Grab a Cuppa and Join Me!

Written by Tina

March 29, 2020

Wow friends, it has been a wild month for us all, hasn’t it? On our journey the past 10 weeks we have had the opportunity to visit our Connecticut partners in ministry. While we were there on March 22 and 23 I got a chance to share a bit about a life-changing thing that happened to us 8 years ago on March 22, 2012. Let me share with you what happened that day that has shaped our outlook on life since then.

In March of 2012 we visited Gembu, Nigeria for the first time to see if Dan and I were good canidates to continue the ministry of GECHAAN after Art and Dorothy retired. March 22, 2012 we left Gembu, Nigeria to head back to MN. We had just decided that we were going to raise support, sell our house, quit our jobs and return to Gembu to continue the ministry Art and Dorothy Helwig had founded at GECHAAN. 4 hours down the road Dan and I were talking about dreams of what God might do when we moved to Nigeria. We came to a place in the road that we thought was a checkpoint but was in fact, robbers. They started shooting at our vehicle as we tried to escape, I got a bullet from an AK-47 through my upper thigh. About 2 miles down the road the vehicle over-heated because a bullet went through the radiator hose and our vehicle stopped right there on the side of the road. I remember looking out the window praying. I was as close to panic as I have ever been in my life. I was afraid – there was no place to hide, we had 2 people bleeding profusely, my leg was shot, and our vehicle was not operational. I was looking out the window saying to God, “God, they were really trying to stop us, please stop them from trying to come and find us. Please don’t let them find us.” AT THAT MOMENT – I felt God say to me, “Tina, this is where I want you and I will take care of you.”

I am not exaggerating when I say I have never experienced peace like I did at that moment. It was a peace that did not depend on my current circumstances, it depended on who God IS.

This past year has not gone as planned, I know that is the case for ALL of us with recent developments. During Dan’s stroke, recovery, second stroke, visiting supporters and not being able to get back to Nigeria when we planned we have experienced peace. Of course we need to get back to Nigeria, but we know God has it all under control and we will get back when the time is right. We will be working from our MN home for the time being. Asking God the best things to do and focus on and then doing them.

Friends, I want you to remember this one thing as we go through these uncertain times. This is what God designed the church for. During plagues in the dark ages who were the people caring for the sick and diseased while everyone else was leaving? THE CHURCH. Not the building, Jesus-followers. Friends it is time for us to SHINE AGAIN and show the world the reason for our hope. We don’t know what the future days will bring, but we do know who holds our tomorrows, we know who gives us a peace that defies this world. Friends, let’s be the church Jesus called us to be. I love you friends, lets do this.


  1. Mary Lou timmerman

    Love you both and God has reasons for you still being here..and your team there is growing in confidence caring for the people from what you hAve shown by example. PRAYERS as you work with us here.

    • Tina Gibbs

      Thank you so much Mary Lou. Prayer is what we need and are thankful how God is working!

  2. Kim Raycraft

    Tina I remember that time in your life vividly. I remember sharing your excitement and praying for some way to help Gembu. My path toward my share in the burden there deviated somewhat from yours as Jesus impressed the need to help a particular school there. I have watched your mission with thanks to God for the friendships developed there and the wonderful work you and Dan have continued to do when I came to the end of my ability to help there and had to move on to family concern. Throughout I have followed your efforts, pray for you daily. Your message resonates with me as always. Much love is sent to you and Nigeria with prayers daily for all concerned. Love Kim.

  3. Tina Gibbs

    Thank you dear Sister! Much love and thanks for your help and prayers over these years!

  4. Rebecca Schmidtke

    Hang in there, Neighbor! As always, we’re continuing to hold you both and your ministry up in prayer! How awesome is our God that we are connected as His Church no matter what the circumstances…take care!

  5. Sherrill

    Thank you for sharing your story Tina! God is glorified in you friend! I miss you! We are praying for you and love you so much!

  6. Karol Peterson

    So much has transpired since we were on staff together, Tina. I can’t express adequately how proud I am of you, and thankful I am for your commitment to serve God in this way. I knew you were gifted, but to see your faith demonstrated in so many ways is so awesome and encouraging . Keep on keeping on. God is truly using you whether you are in Africa or the U.S. Love you, gal!

  7. Joel Nordstrom

    Hi Dan and Tina. I am very sorry to hear about all your medical problems. I can’t believe you Dad having a stroke at 60 or however old you are. I am very happy to hear you are working for the kingdom of God. What denomination sponsors your missionary work?
    Becky is currently married and living in Eagan, Mn. Debbie is single living in Vaidness heights, Mn. She works at one of the hospitals in St Paul as a medical administrator. I’m not sure what Becky does. I know years ago she used to work for a copier company.
    I have been married for 33 years to a girl I met here in Minneapolis at a storefront church that was only there for 3 months. She is retired from Shriners children’s hospital in 2017. What are the few companies left in America that actually pays severance pay when they drop you! (It was a whole department that got dropped not just her); I drive delivery part time and I lead a Bible study at a local non-denominational church in Ham Lake, Mn. I don’t do Facebook and I never use email for personal communication. If you wish to communicate with me, you can text me at 612-816-0765 because when I drive around I use GPS a lot and a phone call interferes with that. I hope you fare better physically and I am very happy to hear that your mother is still alive of course at 94 there’s more people than ever living past a hundred so it’s not as big as shock now as it would have been 40 years ago
    God bless you both.
    Joel & Sharon Nordstrom


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