Monday, June 27, 2011

15th Anniversary Celebration Part 3: Honoring Nurses

I know, this is unprecedented--three blog posts in one day--but there's so much great news from Faith Alive! In addition to announcing the Faith Alive Institute to address the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals and honoring Super Sally, Dr. Chris enjoyed "Nurses' Week." Activities included:

Monday--the nurses gave free physicals to the staff

Tuesday--the nurses handed out small gifts to the patients (things like soaps and toiletries)

Wednesday--the nurses showed a documentary on nursing and enjoyed songs, dancing, games and prayers with the staff

Thursday--the nurses enjoyed a special program with the staff in conjunction with Faith Alive's 15th anniversary

Friday-- the nurses hosted a guest speaker addressing HIV management

Saturday--the nurses enjoyed a staff picnic

Let's join Dr. Chris, Faith Alive and all of us who have benefited from great nurses to offer prayers of thanksgiving!

(Photo of Dr. Chris with the nurses.)

15th Anniversary Celebration Part 2: Honoring Sally

Bosas (Praise God!) for Sally, Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria’s founding U.S. Coordinator, who recently retired from this position after a decade of faithful service. Read Dr. Chris’s words of thanks and honor:

"Our dear Sally, on behalf of my family, Faith Alive Family in Nigeria and worldwide, we sincerely wish you a happy birthday. As part of the nurse's week at Faith Alive and our 15th Anniversary we celebrated you and your accomplishments. The nurses' week began on Monday and it has been wonderful--Faith Alive has one of the best set of nurses in the world and I am proud of them. The patients had gifts this morning and celebrated with us. This afternoon it will (be with) staff. We now have SALLY BARLOW M&E/SI ROOM , named after you. (Sally Barlow Monitoring & Evaluation/Strategic Information Room). We are very proud of you and your accomplishments. I told the board/EXCO how your computer room was always "fixed" for FAF and how you always fixed things for FAF."

Way to go, Super Sally!

(Photos of her home office, new sign at Faith Alive.)

15th Anniversary Celebration Part 1: Faith Alive Institute

June 23, 2011 marked a special day—15 years since Dr. Christian Isichei optimistically hung a shingle saying “Faith Alive Counseling” outside a four-room apartment in Jos, Nigeria. Now he announces from the three-story Faith Alive Hospital that employs over 150 people and serves over 10,000 patients:

"As part of my sabbatical and things I have worked for, we will be dedicating attached-Faith Alive Institute Millennium Development Goals that has the 8 goals as "departments" and houses an office for myself and wife-two different rooms with a reception. For the first time since establishment of FAF, I now have an office and will commence its use tomorrow. I plan to spend time one-on-one with staff and do a lot with the office."

Those goals, as listed at the United Nations website, are:

1. End poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Create a global partnership for development

I can’t wait to learn more about the institute when I’m (God-willing) in Nigeria later this summer!

(Photos of the sign outside the Institute building in Jos, Nigeria and the UN MDG logo.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Garage Sale Part 2

Thanks to everyone who donated to or shopped at last Saturday's garage sale, we raised...(drumroll here)...$674! That's $174 more than we raised at last year's sale to benefit Faith Alive. Unlike the prior week, the shoppers came out in full force. What a joy to see them arrive in pickup trucks, vans and SUVS, hop out and scour the unpriced treasures. "How much do you want for this?" they asked. I sized them up (sorry, profiling) and responded with a deal they could not refuse. Note to anyone else hosting a garage sale: it's much easier to wheel and deal than spend hours putting on price tags.

To those of you who donated time, items or prayers, Faith Alive's founder and coordinator Dr. Chris says: “You all continue to encourage us over here in Nigeria with all you do in various ways even with lots of burden facing us as a nation that we can together make some difference in the lives of others especially the less privileged. Thank you for being part of Faith Alive family.” Amen.

(For you regular readers, sorry that I'm behind on my spiritual themes. I hope to catch up soon, especially with May's theme about "Fiery Trials.")

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garage Sale Part 1

Wow--last Saturday the sun shone, the neighbors reconnected and the garage sale shoppers...well, they had their pick of dozens of sales in Fort Collins. Great for them, but not so much for us sellers. So, I plan to hold another sale this Saturday from 8am - noon and, like Uncle Sam, I need YOU to shop and donate items. If you have clean items in working order (no clothes or electronics more than two years old, please), you can bring them to my house this Friday between 5-8 pm. (If you need directions, feel free to email me at I'll have a greeting card for the Nigerian Faith Alive family for you to sign and some snacks and beverages for you to enjoy. You'll also get first dibs on the brand-new Waterpik showerheads (great Father's Day gifts, by the way).

If I were a cheerleader (and twenty years younger!), I'd don a green and white uniform (Nigeria's colors) and shout: "Give me an F, give me an A, give me an I, give me a T, give me an H, give me another A, give me an L, give me another I, give me a V, give me an E. What does it spell? FAITH ALIVE!!!!!!!”

Come on, Northern Colorado team, let's do what we can to support our favorite Nigerian hospital and raise even more than we did at last year's garage sale. They're in dire need of some supplemental lifesaving AIDS medications for their increasing number of AIDS' patients.

(Anyone know why Uncle Sam looks so mad? Personally, I respond better to a smile and words of encouragement.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

96 Tolls

I don't know what it is about the month of June, but this is the second one in a row for me to bury a grandmother. My two grandmothers lived well into their 90s and even spent the last few decades of their lives in the same senior living complex. While I will miss both of them, I am confident that they are enjoying heaven after living as Christians.

As I posted last June, I like to compare American traditions with Nigerian ones. I’m told that funeral specifics vary between communities, tribes, cultures, and religions. A lot depends on if the deceased person is an adult, young man, baby, or religious person, and the cause of death. For example, last fall I was in an African village when gunshots erupted. After I dropped to the ground, Dr. Chris reassured me that the shots went into the air as a tribute to the village chief because of his honored position.

While there will not be the sound of gunshots (God-willing!) at my grandmother's funeral, the church bell will toll 96 times (one for each year of her life on this earth).

(Photo is me with my grandmothers a few years ago. The one on the left passed away last week and the one on the right passed away last year.)