Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grandma Carried my Suitcase

Around the corner of the row of shops she came, about 5 foot 2, eyes NOT blue, worn flip flops on her feet to match her well used cloth she wore around her waste.  It was “Grandma,” who spent Tuesday with me taking her granddaughter to the hospital. I greeted her as I struggled to lug my suitcase over the threshold of our compound gate, but received not smile.  I greeted her with several Hausa greetings, and explained I was going to the road to get into a keke (motorized 3 wheeled tryicycle) to take me to the next junction.  We started walking together, me, chatty, round, tall and breathless with grandma, somber, silent, short, and round.  I’m sure we were quite a sight.  Then she commanded me, “Come.”  I walked to her, and she took hold of my suitcase, saying “Help me put it on my head.”
The process of me going to the Netherlands this week has been one faith leap to another, so when Zach rushed out of the house forgetting the extra bag I’d asked him to carry, it was a simple statement of faith when I said, “Well, God, you’ve done this so far, you will provide someone to help me carry this load.”  As I approached the gate and opened it, I looked for a strong burly guy who could sweep my suitcase up and mosey down the street with it, but Grandma was there.  The guy I would have asked, but Grandma was out of the question.
None the less, down the short-cut we walked together, a path that, even for me in my Chocos I tread carefully to avoid dog poo, broken glass, big rocks jutting up in the middle of the well worn path, and puddles of…something.  With one hand freely swung at her side and the other holding a pair of old corduroy trousers and some string, she balanced my 50 pound suitcase nonchalantly on her head.  I asked her where she was going, and she replied in Hausa, “to cut firewood.”  As she set my suitcase down on the newly formed sidewalk by the busy road, I wanted to hug her.  I put one arm around her shoulder, and said thank you, and she emotionlessly said, “See you later,” and walked away.  I was very humbled, but even more deeply moved by her expressionless expression of love.  I don’t know how many people have hugged Grandma, who was born in our neighborhood when it was a village and has watched the city of Jos grow up around her home.  I don’t know how many people thank her profusely for cutting their firewood, cooking them food, and providing shelter, but I could tell she didn’t expect a thank you.  She just did what needed to be done, as she has probably done all her life.
I think I often look for likely people to do the work that needs to be done, those “qualified”.   God found Grandma to be the right person for the job, and I needed her at that moment.  I guess I have to learn to expect God to answer, but not put qualifications on what that answer should look like because…Grandma carried my suitcase.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Election results round one--Peace

Thank you so much for praying with us during the time of the elections here in Nigeria.  The first phase of elections has finished peacefully.  Thank God with us, that there have been no violent reactions to the elections, and we have all returned from retreat safely to our homes.

Please pray for the President Elect Buhari and his incoming administration. If you Google Buhari's name you can learn more about this former Nigerian leader.

Also, there will be a second round of elections on April 11 for state governors and many other lower level positions in the government.  Please continue to pray for peace in Nigeria on this day and always!

They came!

Thank you for praying with us for the community meeting!  Though it started an hour and a half after scheduled, parents surprised us by coming!  18 parents came and gathered in our living room to discuss how we can be part of making our community a good place for our children to grow.  They passionately discussed a number of issues.  We were so thankful to hear their hearts, and understand better what truly matters to them!

We had peace during the entire meeting, though there was little we could control, we knew God was there, and he moved to bring us all closer.  Praise Him!  What a wonderful God.  We look forward to continuing in relationship with these parents, as they made plans for moving forward with the most pressing issues. 

What a friend!

Here's another little tid bit to our lives.  This black thing is our water tank where we have a truck bring us water. Zach had wanted to clean the water tank  for a long time, but after we got it all was he going to do it?  Thankfully, our dear friend, Umar, came over, and they got it done!  Now our water will look cleaner coming out of the tank (once we get it filled again.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Resurrection Sunday!

30 children came for an Easter celebration.  They had inquired 4 weeks ago if they could come.

One activity was dyeing Easter eggs!

Theme Bible verse hunt! So fun to see them working together to remember Scripture!  This one came with a song that they could sing to recall the order.

"He was delivered over to death for our sing, and was raised to life for our justification." Rom 4:25

We had green curried rice with meat for our Easter meal...yum!

Even the older girls got into the Easter celebration.

There were a lot of red hands.

These young ladies were young girls when we moved into the neighborhood 3 years ago.  They are growing in beauty.

The older girls stayed to do the dishes after the celebration! 

We have an official assignment in our community to do Scripture engagement.  One aspect of this is continuing work with the children of our community, Gigirin Hwolshe.  Please pray for these children as they learn about our loving Father who extends to them life for today and life everlasting. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Our first neighboorhood meeting!

You are invited (to pray!)
Date: 4/4/2015 (tomorrow, Saturday)
Time: 8am to 10am (Nigerian time) (3am to 10am, Eastern Daylight Time)
Place: Hwolshe (our neighborhood)
Event:  Our first community meeting with parents of the children who have been coming to our home for the last few years.
Goal: To discover ways we can help our children to have a better community for their growth

We are very excited about this!  Pray that God guides us and each parent to see how we can help the children of the neighborhood grow physically, educationally, and spiritually.

The community meeting may look something like this, Luther (right) may even be there!

Collaboration, vulnerabity and trust

From Tuesday through Thursday, leaders of 24 Bible Translation organizations have gathered to discuss how we can work together more intenti...