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!