Key of Medicine
Adventure Nigeria - 2006
It began the Saturday before our departure with an early morning phone call from Rev. Sunday in Maiduguri. He informed us of rioting by Muslims in the city with churches burned and Christians, including women and children, killed. Many were burned alive in their own homes and churches. These are not unsubstantiated rumors but first hand, eye witness accounts. The excuse given for the rioting was that the Muslims were upset over the Danish caricatures of Mohammed. It was later discovered, however, that the Governor of Borno State had paid young Muslim men to go about rioting and then had ordered the police not to interfere! As we prayed about what to do both Sarah and I felt a peace about the trip even with the kids accompanying us. So Tuesday, Feb. 29th, we boarded our flight as scheduled and headed for Nigeria. Once in-country, we continued to hear of tension and unrest in Maiduguri from where we were staying in Jo in Plateau State, a strong Christian area in the middle of the country. We hoped that things would calm down enough so that at least I could make the trip to Maiduguri to visit and encourage the team though Sarah and the kids would stay behind in Jos. As we continued to monitor the situation, it became clear that not only would it be unsafe for even the team to attempt to go to the villages but it would also be unwise for me to make the journey to Maiduguri. Sarah especially was saddened by this turn of events for she had so longed to see the team again and have sweet fellowship with them after a year's absence.
God of course knew all along the events that we were experiencing and had already prepared a plan n for us to fulfill there in Plateau State. In less than a day and a half we and our host Rev. Maiwa'azi Dandaura had put together an outreach to Miango, a village about an hour from Jos. Two teams of medical personnel and prayer warriors were organized, the approval of the tribal chief of the village was obtained and medicines were purchased for the mission. You will recall that we had planned this trip to buy drugs in-country versus bringing them in so that we could get medicines that were more specific to the diseases that we see. Wings of Faith Fellowship in Ocala, Fl., partnered with us on this project and thus we were able to buy over $1000 worth of medicines. Thank you, David and Diane Smoot and all the mission minded saints of WOFF. We were able to see over 600 patients in Miango turning away several hundred more when we ran out of drugs. Our venue was a clinic in the village that was neither appealing from the outside not well supplied on the inside. Paint was peeling, the ceiling was falling, the door jam was short (I can attest to that 3 times!!). yet it offered shelter from the sun and an organized flow for the patients.
Body and Soul Ministry
The flow had the patients being seen by Dr Danladi and Rebecca for consultation in one end of the clinic. They then went outside to the pharmacy window where Grace Gora our team member now living in Jos filled their prescriptions. Sarah and I and the kids helped here as well as Sarah helped with crowd control and direction. After receiving their medications, the patients were directed to the prayer room where 4-6 men from Rev. Maiwa'azi's ministry prayed for them. This is the first time that we have been able to openly pray for our patients as the Kanuri in Yale and surrounding villages are not receptive yet to that. (But wait!! There is good new yet to come concerning our witness in the villages!! Stay tuned!!) So we were not only able to minister to the physical needs of the people but prayed for their spiritual needs as well. This resulted in scores of people rededicating their lives to the Lord or finding Christ as their Savior for the first time!! Praise God! God had already provided a father in this village in the person of Evangelist Peter with whom we were able to leave a list of the names of the who had prayed through for him to follow-up. We have a responsibility and obligation to all those that we lead to Christ to insure that they are properly cared for in the Lord and Word of God before we leave them for our next great mission adventure. Amen? Amen!
As I said, there is good news regarding our witness in the village of Yale. Rev. Sunday recounted how that several of the village elders have come to his house in recent weeks letting him know that they understand why we are working there.they mean not just that we are bringing them good quality health care but also that we are there as a Christians witness. When he told me that, i felt the lord quicken to my spirit that he will begin to open a door of witness to these gentleman about out savior and soon. They will begin to ask about this man called jesus that we serve and are willing to leave home and family, comfort and convenience to minister to them without pay or reward or obligation. One by one, family by family we will begin to see them come in. I BELIEVE IT!
The Church Triumphant
Rev. Sunday also shared with us how THE CHURCH is making an impact in Maiduguri. He told how that after the rioting the Christians stayed home from the markets, offices, shops, and town as they were in "mourning" for several days. This had a great impact on the economy of the city as the Christians are the major shop owners, office workers and customers. The economy and social environment of Maiduguri ground to a halt and the Muslims realized that the Christians were vital to the overall good and welfare of their cit, the Muslims then began seeking out and apologizing to Christians for the rioting, saying we need you ( the Christians)!! Laban confessed to Jacob that he was blessed because of Jacob. "Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not."
I spoke with a minister who has bought vehicles from Germany and has contacts there. We are going to make plans to meet in Germany later this year to pursue the much needed purchase of the van that you our partners have so sacrificially provided for.
Our last week in Nigeria was spent at the annual Pastors and Ministers Conference in Jos hosted by the ministry of Rev, Maiwa'azi and our good friends and long time missionaries, Bud & Mary Ann Cassidy of Leadership Training, Int'l. I was privileged to be one of 9 speakers teaching throughout the week in morning and evening services to Empowered to Build Multiplying Churches & Ministries. There were 700-800 ministers and laity in attendance from all over the country. As always, it is such an honor to speak into the lives of these leaders of today's Nigerian Church. We were also privileged to minister in several other churches during our 3 weekends in Jos, making new friends and refreshing long time relationships.
I failed to follow up in the February newsletter about the trip i had planned to port-au-prince, haiti, the end of January. It was canceled due to the unrest and violence there leading up to the presidential elections. The situation has improved with the election of a candidate highly favored by the poor of the country and I have been invited back for a convention, April 19-24. I will also be finalizing our plans then for our June outreach with our home Hope & Life Fellowship. We covet your prayers not only for our covering but that this country might truly begin to know peace and prosperity through the truth of the gospel.
Your Servants In Christ,
Larry - Sarah