I had a GREAT trip back "home" to Nigeria last month. It was so good to be back in-country among friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord whom I have come to love and appreciate so much. Most of the team was there to greet me upon my arrival in Maiduguri ... except for Mary, Paul and Philip who were working out of town. Nicodemus was there, excited and preparing for his big day the following Saturday.
Grace, I was
surprised to find out, was 7 months pregnant with her 4th child. She is
expecting in late January. Julius is becoming engaged this month; I met his
blushing bride-to-be. The others, Sunday, Lareba, James, Sam, and
Rebecca are all well, along with two new ladies Kubili and Hyelsink.
They had looked forward to this trip as much as I had since they had not been out to the villages recently themselves. This was because Al Qaida had been in the area not too long before my arrival, attempting to stir up trouble. They had been dealt with, however, and chased off without causing any real damage. Sarah had read about it on the Internet just before my departure.
However, because of this, there was heightened security
and increased checkpoints along the roads, especially leading into Maiduguri.
This also was a major factor in the team's decision not to stay overnight in
the villages like we so like to do. As a result of not staying overnight,
coupled with the fact that we were there right in the middle of the Muslim
holy month, Ramadan, the numbers of patients we treated was significantly
lower than our norm.
Still, it was great to be back and the chief and elders at Yauiri and Buzamri, along with the pharmacist and teacher and elders at Yale, all welcomed us warmly. I am so appreciative to see many of the same faces that I have known during the past 8 years of conducting these outreaches light up with smiles and genuine friendship when we arrive in their villages. Their actions tell me that they look forward to our coming as much as we do.
And as always, I give them an approximate date of my next trip which will be February 23 - March 14, 2005. We invite you join us on this next outreach and encourage you to let us know of your desire as soon as possible.
The wedding for Nico and Ruth was a wonderful affair. The Nigerians truly enjoy their wedding celebrations with the processional entrances of the groom, best man, bridesmaid and bride taking 35 minutes of continuous dancing, singing and rejoicing. The church was packed full with standing room only while groups sang and performed skits honoring the happy couple. All in all, the service took almost 3 hours, yet it went by quickly. I was honored to deliver the keynote address to challenge and encourage the couple from the Word of God as they begin their new life together forever.
I was privileged to minister several times with friends in churches in Abuja, Jos, Bauchi and Maiduguri. God met with us in these meetings to not only encourage the people, but also give us the opportunity to share our vision, work and passion for Nigeria. It is a blessing for me to report that many of these churches have missionary outreaches to villages in the bush of Nigeria as well. Not because of any message that I could ever preach, but because the command of God to saints of all nations is "..go ye".
It is regret that we have decided to postpone our trip to Haiti at the end of this month. While we have secured the necessary medicines for the outreach, we have not received the necessary funds. We are therefore postponing this mission to a later date as the Lord provides, but by no means are we canceling it. In addition, we are planning a trip to Haiti in late May or early June with our church to conduct a VBS, as well as medical clinics. We welcome you to join us in either of these endeavors as the Lord leads. Again, just let us know as soon as possible.
As you know, one of the goals of this trip was to check in Germany on the availability of a van for our work in the bush. However, as I was flying from Nigeria to Amsterdam on the return leg, the Lord spoke to me to come directly home and not to go to Germany. I obeyed, not understanding fully why, and came home a couple of days early.
As we drove home from the airport after Sarah and the kids picked me up, she shared with me about a couple she found out about here in the Atlanta area. It seems that they ship vehicles to Nigeria on a regular basis and had just recently sent a truck over there. So we will pursue contacts with them as we endeavor to purchase and get a van in-country to use in the work.
New Web Page
We are now on the web,
visit us at "www.dorcasmedical.org" and tell us what you