Dr. Babatunde and Duro too

babatundeIf you have talked with us over the past nine months the conversation positively, with out a doubt, must have mentioned our Mommy Duro! Maybe we bragged about her immaculate cleaning skills, famous fried chicken, or yummy made from scratch sugar cookies -sure to make your arms jiggle (right Abby Anderson)!? Or maybe it was about her one look says it all expressions, beautiful singing voice, cute rose print outfit, loving heart, or extreme work ethic? No matter the context I am sure you quickly understood how much Mommy Duro has and continues to bless our lives. It is indisputable, our favorite part of this new life in Nigeria is having this special lady inside our home each day!

Duro and some of the grandkids.

Fabricating the relationship even more has been getting to know Duro’s family. She has four daughters, one son, and seven grandchildren. Duro is “married” but like many women in Nigeria her husband moved away several years back, most likely found another wife, and Duro has been left raising the family solo ever since. Her kids are now all grown, but she has one daughter and grandson, Babatunde, who still live with her full time. Babatunde, her eldest grandson, is 15 years old, and has captivated our hearts much like his grandmother.

Babatunde and Duro are equally humble and quiet. Therefore it hasn’t come fast, but steadily over time, we have been able to catch a glimpse into their hearts. Slowly hearing their struggles, goals, and dreams for the future. What has especially caught our attention is their BIG dream for Babatunde’s future. Babatunde, nearing his final year in secondary school, hopes to one day become a surgeon. The odds may seem to be stacked up against him. A boy from a small Nigerian village, raised by his grandmother, and to which money does not come easy. To some these aspirations may even seem impossible, however, we believe just the opposite. Our prayer is to come alongside Babatunde as a source of encouragement and hope. Babatunde has been attending George Campion Academy in Egbe since nursery school. George Campion is one of the few respectable schools in the area. The school fees are high which typically only allow for the wealthier families of the community to attend, but somehow Duro has come up with the money each term. Babatunde’s grades are nearly perfect, and he has held the number 1 position in his class every term since nursery school. Besides his academic prowess talking to Babatunde will melt your heart, his manners are beyond normal.  He comes to greet us often, telling us how thankful he is for all we are doing in the life of his Mommy Duro.  Confusing us because our thoughts are of the contrary!!

Mommy Duro welcoming us home after recent vacation!

We love these two so much and feel its appropriate to allow you, our supporters, to share in the joy they bring us. If it were not for our monthly ministry money given graciously by you each month we would not be able to have hired Duro, and if not for fervent prayers the relationship may not have been as fruitful! We ask you for continued prayers for Duro and Babatunde. In August he will begin his final year, begin sitting for national exams, and start applying for Universities. Pray for us to have wisdom to guide him in the right direction and that funds may be provided. Pray Babatunde will not lose confidence, stepping out boldly but only through God strengthening those steps.

The medical director was kind enough to let Babatunde spend a day with him in surgery.


Recent conversation with Babatunde:

“What is your ultimate dream, like your Chronicles of Narnia fantasy world!?” asked myself.  (he has been reading the books)

“Well Ma, I think its whatever God wants?” said Babatunde

Simple, but true!

Yomi and the Whale

Yomi working on generators as Jesse watches on.

Just recently we hired a new worker amongst the Egbe Hospital maintenance team named Abayomi a.k.a. “Yomi”. Yomi has family from Egbe, but has been living in Lagos, Nigeria for several years. Lagos is located on the south west coast of Nigeria and actually ranks as the fourth most populated city in the world! Yomi works on big ships coming in and out of the Nigerian ports and specializes in large engine work such as generators. Yomi immediately became a great asset to our team. We ourselves have three large generators running our hospital and housing compound from which we rely on heavily day and night.  His skills are tremendous, his personality a match with the other guys, and he has even been teaching some of the other mechanics in the work shop many things they did not know!  However, when Yomi came to us he wanted to make it clear that his work would only be temporary. He said, ” he was just here to get off the water for awhile.”

Katie and I would joke with Yomi frequently telling him he should just stay here and forget about Lagos. Every day Katie stopped to shout across the fence, “I prayed for you to find your wife today so you will stay!” He would laugh and say, “NO, don’t do that!” Yomi was still anxious to get back to Lagos, he said the “bush life” was not for him. Regardless, Yomi remained joyful in his work but continued to say, “ This is just temporary.”

One Friday morning, Yomi asked permission off work. He needed to travel to Lagos for a “health screening” to remain a Sea Mechanic. We surrounded him in prayer that morning, asking for a safe trip, and good results. He was off! Well, that same afternoon we got a phone call from Yomi’s brother. Yomi had just been in a bad traffic accident halfway between Egbe and Lagos. A tractor trailer jack knifed, and hit his public transport bus. He had dislocated his shoulder and had several lacerations on his arm. He would spend Friday night in the hospital, and return to Egbe Saturday morning.  Consequently, missing his “health screening”. When Yomi came back to work the following week we were all happy to see him, and relieved he was okay. He jokingly told Katie and I that we really needed to stop praying that he stay in Egbe!!

morning workshop devotions

A few weeks later we were having a great discussion in morning devotions on 1 Timothy 6. Discussing money and contentment. This triggered Yomi to his feet, and to share his testimony about the accident. Scars still visible and shoulder pain still existing he opened his heart to the entire workshop of thirty men. He wanted to come clean. He confessed to us all that his trip to Lagos was not really for a “health screening.” He instead had been offered a job. A job that would pay him five times the amount he was making here at Egbe Hospital. He had planned that day to accept the job, and he thought leaving Egbe was going to be an easy break.  However, it wasn’t and that is what had convicted him to slant the truth. In his heart he wasn’t so sure anymore. He went on to describe his love of money and materials. Telling how that love was pulling him back to Lagos. He was chasing more, to lead to more, to hopefully lead to even MORE. A vicious cycle I myself can relate to well! However, something happened he didn’t make it to Lagos. He was instead brought back to Egbe. He said through his work at Egbe Hospital and especially through our morning devotion time God is really speaking into his life. He hears God telling him to just STOP and listen. To be sensitive His plan. To stop running in the opposite direction. Yomi declared to everyone how he had decided to no longer accept the BIG TIME job in Lagos instead he would remain in Egbe. Staying in the place he has come to realize has much MORE to offer then he originally thought. We embraced Yomi, prayed for Yomi, and celebrated with him!

Yomi with several co-workers

His story couldn’t help but remind me of Jonah and the Whale. How Jonah bought a ticket and boarded a ship in Joppa. Heading in the opposite direction of where God commanded him to go. Like Jonah, Yomi too set off going the opposite way, and was met by a storm. The storm likewise hurled him overboard, off track, scared, and a little beaten up. Most likely even angry and confused at the time.  Although Yomi wasn’t rescued and brought back to Egbe in the belly of a whale God did snatch him up, out of harms way, and guided him home. Bringing Yomi back safely to Egbe where He wanted him, “off the water” but this time on the right boat!