Monday, August 18, 2014

Schedule Change - Nigeria

While we were in Metropolis, Illinois in mid July I had an unusual thing happen to me. We were worshiping during song service one night and I begin to have a very hesitant feeling about going to Nigeria in December. My mind was not on Nigeria at all and suddenly there it was and I could not shake the sensation. There are not many things I love more than going to Nigeria to preach and I am usually bouncing off the walls ready to go, so this was a very strange feeling for me.

I said something like "Lord, are you trying to tell me something? If you are, I want you to know that as bad as I want to go, I do not have to go to Nigeria this year." In a moment I felt completely at ease and I went back to worshiping and preparing my heart to sing and preach.

I did not mention it to my family but after a few days of prayer I wrote an email to Bro. Shobanke to tell him I was praying about the hesitant feeling I had about the scheduled trip. He called me the next day and graciously told me that I had proven my love and devotion to him and his people and that he trusted me completely to make the correct decision. Those were exactly the words I needed to hear because I did not want to disappoint my friends.

I had to make a decision before the last week in August because the tedious and complicated visa process needs to begin about 90 days before the departure date. As we made the trip through New England the last two weeks Nigeria was never far from my mind. I did not receive a firm direction but I could never shake the hesitancy I felt in July until I would tell the Lord in prayer that I did not want to go this year without clear direction and then I would feel at peace.

So with great reluctance I sent Bro. Shobanke an email Saturday confirming to him that I would not be able to be with them in December. Kelly Jo and I love to go but we could not do it this year. My Pastor taught us that often we do not know the real value of a decision until after the decision has been made. I have found that to be true again. Even though my mind is filled with disappointment at deciding not to go, my heart feels a whole lot more peace since I made the decision.

I am praying for all of my friends there and I am believing that God will make a way for us to go in the future. I did not save time in our schedule in 2015 to go since I "knew" I was going in December 2014 but God can work all that out IF I need to go.

When Kelly Jo and I were in Nigeria in November of 2013 we took a suitcase full of school supplies to the Good News Christian School in Abeokuta. Bro. Shobanke's daughters Sis. Ruth and Sis. Rebecca run the school of over 100 children. We have believed in and supported the school before it began and with the help of God's people we are continuing that support.

Pastor Larry Lamb and his church in Sweeney, Texas purchased most of the school supplies we took over last year. We really did not know what they could use so we took a little of everything. I asked them to let us know which things worked the best. They sent me an email several weeks ago with a list of items they could use and we have been planning to fill up a piece of luggage when we return this winter.

Since I have decided not to go I was stumped on how to get it over.

We just found out that Bro. David Eldridge from northern Kentucky is going to Nigeria in September. I called him a few days ago and he has agreed to take an extra suitcase with the much needed school supplies. We have already purchased the supplies and they are waiting in one of our old pieces of luggage. We will gladly pay the extra baggage fee. It is well worth it to deliver these things to directly Sis. Ruth and Sis. Rebecca. Total cost for about 65 pounds of supplies is about $400.

We are also sending an offering for the school, Pastor Shobanke and some others we try to help there. IF any of the folks that regularly help with Nigeria would like to help with some of this just let us know. When we all work together it really does not take that much.

We had a tremendous day on Sunday. Homecoming was great at Dodds and the service at our home church at Dryden Rd. was awesome. The Lord really touched a bunch of folks including our family and I did not touch a microphone the whole service. That is unusual and nice.

Indoor Fellowship Meeting cranks up Tuesday night at Dryden Rd at 7:00. Come see us!


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