Nail Boys

Posted: December 10, 2013 by Patrice Miles in Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Patrice Miles

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 8.31.44 AMMy excitement rose as I boarded our new bus with reclining seats to head to my new favorite place, Shoprite in Illorin. After Thanksgiving week without my US family I was needing something fun to do. My list was complete of everything I would be purchasing. Comfort foods from home like chips, lunch meat, hamburger, doughnuts and so much more. We started our 2 hour journey with gallops (potholes) galore. Swaying from one side of the bus to the other anticipating the better roads ahead and then there they were…. Nail boys. Nail boys specialize in creating eight-foot lengths of 4 x 4s studded with spikes. They set up roadblocks in order to collect “taxes” from hapless travelers. No big deal, we had the paperwork to show we had paid our dues for the year.

new bus“Nice new bus”, was the first words out of the leaders mouth when we stopped. After our driver talked to him in Yoruba for several minutes I could tell by his tone that things weren’t going well. Seems we were missing a paper and the cost was #28,000 ($170 US). Were we missing a paper, maybe….but did it cost #28,000?…NO! Oh and guess what….you cannot turn around and go home or go forward to Illorin until you pay. Lets just say that this ended the honeymoon stage they talked about in our cross cultural training for me.

Ayo our driver was amazing. We all started making calls for someone to rescue us. The network was horrible were we were positioned so every caller barely understood us and we barely understood them. The entire team back at the hospital was on the phone with Cheifs of Egbe, Chairmens, and all other influential people they could call. After four hours of sitting in the bus on the side of the road in the bush, someone got a hold of the nail boys boss and our fee was reduced to #5000. By this time it was too late to go to Illorin and we were all exhausted, so we returned home.

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 8.41.58 AMDuring this adventure I was never scared, just frustrated. I have seen God cancel my plans many times. I have always felt he was protecting me from something so much bigger than my current obstacle. I have never had a problem resting in the truth that His ways are not my ways. Where I struggled, was the fact that this is my life now. My life is different now, not right, not wrong just different. My relationships with people are different now, not right, not wrong, just different. My food is so different now, not right, not wrong just different (I think some nutritionalists might disagree..HAHA)

crossDuring my mourning of everything familiar the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said “Patrice…don’t forget about me…I’m not different. I am the same today and tomorrow as I was yesterday. I am the same in the US and in Nigeria. My relationship with you has not changed. I still love you and have a plan for your life.” This truth hit me hard and tears filled my eyes. I was sad that God was the only thing familiar to me now, but also comforted by his words. He is all I need and in Nigeria I am truly learning the meaning of that! He is right, he is not wrong and he is not different, he is God. He is all you need! I pray you can find rest in that today with me.

  1. Jennifer Forman says:

    I will be praying for those nail boys because what they are doing is wrong. We were stopped by them on the way to the airport, but thankfully they let us go.

  2. Bert Oubre says:

    Thanks for this honest account. I have “been there and done that” more often than I care to count but one still gets angry and frustrated. One trip from Cameroon to Nigeria via Maiduguri, we were stopped about eight times. We gave out tracts and Bibles all along the way. We were even arrested one Saturday morning because we were driving on the road instead of doing “community service”. I had to appear before the magistrate who wore a white wig. A video now of it all would be hilarious. With wife and kids sitting in the hot sun and not knowing how it would turn out made it not so funny then. I explained that we were tourists from Cameroon heading for Jos and we shouldn’t be expected to know all the local laws and customs. He let us go with a warning! Yep, it is not our turf. It’s theirs. It is different, for sure. Just prayed for you and family.

  3. james eicher says:

    Honey give it time. We love you. Grandpa and Grandma in Texas

  4. Dana says:

    What a a great reminder. “He is right, he is not wrong and he is not different, he is God. He is all you need!” Thanks for the reminder, that is exactly what I needed to hear today.

  5. garrison says:

    Amazing Post!! Lenny and Patrice you are such an encouragement.

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