Key of Medicine
I am excited about the news that I have to report to you of my trip to Nigeria last month! First, the district chief who had opposed the approval of the land for the clinic in Yauiri has been replaced by the new State Chief or Sheu of Borno State. His replacement is reportedly more favorable to the project and the Christian villagers told us, "The land will come, just be patient." Secondly, we were able to begin, as we had hoped, Bible Classes for the villagers conducting classes two days while there. We also handed out Bibles in the Hausa language to the villagers. We found out later, however, that many that took them cannot read but they would not be denied something free. "Lord, open their understanding and knowledge."
The Prodigal Son
In addition to the Bible classes, we as a team had church with the Christians at Yauiri on the last Sunday I was there. It was a blessed time of the team sharing and singing after which I gave a brief exhortation of salvation and challenge in prayer. When I finished, a gentleman came forward saying that he wanted to return to Christ! He stated that he had been a Christian, had become a Muslim but now he knew that the only truth was in Christ! The prodigal son has come home!!
There Will Be Persecution
However, it was not all smooth sailing, at least not for the villagers. After the second day of teaching, some of the Muslims in the village contended with the chief and Christians at Yauiri that they must: stop their fellowship; there would be no land for a clinic; and the white man must not come anymore. Although there was no physical violence, the verbal threats were reportedly intense. So much so that, the chief from Bazamri was called and had to come out to Yauiri in the night to restore order. According to what we were told, the Bazamri chief told the protesters that: there would be a clinic; the Christians could continue their fellowship; and if the protestors caused any more trouble, he would have the police arrest them. Also, we were told that several of the surrounding villages would welcome the clinic if the villagers in Yauiri rejected it.
No Slippers - No Patients
Last Spring we had decided as a team to discontinue giving out slippers and only hand out candy and soap or lotion during the clinics. The reason for this was because the slippers caused such chaos with people coming through the line 2-3 times just to get them and not really having any medical need. So we were giving out medicine needlessly as well as enduring the havoc of the slipper distribution. As a result of there being no slippers, there were fewer patients. When we pulled into the villages, the villagers would come out and crowd around as we unloaded and set up. But when they saw that we had no slippers, they just faded away leaving only those that truly had needs to be ministered too. That is a good thing, I think.
This trip makes 2 years that we have had the van that so many of you sacrificially partnered with us to buy. It has provided a freedom of movement and independence to myself and the team that continues to be a blessing many times over. For example, our usual driver was unavailable several days during the clinics so I drove to and from the bush. Now, I would not have made it without the guidance of our faithful team, as I continually had to clarify which trail to take, but we were not hindered nor delayed because of the absence of one. We are all valuable in the Kingdom of God, but if we are not available, He will raise up others to carry on. I do not want someone else getting my blessing because I am too busy to do God's will.
Thank you for your offerings that allowed us to meet the expenses for this outreach.
May your Christmas be filled with Joy & Peace now and throughout the New Year.
Your Servants In Christ,
Larry - Sarah
November 2009 Photos