Hello! So, please forgive me for not writing for an entire month! I didn’t realize getting online would be such a hassle(jungle net and lack of electricity) and I’ve been really lazy about it, sorry!
After I get caught up it will be easier to keep it up to date so I’ll give ya’ll a run down of the last month…
The flights here were long but everything was smooth. I met new friends all along the way...one guy I met was in a band that had just played in Kansas and he helped make my 5 hr layover in Detroit much more fun. I had a 6 hr layover in Amsterdam so I of course had to see as much as possible. I had no idea what I was doing but with some help of a couple English speakers, I exchanged some money, bought a ticket on the train, got off when I heard the word "Central", and than walked till I found some cool stuff, took pictures and went back just in time for my next flight! At the very end of my flight to Lagos(which i slept the entire way!),I met an American group who had been missionaries to Nigeria. It ended up being a HUGE blessing because the airport was terrifying and chaotic and i was definitely the only white girl around(aka,target!). I’m pretty sure I could not have done without their help!
After 2 days of traveling I made it to the Starlings flat which is in a village about 20 min from a town. It is a full house with the Starlings(Joey, Bev and their sons, Jordon and Chase), Kyrsten(around my age, also here helping with the orphanage for about a month), Ebuka(a Nigerian who works for the Starlings and is like family) and than the orphans are 3 siblings, Chizobah, Mesoma and Afamu(their parents died of AIDS and they were abused by the living relatives.Chizo has AIDS and was very close to death when they first came but with meds is doing good now. Meso is such a sweetheart and Afamu is as cute and ornery as any 5 yr old boy!…I’m in love with these kids!!),Emeka ,who has Epilepsy and possibly Sickle Cell(his brain was also damaged by meningitis when he was younger and was on the verge of death before coming here. He is getting much stronger now though but doesn’t speak any English), his 16 yr old sister, Juliette,who just arrived today to be here with her brother(their parents have both died and no family is willing to care for Emeka with his mental/physical state), and than 3 more siblings who also just arrived today(their mother is dead and father is in prison, apparently with AIDS).The oldest is 7(Chioma) and her brothers are 5(Neso)and 3(Ugo). The youngest and oldest also have HIV. Chioma's immune system is still very strong(thank God) but Ugo's, not so much. However, with meds, they will both do fine. Ifebuche is also staying here until his leg heals from surgery he had.
Transportation for us consists of 2 motorcycles(yes, for all of us!), until God provides a vehicle. We also take “taxis” all the time which are motorcycles called, okadas, or the bus(which is so old, you wouldn’t believe it can still run and they can pack over 20 people into a 12 passenger bus!). The driving here is INSANE, absolutely horrendous. I've spent a lot of time in Mexico and it is absolutely perfect comparitively. I’ve already seen several bad accidents. There really are no rules on the road except that you follow this hierarchy: big trucks first, then bus, regular vehicles, okadas, then pedestrians last.
A day here consists of a lot of cooking(everything takes a long time because you have to prepare and cook EVERYTHING since we don’t have electricity and they don’t have prepared food.) There are no businesses that are even close to being American(that's right...no walmart or mcdonalds). I did see some American cereal in a bigger town about 2 hrs away but it cost about $8 and there is no milk to be had anyways! We have a lot of yam, beans, rice, noodles and veggies and just mix and match and try to be as creative as we can be! If we really are wanting meat, we pick out a live chicken from the market, bring it home on the bus and kill, pluck, clean and cook it(it was divine but needless to say we’ve only done that once!). Washing clothes is a long process too since its all by hand but I don’t mind as long as I do at night and don’t wait too long in between loads! It’s going to stink though since the rainy season is starting.
One ministry that came as a surprise to me is the whole medical aspect. The needs here are never ending and we go a couple times a week to some villages and do what we can to help them. So many problems start out as just very simple things but because they have never been to a clinic,they become life threatening. We also treat some with TB, malaria, worms, bad infections, HIV,cysts, you name it, we’ve probably seen it! One young boy, Ifebuche, had a bad infection in his leg and after treating him for a little while, bev sent him to a hospital where they said if he didn’t have surgery right away he would lose his leg. The doctor gave us a huge price cut since he knew about A Place of Hope but the remainder was still too much for the family. So I actually got to us some of the money that some of you all gave me to help pay for his surgery! You guys had no idea the ways God would use His money, thank you!
Last week a bunch of us hiked to a gorgeous waterfall which is just a couple miles from where the orphanage will be(they are still waiting on money to be able to build). It was so awesome! We ran into some kids there who were catching bats(they are everywhere!) so that they could eat them…I hear that they are quite delicious.
There are so many things I wish I had time to say but I’ll be surprised if you got this far! Let me know if you have questions!
I love it here and God is showing me a lot of things and really breaking my heart for this ministry. Please pray that I seek Him first and that I will show His love by being His hands and feet. Also please pray that the new kids will adjust fast and will come to trust in Christ someday. You could also just be praying that God will bless financially since there are a lot of mouths to feed along with buying medicine and so many other things. God has and will continue to provide for every need though.
I love and miss you all and I will try to do better at this blogging thing!!