I wanted to do a “wrap up” blog post but as I’ve pondered on it the past couple days, I just haven’t been able to come up with the words to say about this trip. I have learned that is is so hard to explain to someone the way your heart is changed after a mission trip. This trip taught me a variety of things, but probably the biggest thing is learning what you really NEED in life and how that view is so altered by the very materialistic world we live in. One of our very first morning bible studies we talked about living life with an open palm. Holding your blessings with and open hand so that if God takes something from you, you don’t freak out. You just go with it and realize you didn’t need it any way. Because as proverbs says, “in their hearts, humans plan their course, but the lord establishes our steps.” It’s all in God’s perfect plan.
I also am very thankful for the relationships I built on this trip, both with my team and with those who live in Nigeria. It amazed me how giving some are in the community we stayed in and how they are so quick to stop what they are doing to help us out. What a blessing these people were to my team and I. And to my team, thank you! You all showed me/reminded me what it looks like to be on fire for Christ. It was awesome to hear your life stories and your God moments in life, to laugh with you, and to serve along side you. You have all made an impact on my life.
In all honestly, I don’t think there are words to truly describe what this trip has meant to me, but I can tell you one thing, spending time with Jesus kids, the babies from the motherless babies home, going to Nathaniel bassey concert, spending time in prayer with my team, and singing without ceasing has truly impacted my life for the better! Thank you to all who helped me get there and Lee Anne for even making this trip possible!
Praise be to God! What a wonderful day! We started out the morning with VBS at Independent Baptist church. There were 4 or 5 Christian school who brought their children for the morning. We sang, danced, played games, learned about the gospel, and made salvation bracelets. The kids had a blast! After VBS we headed back to our humble abode for fresh grilled catfish. Yumm! While eating lunch we got to meet Mike and Gift, 2 missionaries that are here to visit for a couple weeks.
Then, on to Jesus Kids!! I just love these kids! Something about being around special needs children just warms my heart!! We sang. They had a fun dance and song performance for us. Then it was time to head to a concert. Saying goodbye to then was hard! One little girl stared crying when I said bye… so then it became, “I’ll see you soon!” (Hopefully it won’t be too long!) To end the day, we went to a Nathaniel Bussey concert at a church here in town! Beautiful music! Strongly encourage you all to look him up!!
Well I thought today was going to be a simple tourist type day. Not a ton to do but to see some sights and come home. But let me just tell you I was all wrong! We started off the day actually on time! (That never happens here in Nigeria! Lol) we got to Abeokuta. A nice town with some tourist attractions such as Olumo rock and a museum for a former president of Nigeria. We decided to climb up to the top of Olumo Rock. This was all fine and good until we literally started climbing up between two rocks while it was sprinkling rain. SCARY!! But we made it to the top and had a beautiful view of the city! After walking down the stairs to get off (much safer) we headed to Lafarge to eat. We had some good turkey and fries and coleslaw. Then we had fun shaped, home made ice cream. Yumm! Then we decided to make the journey home. Our driver decided he was going to take a “short cut” home. So we headed out on our way home. Soon did we find out that this “express” was everything but an express. It was a washed out road with HUGE holes everywhere. At first we were like wow this is bumpy. But it’s fun! Then we started to realize we were the only normal vehicle on this road. All the others were huge transfer trucks. Then about 45 mins in we started to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into. We started singing praise songs to keep our mind off of the terrible road. One truck had gotten stuck in like a sink hole and the top of the truck was almost ground level at the back. We passed 3 or 4 cars who were stranded, one had a tire off, one with a broken axel. But what a blessing the singing was! When we finished one song someone would start another! That made the time go by much faster! Finally after about 2 hours on this awful “road” we made it to a normally paved road and headed home! Garrett (one of my team members) was awesome and gave us all back massages! Wonderful!
So today I praise God for simply getting us home safely and for the positive attitudes the whole way home! This has been such an amazing experience! So many new adventures every day!
Praise God in the ruts of life today! I promise he will hold your hand all the way through!
Today wasn’t a very eventful day. But it was a good day! We had a huge breakfast thanks to miss Elena. Then we went and did demos of VBS for Friday at different school. We led a few songs and a game at each.
The best part of the day was worship tonight! Lee Anne led
as we sang praise to our God. What an amazing thing to listen to about 15 voices just sing praise to God. Absolutely beautiful!
Acts 20:35 “In every way I’ve shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
“Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Luke 18:16 HCSB
We started out at a home for motherless babies. What and emotional place. These kids were just precious! So loving and all under the age of 2. At 2 their fathers get them back to care for them. We played with them but we’re not allowed to hold them. The manager of the place is evil!! The whole atmosphere of the place changed when she walked into the room. She allowed the babies to scream and told us not to comfort them. They make the babies stand at a very young age. And by a year and a half they are feeding themselves, walking, etc. such a sad situation yet those babies were absolutely adorable and you could tell they just wanted to be held!
We then took a trip to the market. We got fabric to make outfits for a wedding we are going to on Saturday. And a guy tried to marry me 😂(I just kept walking) Fun experience.
Last big activity for the day was taking Jesus Kids to Agodi Gardens to swim and go to the zoo! This was an adventure but those kids absolutely loved it! It rained almost the whole time we were there but those kids just played and played and played! They got to ride down two different water slides and splash around in the pool! It was beautiful!
Then we came home to get measured by the tailor for our wedding attire. Lastly, dinner with Karen and Equi. We had traditional Nigerian food which was pretty good!
Today was VBS in the villages. This was a hard experience for me because I wasn’t able to communicate much with the kids because most didn’t speak much English. However, it was amazing to watch them worship in their own language. To sing songs of praise in euroba. We had stations set up so they got to make crafts, play lots of games and listen to someone teach the gospel. We went with a baptist church group and went to 2 different schools. A primary school and a secondary school! We sang Jesus loves the little children in euroba along with a song miss Fumi taught us. It was a good successful day! Now it’s time to rest and enjoy some fellowship with friends!
Well I feel like I’m a terrible blogger but I think you can see what is happening here in Nigeria. Today was an interesting day. Lots of emotions all day long. We began the day at vine branch church. This is a Penecostal, Nigerian church. Very loud music but great! So powerful and heart felt with an amazing message. Funny thing is, the passage the pastor opened with was from Luke 12, the same passage we had talked about the past 2 days. We were first time guests of course so at the end of worship they called us all up to the front (which was slightly embarrassing) and then let us sit on the side up front for the announcements and benediction. So that was a great experience.
Next was lunch a Miss Bimbo’s house. After lunch and some social time, we made our way to Jesus Kids. And wow what emotional roller coaster. My first thought was I love these kids! They are all so precious! So many disabilities but they are all so beautiful in their own way! And then I looked at their living circumstances and my heart broke. The space they have is way to small for all the kids. Many were simply laying on mats in the floor with flys flying around. Just a sad living situation. But the smiles on their faces. Just wow! Makes my heart melt. So Lee Anne sat down and started playing the guitar and singing and I picked up angel. Angel can’t walk because her legs are drawn up under her. She can’t speak. She simply laying in the floor and watches others. But I tell you, as I held her and sang to her, she would look me straight in the eyes and you could just tell she knew she was loved. She was getting the special attention that she deserved and needed! While singing, other people on my team were teaching the caregivers at Jesus kids how to feed the kids who are unable to chew and swallow with a syringe. Amazing that now some of these kids will be able to be better nourished! After singing and feeding downstairs we headed up to find more kiddos. We continued to sing and dance and again my heart was full. This one little boy came up to me and just hugged me so tight. I started Patting him on the back then he wouldn’t let go. Again that attention and love was needed! By no means am I saying these kids aren’t taken care of and loved on, but certainly not given as much special attention as some need.
After leaving Jesus Kids we went to a Lebanese Catholic Church that was in Arabic. That was interesting. We followed along in English in a book. But pretty cool experience for sure!
We finished off the night just hanging out and talking with each other and some of our Nigerian friends.
Over all the day has been such a blessing. Many mixed emotions and very hard to listen to what my heart feels because it is sooo much to take in at once! As we sang at Jesus Kids,
“I’m trading my sickness. I’m trading my pain. I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord. Singing yes Lord, yes Lord, Yes yes Lord!”