Archive for the ‘H.E.L.P.’ Category

Jamaica Mission TripA little over a year ago my life was changed by going on my first mission trip to Jamaica. It seemed that I heard God speaking so clearly when my cell phone was off,  I had no Internet, and I had no agenda for the day. I write to you today because I am excited about the possibility of leading mission trips to Egbe, Nigeria. Having this opportunity to  watch God work in peoples lives is so exciting!

Samaritans Purse VolunteersCurrently, Samaritans Purse is the main contributor to U.S. visitors in Egbe. These volunteers come every two weeks with construction skills that they use to help the revitalization project. In addition to the construction project, we now have the desire to start hosting large teams to do ministry inside and outside of the hospital walls.

Egbe TeamI know running large teams every month could be stressful on myself, but I envision so many benefits from it as well. The opportunity to see U.S. lives changed by a new outlook on life, ministries in Egbe helped, people’s eyes opened to the hospital and its needs would be tremendously gratifying. I see all the benefits, but am in prayer to see if it is Gods will. Does he want this? I will be spending a lot of time putting it all together. Things like forms, schedules, costs, ministry options, etc. still need to be created. I will be dependent on God’s help to put all the pieces together because I cannot make this happen on my own. I feel like a little girl who is showing her Daddy a picture that she has drawn and then waiting for him to tell her how beautiful it is while putting it on the fridge.

Egbe Volunteers I have high expectations of myself and admittedly, I can sometimes take on too much. I am sure there are many of you reading this that understand my pain. God has saved me from myself many times by not giving me what I want. I am thankful for that when I look back and see how he saved me from something that would have overwhelmed me or not worked out, but in that moment it was hard to be thankful. His will is always better than mine and it may or may not include my desire to see U.S. teams meet the beautiful people of Egbe. I am just going to have to wait and see. Lets all together watch and see what he does….. lets watch him show up and show off however that looks! How about you? Are you excited to see God show up and show off in your life no matter how that looks? If you have any interest in coming on a mission trip to Africa to serve the people of Egbe, no matter what your skill set is, click Egbe to email me.

Egbe Friends

Hillary and Courtney at our house on Pizza and cookie night!

As I was excitedly collecting different odds and end snacks from my cupboard, Shola was pulling hot cinnamon rolls out of the oven. I put several of  them in a ziplock bag. Two young missionary girls, Courtney and Hillary, arrived last week at HELP care center. They are staying for six months and were craving some US food. I know how quickly you start to miss your comfort foods and American things so I wanted to deliver some Joy to them.

I rushed out the door with all my goodies thinking is would only take me 10 minutes at the most to get to HELP. We had a dinner to be at at 6pm so I had to hurry in order to get everything done. I dropped Shola at her house because it was on my route to HELP and then I stopped at the supermarket and paid my bill. Once at HELP I was on a mission to deliver the goods. I found the girls and walked right passed John the coordinator and Uncle Charles who watches over the boys. Uncle Eman who also helps with the boys was sitting with the Courtney and Hillary and I didn’t even say anything to him. He greeted me after I had been talking to the girls for a few minutes and seemed a little hurt. We started to head to the car to get the box of goodies and Hillary stopped and greeted John the coordinator as we passed. He looked at me and said “You didn’t greet me?” His tone sounded hurt and it then hit me of every mistake I had just made in the past 15 minutes while on my mission to bring Joy.

Egbe Nigeria ClockWhen I dropped Shola off I greeted her children but there was a younger man there and I didn’t greet him or even find out who he was or his name. At the supermarket, I said hello but that was it. I didn’t ask the owner how she was or how her children were. At HELP I pulled in and barreled my way past everyone on my mission.  Some of you in US may be saying, “What’s the big deal?” In Yorubaland greetings are a very big deal. I had just left a trail of disrespect and unkindness on my mission to deliver Joy.  I started to wonder how many times in the US I did this same thing. How many opportunities did God put in front of me to build relationships and my task was more important?

I used to get frustrated at African time, but now I am starting to understand it. If I am late 15-30 minutes my host will understand. That 15-30 minutes will have been used to be a light to people and  relationships will be deepened.

I know I am forgiven but it still pains my heart to know the impressions of the “busy American” I had left on the hearts of these people. God is helping me to remember that everything I do all day even the mundane things like paying a supermarket bill have His name written all over it. I am to be a light everywhere I go not just when my calendar says it is ministry time. I used to get so mad at people that were late. Now I am thinking African time isn’t so bad if God gets to touch people along the way. God please help me to slow down and see the opportunities you put in front of me everyday to be a light for your kingdom.

HELP EgbeWhen I think of an orphanage I always think of the movie Annie. The song “It’s a hard knock life for us,” rings in my mind. Nigeria has changed that picture for me. Most of the orphanages are called care centers, not orphanages. The children in these homes have parents but the parents either sold them and the child was rescued or the parents gave them up because they were too poor to feed them or too sick to take care of them.

HELP Egbe GirlsThe kids and I have had the pleasure of getting to know these children over the past few weeks. Cason normally hangs out at the ping pong table with the boys while Jolie and I hang out with the girls. We play games like duck duck goose, I see something you don’t see and more. We just love to be with them as they are some of the most happiest little girls we have been around. They have so little but yet find so much joy in everything we do together. Their smiles are contagious. Check out the video below and you can see for yourself how much fun they are.

HELP Egbe Nigeria Care CenterThe HELP care center is just a small part of what this organization does. They also have a widows ministry, outreach program, micro finance, agriculture and more. In 1999, some medical missionaries moved to Nigeria with their children. During their years in Nigeria, they fell in love with the people and culture of Nigeria, particularly the Fulani.  After their return to the United States in 2005, HELP West Africa, Inc came into existence. Check out their site by clicking HELP. I don’t know what God has planned for my kids and I at the center but I know that the joy I experience when I am there is so fulfilling. I am looking forward to getting to know these girls and their stories as we spend two years in Egbe.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 11.38.19 AMPray for Cason Jolie and I to be a light for these children. Pray for God to use us in any way he sees fit at the center or in any other part of the HELP ministries. Pray for the staff at the center. They are amazing and need Gods strength daily. Pray for the other ministries within HELP to grow and spread Gods kingdom. Pray for the Starns family that is coming to live at the care center in January for 6 months. We are so excited about their arrival and know God has great plans for their time in Egbe.