dancers too.

The school year is now less than 2 weeks away, and the campus is filling up w/ returning and new teachers. While we have enjoyed the quieter summer, it is a joy to greet new faces and welcome back those who have been traveling over the summer. And we have been quite happy to welcome the Crouches back to Jos this week and are looking forward to spending more time w/ them once they have settled in and recovered from the 9 hour time change.


Pix 27 July

27 07 2009

Playing @ Alifopka

20 07 2009

When we visited Alifopka village, the kids tried to teach the village children how to play tag. It ended up being more about chasing each other around, since the concept of having one person being “It” didn’t quite make sense to them, but thay all had fun anyway!

Alifokpa Road Trip

7 07 2009

Since the Hillcrest church is closed this summer, we have had opportunities to visit other Nigerian churches.  It is inspiring to experience how people worship God around the world.  You can share the a bit of the experience with us through the video clips we have posted. When a group of white missionaries show up at a Nigerian church, you are often get extra attention, and may even end up sitting up in front with the pastors and worship leaders!

We just returned from a week of traveling through rural southeast Nigeria with another missionary family.  We had an amazing journey seeing what other missionaries are doing with Bible translation, visiting local villages, and even sharing a meal and staying overnight in a tiny village called Alifokpa, where Ivan grew up and still visits often.  It was an experience right out of National Geographic, as we traveled through rain forest and dense jungle where the temperature and humidity are both in the high 80s, up to a mountaintop ranch/resort at 5280 feet where we were among the clouds, and experienced more of the people and places of Nigeria.

The girls loved it and we have a fun video of our kids teaching the village kids how to play tag.   We went shopping in a rural village market where we attracted A LOT of attention.  They are not used to seeing white people.  Many of the roads were dirt and filled with huge potholes and puddles.  The paved roads were worse because they crumble and create dangerous holes and steep edges.  We managed to not get stuck in any of them in our new van, although we got very muddy and scraped the bottom a few times. You always have to pay close attention to the road, other traffic, people and animals along (and on) the roadway.  Some things we experienced along the way that are just a little different than American traveling…military checkpoints in and out of our city of Jos, police who stop us and ask for “pure water”.  We gave them ‘Living Water’ (Bible tracts)!   ‘Nail boys’ who stop you by placing boards of nails in the road.  The local government allows them to collect money from commercial vehicles, as long as the government gets their cut.  We just had to convince them our vehicle is for personal use.  We had no problems being detained (this time), but we have heard stories otherwise.

Okuku Market

7 07 2009

This is a local village market in the town of Okuku, in SE Nigeria.  We often end up being a center of attention, which can be a bit overwhelming at first.

Pix July 7

7 07 2009

ECWA Kibbyah Village Worship

3 07 2009

Last Sunday, June 28, we were invited to attend church in the village of Kibbyah where our friends with Back2Back Ministries are working. It’s about 15 minutes outside of Jos, back off the main road on a dirt road. The church service is mostly in Hausa, although parts of it (including the sermon) were translated into English for us. The church  is a small, simple building without electricity. We were warmly and officially welcomed by the pastor at the beginning of the service, and John was asked to introduce us. It is amazing (and powerful) to be part of a church worship halfway around the world and realize that we are among God’s family no matter where (or how) we worship! FYI…in Nigerian churches, their are typically multiple offerings, each for a different church group/ministry, and each one is accompanied by singing, dancing and music as people come forward to place their offering in the baskets. At the end of the service, John was asked to pray for rain for the crops, and it rained long and hard later Sunday afternoon and again as we headed out on our week-long adventure to SE Nigeria.