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!
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
Over 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.
Over 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!
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!
This week, Nick and I celebrated five years of marriage. I have always enjoyed such milestones as an excuse to give gifts, create traditions, and go in search of the perfect greeting card. I also enjoy using life landmarks as a chance to reflect. An opportunity to take a look across where you’ve been, and see where life leaves you now. However, this year has felt strangely different and unfamiliar- our lives are filled with uncertainty, our hearts desire peculiar things, and our dreams seem foreign to that of five years ago. It leaves us asking: Is this really our happily every after??
The past year, more specifically the past seven months have without hesitation been the most stressful period of Nick and I’s marriage. Living cross-culturally, becoming foster parents, the loss of a grandmother, a father’s heart attack, contending with harsh legal systems, becoming real parents, several bouts of malaria, and now having our family pulled miles apart. Yes, it has been ugly! At times-we’ve been mad, we’ve yelled, and undoubtedly said some thing’s we regret. However, before you chalk us up as crazy or think we need help. Let us be the first ones to say the stress and pain was good and it was perfect! Being ripped down to the core God has allowed us to now experience a new level of HIS love. A love that is deep and raw; sanctioning us to trust more fervently, walk more humbly, and give grace more fully then before. We realize through all the uncertainty and all the changes one thing remains the same. God is our center. He is our core! Anything accomplished through this marriage, designed by HIM, is for HIS glory.
So, what is next? We are currently in the United States. The U.S. Embassy would not grant the children visas, so we are here alone. We have decided to push our 3-6 month home assignment back until next year and extend our 2-year term by 6 months. This will allow us to go back and stay in Nigeria until next April. Making April our new home assignment time. We will spend a few weeks now in the U.S. trying to touch base with all our supporters and bring them up to speed on the ministry happening at Egbe Hospital. We would also would like to spend time seeking wisdom, counsel, and aid on how to logically ensure our family will no longer be bound by country borders. Since our term was assumed to now have ended our support has dropped significantly. Therefore, if you are interested in being a part of our continued ministry either through prayer, legal advice, or financial support please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com – we would love to talk more!
We know that it can be messy, ugly, stressful and confusing…but we know THIS is our HAPPILY EVER AFTER!