Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Update: Contract

Thanks to my writers’ group for witnessing (and celebrating) as I signed a book contract with a Christian publishing company. After hearing from lots of authors who say that it takes a loooooong time to query agents and editors, sift through dozens of rejections before getting accepted by a traditional publisher, and then wait up to 18 months for the book to appear in print, I decided to research independent publishing.

I found a right-fit hybrid. Tate Publishing is traditional (they only accept a small percent of manuscripts submitted—mine included) and independent (I retain rights to my content and contribute a refundable retainer fee for marketing).

Last week, I drove to Oklahoma City to visit Tate. I noticed two things in their parking lot, but only one of them was for me: a parking space reserved for “Author Erika Nossokoff” and a limousine. It turns out that the limo was for one of The Temptations (ever heard of the song, “My Girl?”).

While at Tate, I met some wonderful people, saw professional books with top-notch covers, and negotiated a great deal. I'm excited to see what the creative minds at Tate can do with this book of inspiring true stories about the Faith Alive hospital in Jos, Nigeria.

I’ll let you know when you can pre-order the book for yourself, your friends, your family, small group, pastors, mission teams, coworkers or neighbors. In the meantime, thanks for checking in with this blog to stay up-to-date with our favorite Nigerians.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bakin-Kogi and Kafanchan Updates

Dr. Christian Isichei, Faith Alive’s Founder and Coordinator, shares great news about two of Faith Alive’s rural satellite sites: Bakin-Kogi (Bock-in-ko-gee) and Kafanchan (cough-en-chan).

“Happy New year—a year when we shall, like Paul, resolve to do nothing more than see Him crucified and known to us more and also to others.

“I want to sincerely thank you and many other brethren for the various ways you have supported us. The current challenges in our country are viewed as surmountable because of people like you who are out there praying and being part of the Faith Alive family in many ways. THANK YOU.

“I wish to inform you--with gratitude to God and to you all that He has used—that we have been able to sink a good well as water source connected to the (Bakin-Kogi) clinic and now commenced 24 hour services at Bakin-Kogi. We have closed the Kafanchan Clinic and converted it to Chaplaincy & Social Services center with sewing and knitting and discipleship incorporated for a start.

“God bless you all. Dr. Chris”

(Photo taken by Frank Lozano in 2009. Children in the picture are from the area; standing next to the sign does not in any way mean that we know their HIV status.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nigerian Fuel Prices Skyrocket

The streets of Jos, Nigeria today are void of the normal taxis, motorbikes and walkers headed to and from work, classes and the market. Apparently the entire country is on strike. Business, schools and the Abuja airport are closed. Nigerians are protesting their government’s end to a fuel subsidy that led to fuel prices immediately doubling.

It’s not that Nigeria doesn’t have enough fuel. It’s actually Africa’s largest oil producer and the sixth largest importer of oil to the United States . That’s a bit like a poor, starving man looking at a loaves of fresh bread and knowing that he can’t afford them. Imagine living on less than $2 a day, struggling day by day to survive, and then having your expenses double. In the words of one of my Nigerian friends, “This is serious.”

Faith Alive normally treats hundreds of patients each weekday. Today, they provided “skeleton service,” meaning that a small portion of their patients (and probably staff) could afford to come to the clinic. I can only wonder how this will affect the clinic’s home-based-care to the most desperate patients. Please, let’s pray that Faith Alive’s “skeleton service” doesn’t turn literal.

(Click here for a BBC article and video about the fuel subsidy.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Greetings from Biana

Happy New Year! Biana Grogg, an American who served in a leadership position at Faith Alive in Jos, Nigeria for a few years, shares a message with the extended Faith Alive family.

“Praying that each of you have a blessed New Year. Each one of you have had a special part in helping our Faith Alive family share the love of Christ with our Nigerian friends, in bringing healing and health to the sick, in building hope in the hearts of the lonely and forsaken, in bringing joy into the lives of children, and in discipling and developing Nigerian men and women of God who are serving the Lord Jesus faithfully and courageously every day. Thank you for your faithfulness and love, and for being the hands and feet of Jesus throughout the world. May the love, joy, and peace of God flow through you abundantly this New Year.”

(Photo of Biana at Faith Alive in 2009)