Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Potpouri (Did I spell that right?)

Hi Everyone,
It's time once again for "a little bit of this and a little bit of that." It's always fun to see random pictures that were taken with no real purpose in mind but to just let you see a bit more about our life here in Jos.
The picture to the left is of our B2B property where we hope to one day soon begin building a dormitory and meeting/eating facility, as well as staff housing, so we can all be together in one location. This property was donated by a Christian Nigerian who now lives in the United States.

The next two pictures are of MOLD/fungus that is EVERYWHERE during the raining season. The shoes belong to Crist and they were BROWN Hushpuppies shoes (once the color of the shoelaces). The shoes were stored on the floor underneath where we hang our clothes. We've had mold on most leather items - but you can pretty much just wipe it clean and you're good to go - but these shoes - ugh! I'm sorry - they got pitched! Crist said they were really comfortable shoes too. grin The green fungus in the other picture is on all the outside walls and even on some of the inside walls (only the color is different inside). Once the dry season begins, it will dry up and turn black. If we scrape it too closely to remove it, then you lose all your paint.

I thought you were due an update on how the Education Center was coming along. It's looking more and more like a building and the work team coming this weekend will be working on it next week. Theresa is very excited to begin teaching/tutoring the children there upon its completion.
Will and Theresa just arrived from the U.S. two weeks ago and they're full time staff now with B2B. Theresa is a teacher and Will will be working in the village and captaining one of the children's homes. Having two more enthusiastic hands and hearts working here is such an encouragement.

So, this last picture is of Will and Theresa having dinner with us last night. We played cards afterwards which was fun.
Just for your information, Crist's 64th birthday is this coming Saturday (Happy Birthday Randy Thornton too - they share the same birthday!).
Eileen and Crist

Friday, September 24, 2010

"And On the Seventh Day He Rested"

Hi Everyone,

When a work team comes, there is alot of ministry and physical work that gets done, but interspersed with the week are a few "fun" activities. We try to have a "Celebration Night" toward the end of the week and have Nigerian dancers with Nigerian music. It's extra special when it can be outdoors, but this night we had to have it inside (so don't be distracted by the rugs and furniture). I love African music with the bongo drums and fast tempo and the
dancers were energetic, alot of fun and very expressive. They had to be good in gymnastics to do what they were doing. John and his brother, Todd, tried to duplicate - but it just wasn't the same (grin). The staff each brought a different pot of soup to the celebration and it was just a really fun and special evening.

The team also had a chance to go on a "safari". Crist went, but I opted to stay behind. Crist said they SAW lions prints - but no lions or elephants. But there were alot of hippos, warthogs, deer, baboons (that walk right up to you wanting food), birds, rhinos. They rode, while on the safari, in an open jeep kind of vehicle. There was lots of picture taking and a tired group as they returned back that evening.

Many shared when they returned how beautiful the scenery was on the way North. Crist said it reminded him alot of the Kentucky landscape he had when he grew up. And the sun was shining all day - a "must" for a safari!!
Well, we'll be back in a couple of days, sharing our story/our adventure of our time here in Nigeria.
Eileen and Crist

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Team Adventures!

Hi Everyone,

This is the second of three blogs on some of things our last work team did while they were here. There is never an ending to the work that can be done, so the leadership pick ministry work sites where the need is more immediate and where a team can best serve together.

Did you see Crist up on that ladder at RCH? The men were mostly up in the attic area stringing electrical wires that some of us women (see picture above) were putting together according to length. That's Jason the Director of B2B Nigeria helping us out. We were only there for two or three hours but we felt alot was accomplished. RCH was established by the Nigerian man, Israel and his German wife, Katerina (remember me telling you before a little about them?). They are working totally on faith for God's provision in every step of the construction process of their Children's Home. We're glad God is able to use B2B in helping them.

As we were working outside with the wires, I went inside to get a tool and look and see what I encountered. A goat!!! How many American work sites do you know of that goats wander in and out and their leisure? You never know what to expect here in Nigeria.

One morning while the team was here - we, of course, took everyone to "the rocks" so they could climb and just enjoy the view from the top. Yep! You guessed it - I stayed behind to pray and watch - grin. As I was sitting there, little Mary came with her baby brother on her back and she was heading for the rocks to climb with the others. I called out to her and asked her to come stay with me. Her little brother was very loosely wrapped on her back and she had flip flops on her feet and it just didn't look like a healthy situation to me. So she stayed with me and I took some pictures of her and her friend. Children LOVE to have their pictures taken, don't they? Corrie informed me afterwards that Mary and her little brother have climbed the rocks many times before - yikes!

It's been nice this week to kind of "catch up" once again and stock up on groceries, do some computer work etc. This afternoon I'll be going with Corrie to go to OLA and love on those babies and children there. There's nice rythem to the days as we prepare for the next team to come next week.
Proverbs 10:4 says, "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." I guess we're wealthy people - yahoo!!!
Eileen and Crist

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some Things Accomplished With the Team

Hi Everyone,

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." Eccle. 4:9-10

All last week we had a work team from the states for 7 days and we all were busy doing ministry here and there. These next two or three blogs will show some of the things that were accomplished when they were here. One of the things we did was we all went to the village doctor "bearing gifts" and prayed for each of the patients. There were nine patients and we brought each patient a live chicken, some oil and a bag of rice. Each patient's family usually stays with him/her and does their cooking etc., and usually finances are very low for the village patients, so even this small gift of food was greatly appreciated and received. The picture above right is of a man with a broken leg and that is his wife. They never had their picture taken before, so Crist is going to get a 3x5 picture for each of the patients of the pictures that were taken.
The two men in the picture (above left) are a father and son. The father two days before had been admitted because of an achoba accident and he had a broken leg and the next day his almost adult son was coming to visit his father, when the achoba he was on also had an accident and he broke his leg so he was admitted into the same room with his dad. I wish the wife/mother was in the picture. This family was Christian and she was just praising the Lord that her husband and son were both going to be okay. I went to give this woman a big hug and she just clung to me and the two of us just stood there hugging, feeling God's presence in a mighty way. It was a special moment for me.

The team broke into groups of two and went into the rooms, giving the gift of food and then praying for each patient. Within a minute or so of our arrival at the compound, probably twenty or so children of all ages were there - so we took pictures with the children and played with them for a while before leaving. The man to the left has been there for almost a month and two or so weeks ago, he asked Crist if there was any way we could get him reading glasses. He loves to read his Bible and other books, but his eyesight was poor. I remembered that I had brought with me a pair of reading glasses from Wal-Mart with a fairly strong lens and I wasn't using them so we brought them a week or so ago for him. When we arrived last week, he had the glasses on and he was reading and he had the biggest smile on his face. How gracious of the Lord to remind us of those glasses. It was a wonderful afternoon and I think the entire team was blessed by their time with the patients. For some, it was out of their comfort zone, to be sure - but the joy they received will only strengthen their walks of faith.

One other day, we went to Gidan Bege, which is a ministry that helps widows by teaching them to sew. People can go there and pick out fabric and have a garment made or buy items that are already made (pot holders, purses, table runners, etc.). Several in the team were measured and had outfits made which were picked up four days later. We like to support this ministry and be an encouragement to the women. The very first picture up above shows four women, but in fact, there are probably 20 sewing machines and women working there each day. It's a fun place to visit as the women are talking and laughing together as they work.
Next time I'll share some more of what we did last week.
Eileen and Crist

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Busy Week

Hi Everyone,
Well, last Friday a work team of five people arrived and everyone hit the road running. From sun-up to sun-down, we kept them and ourselves busy. Over the next few blogs, we'll show you some of the projects we were apart of. To the right is the Executive Director of B2B (John's identical twin brother, Todd) and it was fun to see people's reactions seeing the two brothers together.

One day we went to the OCC (Oasis Community Center) where an Education Center is in the process of being built. And I'll have you know that yes - one of those people in the picture aboved is ME (Eileen) laying plastic water pipes from the water tower near the Ed. Center to the water tower downhill where the block makers are making blocks. This particular day it was sunny and warm, so I worked up a nice sweat.

The picture to the left, is the roof going on to the duplex at the ministry center. Today Crist, will be going with the driver to take the team back to Abuja so they can catch their flights tonight, and planned perfectly, will be Will and Theresa who arrive from the U.S. They are the newest full-time staff for our team here in Nigeria and they will be living in one of the apartments being built (the apt. to the right).

These last two pictures show what happens to you as a work team member (only kidding). That's Andy's (a workteam member)backside sticking out of the water tower before it was put into position. He actually was doing some crucial work inside the cylinder but it sure makes for a good picture, huh? And here's the water tower in its completion. Another step finished toward seeing the Education Center up and ready.
We have a two week break and then on Oct. 1st another work team of ten members will be arriving. Whew! Crist and I are feeling our age. grin.
Chat with you soon!
Eileen and Crist

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Eyes Tell It All!

Hi Everyone,
We have a team this week, so this is the perfect time (since I don't have alot of time to write much on this blog) to introduce you to the little and "big" kids at OLA. Each one is precious to God and precious to B2B and precious to me!
You've met Abigail before - she's 38, spends most of her life in a wheelchair and has been at OLA since she was ten years old - everyone knows this lady and loves her!

The young lady below is Esther and we think she's around 18 and just graduated from one level and will be we think in the 9th grade this year. She has sickle cell anemia so has missed alot of school in the past so that is why she is in a lesser grade. Next is Okechee. He's about four months old and is the sweetest baby - always smiling and gurgling. Claire is next. Her picture is below Okechee's to the right. I feel sad when I share about Claire. She is deaf and blind but when someone holds her for a while, she will stop making noises and her body begins to relax. Most of the time she is in a fetal position and her body is very rigid. I'm so thankful she is in the palms of the Savior's hands. I pray she can feel His love and ours.

Then comes this handsome fellow, Daniel. He is such a wonderful help to the caregivers at OLA. He is always getting clean clothes or a toy or whatever is asked of him for the younger kids. And boy oh boy does he ever have an impish smile. I love it!

Joe is to the left and he and Daniel are buddies. I always wonder why someone doesn't come and adopt them. They're great little boys!
Probably the child that most captures my heart is Little Mary (since there are two Mary's - we call one "Big" Mary (she is the larger of the two babies) and "Little" Mary. She and Big Mary are about the same age but this one is very petite and more developmentally behind. But she is the sweetest little girl.
Kenny is the little guy below. He is about 2 1/2 and has one leg that is not fully developed so he has to crawl everywhere. He's a cutie but really likes to have his own way and when he doesn't get it - man oh man - can he ever through a temper tantrum!

And, last but not least, is "Big" Mary. She just started walking (we think she's about 14 months old) and a few months ago she was afraid of all of us, but now she's used to us and is sooo animated! We just heard that she might be the next to be adopted. That's so exciting.
There's one more baby, Lucky. I had him on the blog, but by mistake, erased him (sorry Lucky) and can't put him back in so I'll just describe him. Lucky is two months old and is the newest baby to be left at the OLA hospital. He's still at the sleeping most of the time stage - but he's as beautiful as all the others.
"The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is bad, your whole body is also full of darkness." Luke 11:34
These eyes above are eyes of good. Thank you Lord for each child!
Eileen and Crist

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Expanding our Territory

Hi Everyone,
Last week, Crist and I went with Jason (B2B Nigeria Director) and John to see the Rukuba Children's Home that is in the process of being constructed. This is such a wonderful story of a Nigerian man, Israel, married to a German woman (they have a little girl) who have a dream from the Lord of establishing a childrens' home very near to the village we minister at. Through funds and grants they have begun their building (picture above). We will be bringing our work team (they come on Thursday) there next week and we will be doing electrical work and clean-up work. Israel is the man standing in the picture above between Jason and John. The below/left picture is of the future living area of the building above. There will be childrens' bedrooms off to the left and right of this room. The work team will help clear this room of all the bricks, wood, nails etc. that are laying around.

The little huts to the right are two "guest" rooms (no windows) where family and friends who visit can stay. They really are very comfortable looking when you go inside.

This little hut shown below is the cooking hut that Israel and his wife, Katerina, use for their personal cooking. They live hundred yards from the building site in a modest home they have built. They help with the schooling for about eight children in the surrounding area. They don't know yet who the children will be that will come to their Childrens' Home, but they know God will bring them if they are faithful to complete what He has put on their heart to this point.
We're excited about this new partnership; new opportunities to serve and to be a help to another ministry - to go "back2back" with them to what God has laid on their hearts.
"For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: the righteous will live by faith."" Romans 1:17

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Be Prepared In Season and Out of Season....."

Hi Everyone,

Next week, our first work team (since we've been here) will be arriving. It is a team of five people and we as the B2B staff need to be prepared to not only lead them in work projects but to be prepared for any emergencies that might arise.

So, on Tuesday morning, all of us met at the Ministry Center and took some first aid training. That's our daughter, Corrie, and her husband, John to the left, doing the Heimlich Maneuver. We also learned your basic CPR and practiced on our very willing pillows. Not one pillow died!

A couple of weeks ago, everyone on the team was given their "assignments" in preparation for the team's arrival and one thing that Crist and I had to do was to prepare six First Aid Kits. The kit that goes out with the team each day is the large container in the picture. It actually has a defibilator (not sure I spelled that right) in it. There are no ambulances and no 911 to call here so we need to be ready for anything that might happen. I'm just thankful that God oversees it all - He's our biggest source of preparedness! I know we're all excited about next week and I think we're ready.


Eileen and Crist

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Hi Everyone,
Yes, being on staff with B2B means we do ministry (but you do too, right?), and we come alongside our new Nigerian friends and help where the Lord directs (but you do too, with your friends, right?) - I guess the big difference between you and us is that we're living in Africa. In between our ministry times, we lead ordinary lives, doing ordinary, everyday things (just in a different way - grin).
The picture above is the bakery that we like to go to. There are MANY bakeries here in Jos. This is where you buy your bread and rolls. We were told, this is Nigeria's "fast food". At the bakery, you can buy an already prepared sandwich (something with onions, some minced beef and spices). This particular bakery, The Ostrich Bakery, is on our way home from church and we usually stop in and get the BEST rolls. There are five to a package and we'll rush home and have an egg salad sandwich on these fresh, yeasty rolls - wonderful (it satisfies us mentally - you know what I mean?). This bakery is also owned by a Chinese family - go figure.

The picture of the Mini-Mart below is one of the three or four grocery stores we shop at. It is actually called Mini-Tamerash. The big Tamerash is in downtown Jos. They are both owned by a Christian Lebanese family. There are MANY wealthy Lebanese in Jos and they own alot of the restaurants and stable businesses. At Mini-Tamerash, there are only a few of each item, but surprisingly, alot of what we need each week, we can get there and we don't have to fight (I mean that almost literally) all the traffic of downtown Jos.

Now, the picture of the cows is ON THE LITTLE ROAD WE LIVE ON! We were coming home after shopping and we literally had to stop the car because there were close to 100 cows walking briskly down our street. When was the last time you saw this on your street - grin? And then at the end of the line, were two young Falani boys with sticks urging the cows on. Amazing.
I think I did this blog to show you that we do ordinary things, like you and no matter where you live, God still wants the same from both of us - to abide in Him. John 15:4 says, "Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me." In ministry, in ordinary life situations, whether in the U.S. or in Nigeria - we are still to "Abide in Him." He will be our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, and our Strength. Be blessed today in whatever you are doing and we pray that you will "abide in Him."
Eileen and Crist