Posts Tagged ‘HELP’

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.