Well it's been a while, but I promise I've been keeping myself very busy. Since my last blog in December I have been back to Tuscaloosa (reporting all is well there) to see Darlene's house almost completed! I ventured off to Maine for a while and even got some time to spend with friends and family in Tennessee and Alabama. Life is grand!
Saturday night I got back from a wonderfully hot trip to Egbe, Nigeria. After temperatures of well over 100 degrees I welcomed the cooler Tennessee weather. This trip was full of stories and adventure so I guess it's best for me to start at the beginning. I started on my dad's birthday, February 28th headed for the Atlanta airport (we've become good friends). After close to 36 hours of travel I made it to Abuja, Nigeria. I met up with the Samaritans Purse team I would be working with for the next two weeks from North Dakota, Minnesota, and Canada. (I was the token girl/southern.)
After our team met up and headed to a guest house for the night. The next morning we left pretty early for the 7 hours drive to Egbe. Boy was it an crazy ride. There was so much to see. Dozens of burned vehicles on the side of road, mosques, crowds of people at the markets, and more goats than I cared to count. At one point we saw a car wreck, only a few minutes later to see the bloody motorcyclist in the back of a truck, probably on his way to the hospital. We were then stopped at several checkpoints where our drive, Ayo, got in a heated argument no one in our car could understand. See they speak English in Nigeria, well sort of, the thing is you can't really understand them most of the time. So 7 hours later we arrive at the ECWA hospital compound.
We're greeted by Abby on of the missionaries from SP in charge of the hospital revitalization project we would be working on. Jet lagged, we got a tour of the compound and what possible projects we would be working on. Exhausted I went to bed just a few hours later.
Sunday we woke up to head to church...African style. Loved it. They are so energetic and really know how to Praise the Lord! After church we had a quick lunch because Abby had set up an motorcycle tour of the town. She called it the Oyinbo Tour (pronounced o-we-bo), which mean white person in Yoruba (a main language in Nigeria). While this tour was meant for us to see the town, it was more like putting the white people on display. Lol. Either way it was fun and the wind made it feel a lot cooler than the 109 degrees it was. So to answer your question...yes it was hot. Actually really hot. During the day it didn't get below 106 and it got high as 111!
So after our tour of Egbe the drivers took us to the H.E. L.P. orphanage just down the road. We spent the afternoon hanging out with the kids. They were all really sweet, we mainly kicked the soccer ball around, took pictures (or snaps as they call its) and practiced our karate chops. The kids love having their pictures taken and loved using the camera, saying, "Let me snap you."
Only one of them was mean. I called him, "Demon Child Phillip" because is ran around pinching and kicking everyone in the shins. They had some new puppies there too. They were skinny but cute. I also got to go hiking in the bush one after. Thankfully it was really cloudy and not too hot.
Sunday night we gathered around and got to know everyone a little better and since this was a construction trip Mark, the olga (boss) wanted to know our skills. We all shared our testimonies and I'm pretty sure everyone thought I was 35 based on my long story. haha but my biggest mistake was saying, "I can paint the crap out of anything." That statement haunted me the rest of the trip and was a constant running joke the whole week.
We had a great group of people ready to work hard and serve the Lord...through some pretty intensive labor and working in the heat. Monday we got right to work splitting up and making sure we could accomplish as much as possible during the next two weeks. So I painted for 7 days! haha. I ate my words for sure. But the Lord definitely blessed me during my time there and showed me patience and endurance. I learned to be flexible.
Most days I wanted to complain and whine about how tired I was or how insanely hot it was but since I had been reading 2 Corinthians that week I ran across this verse which really gave me perspective and strength to finish strong. "So we do not lost heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corin. 4:16. Verse 17 just get better..."For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." The Word truly is fully of encouragement of all types...even for my whining.
One aspect of this trip that I wish I could have had more of was interaction with Nigerians. We were able to have a short devo with the women every morning, which was wonderful to wake up every morning singing with them and learning a few songs in Yoruba.
"Baba ashayu baba ashayo glory glory abay dobay baba"
Mark said something that really stuck with me about this trip, while there were those of us that did not get to interact as much with the Nigerians as others or were not able to share the hope of Christ first hand. Our work is our witness and we should do it to the best of our ability. Also he told us a story of how a man saw a group of SP gathered around one day praying. The man immediately came up asking more about Jesus and this joy that he so desperately wanted to be a part of. While I did not see any fruit... I know God allowed me to plant seeds. :) And most of all I feel so truly blessed that God chose me to represent Him in Nigeria. That is a true gift.
|Pounded Yam...they pretty much mash yam with those giant sticks and then roll it up in all ball. It's delicious!|
Everyone was great and there was lots of laughing and inside jokes no one will find humorous. But either way here are some random catch phrases or running jokes we had:
NHL (Nigerian Hockey League)
"You walk like a man"
Where is my friend?
Oh...I forgot to salute you!
I'm coming unglued.
Hopefully this at least gives you a small look into what my time was like there. It's so hard to explain. My suggestion. Go see for yourself. Experience the world. Share the love of Christ. Don't just go to church be the Church. You'll be blown away at how God will bless you. As the Nigerians say, "Go in the Mighty Name of Jesus."
And of course a few more pictures... (who doesn't like those?)