Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My trip to Nigeria (photos coming soon!)

I first found about the trip to Nigeria last year. I was so excited to have the opportunity to not only visit another country and culture but to also meet people who had the same heart and vision for Nigeria that I have for Haiti. I wasn't sure how I was going to raise enough support to continue my ministry in Haiti AND travel to Nigeria, but I knew that God would provide. I started working at an American school in Port-au-Prince earning a small monthly stipend to help supplement my support. Earlier this summer I found out that my trip was going to be paid for, and I was amazed at how God did indeed provide the means for me to travel! I could only imagine what He would teach me while I was there.

When I arrived in Nigeria, I was surprised at how similar to Haiti it was. Once we left Abuja the similarities became more evident. As we drove through the villages, I loved seeing the people smiling and waving at us to welcome us to their country. When we arrived at the orphanage, I was struck by how excited the kids were to see the families that had visited them in the past.

I had the opportunity to play, dance, and sing with the kids while I was there. One night a little girl named Oma (Igala for 'glory') fell asleep in my lap. It was so heartbreaking to know that most children have laps to fall asleep on whenever they want. The children at MOM don't have that comfort available to them, so they take advantage of it when it's there. When I was holding her that night I was reminded of the call that God has given all of us: to love the orphans and widows in their time of need. It also reminded me of why I am in Haiti. I want to be a source of comfort and security for the orphaned, abandoned, and neglected children of Haiti. I want to direct them to the ultimate source of comfort and security found only in the arms of Christ.

Over the course of the week I served in the pharmacy, an experience that both encouraged and humbled me. I was encouraged because I felt like even though I have little medical training I was able to be used in the clinic. The other team members and I filled prescription after prescription after prescription, and learned more about milligrams and bad handwriting than we ever thought possible! It humbled me to serve behind the scenes like that. Our pharmacy team worked really hard for the hundreds of people waiting for their medications, knowing we probably wouldn't be seen or thanked by most of them!

Finally, I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet with Chrystal and Daniel. I loved learning from Daniel and swapping missionary stories with Chrystal. Hearing from sisters in Christ is wonderful, especially sisters on the mission field! I know the Lord will honor those relationships and use them to better my ministry in Haiti.

Visiting Nigeria made me miss Haiti. I miss the people, the language, even the traffic! What better confirmation than missing even the most difficult aspects of the mission field! As my furlough draws to a close, I am more than ready to head back to Haiti. I thank Zoya for the incredible opportunity to travel to Nigeria and reach another people group for Christ. It's amazing how God works things out for his Oma (glory)!

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