A Day in the Life of Oga

Posted: September 3, 2013 by Patrice Miles in Egbe, Egbe Hosptial, Egbe Nigeria

By Lenny Miles

Egbe WorkersOga means “boss” and this is just one of the many names that I am called around here. Some of the other names I am called are Engineer Miles, Oyinbo, and Master. All of these are hard to get used to, but most awkward of all is Master. It is not a term like we would consider it to be in the United States, but is more used when speaking to someone to say, “I am at your service”. While Oga is a term that I am getting accustomed to, it is still hard to see that these men are looking to me as their boss, since I have only been here for two weeks. But it is a sign of respect and way of showing that they look to me for some direction in their daily work.

So, Oga wakes up between 5:30-6:00 am every morning, does bible reading, drinks plenty of coffee, and eats, more often than not, a cup full of dry homemade granola (no milk, as I am not daring enough for the powdered milk yet). Cason and I dart off to devotionals in the maintenance shop at 8 a.m. (our last blog post has a video of this). We are in a study of the book of Romans were we read a few verses and then have discussion.

sunday2At 8:30, Cason runs back up to the house (school) and I meet with several of the maintenance staff to plan out their day. There are the grounds crews, which consist of Sunday, Gabriel, and Mody who have to follow a mowing/trimming schedule weekly to keep the 33 acres here maintained and looking sharp. These guys are also in charge of collecting the garbage (including medical waste) and burning it in designated spots.

Next, Moses who is in charge of general maintenance of the hospital including plumbing issues, making sure there is water for the hospital, and many other things, meets with me and go over what is most important to be fixed that day.

Last are the drivers/mechanics Ayo and Yemisi and we go over what they are going to do that day. Since in general I am not a mechanic, I can only watch them work and try to understand all that they are doing throughout their day. They are in charge of vehicle maintenance, generator maintenance, fuel for generators, driving the volunteers to and from the airport, etc.

MGD Egbe HospitalEventually, I make it over to the MDG building.. It is a complete remodel that is about half way complete. The Samaritan’s Purse (SP) Project managers on the ground have allowed me to be the “General Contractor” to complete this remodel. It is a good way to “get my feet wet” and see how things are done with the labor force here, quality of work, etc. At this building, I meet with John (a Nigerian worker), who is a sharp guy. John will also translate for me to the men that speak more Yoruba than they do English, so that hopefully nothing gets lost in translation.

Egbe DamThe rest of my day is spent running around checking on everything that I had discussed with workers. Also, I am sometimes pulled away to the dam that is about a mile away from the compound. Currently there is a leak. It seems that a small leak would be easy to fix, but as you can see form the picture, patience, planning, and muscle play a huge role in getting it done right.

The maintenance staff gets off work at 3:30, leaving me with an hour and a half to check on things and get an idea of what should be accomplished the next day. I go to the house around 5 p.m. and Mon-Wed-Fri. we go running with the Egbe running club. I am still slow as molasses, but it’s good for us anyway. After that we eat a great meal, talk with some of the short term volunteer, and let the kids play with their new friends. We end up at home around 7:30 to start baths for the kids and try to be in bed at 9 p.m. for some much needed sleep.

I feel so blessed to be apart of something so big. This project and what it will do for the people of Egbe and surrounding towns is amazing. It is all being done in the name of Christ and everyone that visits the hospital knows this. The people of Egbe praise God for this project and know that without him none of this would be possible. Just today in my email Inbox was this  “A nurse just gave report of a male patient coming to Christ this morning!  Just thought I would pass along an impact this hospital has had on the community.” Mark Anderson Project Manager for Egbe Hospital Revitalization Project Nigeria.

 For more information on how you can volunteer in Egbe with the project click Samaritans Purse. For more information about how you can be a medical or administrative volunteer at the Egbe Hospital, click Egbe Hospital.


  1. james eicher says:

    Lenny we are so proud of you. You are truly a Master for our Jesus. Love to all our family. Grandpa and Grandma Eicher in Texas. U.S.A.

  2. Sheryl O'Brien says:

    Great look into your daily life, Oga! As Nigerians say in the North: “You ah WELL DONE!”
    God bless the work of your hands, and the leadership you give in Bible study too!
    –Sheryl O’B

  3. Glad to have you guys on this side of the ocean. We are looking forward to meeting you in person. I still don’t drink the powdered milk, but you guys will have to learn to make yogurt! It tastes good on the granola. Especially if you can grow some strawberries to add to it!!!

  4. Dale Meiler says:

    Lenny, as I read your e mail I go back to my stay with you at Egbe in November and know all the places and things you are talking about. That seems like such a short time ago and now you and your family are at Egbe full time.I so admire you guys for stepping out on faith and becoming a missionary family. I think and pray for you guys everyday. I had to laugh at Patrice’s comment about starting her day with Sunday raking, the guards changing shifts and I remember the roosters crowing. Hopefully I will get to see you guys there some day. May the Good Lord Bless and keep you. Your Oyinbo brother in Christ. Dale

  5. Ross & Jan Dixon says:

    Praise God one of the Men in Male ward has come to Him! Praying that he will continue to grow closer to Jesus! Ross and I have just come through jet lag, having arrived back in Sydney last Wednesday (2 days of flying, waiting and transiting) and looking forward to sharing with our friends in church tomorrow morning. India was a wonderful experience of a Christian school experience & culture of the town, but very cold. Train trips were interesting (not too uncomfortable, Patrice) and beautiful tea plantations everywhere. Great to be back with our family and friends. Looking and praying about what God would have us do with these interesting experiences in 3 countries. Please send our love to Abby, Mark and Wil and your family. Hope you continue to settle in well. Love, Jan and Ross (Dixon).

  6. karyn says:

    Wow! I came across your blog by chance. I love what you’re doing, I’m Nigerian and I live in Nigeria. My uncle who’s a doctor used to work @ the ECWA hospital in Egbe some years back before he moved to another state. I read a post of how u haul your supplies from your country, that’s grossly unnecessary. Egbe seems a really rural area, but I live in Abuja and its much much more developed and you can get all you need from stores here. I don’t know what part of Kogi that Egbe is at, but Lokoja (I suppose you know there) is not more than 3 hours drive from Abuja. Infact, you should be able to find stores you need in Lokoja.
    I’ve to say, I love what you’re doing. May God strenghten and uplift you and your family ‘oga’.

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