Monday, October 24, 2011

Music As A Ministry?

Those of you who followed our family blog during our 2008/2009 stay in Jos remember Gwakman, whom we more or less adopted throughout the year. Gwakman spent the night at my house on Saturday night, and in the morning attended Hillcrest chapel with me to watch me drum. My hope is for Gwakman to be a part of my ministry here in Jos. Talking with Gwakman, I found out that he is interested in learning drums. I spent the next half hour teaching him basics about music and rhythm, and I provided him with a pair of sticks and a practice sheet. The drum lesson opened up further discussion and gives me a great reason to get Gwakman to come over on a regular basis. I am happy to see that God is using my musical skills here in Jos!
My work with Sports Friends continues to progress as well. Sometime in November I will be traveling for three or four days into far northern Nigeria, where Christians are few, and where animistic religions and Islam thrive. We have yet to work out the details, but I am sure I will be involved with a camp of some sort. I also received an update on the Thailand trip in January! The Sports Friend international conference will partially a celebration of the ten year anniversary of the ministry, but also a chance to reflect over the work accomplished over the years and plan for the future. This will also be a chance for me to receive some leadership training and mentoring skills, so it will be a chance for me to grow as well.
Traveling by taxi has become a problem for me lately. Most of my work is in the early morning or ends in the late afternoon/evening, and SIM missionaries are not allowed to use motorcycle taxis for safety reasons. On Wednesday I started searching for a car and found one almost immediately! I will be renting the car for a reasonable price, and I will be getting the car anytime this week. Definitely a quick answer to prayers.  
One last thing, I got sick on Thursday and I am still trying to recover at this point. If you could be praying that would be great! Thanks all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Success!

My work is now starting to transcend the coaching level. On Thursday, I met with a man named Paul Datiri, who is the pastor of COCIN (Church of Christ in Nigeria) church to discuss involving the church more in what we are doing with the kids on the compound. I went to his house where he served me cocoa yam with red stew and a maltina, the “big man” drink of Nigeria. We ate and talked, and I got to share my testimony and the vision I had for how we would associate the church with the basketball team.  He was excited by me being in Nigeria to serve and by the plans we had for the team.  After we finished the food and discussion, Paul invited me to attend the Thursday evening bible study the church with him and to attend the church service on Sunday. I agreed to both and I even got to stand up to speak to the congregation on Sunday! God must have a sense of humor to let an 18 year old stand up to speak in front of a whole church! I briefly explained the ministry and thanked the congregation for letting me serve with them, and then got to participate in the dancing and singing entailed in Nigerian worship. After the service, my co-coach Saulomon and I were invited to eat in the home of our colleague Faith. We sat down to a delicious meal of yam, red stew, and fried fish, and spent a few hours talking and watching movies. Overall it was a successful week for work and developing Nigerian relationships!
                My social life is starting to develop as well! On most evenings I am able to eat over at a friends home and stick around to chat for awhile. Single missionaries rarely have to cook because when we do, we make plenty of food and invite friends over. Last Friday I bought beef with which I was going to make pad thai, but I have not had the opportunity to use it yet! Each night I have had an invite for dinner from missionaries on my compound and even one from the Ibrahims, a family that we Mitchells know very well. Lilian Ibrahim invited me for dinner of tuwo shinkafa, vegetable soup, and chicken on Saturday night. The food was delicious, and the company was even better! I now consider Lilian my Nigerian mother because when she found out I drove to their house; she began to lecture me on how to “drive gently” and not to “drive rough.” I am looking forward to seeing the Ibrahims more often, and I think that Gwakman will be a part of my ministry here in Jos if I can start spending more time with him. Thanks to all who are praying for me, and I ask that you please continue!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Busy As A Bee

It's hard to believe that I have aleady been here for two and a half weeks! Time is flying by mostly because I have been staying busy with work. Each day I have one or two practices to run between the two or three teams I am involved with. Also, we are working on organizing a soccer camp that will begin on October 21st. Working out logistics such as food, transportation, bedding, and supplies is a tedious process. I am looking forward to spending time with these boys and seeing how a Nigerian camp is run. Some exciting news for me: I am the camp photographer. Before I left the states I made sure to get a camera so I could document my time here, but I was also interested in getting into photography, so I bought a nicer camera than I normally would have. Photography has turned into a hobby for me, so I am really excited to be able to incorporate it into my job. I was told today that we are tentatively planning on attending an international Sports Friends meeting in Thailand in January. Please be praying for the Nigerian men I work with because they have much paperwork to take care of before they can go, for our safety as a group, and also the trip will cost a fair amount of money.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Settling In

This week I have started to find my place here in Jos. On Saturday, a fellow sports friend worker and I coached a group of about twelve ten year olds in basketball. A woman named Faith meets with these children twice a week to learn basketball and learn about God. Saulomon and I were in charge of running drills for the kids and encouraging them, and halfway through a man named David, who works for AWANA, presented the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand to them. David was skilled at involving the kids in his teachings, and I was impressed with how well prepared he was for the lesson. Saulomon and I will be working with the same set of kids on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons, and with an older group of kids on Monday and Wednesday mornings.
Aside from work, I have also begun to find my place among the missionaries. My apartment building consists of a few other single missionaries, who spend much time together whether it be meals, devotions, or leisure time. Yesterday, we went swimming at one of the local hotel pools, and in the evening we shared a meal then had a short time of devotion and prayer. All of this is an answer to many prayers, and I am looking forward to seeing more of God's work!
P.S. I am planning on posting pictures soon, just this morning the computer deleted all of my pictures so I need to take more!