One of the wonderful things about the ministry in Nigeria is the inclusion of so many nationals.
Two of these are Sam's wife Dorcas and Nico's wife Ruth. Although Sam and Dorcas have been married since 1998, it is just during the last two years that God has touched her heart to join us on our outreaches and now she is one of the hardest working and most dependable team members we have. Ruth, of course, is a newlywed having just been married to Nico this past November. Yet, when our February outreach came around, she did not hesitate to join us and was a surprise asset; she speaks Kanuri, so she was able to help immensely with the patients - especially in the pharmacy.
As you know, there are about 400 dialects in Nigeria, each unique to the many different tribes that make up the nation. While our team members all speak Hausa, one of the three main dialects, along with their native village or tribal dialect, only one or two speak Kanuri. Unfortunately, in the rural villages where we are, many are uneducated, especially the women, and speak only their tribal tongue. This can make for some interesting interchanges when trying to explain treatments and diagnose problems, especially when you throw Georgian-American English into the mix.
We have briefly mentioned in the past couple of letters about our week in Jos, participating in the annual pastors and ministers conference hosted by our good friend Maiwa'azi Dandaura. One of the purposes, and I believe the highlight of the conference, is the ordination of men and women into the ministry.
Therefore, Maiwa'azi and his fellow ministers strive to be sure that only those who are truly called into the work of the Lord are Ordained into the ministry under their auspices. So what a pleasure, privilege and true honor to be able to lay hands upon these candidates each year and pray for them and bless them as they answer the call of God on their lives. What a joy to watch from year to year as they make their progression through the process that has been set before them, not crumbling, but patiently fulfilling each step as they faithfully fulfill their call by God into the ministry.
Perhaps by the time that you receive this letter we will already be in Haiti May 27-June 3. We will be conducting a VBS there in a suburb of Port-au-Prince with a team from our home church, Hope & Life Fellowship.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have responded to our appeal to erase the debt from our February Outreach and help with the upcoming expenses for Haiti and Nigeria August 15-29. We now have only $3,375 outstanding from February and we received blessings of $2,200 for Haiti leaving only $2,800 to be raised.
We know that there are literally hundreds of worthwhile ministries you can support and we are humbled by all who have counted us worthy of support all these years, not only with your monies, but also your prayers and encouraging words. We go because we must to fulfill Godís call on our lives.
We go because we can through your faithful, sacrificial support. God Bless You Abundantly, and Prosper All That You Do.
Your Servants In Christ, Larry & Sarah