Saturday, December 15, 2012

Faith Alive Book Update

Many of you are asking if the book is available to give as Christmas gifts this year. The bad news is that it isn’t; the good news is that it will be available for all gift-giving occasions in 2013 (birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Christmas, etc.).

If you know me well, you know that I have high standards for projects I’m involved with. This book is no exception. The publisher is still working to get the blue color on the cover to print the same color that I see on my computer screen and to make a few grammatical corrections. Fortunately the book has a 2013 copyright date.

If you want to give a gift this Christmas about Faith Alive, please consider buying another great book (Women, HIV, and the Church: In Search of Refuge edited by Dr. Arthur Ammann). It’s a beautiful book with one chapter, taken from the Faith Alive book, about our favorite HIV-positive pastor (renamed Pastor Rebecca in Dr. Art’s book).  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Congratulations, Graduates

Congratulations to the newest graduates of Faith Alive’s skills-acquisition school. Sewing, knitting, and computer students received hard-earned certificates. They celebrated by dancing with Dr. Chris Isichei and enjoying minerals (sodas). Bosas all around!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Shopping Benefits Faith Alive Hospital

Give a gift that does double—and even triple—duty. That’s right. Gorgeous Nigerian necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and ornaments will be for sale tomorrow (December 1) from 9 am – 5 pm at the Northern Colorado Writers’ Holiday Market (2107 Thunderstone Court, Fort Collins, Colorado).  NCW gets 20%, Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria gets 80%, and the person you’re shopping for gets the gifts. Plus, you’ll enjoy hot drinks if you shop in the morning, or wine, cheese, and chocolate if you shop from 4-5 p.m.

Not available tomorrow? Shop Sunday, December 16 at Gifts for a Cause (First Presbyterian Church, 531 S. College Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado). Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria receives 100% of the profits from items at the Faith Alive booth. I can’t match NCW’s food and drink offerings, but can guarantee smiles and great fellowship.

If you’re in northern Colorado, I hope to see you at one of the two fun shopping events!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Women, HIV, and the Church

I can’t wait to read this new book: “Women, HIV, and the Church: In Search of Refuge.” A lot of people contributed chapters, including Rev. Dr. Mark Labberton of Fuller Theological Seminary, Dr. Arthur Ammann of Global Strategies for HIV Prevention, and….me. What an honor.

Rev. Rick Warren’s wife, Kay, wrote a glowing endorsement of this book. She’s a major advocate for getting churches involved in the fight against AIDS. Her website says, “HIV&AIDS is still the greatest humanitarian crisis of all time. In the middle of this tragedy, Christians have the opportunity to make the love of our Savior real to anyone infected or affected by HIV&AIDS."

The book is available at numerous websites, but I only found the “Look Inside” bonus on Amazon. Click on the book title above to take a peek (and order a few copies for yourselves and your church leadership).

Dr. Art and I are talking about doing a book tour together sometime next year to promote both of our books. Stay tuned…


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bosas to Bill Blattner!

What’s a social entrepreneur? You can either click here for an official definition or just look at Dr. Bill Blattner. We congratulate one of Faith Alive hospital’s biggest fans for his recent “Entrepreneur of theYear" award. Along with his coworker Dr. Robert Redfield, they “have demonstrated impressive entrepreneurial capacity, creativity, and energy as pioneering experts in providing antiretroviral therapy to millions of patients and training thousands of health care providers in nine countries.”

If you’re wondering what a bosa is, it’s a Nigerian bravo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Regardless of whether you're voting for Obama, Romney, or one of the other presidential candidates I've never heard of, I urge you to consider Jesus Christ as your ultimate leader. He has your best interest at heart and will never lead in the wrong direction. He also won't bombard you with negative ads, interrupt your life with pre-recorded telephone messages, or be limited by two terms.

Here's to forever following the greatest leader of all time.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dr. Mercy's Mother Graduates to Glory

Our condolences go out to Dr. Mercy Isichei's mother who passed away earlier this month. I saw her last year during my visit to Nigeria; she had been staying with the Isicheis because of her ill health. Family and friends mourned her death and celebrated her life last week both in Jos and Maiduguri. Please join me in prayers for the Isicheis. Feel free to post a comment for their family on this blog.

(Dr. Mercy is married to Dr. Christian Isichei, Founder and Coordinator of Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria. This photo of Mercy's beautiful mother was taken in the early 2000s.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hippo in the House

This post’s headline might be funny in theory but it's dreadful in reality. Major flooding in parts of Nigeria has wreaked havoc for hundreds of thousands of people, especially for those whose shanty housing is submerged in water. Overrun rivers pushed snakes, crocodiles and hippopotamuses into homes. One man, whose dwelling now hosts a hippo, told a BBC reporter, “I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home.”

We thank God that the Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria is high and dry. Many of its patients, however, are not so fortunate. Please pray for their survival and return to dry homes with only the animals of their choosing.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Preaching in Pennsylvania

I used to recite this quote as an excuse to not talk about how God is alive and working in my life and the world. But since I’ve been involved with the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria, I can’t NOT talk about God. I’ve seen firsthand, on a regular basis, how He is faithful and active—at Faith Alive and in my own life.

Next Sunday, I have the honor of preaching at Hill United Presbyterian Church in Butler, Pennsylvania. The sermon title? You guessed it: “Faith Alive.” I plan to ask the congregation who their modern-day faith heroes are and if anyone would consider them to be a faith hero. One of mine is Dr. Christian Isichei, Founder and Coordinator of Faith Alive hospital. I’ll share some inspiring responses he's had to a few life-threatening experiences that I wrote about in the book FaithAlive: Stories of Hope and Healing from an African Doctor and His Hospital (available in print and online later this year).  

Please pray that God guides my sermon preparation and opens the congregation’s minds and hearts to hear and respond as He wants. To God be the glory as each Christian preaches the Gospel--with actions AND words. 

Monday, September 3, 2012


Just when I think I know all about Dr. Chris Isichei from the Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria, I learn something new. Check out this article by visitor Mark Ellis to read about Dr. Chris's last year in high school. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Future Arsenal Players?

Congratulations to Faith Alive's U-13 soccer team for winning second place in a Plateau State tournament. Can you recognize the boy standing in the front middle of the photo? He looks like a combination of his mommy and daddy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spiritual Theme: Wait for the Harvest

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. (James 5:7 NIV)

Who likes to wait? Nobody that I know, and definitely not me. We’re spoiled by this lightning-paced, technological age. If something doesn’t happen right away, it’s easy to get disappointed, or worse, to despair that it will never happen.

Pastor Ben at Faith Alive in Jos, Nigeria reminds us that God doesn’t follow our calendars. We know from the Bible that there is a time for everything. In HIS time, God made everything beautiful, and in HIS time, He sent his son to die for our salvation. How quickly we forget.

How long should we wait? Until we get what God promises us in the Bible. Abraham and Sarah waited for their promised son and they got him. Simon waited for the promised Messiah in the temple and saw him.

While we’re waiting, it’s good to beware of trials and temptations. Like Ishmael, it’s best not to manipulate things before their time. Sarah pressured Abraham to have Ishmael and the result was sorrow and pain. 

“Many people,” Pastor Ben says, “because of lack of patience to wait have made a shipwreck of their faiths. They decide to take shortcuts and jump through the windows as they lack patience to cue through the main door.”

Instead, he encourages us to look for God’s blessings during the waiting period. We can come to know God better, deepen our maturity, and prepare far greater testimonies when God does provide the harvest.

Pastor Ben ends by saying, “He who made the promise is faithful. It is never too late for God. His delay does not mean denial, so wait a little bit more. Do not give up; hold to your confession and confidence in Christ.”

In other words, live as people who believe in God's faithfulness. .

(I recommend the book pictured above for anyone who's in a prolonged period of waiting.)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Water, Driving and Catering

What do a borehole (for running water at the rec center), a driving school, and a catering school have in common? All three were new at Faith Alive last month; staff offered prayers and raised minerals (soda pop) during the dedications.

Enjoy the photos, courtesy of Pastor Ben!

Monday, July 30, 2012

International Coordinator

With Olympic athletes competing for gold in London and activists gathered in Washington, D.C. last week for the International AIDS Conference, I’m thinking globally. It’s a good thing, too, as I live into my new title with Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria: International Coordinator.

I’ve been FAF-N’s U.S. Coordinator for more than a year, a role I gladly inherited from Sally Barlow, one of Faith Alive’s first and most committed supporters. She is now the President of Faith Alive USA, Inc., a 501c3 with Russ McCahan as Vice-President and Executive Director. His role is networking with people around the U.S. to build support for FA USA, Inc. that supports approved projects at Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria. He’s also now doing some of the things that my position used to do, like arrange Dr. Chris’s travel in the U.S.

To alleviate confusion between Faith Alive USA, Inc. and my role as someone who reports directly to Dr. Christian O. Isichei, he changed my title to more accurately reflect what I do. My most clearly defined role is coordinating visitors and medical supplies from around the world to visit the Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Like most jobs, however, the “…and other duties” takes most of my time and effort.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Petition WHO for HIV Treatment

This post's title isn't a question. Instead, it's a reference to the World Health Organization. Dr. Art Ammann, President of Global Strategies for HIV Prevention and extended Faith Alive family member, urges all of us to speak up for people around the world who are HIV+. Simply click on if you agree with this statement:

"I want WHO treatment guidelines updated now so that all HIV infected women, men and children can be treated, regardless of CD4 count or clinical status, as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in April, 2012. HIV infected people in poor countries are deserving of the best recommended treatment. It may cost more now, but it will cost a lot less later. Millions of HIV infections will be prevented, millions of HIV-infected individuals will not progress to AIDS, and millions of children will not become orphans."

Dr. Art says, "We need your help with an issue of justice and equity. In April the US Department of Health and Human Services revised their HIV treatment guidelines to state that all HIV-infected individuals should be treated. This will benefit hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US but for millions of people in resource poor countries it won't help unless the World Health Organization (WHO) changes their guidelines too. They have not done so for over two years and have no plans to update their guidelines for another year. WHO guidelines restrict treatment to individuals who have more advanced HIV infection. This makes no sense and it means that millions of poor and disadvantaged HIV-infected individuals including women, pregnant women and children will go untreated, advance to AIDS and have HIV infected babies. The epidemic of HIV infection in children and the associated HIV orphan epidemic affecting millions of children could end if all HIV-infected women were treated with antiretroviral drugs."

Let's make a statement NOW during the International AIDS Conference this week in Washington DC.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; 
come before him with joyful songs.
                                            Psalm 100:1&2 

What a pleasure to share worship with Dr. Chris yesterday at my home church in Fort Collins, Colorado. He preached at two services in the morning about life's ups and downs, weaving some of his life's experiences with the biblical Joseph's, and reminding us that God is always with us.

In the evening, he joined over 100 people from the community to sing and dance (well, only a few of us were dancing--the rest must not have been comfortable jumping up and dancing African-style to the beat of Daniel Bushrah Sesay's band!). Thinking back, I probably looked ridiculous, but I couldn't stop myself. I just had to share in Dr. Chris's joy! 

Two amazing, local young women (Ingrid and Steph) talked about recently meeting, accepting and loving the brothel women in Jos, Nigeria. Dr. Chris followed Steph's powerful testimony with his own confession of passing by these women as if they were invisible. God opened his eyes and today he sees them for who they are--beautifully created in God's image.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the evening so meaningful. Sure, there were a few sound glitches and we didn't follow the schedule exactly. We'll say that's because we wanted you to experience a little of Nigeria. A go-with-the-flow, electric worship. 

All in all, we praise God for a wonderful Nigeria-in-Colorado day! 

(Top photo with Pastors Rich McDermott and Cindy Frost. Middle photo with Dhari Dull. Bottom photo of Daniel Bushrah Sesay and band members.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Article in Today's Coloradoan newspaper

Fort Collins church buys Nigerian brothel to build hospital, rebuild lives

Buying an African brothel was not part of a local church’s strategic plans. But the opportunity arose earlier this year, and now more than two dozen commercial sex workers have support to change their lives.

Rich McDermott, senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins, visited the Faith Alive clinic in Jos, Nigeria, five years ago. Since then, more than 30 others from his church and Fort Collins also have traveled to Jos.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think that one day our church would help buy a brothel there, but our Nigerian partner helps us think outside the box,” McDermott said.

Dr. Christian Isichei, Faith Alive AIDS Clinic founder and coordinator, wanted property to build a teaching hospital and dormitory. When he learned that the brothel was for sale, he asked his international partners for help.

Before Isichei can renovate the building, his staff is mentoring the 19 young women who live and work in the brothel as well as women who live in villages with their children and rent space at the brothel.

“It is a terrible fact here in Nigeria that women, even some university students, think that prostitution is their only option to make ends meet,” Isichei said.

“Buying the property proves to me how negligent I have been to some neighbors,” Isichei said. “No one cared for these women, including myself, but it took God to draw our attention to these people also created in his image like you and me.”

Isichei’s staff is taking six months to build trusting relationships with the women who have until this December to find other income.

Faith Alive is offering them various jobs at the hospital, as well as free access to the clinic’s sewing, knitting,  computer, catering and other income-generating classes.

“We encourage the women to access all of our free medical and social services that include testing and treatment for HIV,” Isichei said. ”We hope that some may even choose to enter the healthcare profession.”

So far two women have expressed interest in different careers. The lure of instant cash in large sums on a daily basis may be too strong in a country where most people survive on less than $2 a day.

Isichei said, “Some day, when the teaching hospital is complete, it will testify that anything, and anybody, is worth redeeming.”

As for the church, McDermott said, “Dr. Chris is one of the most courageous and inspiring people I’ve met. He does very much remind me of Mother Teresa whom I met about 25 years ago. His vision is much bigger than most people’s and it really challenges and attracts many people.”

Want to help?

Dr. Christian Isichei, founder and coordinator of the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria, will speak about buying the brothel, from 7 to 8 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, 531 S. College Ave. Before his presentation, participants are welcome to enjoy a free dinner as well as music provided by Daniel Bushrah Sesay and his African band. For more information, visit or call (970) 229-0936.

Click here to see the article in The Coloradoan.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spiritual Theme: Blessedness of Giving

An article in The New York Times yesterday cited scientific evidence that reveals the emotional benefits of giving. While the authors talk about monetary generosity, Pastor Ben at Faith Alive in Jos, Nigeria emphasizes in a recent monthly theme the spiritual benefits of giving tangible and intangible things. He cites Acts 20:35 as a reminder that Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” and John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

We know that giving to others, especially those in need, is a good thing. But how often do we intentionally give to attract blessings for ourselves? Isn’t that a bit selfish? Pastor Ben doesn’t think so, and encourages us consider these four factors: 

Factor 1: WHAT we give matters. “What a man sows is what he shall reap.” (Galatians 6:7) Some givers attract curses and others attract blessings. Pastor Ben says, “You don’t gather grape from mango tree.” What you want more of, give the same, whether it’s love, respect, time, money, encouragement, etc.

Factor 2: Our MOTIVE matters.  2Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Factor 3: The QUALITY of our gift matters. In Malachi 1:8-9, God rebuked a priest for offering a blind and crippled animal, a castoff that the priest probably didn’t want for himself. Consider the quality of materials that Solomon used to build the temple.

Factor 4: The QUANTITY of our gift matters. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Think of the widow in Mark 12:43 & 44 who gave a few coins. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

If you practice this radical generosity, Pastor Ben says, “You will be amazed at the blessings that follow. Try it today and you will call me to testify.”

Let’s take the challenge. I’ll gladly give you his phone number.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dr. Chris in Fort Collins for Benefit Event

What did God have planned for an African boy born in 1958, the 11th and last child of a polygamous, carpenter father and his senior wife who lived in extreme poverty? Plenty, if you know Dr. Christian Isichei, Founder and Coordinator of the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Whether Dr. Chris preaches on
July 15 at First Presbyterian Church (531 S. College Avenue in Fort Collins) about losing four siblings, going to university on the 1-1 plan (1 meal once a day), using his name to protect him during a deadly crisis, or being called “Mr. 9 pm,” his stories will inspire and give you a hopeful
perspective about your own life and problems.

As a university student, he read an article about what one Christian doctor can do for the poor. He saved the article and looked at it again after he returned from his first visit to the U.S. where he saw healthcare in the developed world—a striking contrast to his home country. Armed in 1996 with medical training, a desire to share Jesus Christ with a hurting world, $333, and a vision to start a holistic healthcare center, he hung a shingle outside a small office building in Jos. He prayed, waited and trusted God. Someone came. More people came. Soon thousands arrived, many with HIV. Today he runs a three-story hospital offering medicine, surgery, social services and skills-training, among other things—all at no cost to the patients.

Come hear Dr. Christian Isichei preach on Sunday, July 15 as he shares the story of God’s faithfulness in his life…and his vision for the next chapter. Then come back to First Presbyterian Church that evening at 6 p.m. for an inspiring evening of good food, fellowship, music, personal stories, and of course, the main event—Dr. Chris talking about God’s faithfulness at the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria

We are pleased to have authentic African music by Daniel Bushrah Sesay, too! We’re doing this event “African-style”—just show up that evening with your friends and family and expect God to meet us. For more information or to help volunteer for this event, contact me at 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Cover Finalized

How do you adequately capture the essence of the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria? Designer (and Faith Alive family member) Chris Harper and I faced that challenge last week. We needed a top-quality book cover design that glorified God, honored Faith Alive and inspired people to read the inspiring true stories about Dr. Chris Isichei and some of the many people whose lives he has touched. Chris Harper (aka "white Jesus") and I exchanged many emails and phone calls before deciding on the cover that you see above. Well done, Chris!

Watch for the book to be released in print and ebook format, God-willing, on December 1, 2012--World AIDS Day--and just in time for Christmas gifts that make a difference. 100% of the profit from book sales will go to Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria.. I'm working on a way to take pre-orders and will let you know when that's up and running.

Chris Harper is available for hire (and highly recommended!) for production, editing and design.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Soccer and Bombs

Soccer and bombs should not go together, but one has unfortunately affected the other. Faith Alive leads a  youth soccer team for guys to provide exercise, experience at tournaments, and education about HIV prevention. This month, the team competed in a tournament and did well (I think one tie and two wins).  

All was well until a suicide bomber targeted a local church attended by the team coach's family. His parents and other family members were badly injured and one remains in the hospital. If the coach had not been at the tournament, he would likely also be a hospital patient, or worse.

Please keep the coach's family, the team, and all of Jos in your prayers for healing and peace. May God grant victory against the enemy's competition for Nigeria.

(Photo by Frank Lozano of Faith Alive's soccer team a few years ago with another coach.) 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Double Destruction

The air reeked of smoke near both my Colorado and Nigerian homes yesterday. Continued attacks on Christian churches in Jos, Nigeria have become an unfortunate reality. The latest suicide bomber drove past security checkpoints before taking and injuring innocent worshippers. I haven’t heard if anyone from the Faith Alive Hospital was directly affected. Ah, the destruction caused by people.

It’s also becoming a scary reality to look west of Fort Collins, Colorado and see a plume of dark orange and brown smoke drifting away from the High Park fire. I can’t complain about sweeping ash off my back deck because thousands of people in the foothills have been forced to evacuate their property as many homes and structures in the fire’s path burn to the ground. Ah, the destruction caused by nature.

Please keep both places and people in your prayers.

On another note, thanks to everyone who donated to or purchased items from Saturday’s annual Faith Alive garage sale.

(Top photo of Jos, Nigeria. Bottom photo, the High Park fire, taken from my house.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday's Treasure

Twas the day before the sale, and all through the house, the sellers were stirring, including their dogs... Okay, that's a pretty lame play on "Twas the Night Before Christmas," but I will say, "Happy garage sale to all, and to all a good bargain."

We have bargains galore, including today's treasure: HUNDREDS of children's books, all for less than $1 (and many below .50 cents). An Elim Elementary School supporter (who's also a school teacher) donated the books, so the book profit will go toward Elim, run by Kate Clement, one of Faith Alive's longtime volunteers.

We're also selling a twin-sized mattress (like new--always had a plastic protector), stationery bicycle, vacuum cleaner, like-new black office chair, children's furniture, lamps, rugs, dog crate, trendy office file carriers, books, brand new (unopened) Waterpik shower heads, and much more. All items (except the children's books) at this annual Faith Alive garage sale will benefit Faith Alive's brothel renovation/re-purposing project. Scroll down to other posts this week to learn more.

However, we don't have nearly as much stuff to sell as in past years, so please, please, please, it's not too late to donate good-quality items (no clothes please). You can leave them on my front porch any time today.

Garage sale: tomorrow, 8 am - noon, 5400 White Willow Drive, Fort Collins, CO. If you don't find what you're looking for at our sale, shop the entire neighborhood--dozens of garage sales tomorrow.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Garage Sale: Thursday's Treasure

Dreaming of a pink and white bedroom set for your daughter? Shop at the Faith Alive annual garage sale this Saturday (8 am - noon, 5400 White Willow Drive in Fort Collins, Colorado) for a charming pink child's desk, pink and white lamps, and white framed bulletin board and accessories. Use this Pottery Barn photo as an inspiration to transform your daughter's room into a space she'll love to do her homework. Well, I can't guarantee the last part, but I can give you a bargain on some great stuff.

All profit from the sale benefits brothel renovation/re-purposing in Jos, Nigeria. Be part of a global difference in human lives.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garage Sale: Wednesday's Treasures

Whether you have a small child or a large dog, come on over to the annual Faith Alive garage sale this Saturday morning (5400 White Willow Drive, Fort Collins, 8 am - noon). Our In-Step baby jogger and Pet Porter dog crate are both in great condition and looking for new owners. I haven't set the prices yet, but you can guarantee that they'll be too good to pass up.

All garage sale profit goes to "re-purposing" a brothel in Jos, Nigeria. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means what it sounds like--taking something originally meant for one purpose (commercial sex trade) and transforming it for another purpose (state-of-the-art teaching hospital). Of course it'll take more than garage sales to reach our goal, but every little bit helps.

If you're interested in learning more about the brothel project and how you can make a difference, come to First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins, Colorado on Sunday, July 15 from 6-8 pm for an evening with our world-renowned Nigerian doctor.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garage Sale: Tuesday's Treasure

As promised, today's post features a great gift for dads. Heck, it's a great gift for moms and grads and anyone else who loves a massage cleanse in the shower. I specifically mention dads because American Father's Day is right around the corner (June 17). Whomever you're gifting--even yourself--be sure to check out over a dozen of these brand new shower heads at the annual Faith Alive garage sale this Saturday, July 9 from 8 am - noon at 5400 White Willow Drive.

We've offered Waterpik shower heads at the past few garage sales. They go like hotcakes and are the single best seller.

Check in tomorrow for Wednesday's Treasure.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Garage Sale: Today's Treasure

Wait no more. It's time for the annual Faith Alive garage sale where people take seriously the wisdom that someone's trash is someone else's treasure. If you're in the northern Colorado area, please go through your closets, drawers and garages for things in good shape (no clothes or outdated tech things) that you no longer want or need and bring them to my house before Friday evening.

Nothing to donate? No problem. Shop this Saturday, June 9 from 8 am - noon at 5400 White Willow Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado. Each day this week, I'll highlight some of the valuables that have never been considered trash.

Today's treasure is Peace in Our Lifetime: Insights from the World's Peacemakers by local, internationally-recognized author Susan Skog. She's graciously donating multiple copies that are especially loved by teachers who use the book as a teaching tool for conflict-resolution. I bought a copy  for personal use after my trip to Israel and the West Bank. Reading the description below makes me want to take a few copies to Jos, Nigeria, where extremists are trying to divide the country.

"Through the lives and lessons of 50 exceptional peacemakers working in war zones, high-conflict organizations and neighborhoods, 'Peace in Our Lifetime' shows how we create peace, personally and globally. Through rich, compelling stories, this book describes how we can each channel our anger for positive change and listen compassionately. It explores how we can get to the root of our conflicts, find common ground, and forgive even our 'enemies.'"

Check in tomorrow to see the perfect Father's Day gift for sale this Saturday.

Oops, I almost forgot the best part--100% of the profit goes to Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria for brothel renovation. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Children's Day 2012

According to Wikipedia, “Children's Day is celebrated on May 27 in Nigeria. It is a public holiday for Primary and Secondary school children. Depending on the state, a group of children are selected to march. The children are usually given treats such as an outing or doing jobs that adults would normally do. In some situations, primary and secondary school children compete in military parades format for a prize which will be given at the end of the competition. Religious groups in Nigeria also celebrate chlidren's in a ground style.” Okay, I followed that definition until I read “ground style.” No clue. Anyone? Given that “children’s” is misspelled, maybe “ground” is a typo for something else.

Regardless, it’s a great time to celebrate all of God’s children. Enjoy these snaps below (taken by  Rich and Cathy McDermott a few years ago) of some Nigerian children, and then click here to see how Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria celebrated Children's Day two years ago.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Greetings from KJ McCorry

God humbles me at just the right moments, this time showing me that I’m not as efficient as I pride myself on being. Last Friday, I waited at the wrong restaurant for my friend and Faith Alive family member K.J. McCorry, professional organizer/author/speaker/trainer/recycler extraordinaire whose businesses (Officiency and eco-officiency) epitomize…you guessed it, efficiency! Dare I reveal that I was the one who suggested the restaurant where she was and I was not? Thanks to KJ for extending grace to me, a result I imagine of living with “over the top blessings” that she said she’s experiencing in her life. 

KJ remembers fondly her two visits to Faith Alive and hopes to one day return. She asked about a lot of people by name and wants the Faith Alive staff to be prepared to take efficiency exams when next she visits! She wishes health, happiness, safety and peace for them and their families, people she remembers as showing warmth to her and loyalty to Faith Alive. One of her fondest memories, however, is playing the “Killer Uno” card game in the dark with headlamps.

Not one to let good advice go unspoken, KJ gave me some about my book (i.e. put a few people’s faces on the cover, start writing more on your blog about your Faith Alive book, use specific key words that people search for online, etc.). She had so much more to tell me, but we ran out of time as another person who plans to travel to Faith Alive arrived. At least I was at the right place at the right time for my next appointment.

(Top photo of KJ working with Dr. Mercy Isichei in Jos, 2008. Bottom photo of KJ and me in Colorado, 2012)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Biana Grogg Ward Operational

Those of you who’ve been to Faith Alive have most likely heard of Biana. She’s a huge supporter of Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria who left her comfortable life in Fresno to serve for a few years in Jos, Nigeria at FAF-N. As a sign of appreciation and lasting legacy, we now have a completed “Biana Grogg Ward” there for overnight, in-patient medical services. Photos will have to suffice until we see it in person; enjoy and join us in thanking God for Biana’s selfless service. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where in the World?

Ever wonder who reads this blog? Well, I checked Google Analytics and found out that people from more than nine countries check in to see what’s happening at Faith Alive. Sannu da zuwa (“Welcome!”) to those of you from the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Philippines, Australia, France, Poland, Taiwan and of course the United States and Nigeria. Some of you are from “not set”—hmmm.  

This world representation reminds me of a devotion that I once gave at a Faith Alive staff meeting. We pinned up a big map of the world and started putting Post-It notes on the countries representing people that we knew about who have heard of or support Faith Alive. Before long, the map sported dozens of little yellow pieces of paper!  

I shared how the Apostle Paul’s words to the church of Rome ring true for many of us as well: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Romans 1:8-12, New International Version).

Praise God that the unifying Spirit of God is stronger than the oceans that divide us. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Healthy Little Chris

It's hard to believe that it's been over two years since I posted a blog with a desperate plea to help Little Chris (named after Dr. Chris Isichei, Founder and Coordinator of Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria) get lifesaving heart surgery in India. Well, our dear boy is now running, playing and, as you can see, dancing with other children his age, thanks to many of you who donated money and prayers. Enjoy these snaps of Little Chris at a wedding and posing around his house.

You don't suppose that he's shy, do you? I think he takes after his outgoing daddy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hope for West Africa

God's power at the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria never ceases to amaze me. Case in point today is how a group of people visited in 2004 and today lead a successful organization that's raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Faith Alive and sent dozens of people to share their hearts and skills. That non-profit is Hope for West Africa and it serves three Nigerian agencies. Click here to see their updated website, complete with new Faith Alive projects, new board members, HFWA's history and a thoughtful blog written by my friend Terese PompaClick here to learn how HFWA connects with Faith Alive Foundation-Nigeria. 

If you're up for a challenge, search the HFWA website to find First Presbyterian Church, little Chris or the mobile clinic project. 

On behalf of the extended Faith Alive family, we are extremely grateful for HFWA's continued, faithful partnership. As I often hear Nigerians say, "May God grant them the desires of their hearts."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Garage Sale

Spring cleaning? Save a few things for the annual garage sale that benefits Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Starting in May, you can bring your items that are still in good condition (except clothing, old computer things or large appliances) to my house in Fort Collins, Colorado for the sale on Saturday, June 9.

Not in Colorado but want to join the fun? Consider hosting a garage sale where you live; invite your church members, family and friends to donate items. I gladly challenge you to a friendly competition. If you raise more money than me, you win a special surprise from Nigeria!

Let's work together to encourage our favorite Nigerian partners in ministry--the staff and patients at Faith Alive!