Three Generations in Nigeria
The provision of God from the day the planning began, April 25th, was miraculous. Who would have thought going to Nigeria during all the unrest was the best decision and getting to know so many Godly people. I was impacted by Phillip’s prayers (our devoted driver) and impressed with his knowledge of the bible. The knowledge was great but it went a step further as he seemed to exhibit a wisdom that went beyond just knowing. The times he prayed and incorporated the scripture to meet the exact need or relevance of the day or situation. Medicine for the soul!
One thing that stands out the most is the generosity of all the people I encountered on the trip. I went there anticipating that God would use me as a minister for his glory but I look back and I feel like I was ministered to.
The compassion and love that everyone showed thru their energy to make us all comfortable was extraordinary. I still am telling people the story of Ruth ringing out the rain water from the top sheet and placing it over Hannah and I so we could cool down. Ingenious!
When I was sick Debbie came into the room and busied herself making sure I was comfortable. Certainly did not expect that from someone I just met. In fact it seemed awkward to me at first but then I pondered God's extravagant love for us. I'm reminded of the verses from Romans 11 which capsulizes the words I can not fully described of the experience I felt. "Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. (Romans 11:33-36 MSG)
When asked what way(s) the Lord most used me, I believe God has given me the gift of encouragement. I love to focus on the good in people, turning a maybe not so good situation into something of an adventure.
I don’t think there is anything I would have wanted to change. I prefer God's hand working. I certainly don't want to discredit all the planning Ruth and Esther did and I so appreciate that but I was really blessed how everyone stuck together even when the car broke down twice and we did not get to our destinations at the anticipated time. I believe God was working thru all of us building our character to be more like Him, not in a drugging way but in the Spirit of joy. These mission trips strengthen who we are in Christ so we have first hand testimonies to share God's provision and goodness with those who might be on the fence. Our stories may just cause them to take that leap of faith and join God's glories family of believers.
For those of you who expresses interest in going next year, I would give this advise: Stay in the scripture because God is faithful to answer our questions, fast a day or two for clarity from God, and Trust God!
Thanks again, Ruth and Esther. Through Christ I hope I mirror the same compassion for the Igala People as I see you both portray.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Romans 8:37 KJV)