Well it is past time to let you know what happened over our home assignment this year.
We arrived in the States May 1 and left on July 27. Here is what we did while in the United States this year.
We met with the Bethel staff and volunteers that are working on computerizing the Hospital.
We visited all of our Minnesota and our Galesburg, IL partnering churches as well as many, many small groups, businesses, and individuals updating them on the past years progress and what this upcoming year is anticipated to bring with our new buildings and the container status.
We went to Chicago, IL to meet Jon and Melissa Camiola and a group of volunteers and de-palletized all of our container items and hand-stacked our 40 foot Railroad Container. It was taken to the port in Chicago. It is now safely here in Gembu!
We attended a 3 day mission conference at Riverview Church and enjoyed getting to know some more of our Pine River prayer warriors and meet a young couple and their two children that are working on their partnership development to get to the field.
I attended a wonderful baby shower given by the United Methodist Missions Group in Emily, MN (See picture above) and got to talk to about 50 women about what God is doing in Nigeria and brought home wonderful baby items for our Gembu babies. We also received many wonderful donations from so many caring women in the Pine River area as well as Canada!
My friend, Kim and her husband visited from Canada and brought some items to put on the container for our ministry and for one of the schools in Gembu. We had a wonderful visit and shared our visions for future projects.
We moved Dan’s mother from the large hobby farm house into a wonderful apartment right on Norway Brook in Pine River. We sorted through the house, garages, barn, and chicken coop and boxed up items to auction next year as we were too late to get a good company this year. We fixed, painted, carpeted, tiled, and cleaned the house and property and put it on the market on July 26.
Dan also continued communicating with Nigeria and doing financials and questions on building projects that were being worked on in Nigeria and other items needing his attention.
We got to visit briefly with friends and family and enjoy some reminiscing and catching up.
We took Dan’s mom to appointments and took care of taxes and other paperwork and items getting her caught up –to- date and settled.
We had a wonderful new set of family pictures and missionary pictures done!
We actually hung up pictures (after 2 years) in our Pine River house. Our friend, Jane, came and helped us do a family word wall that turned out beautifully!
It was wonderful to be in the States and see loved ones, but we were excited to get back to Gembu and move forward!
My point for today is this: God is Good!
Friends, this is a picture Dan took for me this week with a young lady that works with an NGO here in Nigeria providing free family planning services and training. In an area where mother and infant mortality are so high and knowledge is so limited on these subjects I thought it was awesome that they were offering this service of IUD’s and Implants as well as education all at no cost to the client.
Well, I guess that some people in power in our local health care facilities saw this as a means to financial gain for themselves. There were a few facilities that said, “pay us money and we will let you use our facility to treat clients”. There were some that said, pay us or we will call the police and have you removed.
This young woman and the other 3 members of her team went back 4 days early because no facilities would allow them to distribute free education and resources for family planning as well as the Birth Control needed.
Friends, corruption is everywhere, I am not that naïve! Unfortunately it is very alive and well here in Nigeria and permeates all aspects of life here. Corruption is hurting the average Nigerian trying to support their family and live. The programs meant to help those most needy frequently end up with the biggest bulk of finances being pilfered by those that are not needy.
Please pray for Dan and I as we daily move forward here in Gembu. Pray that God will works in hearts and lives of people here in Nigeria and that Dan and I do exactly what God wants us to be doing.
My Point for today is this: We need prayer and so do our staff and the people we serve. Please pray.
Phil. 13- I thank my God every time I remember you.
I know you haven’t heard from me while we have been on home assignment, it was a very busy time with getting everything done that we needed to and I didn’t even know where I was half the time! But, I did want to share with you the most encouraging part of our home assignment this year and a few reflections. It seemed as if we said close to the same thing a million times while we were in the States. You would think it would become rote, or mundane for us. Not so! When God gives you a new purpose, vision, and plan, you tell anyone that will listen; teenagers, children, women, men, if there were interested ears, we were talking about what God is doing in Gembu!
The thing I enjoyed the most during this time was visiting individually with people. Talking with people that have been and continue praying for us, our staff, as well as the work here in Nigeria. Visiting with people as they give me baby items, teaching supplies, or hospital supplies. Telling people the great differences about the area of Nigeria where we live and the world that we came from. Meeting with supporters who are making baby diapers, knitting hats, or crocheting blankets, or even seeking out thrift store or garage sale finds of baby clothing. Making plans with Days for Girls helpers, picking up girls kits to distribute to school girls, and receiving wonderful underwear to help with our kits that we make here in Nigeria. Planning with people making parts for our new baby bags as well as people who have contributed so much time and energy into getting us on the field and keeping us there.
I was just so in awe of the wonderful team that God has provided for us and this ministry. We have givers, prayers, workers, encouragers, helpers. I was so touched as I got to know people a little deeper as we got to spend a time with them, I was also touched by the wonderful hospitality we had anywhere we went. We had friends who opened their homes so that we could visit with more people, we spent a day at a grad party, just visiting with friends old and new about this missionary life, friends that we “live” at when we are visiting the Minneapolis area churches, friends that pick us up and drop us off at the airport and even take care of our vehicle.
I am so glad that God hasn’t put us on this Earth to do this work alone. Here in Nigeria sometimes it seems like it is just Dan and I as well as our Nigerian Staff. This Home Assignment showed me, there is so much more to this story and it has encouraged us and will continue to encourage us during this coming year when things seem bleak or lonely.
My point for today is this: Sometimes we dislike sharing our needs because we think it makes us seem weak, when we do this we miss out on the team God has prepared to help us. Thanks friends for being on our team!