Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And Now It's Now

Ah, I can now put a few more thoughts together. It is quite a joy to take in everything—familiar smiling faces, the taste of Baba’s steaming meat sauce dish and the sound of Christians singing praises to God with an irregular clapping beat. How can it be that so much is the same while other things have changed? It is only growth I see as the children grew taller, the clinic expanded and new staff replaced some outgoing ones.

Because my brain is not thinking thematically right now, I will do what I used to do when our kids were young; we told about our days chronologically and always ended with, “And now it’s now.” After a filling breakfast of oatmeal with sugar and toast with peanut butter, I walked down the mostly disintegrating dirt road to the clinic. Along the way, I stopped to give neighbors snaps (photos) that I’d taken of them two years ago. We are not supposed to pass out candies or gifts or anything, but I like to give them photos so they know that I remember them, that they are important. Bridget the beancake-maker, a group of shoeless children near the Faith Alive Rec Center, and a liquor store man’s children squealed with delight to see their images from two years past.

Once at the clinic, Pastor Ben led a powerful morning devotion based on this month’s spiritual theme: Keep Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Everyone in the room kept their eyes upon Pastor Ben as he gave example after example of many distractions. I took notes because I will lead the devotion on Thursday; it will be a new set of patients so I can repeat many of his talking points (although not with his level of passionate engagement). I then went to Pastor Esther’s discipleship class and listened as she taught twenty young women, students of sewing and knitting, about the power of forgiveness.

When the girls went to their skills-acquisition classes, Pastor Esther and I talked about her wedding here on August 27. I knew that I would be a “Big Aunty,” but still do not quite know what that entails except that her friend took my measurements and will sew me a fancy green skirt, gold top and huge hat with “the family fabric” (versus the “friends fabric”). Wow1 I cannot wait to share in her wedding and show off many snaps.

Speaking of snaps, I hope to post some soon. It can take up to 20 minutes to post just one, and then only if the power does not “off” during that time. You see, I am already back to speaking like Nigerians, with off the light, on the gen (generator), not using many contractions and rearranging some words in my sentences. Soon I may be posting in Hausa, the local tribal language!

Many of you might be wondering if I have seen little Chris. Well, I saved the best for last on this post. At first he was shy, but then warmed up to the Shrek toys and now does not want to leave my side. He “helped” me unpack my luggage yesterday, carefully placing each item in my dresser and asking, “What is this? What is that?” We opened my umbrella (it is the rainy season here); he turned it on its side and started to twirl it and sing “round and round and round it goes…” which I think is probably a song he has heard Barney sing. Priceless. And what a beautiful scar on his chest, a visible reminder of God’s faithfulness.

Ah, I am tired. There is SO much more to say, but this is already a much longer post than most people’s attention span for blogs. Please know that I am safe and sound and appreciate your continued prayers for myself and for the entire Faith Alive family. And now it’s now.


  1. Thanks Erika. I loved hearing about your day

  2. Sannu Erika. Your post brings back such vivid memories.