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    March - April 2007

 

The Best In A Long Time

That is how I feel about our just concluded outreach to Nigeria at the end of February / first of March. Not only was it a great success in the clinical sense but spiritually as well we had a tremendous mission. We conducted 5 days of clinics seeing some 950 - 970 patients in 5 separate villages distributing all the medicines that we had brought and bought. We also gave away over 1000 "slippers" (flip-flops) and candy because many of the people came through the line 2-3 times just for the give-a-ways as always. That is when we knew that the clinic was finished for the day when we began to recognize the patients coming through again!

Genuine Need

As we had done in November, we stopped at villages along the road to Yale instead of going just to Yale to work. We did this at three villages, Kashimri, Kurumari, and Kusori and were heartily received and welcomed without question or suspicion. This is due I believe to the fact that we have been traveling the Yale road for 13 years now and though we may have never stopped in their village, they have heard of us from others or perhaps have been to Yale themselves to be treated. In fact, the second day when we were in Kurumari we had patients waiting for us from Kashimri where we had been the previous day. They had come to the clinic in Kashimri after we had finished but wanted to be treated so we told them where we would be the next day and sure enough they were waiting for us when we arrived. Two things were shown to me from this: 1) it was a tremendous witness to these villagers that we did what we said we were going to do and they were not disappointed by trusting in us to make the journey early in the morning to be seen, and 2) there is a great desire that these people have for someone to genuinely care and minister to their needs beyond just the joy of receiving free slippers.

Lasting Success Means Lasting

In addition to these three villages we went out again to Bazamri and Yauiri, two villages that we had not been to in over two years since we were prevented last year from going to Maiduguri due to the violence. Once again we were well received and cooperated with and it was good to see many faces that I recognize from our many years of ministry there. It was in Yauiri that God truly humbled us when one of the leaders of the village asked Rev. Sunday our Nigerian leader, "When are you going to come start a church for us here in the village?" This from a Moslem leader of a Moslem village in a Moslem stronghold! Hallelujah! Our witness has not gone unnoticed these past 12 years that we have been taking the gospel in medicine to the Kanuri. As a dear brother always says, "The secret to lasting success is lasting."

 

Wisdom For Open Door

We have continued doing what God commissioned us to do the way He told us to do it, even when there was no evidence that we were making a difference, and in spite of the contrary opinion that we often faced even from our own team. Though we have had little in the way of outward signs of progress, God has been working on the heart as He always does. Now we must move through this open door that God has given us not only with boldness but wisdom as well. I hope that you will be in prayer with us concerning this new phase of our ministry.Pray that God will give us the knowledge and understanding of how to proceed to harvest this hunger that has been birthed in these villagers.

A Light in the Darkness

In addition to Yauiri, we were invited by villagers of Kashimri to join them in their church services that they conduct under the trees on the outskirts of the village. These are Christians that live in Konduga and Maiduguri but have fields in the village that they come to farm during the growing season. Praise God! There is a witness of the light in the darkness!!

Body Edifying Itself Together In Love

As you know, I traveled alone from the USA this trip as Sarah and the kids were not able to go as originally planned. However, I was greeted by our faithful Nigerian team of whom we had as few as 6 to as many as 13 working together each day. What a joy it was to be with them and to watch them work together in the field as well as to listen to them interacting on the bus journeying to and from the bush. There were no harsh words or posturing of superiority or worth just good wholesome, respectful fellowship. And once we were at the village where we were working that day, no one had to be told what to do. Everyone knew the jobs that needed to be done and went about accomplishing them without argument or direction. I was especially grateful to two of the ladies, Priscilla and Ruth who came and worked even when their husbands could not be with us. Neither of these ladies have any medical background but have joined us because of their husbands. Yet, they too have been touched by what we are doing. It is not just something they do to be with their husbands but rather they know that they are a necessary part of the team. They know their contribution is making a difference in the lives of the villagers. Thank you, Lord, for providing such wonderful brethren who have caught our vision and help to carry its burden.

Your Servants In Christ,

                  Larry - Sarah