Monday, September 26, 2011
I left Vancouver at 6:00 AM on Friday September 23 and after staying the night at the baptist guesthouse in Abuja have now arrived safely in Jos. My driver Danjuma and I made the three hour drive up to Jos early Sunday morning. My apartment is small, but after a day and a half of decorating and unpacking it is starting to feel more like home. Just after I arrived Chris Cowie kindly had me over for lunch to brief me and answer any questions I had. After that, my afternoon was free of plans, so I took a taxi over to Evangel Hospital compound to visit the Ardills to spend time with old friends. The most exciting event the day would hold was the challenge compound dinner; those of us who were informed prepared a dish to share for dinner, and when we all came together the banter was plentiful. All of the people that live on my compound are kind and caring for one another, and seem to all have phenomenal cooking skills. Whether it was Fiona's tandoori chicken, Georges thai peanut chicken dish, or my generous gift of ranch dressing, the food was excellent. Today marked my first day of orientation. I was at the SIM headquarters learning the ins and outs of the SIM Nigeria system until about two in the afternoon. The people at SIM headquarters are most kind and have already made me feel welcome here as a part of the SIM team. Soon after I finished the days orientation I walked Hillcrest to spend the afternoon working out and then speaking with John Camiola, the Hillcrest School coach. During the process, John invited me to play basketball with some of the other guys on the Niger Creek compound. Kyle Abts (my soon-to-be boss) was there and gave me a ride home. During the trip we were able to speak about ideas we had for the ministry and the role I would be able to play. I can see God at work in Jos already, and I am excited to be a part of His plan here in Jos. I would love it if all of you could pray for my continued success in connecting to the community quickly and that I could overcome this jet lag as soon as possible. Thanks everyone!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Alas, after a month of delays, I have finally received my visa and have begun the final stages of packing. This past month has served as a reminder to me that God still has lessons for me to learn before I leave; while I grew impatient and worried, God had bigger plans. It turns out that there was unrest in Jos when I would have been arriving had my visa gone through immediately. I have been informed that my flight leaves tomorrow morning, so I have been spending the daytime packing, and in the evenings I spend time with my friends and family to say our last goodbyes. As I finally make my way out of the country I would like to ask for prayer for safety and for wisdom when I am dealing with airport officials. Thank you all for your prayers and support to make this happen!