Key of Medicine
I did not accomplish all of my goals on the just concluded outreach to Nigeria. I had hoped to:
1) get approval from the district chief for the donation of land and to build a clinic,
2) choose the land, and
3) begin to demarcate it with trees, walls, etc.,
Of these, only the first can be checked off. We were told by the area chief that the district chief had given his approval as had he and the local chief! Praise God! However, now the politicians of the area are resisting the project questioning the area chief why he would want Christians in his villages preaching the gospel. His reply was that his father had invited us into his village over 10 years ago and we have been a blessing to he and his people ever since. And if we preach the gospel, it will be a blessing to his people as well!!! This from a young Muslim man whom we have seen grow from a teenage leader into a mature ruler of his people. In addition, this young man told us that if the local government would not give their approval he would go to the state government to get the approval. He stated that he did not need us to join him. That he would do it on his own!!! So, we are just waiting word from the team as to the progress of these talks. Continue to agree with us in prayer for the grace and favor of the Lord to go before this young man that the approval will be granted and we can begin to build. If this can happen soon, I would like to return before our usual outreach in November to check off the other 2 goals of this trip and begin pressing forward.
Ask and Ye Shall Receive
The local chief of the village has already offered us 2 plots of land as sites for the clinic. Both are several acres in area with one right next to the village while the other is somewhat farther removed. The consensus among the team and Christian villagers is to choose the land farthest from the village. The Bible says, "ye have not because ye ask not; ask and it shall be given you". So we are ASKING for 5 hectares (just over 12 acres) to be GIVEN to us for the compound upon which to build and grow. I say grow because the team is already talking that we not only need the clinic but also a school as well as a dedicated church and of course housing quarters. Praise God! "Where there is no vision the people perish,"
My main focus of this trip, of course, was to procure the land. Therefore, I did not go prepared to minister in as many villages as we normally would. Also, the new airline regulations concerning the number and weight of the bags that you can check limited me as well. As usual though, I bought slippers (flip-flops) when I got there to take to 2 of the villages that we planned to minister in. Chaos and bedlam ensued. The villagers came through the line 2-3 three times just for the slippers which when we realized we stopped the clinics. This made those that had not gotten slippers angry so we tried to hand out slippers in an orderly fashion to those who had not received them. This quickly degenerated into pure chaos and bedlam. In one of the villages, one of our team members was so mobbed by the people as he tried to hand out the slippers that he just gave up the package to the mob. They in turn tussled and struggled for it until one young man came away with it and ran off to his hut. We were told that he will probably sell them to make a profit. In the other village, it was the same scenario except that the chief himself tried to distribute the slippers with the same result. Chaos! So even the chief told us that we should not give out slippers anymore. A conclusion that we all had already come to.
Therefore, when we went to the last village, we had nothing but medicine to give out. "No sweets, no lotion, no slippers," is the way one lady put it. And she could have added, No Patients. For when the villagers found out that we had no slippers, they did not come to be seen! "Ye seek me,... because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled." This, Jesus said to those that followed him looking for handouts. And though the entitlement mentality can be frustrating at times, I hold on to the belief that there will be ONE that we freely give to, even when there is no need, who will be touched by the Spirit of God through our actions and turn to Him for salvation.
I somehow greatly under estimated the cost of this trip and still find myself needing $2000 to finish off the expenses of this outreach. We are grateful to all of you our partners who have helped with this need. May the Lord richly bless you one hundred fold.
Your Servants in Christ,
Larry - Sarah
Trip Photos - Nigeria 2009