So the March two week trip was very successful. It was long, tiring, frustrating, hilarious, but overall very successful!
There were six of us who went down, Steve and Catherine, Darren, Dale, Norm and myself. It was a great experience to have three people with us who have only heard us talk about Nigeria for years, and now finally have seen it with their own eyes. While they had been supporters of what we do, they now fully understand WHY we are doing it.
Our stay consisted of a few days in the capital city of Abuja upon entering and exiting the country, with the majority of our time spent in the village, Amaba (Isuikwauto -Abia State) where our current operation site is located.
During our two weeks there we met many important people in the Federal, Regional, and Local governments. It is apparent from the support and backing we have received now from these people that our many years of toil has not been in vain. It is our persistence through the many odds we have faced, that spoke volumes to these important people.
We were provided with four armed guards, a driver and vehicle from the Country’s Director of Security Services and his next in command where we are located the Director of Abia State Security. These guards lived and travelled with us during our entire stay in Abia State. We have been promised full security by the government when we are present in the country.
We also were able to legally establish our Foundation as a registered NGO in Nigeria. This is a very big deal as it takes mass amounts of time and money, and we met an amazing lawyer who took on our Foundation and did all of this for us.
We were told about the stats of vulnerable and orphaned children in our immediate area and how we will be able to assess and begin taking children in to our present site, when we return.
We were told that there will be several plots of land for us to look at when we arrive back in Nigeria, and that we may take our choice of the land and it will be given (deeded over) to the Foundation, for us to begin our building phases.
There are many more things, and some of them will come up as I try and keep you all update as too what is happening in the next two months. But overall, those are some of the big things that happened, and we are very excited to return and get started once again (this time with big support from the country we are trying to serve!)
We are at Mom and Dad’s house in Chilliwack waiting to walk out the door. That is Mom (Catherine), Dad (Steve) and I are here. We are waiting for my brother-in-law Darren to arrive and Norm, who is coming out with the van to transport us. We will pick up Dale on the way down the mountain and hit to road for Seattle. We have finished packing and weighing all the bags. We are slightly under weight or bang-on for all of them…YAY! I just had my last hot, running shower for the next two weeks, and am mentally preparing for my bucket and cup cold water ‘baths’, eeek.
Here’s to hoping and praying the boarding crossing with all of us and our bags goes smoothly.
I can’t believe I have one more night here in Canada, one night in the USA and then my running feet will touch the ground where my heart is…in Nigeria. There are six of us going on this trip for two weeks. The anticipation is beyond words, for both us who are returning, and those who will be seeing it for the first time. The amount of luggage is unreal, the pending questions insurmountable, and the peace and excitement of knowing ‘now is the time’, undeniable. And those emotions are just ours, I cant even describe what I have heard about those who are waiting for our return, still, after years of oppression. We are SO ready for this!
Just before Christmas I spent a few days with some friends, a couple, one of who has been my boss for the past year and a half that I have been a Special Ed Teacher and Case Manager. We had wonderful discussions surrounding walking in the call that God has placed on one’s life. Through those talks I realized even more assuredly that I was making the right decision in reading myself to return to Nigeria on a full time basis. In all my years of being back here, since having spent several years living in Nigeria, I have always felt a restlessness and a tugging at my heart. I have been unable to calmly settle into a job and feel confidently about it being right. At least not on a long term basis. Finally being able to accept that the last four years here have not been a waste, but that I have grown and learned, both academically, spiritually and personally, has lifted a heaviness in my heart in knowing I am to return to where my heart is. Plans are set in motion to return to Nigeria over Spring Break. We will be taking a team of people this time :)
Can’t believe that this is happening… but, we are on our way to Nigeria! AAAAAgh.