A New Year, A New Look

egbe-international-schoolThe Egbe MK School has undergone a major transformation for year 2017!  We are no longer just providing a source of education for missionary kids, but have expanded to serve a larger group.  Our compound school now offers enrollment to the children of Nigerian Doctors and Professionals serving and living at ECWA Hospital Egbe.  With this change we also had to change our name and our space. Therefore, the Egbe MK School is now Egbe International School, and has moved from our small, two room school house to a much bigger space with 3 classrooms, a large multipurpose room, and a kitchen!

img_2305We currently have seven students: one Kindergartener, one 3rd grader, three 5th graders, and one 8th grader.  So, when the decision was made to expand the school I quickly decided I needed help in teaching the diversity of students and grade levels.  Therefore, I have hired two Nigerian professional teachers Auntie Victoria Alabi and Uncle Moradeyo Aina to share in this new learning venture.  They are quickly learning how to use U.S. curriculum and adapting to work in a much different teaching environment then previously accustomed to. They also bring their own great ideas and knowledge; especially in teaching to the Nigerian educational standards. Also joining the team is Ruth John who comes everyday to cook lunch, as well as, works hard to keep the school tidy and neat!

eisThroughout my two years in Egbe I always felt the nudge to take this direction with the school.  I knew God was asking me to go further.  Not to solely focus on MK education, but go beyond.  However, I always remained hesitant.  It just seemed too much, too many unknowns, I was scared.  I dreamt and thought of how great it could be, but never was ready to jump!  Well, this year I decided to take the leap of faith and trust God for the details. I would tackle the unknown and cross culture barriers to offer a unique, diverse, and exciting learning environment for the kids on our compound. As well as, provide a great source of unity for our Egbe Hospital team.  The positives outweighed the negatives, so why not give it a try!?

img_2679I am the first to admit I am not fully equipped for this task.  Myself starting an international school from nothing!?   I need help!  There are many needs.  The biggest need is another missionary teacher.  Someone to come alongside and share in the joys and burdens of the ministry.  Also, financial assistance  I am currently the funding this project alone which means teacher salaries, books, school supplies, rental cost, power cost, etc. are all coming straight from my personal ministry funds. Students and parents are charged school fees, but it still does not cover all cost necessary to run the school.  Lastly, I dream of bigger and better resources: our computers are dated, we lack play items (blocks, puzzles, games) for the younger kids, PE and recess equipment is minimal, a playground would be nice, and the list goes on!

img_2687So, Maybe today you feel God nudging you to go beyond.  Maybe you are the teacher we need!?  Or perhaps you want to add us to your prayer list!? Possibly you want to buy a box of crayons?!  Or you would like to become a sponsor of one of our teachers or staff members!?  I invite you to join me in this ministry project whether it be time, gifts, or prayer.  So, please contact me at katie.riddle@sim.org for more information about Egbe International School!

Happy New Year!!

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Happy 2017 from the Riddle Family!!! We are beyond grateful to the MANY who supported our family in ministry this past year.  Your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial sacrifice allows us to thrive in our work here in Egbe, Nigeria.  We look forward to the continued work together in 2017!  Stay encouraged!

“May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.”  Numbers 6:24-26

A Special Guest

jenThis is a blog written by a friend and fellow missionary Jen Hathorn.  Jen is a U.S. doctor serving at Egbe Hospital through World Medical Missions.  Add her blog to your reading list… For His Glory

“Come on. Hurry up!” Keeping these thoughts to myself, I valiantly work at reigning in evidence of my impatience, but it’s a challenge! The slow in-take process seems to have stalled out and there is still a long line of nursing students waiting for health exams who stand between me and my plans for the evening. Sucking in a deep breath, I let out an extended sigh and force my mind to reconcile to the reality that it is already 5PM and there is certainly no way that I will be leaving anytime soon. Today is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. This year it’s a lonely one. No one around me is sharing in the excitement of the day. No one else is relishing the rush to finish work, the push to get home, the anticipation of gathering for a feast with family and friends. No one else is taking the time to find little, big or even silly things to be thankful for. No, for those working at the hospital, today is just another Thursday in Egbe.

Its well after 6 o’clock by the time I finish seeing the last nursing student and all the other patients who trickled into the ER during that time. Seun made two loaves of wheat bread earlier in the day (Katie graciously took them to the guest house for me), so only the honey roasted carrots and broccoli casserole will be no-show’s at our dinner, casualties of my day. Before leaving the hospital I catch up with the resident on-call, make a pit stop at my office to write a few memos for tomorrow, then locking up I make one more stop, the one I’ve been waiting for all afternoon. Greeting the nurses on duty in maternity and the women’s ward, I remind them of my plan for the night. Because I forgot to bring a bag I scoop up an extra diaper and a small feeding bottle filled with the powdered formula for an eight o’clock feed, and fit them into the pockets of my skirt. Then I quietly enter the nursery and pick up sleeping Lily Anne. Finally, its time to go home!

lillyLet me tell you about Lily Anne. She came to the hospital 12 days ago the center of a vortex of noise, confusion and anger. One of the hospital staff had been plating her hair when she and others heard the muffled cry of a baby. The cry persisted and as no one could locate the source, a search commenced that quickly had the group stopping in horror as they realized the cries were coming from a locked pit latrine. The owner of the latrine refused to remove the lock, so the police were called and after breaking it they removed the heavy stone that covered the latrine. Everyone peered into the dark recesses of the pit, a pit created to collect human waste, and saw a little bundle at the bottom. Lily was that bundle. Wet and still covered in birth fluids, she had been wrapped in two pieces of cloth then shoved into a plastic bag, her umbilical cord still attached. Discarded like trash on the day of her birth, a day when she should have been celebrated and loved, Lily’s first few hours of life were raw and dark. Thankfully she was found! Since coming to the hospital hours after her rescue, countless people have come to “claim her,” she has been visited by the King and many chiefs, and she is now waiting for a family to adopt her through the state’s welfare system. Almost everyone in the hospital and around town know her story and Lily Anne is doing great! She was unharmed from her time in the latrine and until she moves on to live with her adopted family, she is thriving here with her hospital family!

sue-and-peteI brought Lily to our Thanksgiving meal, she was our special guest! She was held by many and cooed and prayed over. People commented on her sweet face and peaceful sleeping. We marveled at her story and at the obvious mercy and grace that has been present in her life. Over and over people whispered in her ear that she was alive because God had great things in store for her. Someone even wanted to change her name to Destiny. At the end of the evening, as I was taking Lily Anne back to the nursery for the night, the guard at gate B asked to hold her, one more person who marveled at the gift of her life.

How very thankful I am tonight! Thankful for what Lily Anne’s life represents, for she carries the distinction of bearing a story that mirrors the greatest story ever told — the story of redemption. Intended for death, she is alive. Covering her life is the certainty that good is greater than evil. That life is more powerful than death. That grace and mercy triumph over sin. That light extinguishes darkness. Unfortunately Lily had a premature encounter with the harshest reality that every human will come to know during life — in this world there is evil, raw and dark. I have yet to meet a person who has not felt the torment of the evil caused by sin, their own sin or that of another. Not a soul past or present has lived to escape the shadow of death. And every heart has tasted the bitter poison of pain. There are times when this wickedness traps us and we feel confined. Hopeless and abandoned. Thrown away like useless rubbish. Sinking to the dark bottom of a great pit, left alone to die. Left…Alone…To…Die…

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Redemption tells the rest of the story. It tells of the story of a broken stone that was moved away. It tells of the merciful arms yearning to cleanse and heal. It tells of the Father anticipating the moment he could make us his own, adopting us into his glorious family. The story of redemption is extraordinary, made all the more vivid when contrasted against the darkest of evil. Are you living a redemption story? Have you experienced the great power of Jesus breaking away the chains of your sin, releasing you from the darkness that trapped you? From the perspective of humans on earth, sin feels powerful and overwhelming. From the perspective of the Eternal, Almighty, King of Kings, the very source of power, sin is nothing more than the first chapter in the greatest story ever told — the story of redemption.

A Birthday, Miracle!

img_2187Friday was Parent Visitation Day at the kids school. As Katie and I went we were a little worried, a little hesitant, kind of dreading the visit. You see, for the past year Iyanu (Miracle) hasn’t been the kid to receive too many compliments from outsiders. Lets just say I don’t have a bumper sticker saying, “Honor Roll Kid Dad”!! In fact his teachers, friends, and even family are quick to tell us, “That boy is stubborn, he plays too much, his grades are poor, he has a temper, he is always up to no good!” So, driving to school Friday we prepared ourselves for these words. As Iyanu’ s father these comments sting. Especially because this isn’t the Iyanu I know exist. Sure at home he has his moments, but he is good; he is kind and loving. I know hidden underneath that tough, stoic exterior is a heart of virtue. The condition of his heart is what gives me hope. He can learn to be thoughtful and respectful of our family and others.
img_2319Well, I left school that day with a heart so FULL. Like the feeling of hitting a walk off grand slam. His teacher sat Katie and I down and said, “She had NO COMPLAINTS. His attitude and work ethic has improved a lot, and his results show the same!” We asked, “Are you SURE there is nothing we need to work on?” And she assured us, “No, he is doing fine!” As we turned to look at Iyanu sitting beside us his face was beaming- all smiles! We hugged him, and celebrated in this small victory. Later explaining how proud we are because change is not easy. It takes humility, and it takes work! I always tell him a quote my Dad told me growing up, “If it was easy everybody would do it!” Being a good parent, son, worker, and CHRIST FOLLOWER is not easy. To make the commitment day in and day out is what separates you from the rest of the world. Iyanu has made the decision to change, and I couldn’t be prouder.

img_1521Well today we celebrate his 11th birthday, and my 1st as his father. A fast growing 11 year old; I know him and I both still have a lot of work ahead. However, I am beyond grateful to the Lord for how far He has brought us. For I take no credit, its only through HIM this birthday “Miracle” is possible! Happy Birthday Son!

“Therefore, as the scripture say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:31

“If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.”
2 Corinthians 11:30

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Happy Birthday, Testimony!

img_2189Tomorrow is Testimony’s 9th birthday! Like all kids, she is obnoxious with excitement! Bouncing about the house, ready to eat cake, ready to open presents, elated to be leaving behind year 8, and eager to face year 9. On the other hand there is me. My inner being sits in stark contrast to that of Testimony. Today I fill an overwhelming sense of sadness, a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Shamefully, I try to suppress these feelings and bounce, bake, buy gifts, and dream right along with my daughter. Fantasizing together about all the greatness nine years old will bring!

img_0727So, why am I so sad? What is wrong with me? I am sure many can guess. Kids grow up too fast! Each stage of life is so unique, so fun, you just innately never want to see it end! A child’s birthday almost becomes like a funeral, a dreaded good bye to those cute fun memories that particular year gave you: when they looked this way, talked that way, and learned this or that. I experience similar feelings with my nieces and nephews, but with your own its stronger, and when you have missed seven birthdays prior the pain becomes uniquely deeper.img_1263

I don’t share these feelings to bring a dark cloud over celebrating Testimony. Rather, to lament. First, my emotions and affixation on trying to memorialize and bottle up my time with Testimony. Secondly, my feeling sorry for myself- Selfishly I wish I had got to experience Testimony’s birth, been at her first birthday, watched her learn to walk, listened to her first word, and on and on. Of course I know that is not fair of me to say, but I do! I love this kid so much, I want to experience it all!

So, tomorrow I will sit. Everyone around me singing the happy birthday song! I will suppress my sadnessimg_1636 and fix my eyes on the truth. How one BIRTHDAY changed everything- Christ Jesus’. This truth reminds me: Katie, why do you want to savor cake, ice cream, and baby steps!? Just wait, remain steadfast because one day…one day you will watch Testimony celebrate amongst the ANGELS forever!

Therefore, I say thank you GOD for giving me this perfect gift, 9 year old Testimony! I promise from this day forward to enjoy every earthly blessing she experiences with OBNOXIOUS excitement!

A few months back our friend TiTi, one of the CARE Africa child mentors, interviewed Testimony about her short, but intricate life she has experienced thus far. I thought today I would share some of her answers because I personally feel everyone is happier with a little Testimony in their life!


img_1159What is your name and age?

“Wait, wait, is it all of my names? Olubumni , Riddle, Testimony, Pelumi, Praise, Peace, I am eight years old Primary 4.”

When is your birthday?

“November 7th”

Where do you live?

“Egbe Hospital”

Who do you live with?

“Riddles. Riddle Nicholas and Riddle Katie.”

When did you start to live with them?

“January”

Tell me where did you live before Nick and Katie’s?

“In Lagos”

You lived with your parents right?

“Yes!”

Tell me about it.

“Huh??”

Come on I really want to know who T-money was before Egbe.

“I attended Divine Grace School”

Tell me about your Mom or your Dad.

“My dad usually gave me money and wouldn’t allow anyone to beat me.”

What did your Dad do in Lagos?

“He was a prophet.”

What about your Mom?

“She was a teacher at our school.”

What were the names of your friends in Lagos?

“Mya and Rasheedat, they had a shop in front of our house.”

What did you like about living in Lagos?

“My friends”

What did you NOT like?

“The toys my parents thought I was going to be a boy, so they bought me boy toys.”

Who is your best friend T-Money?

“Katie”

Katie, is your best friend?

“Yes, she is!”

So, what do you NOT like about living with Nick and Katie?

“Nothing”

You sure? What of when you are made to do stuff you don’t want to do?

“I don’t care.”

Wow, that’s good! So if you are worried about anything you will go to Katie?

“YES!!!!”

What about Nick, you haven’t mentioned him?

(giggles) He is funny and he plays with me a lot.

What about Iyanu your brother?

“Hummph, we fight most of the time.”

What about Blessing your sister?

“She supports me, and doesn’t yell at me to get out of her room like Iyanu does.”

So, what about all the different types of people you have met living on this Hospital Compound? What do you think about all of them?
“All the misionaries are really nice. I really love the Beebe Family and Dr. Jen.”

So, which place do you love best?

“HUH??”

I mean which place have you loved living the most?

“ I love living here, and I loved living with my parents!!!!”


Is that all you want to say T-Money?

“YES!!!” (laughs)

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The Dentist is IN!

img_0510The Egbe Hospital Dental Clinic opened last week, and ever since the excitement has been
felt all over town!  Patients have swarmed in to experience the dentist, many for the very first time!  This additional service to the hospital is yet another example of God’s great provision and miraculous work here in Egbe-land!

Dr. Yolanda Cintron, a Dentist of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, says God spoke to her very clearly
one night. While listening to a presentation about Egbe Hospital God told her she was the one! It was her who needed to locate and ship ALL necessary parts to open a img_1117Dental Clinic at Egbe Hospital.  She also heard God calling her to even more- she would need to physically come to Egbe herself!  After the supplies and equipment reached the ground, and and our team had finished building the clinic, she would then come. Coming with the sole mission of training the staff, and getting the clinic off and running!    Well she listened and responded to Gods call, doing just that!  Dr. Cintron has spent the last two weeks with us here in Egbe working around the clock.  Seeing patient after patient, she has made each moment a true teaching opportunity for our img_2116Nigerian staff.

Our family didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, and we too scheduled our appointments! The kids got to visit the dentist for the first time-  Iyanu received a good report, while Testimony did as well, but had to get one tooth pulled.  Nick and I also went for a cleaning, but left three wisdom teeth less!  Needless to say, the Riddle Family had several numb mouthes that night, but had fun laughing together about our dental adventure!
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So, thank you Dr. Cintron for listening and following!  Thank you to the many who made the Egbe Dental Clinic possible! Egbe is now filled with whiter teeth and better breath; and lot of good brushing, swishing, and flossing is going on!

Who will be the next visiting Dentist or Dental Hygentist to Egbe?? Could it be you!!??

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Hometown Heroes

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Main Street UMC our sending church

As we head back to Nigeria we leave in complete awe of Gods amazing children and workers who surround us! The love we have received the past two months has been overwhelming! So many of you continue and continue to bless our family in so many different areas. Dinners, lunches, late night chats, the use of your car, the use of your vacation home, prayers, gifts, legal advice, legal contacts, new monthly supporters, continued monthly supporters, the list goes on. The astonishing part though is most of our stronghold comes from right here in our own backyard- Kernersville, NC! Not to overlook those not in K-ville who contribute greatly.  People all around the world are praying for and supporting us.  Please do not feel unappreciated or insignificant!!  However, the overwhelming support from this one place is very unique and deserves to be recognized!

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Tri-City Landscaping of Kernersville (Riddle Supporter)

This backyard support has opened our eyes. Realizing how God is using not only us, but also an entire community.  The blessings of one used to bless another. ALL in the name of Christ. We are proud to be a part of and partner with such committed circles of believers who are gladly and humbly using their life and/or their business to meet the needs of others. We are home grown missionaries mainly because of hometown heroes like y’all!

Although much has been done, there is still much to do. As we head back to continue the work we are asking more of you to search your own heart. Our support account is still in need so would you prayerfully consider partnering with our work in

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Miss Jenny’s Pickles Visit (Riddle Supporter)

Egbe, Nigeria?  If so you can click this link : Riddle’s Support or contact us by e-mail nick.riddle@sim.org or katie.riddle@sim.org to learn more.  We pray that Egbe Hospital is not only a blessing to the patients seeking medical care, but a blessing to those behind the scenes -YOU our hometown heroes!

Miles Apart, Closer Than Ever

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Friends like David and Lori Vaught help us to remember and affirm the real truth behind our work. This world can tell you a lot of discouraging lies. However, David and Lori took the time to remind us of our true desire: to grow relationships in Christ here, there, and everywhere! Our life choices are not about distancing ourselves, asking for money to support our adventurous life, or pleading for prayers against danger. No, we want you, the real you, the raw you partnering together on Gods mission! Lori and David tell below about the joy they have received over the past two years walking alongside us in ministry, but the joy is reciprocal. We have loved watching Him work in their marriage too: finding a great church family, re-committing there lives to Christ through baptism, Lori’s amazing work as an oncology nurse, her commitment to raising awareness/funding for Leukemia and Lymphoma, talking deeply together about the power of bedside prayer, and now getting to celebrate with them as they become parents! This is what it’s all about! Our work does not separate us, it UNIFIES us!

David and Lori write….

The first time I remember hearing Katie speak about Egbe was in the summer of 2013 right before David and I got married. Katie and Nick had recently returned from a short-term mission trip where they served at Egbe Hospital, and this trip was all Katie would talk about! I knew then that this would not be the first and only time Katie would serve on mission in Egbe.

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Lori and I devising great plans at an early age!

In December 2013, Katie Gretchen and I got together as we usually do during the holidays to celebrate another year of friendship. It was during this meal shared together that I remember Katie fully explaining to us how that short-term trip to Egbe really impacted her, and how her and Nick were very likely going to be spending two years there on mission work. Wow! I was so excited and shocked at the same time! Is this really Katie I’m talking to?? My lifelong friend who loves sports, shopping, routines and schedules, and not to mention staying close to home and family (the girl hates packing a suitcase!), was going to travel halfway across the world and live there for 2 years? I was so happy to hear how God was working in and through her during this phase of her life. The next 6 months were a whirlwind of fundraising, spending quality time together, and supporting Nick and Katie as they made the big move to Nigeria. My favorite part of the prepping (of course) was giving them their shots! 

After they left for Nigeria, communication and staying connected to Nick and Katie was surprisingly very easy. Katie had a cell phone that could text over to us at any time (when she had service), and we were able to follow their blog to stay updated on all the new things they were doing in Egbe. We could even FaceTime! Katie settled into a role of teaching the missionary kids and Nick very easily found lots of work to do at Egbe Hospital. They were settling into their lives over there, and over here we continued the support and counted down the days until their return.

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Lori, Gretchen and Katie a divine friendship!

It was in December 2015, again at our annual Christmas get together when Katie and Nick were visiting the states for their “last break” before the 2-year mission work was over, that I had the opportunity to learn about Blessing. A teenage orphan who desperately needed a home, and hearing how Nick and Katie so freely opened up their home to welcome her in. The stories were funny: Blessing being excited about having her own towel, and sleeping with all the lights on because she wasn’t used to electricity. But the heart behind telling the funny stories was undoubtedly moving. Katie loved this girl, and she and Nick were devoted to fostering her in their home. Nigeria was really changing my friend, and God was behind it all!

My local pastor has often said that we send people out on mission work, not only to reach unreached people groups, but also to change the hearts of the people out on the mission. And for every person that we send out on mission, it takes an entire team of people to support them.

Over the past few months, David and I have learned that this 2-year mission trip for Nick and Katie is hardly ever going to be “over.” It isn’t even a trip to say the least. It has become a new way of life. No longer living for our own selfish desires, no longer working multiple jobs to have a larger house or new car. But living in the Lord daily, being obedient to His mission for our lives, giving to those in need, opening our home to Jesus, or to Blessing, Miracle and Testimony. This is what God calls us all to do, wherever we may live and whatever we may do. David and I have been extremely blessed by being a part of Nick and Katie’s Support Team. Watching them grow in their faith has without a doubt encouraged us to grow in our own. We are motivated and blessed by God’s work through Nick and Katie. We are excited for the next phase of work that God is doing through Nick and Katie, and we will willingly continue to serve on The Riddle’s Support Team.

Lets grow together!  If you are interested in being on our team in whatever capacity God may be calling you please e-mail us nick.riddle@sim.org or katie.riddle@sim.org

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17

Meet The Kids

Our family has been apart for one month, and we have roughly one month to go. Beyond thankful to our dear friends, The Miles Family, for opening their home to the kids while we are away.  We pray our support account will soon be filled, allowing us to be re-united.  Since they couldn’t come to introduce themselves face to face, the kids made this short video so you can get to know them a little better!

Thirsty Thursday


The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. REVELATION 22:17

Everyday from 7:30-8:00 you will find, or hear, the Egbe Hospital maintenance and construction staff inside the workshop. Sometimes up to sixty guys praising, praying, and studying the word of God together. These thirty minutes each morning have changed my life, and certainly many others over the past few years. Taking this time each day to focus on God’s word is truly a living spring quenching our daily thirst.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14 

WorkshopOver the past few months we have seen significant growth in maturity from the group, and a new level of faith and knowledge. The guys decided that the thirty minutes was not enough, they needed more time. Therefore, we decided to create “Thirsty Thursday”a bible study, after work that can go deeper into the word, and last as long as needed (OR at least, until it becomes “Hungry Thursday”, and time for dinner!) As a missionary, there is no greater joy than to see my Nigerian brothers asking questions, and wanting to know more about their faith!

As we have become more unified in our knowledge, and vulnerable in love. I have admitted to the men I myself have not always been thirsty for the word. Upon my High School graduation I was given a study bible by my extended family. For the four to five years that followed I can honestly say the bible was opened only a handful of times.  It sat on the shelf collecting dust! I never wanted to lose it, but made no effort to make sure I knew where it was. In spite of my immaturity the Bible followed me up until the day my eyes were finally opened. When the veil was lifted I now couldn’t put the study bible down! I fell in love with the truth of His word, and finally understood the GREAT value and POWER that came from this graduation gift. This bible continues to serve me well, especially during our devotion and bible study time.

KollycoolOver the past few years a guy in our workshop has always stood out to me. He has shown to be devoted, humble, and thirsty for the truth – His name, Kolawole “Kollycool” Samson. Everyday he comes early to devotions making sure the chairs are set up, and bibles are out for everyone to use. He is always eager to ask questions, and contributes to the lesson. Therefore, when it came time for Katie and I to leave last month, I wanted to leave him something. A symbol of thanks, as well as, encouragement to stay thirsty! I developed a plan to leave him my study bible, and promised to buy another one as soon as I reached the U.S. The bible I would buy would eventually become His, but during our time away I would use his as he studied with mine. I would follow along with the same verses they are reading in the workshop, allowing us to stay connected. Together we could continue quenching our thirst from the true, living water!  I can’t wait to return to Egbe, and present him with his first study bible- because even though I didn’t realize it at the time it was the best gift I ever received!  Nick Bible

Thank you Mack, Nina, Ann, Gina, and Mike (my Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunts, and Uncle) for this gift. You gave and continue to give NEW life!