16 April 2015

16 04 2015

We are already in transition with only 6 weeks left in Nigeria.  We have two homes now, and leaving one for an undetermined amount of time is very emotional.  We are finding new homes for our animals and selling and giving away our ‘stuff’.    We are excited to be back on Camano Island, but all the goodbyes here have to happen first.

The government mandated school closure was extended until Monday, April 20th, so we have been out of school almost 1 month.  It has been the most challenging year for school closures, with Ebola and elections.  Fortunately, the students have been completing their school work through take-home ‘packets’ and on-line assignments, which has kept us on track for having enough school days.  We pray they have also learned their subjects!

Both federal and local elections are finished with mostly peace here in Jos.  We are thankful for answered prayers!  The future of Nigeria is very uncertain with major changes ahead.  Again, we are praying the changes will be positive for the people.

Thank you to our friends and family back home that have encouraged us through this amazing time of serving in Africa.  We couldn’t be here without your prayers and support.

As we return home we have two large, unique requests:

1st:  We are looking for a car/van until we can buy a vehicle, which we hope will be by the end of the summer.

2nd:  We are camping this summer, and also having my (Kimberly’s) mother visit.  We thought camping at 70 might be hard, so we looked into RV rentals which were quite pricey.  If anyone is interested in renting their RV to us for 3 days (June 26, 27 & 28) or knows somebody who does RV rentals, please let us know. Gary had 6 years of RV experience (driving, emptying, assorted maintenance).

We will be arriving at Rest Haven in early June and are looking forward to catching up with you!

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19 August 2014

19 08 2014

“Summer” is officially over for us, although the sunshine and warm weather are never finished here!  School is now in its second week while many of you back home are still enjoying your final weeks of summer break.  We had a fabulous summer break in Nigeria and wanted to share some of the highlights:

We organized the 3rd annual “5K for Jay” run to raise money for a former Hillcrest student and missionary teacher who is suffering from ALS.  Our 5K mirrored the 5K held for him in the U.S.  He is remembered and well-loved by many who were impacted during his time in Jos.

We made a 10+ hour road trip (550 km/350 miles each way) to one of the largest orphanages in Nigeria (300 kids between 2 locations!).  We met missionary friends bringing a small short-term team in Abuja and traveled with them to the orphanage located in small village in central Nigeria. Kimberly and the girls helped mainly in the nursery (40 kids under 2) while the older kids went to school, and Gary helped with maintenance needs.  It was an amazing experience to see how a place like this could be run so well with great leaders and care givers.  God’s love shined through the many aunties and workers and the kids seemed genuinely healthy and happy.  If you are ever looking for a place to donate to orphans we highly recommend Ministry of Mercy. As with any journey in Nigeria, our road trip also had other adventures: car break downs, rough roads and road construction, crazy driving, various types of checkpoints, daring eating, and lots of prayer (see pictures)!

Finally, we had 4-year-old Selnan stay with us for 10 days while his orphanage parents took a rest.  Jordan, Cypress and Isabell were awesome big sisters while he transitioned from a loud home with kids everywhere to our quiet, teen girl only house.

As we close, we humbly share that we are in financial need.  Living expenses here are much higher than when we began living here (50% cost of living increase in 5 years),  various items that are simply wearing out from the harsh environmental conditions here and need to be replaced, an we try to donate and loan money to our Nigerian friends whose needs exceed our own.  Kimberly is also trying to attend a ‘Thrive‘ Woman’s retreat in October to seek counseling and rest from ministering in a high stress environment.

If you feel  led to support our family monthly, or with a one-time gift for Kimberly’s retreat  and/or other “one-time” expenses, please send a check to Camano Chapel with ‘Payne family‘ designated.  They also offer automatic monthly giving.  Thank you to everyone who has sacrificially and consistently supported us for years beyond expectations and for the many other ways you encourage and support us.  If you have questions about our needs, or want more details, please feel free to contact us!

As always, God is so good and we trust in His provisions.

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22 August 2011

22 08 2011

It’s good to be back in the swing of things after tons of fun on Camano Island playing and visiting…  At times I wondered if our kids did more socializing than we did J.  When we arrived in Abuja, we were greeted by 75 degree weather at 5 am (warmer than we had been the entire 8 weeks in the U.S.) and the power going out while leaving baggage claim (it’s still dark here at 5am!).  The drive to Jos took 4-5 hours with traffic and security check points along the way.  It is good to be back even though the tug of leaving family and friends is still difficult.  It is the middle of rainy season so our house is damp, clothes are damp, and everything has a damp feel and a bit of a musty smell to it, but the temperature is still nice…high 60’s to low 80’s from morning to night.  More bugs invade during rainy season so we have to toughen up and not scream every time.  I only get wound up when they are bigger than 2 inches.

I (Kimberly) must admit, while playing and sleeping in during our break, my priorities shifted and my time with God became less and less, along with my perceived need for daily quiet time.  By the last week I was feeling selfish, having a ‘poor me’ attitude, and not wanting to fly back to Nigeria.  But now I am back to a routine that includes my prayer time and amazingly my gratitude and privileged feeling of serving here has returned.  God is so patient and merciful.

Our prayer request for finding a renter was answered.  The contract was signed one day before we left.  The situation was a bit shaky, but we pray that our renters will get their feet on the ground and enjoy the house as much as we have.   Also, just hours after we left, our 20-year-old house began acting up with pipes leaking, flooding and a hot water tank that needed replacing.   We have an amazing property manager and numerous friends who helped take care of things and we are so very grateful!

We are two weeks into our school year at Hillcrest, however today was a first.  School uniforms were mandatory beginning today, and it was a big deal.  There was lots of complaining from student (especially the teenagers!), but everyone looked so good and sharp!

We plan to update again soon…thanks for continuing to keep up with us and pray, encourage and support us!

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Lava Columns

21 02 2011

When we have the opportunity, we enjoy getting out of the city and exploring different areas here. On Saturday (19 Feb) we headed out with a group of friends to explore an area known for columns of lava (basalt). A caravan of baturi (white people) passing through villages draws a lot of friendly attention, and as soon as we parked and began walking down to the riverbed, we drew a crowd of children who walked along with us the entire time. Some of the older ones spoke English, and several in our group speak Hausa, so they talked with us, sang songs for us, enjoyed being part of pictures, and before long were holding hands with the women and girls in our group.

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10 January 2011

10 01 2011

We have lots to share as we try to start our second semester at Hillcrest. The government recently mandated that all schools remain closed until February 1st in order to be available for voting and voter registration facilities. In order to give our students the necessary hours of instruction and credits they need, we are being challenged on how to teach by correspondence! For the next 2 weeks we will be trying to teach through distributing learning materials through weekly handouts and the electronic media that is available to us.

We know many of you are hearing news of Jos. We appreciate your prayers for peace in this city. Know that we are in a safe, well-protected compound. We are well-instructed on what we need to do if danger approaches our area. Because we are guests in this country, we have to be careful about what information we put out on electronic media. Our blog posts and emails will not have details or opinions about what is going on. Keep in mind however, that the media exaggerates what is happening and simplifies the reasons. If you are interested in the history and better explanations of the violence here, email us and we will point you toward written articles that are more researched than BBC or CNN.

On a lighter note, we had a great time visiting our friends in the village (last blog) and then camping in a National Park on a beautiful river with hippo, crocodile, baboons, and monkeys. This was our first camping experience in Nigeria and we loved it. There were no amenities…just us, God’s creation and everything we crammed in our car! We borrowed a 4 wheel drive Land Cruiser to navigate the rough roads and cross the river (a bit nerve-racking, but fun). We got lots of sun, relaxation, bug bites, scrapes and cuts from the rocks, survived invasion of our camp by red ants, and thankfully avoided crocodile bites!

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27 December 2010

27 12 2010

We have not been very good at posting on our blog, but a New Year is beginning and we plan on doing more.  Christmas break has been another great African experience.  We traveled 8 hours south to visit our missionary friends serving in a small village.  The drive is long, hot and bumpy but well worth it.  We  only had about 6 security stops throughout the trip which was nice after too many last road trip.  We give the men bottled water instead of money which they seem to appreciate.  Many Nigerians give money to avoid being hassled and delayed.

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Pix 27 December 2010

27 12 2010

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