28 Dec 2009

27 12 2009

We are spending Christmas and New Years with 2 other families in South Eastern Nigeria.    It was a 9 hour hot, dusty, and seat gripping drive, but we are happy to finally be relaxing and sharing the holidays with friends. We enjoyed a quiet Christmas Eve, celebrating with the reading of Luke 2, singing Christmas carols and opening gifts. On Christmas day village children came by for candy canes.  Once the word got out, we saw lots of kids!

We were also glad to be here so we could be of help on the 26th when  a wildfire swept through the compound. During dry season, Nigerians burn fields constantly.  There is always a burning smell (and smoke) in the air.  Supposedly the practice is to wait until late in the day when there is no wind, but on this day someone started too early.  We heard the burning and crackling of fire for a while before we started seeing the smoke about midday.  Then suddenly, flames were visible shooting up high and the wind was picking up speed as the fire approached.  Our friends had cleared a firebreak in preparation for burning season,  but with the wind the fire  easily jumped across and quickly spread across their huge yard.  The men fought with shovels and towels and men and kids from the nearby village came to fight with palm branches.  When we were rushing to move cars and the house filled with smoke, it got a bit scary.  Thankfully  the fire was diverted away from the house and nothing was damaged except plants.  They continued to fight fire spots for an hour until it was completely clear of damaging the house, the church, and the small school on the compound.   Our friends who have spent 15+ years in Nigeria have never experienced a fire come so close. We are very thankful that we hadn’t left yet to go visiting.

We hope you all had a joyful Christmas, celebrating the God’s amazing, eternal gift of love and salvation to us!

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5 responses

30 12 2009
Amy Perkins

I was glad to read your latest message and see the photos. Thank God the fire didn’t come any closer and no one was hurt. It was nice you could see friends at Christmas. Did you by any chance receive cards from Mops yet? Love, Amy

29 12 2009
Cyndy McCollum

Hi guys! Thanks so much for including us up north in your update. It was very good to hear the news. We miss you and I am often wondering how things are going down there! You are all in my thoughts and prayers!

Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! Cyndy

29 12 2009
Kris Kramer

Merry Christmas Gary, Kimberly and girls! I pray you will have a very special 2010 as well.

29 12 2009
Don and Gail Barrett

Greetings to the Payne Family,
So good to hear from you and about your very close call with the fire. Everyone must have had to move very quickly to prevent anymore of the fire moving to your friend’s home. The yard would certainly be close enough. Christmas was quite here. We had some friends over for dinner and then took them to the candle light service at Chapel. It was very nice. Christmas day was spent with some family and now we are taking it slow and easy.
Keep up the exciting blog, good to hear from you as we will continue to pray for all of you this coming year..love Don and Gail

27 12 2009
Clem family

Hi Kim, Gary, and girls~ we’re so thankful you’re fine and the fire was contained- what an adventure! 🙂 Looking forward to skyping soon. love from the Clems




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