Archive for February, 2009

February 25, 2009

Giving Thanks


Today I want to take some time out to give thanks. I used to do it twice each week with Thankful Thursday (TT) and Ten Things Tuesday but I became too busy. I should never be too busy to say ‘thank you’ to the One who makes each day possible so I’ll dedicate today to that.

I sincerely want to thank God for Iris and Thankful Thursday. Even though I have not participated in a long while, it has been a constant source of blessing for me and the friends I have made through TT have been enduring ones. Each day I pray for wisdom. Living on a mission base with people from divergent backgrounds, cultures and educational experiences requires tons of wisdom. However, lately I have had cause to pray even harder for wisdom… As I scrolled through my blog, I glimpsed on the side bar the list of top posts and saw a TT I had done months ago. It was on the Holy Spirit and reading it encouraged me greatly. It has prompted me to go back to my Thankful Thursday posts asap!

Oh and my former assistant came to visit me yesterday. She apologised for the way she left and wanted my forgiveness for any wrong she did me. She also came to confess that while she was working with me she picked some stuff which even though she thought might not be useful but because she took them without permission she wanted forgiveness. Her visit left a bitter-sweet feeling me; I got the impression I might not see her on this side of the world again. Something she said, that she was not long for this world touched me. And she admitted that she was attending a counseling class for HIV/AIDS patients at the mission clinic. So I was right. And I really hate being right about this.dsc00525

I see the hand of God everywhere I look; but most especially in people’s lives and in nature. Even though I live smack dab in the midst of nature, sometimes I forget to take the time out to appreciate it. Which is why when I saw this sunset, I just had to grab my camera and share it here. It’s absolutely beautiful!

I got a visit today from Francis’ dad. (Check this post to learn more about Francis). The man was filled with gratitude; he said he could not believe his son had changed so much. He had found it impossible to control his children and only last year, threw his daughter out of the house. I think he was at the point of doing that with his son. He’s not really a good father, but I believe God has plans for Francis and God does not look at how good or bad out parents are when he wants to work on us.

sweetness in Pink!

sweetness in Pink!

Then I got this lovely bag from my sweetheart. I have not used it yet because it’s so beautiful I’m scared of spoiling it. I don’t know who the makers are though because it does not have any label or anything but isn’t it a darling bag?

I have so much to be grateful for. But I think I’ll stop here for now.

February 23, 2009

Letting Off Steam


Everyone needs a way to de-stress, what is yours? I know some folks meditate, listen to music, write or journal, talk…there are several heard (and unheard) of ways. Sometimes I feel like a steam engine with no way to let out the steam; then I begin to feel like if something does not happen soon, I would explode!

That is how I felt this evening. I was so furious with both my parents I decided to go on a long walk to cool my temper. 30 minutes later as I sat on a rock, looking down a stream and listening to the dreams and fears of a lovely 15 year old lady, I felt the steam dissipate.

Back in my flat, I was thankful for nature and the calm I was feeling. I thought it might have been the rocks or maybe even the stream responsible for that calm. Writing this however, I am beginning to realise that it was re-directing my attention away from me to another person that calmed me. Hmmm…imagine that. So what about you; what de-stresses you?

February 22, 2009

Something For The Week


I read many things during the week that inspire me and give me inspiration for the coming week. For some time nowdizel_100_2621 I have been toying with the idea of posting a little something each Sunday for the new week ahead. I don’t know how this is going to play out or how long it will go on for. However I would like as many people as possible to join me. You can either drop a comment here with your own inspiration or do a post at your site and link to mine so that I can have the privilege of reading yours and getting inspired. There is only one rule: It must be something you read the week before. So here’s mine from the Bible

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12 NLT)

This verse of scripture really made me think hard. I am a lawyer so when I saw the word “right” it jumped out. If I have a right, unless I choose to exercise the right, I cheat myself out of the privileges which come with that right. The question I asked myself was girl, what God-given rights are you failing to exercise?

  • I have the right to peace
  • I have the right to Joy
  • I have the right to experience the presence of God
  • I have the right to have my prayers answered (even if the answer is a NO)

That should take me through the week…

I would love to read what inspires you!

February 21, 2009

bridges


bridge2

A few days ago, my brothers and I drove across this bridge…all in the name of adventure of course. We were terrified; or at least, my youngest brother and I were terrified, my immediate younger had made the crossing before so he just laughed at us. It was not even our route, we just wanted to explore a new road that had opened up and anyway, the experience was worth it, however scary it was. When we made it across, I asked him to stop the car so I could take a picture of it for posterity.

There are many incidences in my life that I can liken to this bridge; situations which at the time were terrifying and painful but which only brought me to a better place in my life. I don’t think I’m the only one who has had to cross such bridges. Bridges like that seem impossible before or while you are crossing them; it is almost as though you are going to end up in the river, carried away by the currents. Many times, they constitute turning points in our lives. Yesterday was such a bridge for me; a really rickety bridge which I am not through crossing.

I went back to the Police Station to see about the two teenagers. This time around, both parents were around, I went in my capacity as a lawyer to the mission. The girls’ brother in law, who stood as her guardian was furious! Luckily I had cornered him before we went to the Police Station and talked some sense into him. I convinced him to not further hurt the kids and told him I wanted to get the boy released into my custody so that we could attempt to help him. The Police Officers told us that they were prepared to charge the boy with trespassing and abduction but they were hoping the girl’s guardians would drop charges. I let each person vent for a while before I waded in.

I had mentioned earlier that the boy was a dropout; he had been learning how to be a mechanic – apprenticed to an uncle. I asked him why he dropped out of school and he said it was because he could not understand and did not see the point in wasting his father’s money. He can read and write so I made him realize that the reason he did not understand at school was that no one had taught him to understand and not because he was stupid or dull. I gave him two options, either we went forward with the matter in which case, he would end up in a correctional institution or we dropped charges on the condition that he was released to my custody and he went back to school. At that time, I think he was willing to agree to anything; we did not really give him much choice.

I took him back to the mission base and asked a young man who was a member of staff to join me as I talked with the two of them. I asked him if he loved her and he said he did. I asked him if she had told him she loved him, he said she hadn’t. So I let him know she actually loved him…you should have seen the light in his eyes, it was so sweet, made me sigh internally of course. Anyway, I told them that love could never be wrong however, they needed to be a bit patient. They were neither of them ready to marry nor ready for the responsibility of an unwanted pregnancy so I told them to be friends for now but wait for a few years before they decided to embark on any kind of romantic relationship. Did I get through? Only God knows. Whatever the case, I am enrolling him in the nearby secondary school on Monday and he would spend his afternoons with me doing odd jobs and extra lessons. The highlight was that the young man led this boy in the sinners’ prayer and he gave his life to Christ, I’m not really sure he knew exactly what he was doing or what it entails because he did not grow up in a Christian home. Still I hope this would be a turning point in his life – hers too; their own bridge.

It was a bridge for me too. At the Police Station the words came to me clearly… for this you were created. It gave me a jolt. But at that point my life began to come together; to make a weird kind of sense. All of a sudden, some painful experiences I had gone through crystallized and I understood for if I had not gone through those experiences, I would not understand what those kids were going through. Still, it is a rickety bridge as I told my fiancé on the phone last night…kids like that break people’s hearts. Am I making a mistake taking these children on? I want the love of Christ to flow through me to them. I guess I can only do as he advised me – my best.

February 20, 2009

Friday Five: Taking a Break


Even though I joined the RevGalBlogPal’s bloglist months ago, this is actually the first time I’m doing the Friday Five. So Here goes, we are supposed to say how we will spend:

1. a 15 minute break
2. an afternoon off
3. an unexpected free day
4. a week’s vacation
5. a sabbatical

A 15 Miinute Break: definitely a cup of coffeedsc005091

An Afternoon Off: I’ll go and examine my aunt’s cat’s kittens. I have been promised one and they were only born two days ago so I still have a few more weeks to go before I get my own kitten! Aren’t they cute?

An Unexpected Free Day: I’ll hole up in my flat and just BE lazy!

A week’s Vacation: Oh, that’s easy. I’ll go to Port Harcourt so I can be with my sweetheart.

A Sabbatical: I’ll travel Africa. I wanted to say that I’ll travel the world but I have always had this desire to visit Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal, Togo, Algeria, Ethiopia… since history class actually…I want to see these places and soon too!

February 19, 2009

Raising Teenagers – Village Morality


In Nigeria, there is a popular saying that goes “it takes a whole village to raise a child”

vahiju_12082007079I saw this saying in action yesterday. I live in a small community…a village actually which is where my parents work as missionaries. The mission base is at the border of the village and there has been peaceful interaction between the villagers and the missionaries for the past 23 years. Amongst the missionaries and those attending the mission training school we have couples and families. Last week the mission trainees were taking out of the base on an outreach. One of the families had little children ages 5, 3 and 1 respectively. They went along with the one year old but left the other two in the charge of the mother’s sister who was only 15years old herself. It was not until yesterday that we realised she had not been sleeping at home; she left those poor babies alone. A search was made and she was discovered holed up with a boy she said was her boyfriend. Now, a lot is tolerated in my country but that sort of blatant irresponsibility is not. The boy, who was only 16 years old himself, was hauled to the police station with his girlfriend where they were given the beating of their lives.

The average Nigerian believes that there is only one thing which can drive sexual immorality from a young child and that is to beat the devil out of that child. The Police in Nigeria is quite different from what obtains in other countries…they not only keep law and order, they keep morality. So if a child is difficult at home he or she is hauled to the police station for an overnight stay from which he or she comes out sober and more respectful. Go figure. Anyway, this young girl and her beau did not have the luxury of therapy and counselling which their western counterparts would have received; instead they had the devil beaten out of them.

I watched helplessly because I knew I could not interfere. How could I? That is how children are trained in Nigeria, I even got some of the same treatment but that’s another tale for another day. I waited patiently and when the girl was brought back to the mission base I took her with me to my house. After a long and sober talk I discovered some certain facts:

1. She did not have sexual intercourse with him
2. She was in love with the boy
3. She had been raped a year ago

All these made me think. I tried to talk with her, to let her realise that loving someone was a huge responsibility. The boy spent the night in a holding cell…what kind of love was that which got the loved one into trouble? I wanted her to realise that she was not cheap; her mother carried her in the womb for 9 months, went through labour and Jesus died on the cross for her – she was certainly NOT cheap! I don’t know if I got through. I hope I did. However, I’m keeping her with me for awhile; some neighbours took the babies in. The boy is still in the holding cell but I am going for him later today. I will try and talk with him…I found out he is the product of a broken home and practically raised himself; he also dropped out of school. I don’t know what I’m going to say to him but I trust the Lord to put the words in my mouth. After my talk, I’ll write about him later. Meanwhile, I covet your prayers. I don’t know if this was why I was led back to the place where I grew up. Surprisingly, it has a high record of people infected with HIV/AIDS. It is a near epidemic and is something to pray about.