The Scoop from Gembu

I know that I have not blogged in FOREVER! While we were in the States this year we told all of the churches we visited that I blog every week while we are in Nigeria and post pictures every week. I think God must have a wacky sense of humor because we have been so busy I have not been able to blog as it takes more than two consecutive minutes for me to put a thought together. Then there is that always loved, always hated entity out there called “the internet”. Ours has had issues and I have also had issues loading pictures on my computer without it using up all of our internet.
So… I want to share with you what has been going on here and I am excited someday to be able to post some pictures as well so you can see what’s going on.
Funmi and I have been having reading and math classes and they are really going well. The curriculum we are using is awesome and the students of all ages that we have really enjoy it and are excited that they can read much more than they ever thought they could! This is truly a gift and a joy to see!
Our first group of TTP Students that we have been doing math with have all passed their math and reading tests now and have received their certificates, and when their trainers that they are apprenticing with approves that each is ready to have their own business, they will each receive their empowerment tools. We are so proud of these students! They have worked hard on learning their craft and the entrepreneurship classes as well. Our second group of TTP Students is doing very well and very soon will be testing to see who is ready to start their apprenticeship with our trainers.
The reading classes at the school have shown huge results and we are working with the school when they resume after the first of the year.
Miss Taraba invited me to talk at an event at Taraba State University and she also purchased 150 Days for Girls kits to distribute to women and girls that attended. It was an awesome time and I believe we made some wonderful connections for further training of women and girls. Miss Taraba will be coming to Gembu during her break for me to work with her and for her to pass her “Ambassador of Health” training so that she can go out and talk to women and girls as she has engagements all over our state.
Because of the additional DFG kits that I believe we will be needing I have hired Odelia to work Monday through Friday and we are making kits like crazy. Quality control is my very first priority during this part and she is doing very well with that, I check every day to keep things on track! The Kits are also quite a huge blessing to women that give birth at our Hospital, as we give them a Post-Partum kit and talk to them about charting their cycle and such before they go home. A big thank you to all the women who made kits that we brought back to Nigeria with us, they are soooo appreciated. Thank you!
We spent a week in Abuja getting supplies and emptying out the apartment. We are not in Abuja enough to justify this, and our plan is to only go once or twice a year now. We got to have American Thanksgiving with our friends, the Holmes, who are missionaries in Abuja, and it was an awesome time to spend with some dear people we don’t get to see that often.
We then were in Jalingo for me to speak at the University and to renew our Driver’s Licenses and get some additional supplies that we needed for World AIDS Day, which was December 1. In case you are wondering, we do not like being in Abuja or Jalingo as our Minnesota bodies melt in the heat!
World Aids Day was on Friday and IT WAS AWESOME! We had many distinguished visitors and marched through town and to our new hall. We talked about how HIV and some of the secondary infections are greatly affecting us here in Nigeria and we also graduated our first group of students from the Entrepreneurship Program. We had Jollof Rice, Malta, and banana bread from our awesome restaurant and celebrated! There was a lot of singing and dancing and love spread around on Friday!
All of this is in addition to the building projects moving forward, patients in the hospital and clinic, and ministry continuing forward.
I do have a point in today’s blog and this is it:
Dan and I have both felt spiritual oppression during these past couple of months. I believe that this is because much is moving forward here and we are impacting the community daily in many ways here. Please pray. Each morning Dan and I pray that God will show us what to say and do for that day and that we are discerning enough to do it. We have many expenses because of buildings. Prices here have at least tripled in this past year. We need wisdom on what is God’s priority first. Not our own. Thank you, friends, God is good and we are thankful!


Today I am 54.  54 years of life on this planet.  I would like to share something that has been in my heart lately and pray that the truth of it can help someone out there in a positive way.  It is life-changing for me. I was the oldest child in our family, my family… Continue Reading

It’s a Partnership!

Well, it has been a month since we have been back in Gembu now. I have been assessing students (ages 15 to 60) for reading and math and then placing them in groups by their levels and doing math and reading lessons in groups of 5 or 6. I had planned that this activity would… Continue Reading

Back in Gembu!

We have been back in Nigeria now for three weeks. I find myself reflecting on our three months in the United States and I am amazed at how God works! In 120 days we had 80 meetings, dentist visits, doctor visits, Dan had surgery on both legs, upper and lower veins, took care of a… Continue Reading

Home Assignment

Well, it is that time of year again when we will be headed back to the States.  Last year I did a very poor job of communicating where we were or what we were up to.  This year I decided I would post our tentative schedule and put pictures, etc. weekly so you could be… Continue Reading

Reflections – 5 years ago Today…

Today is one of the “memorial days” for our journey to Nigeria.  March 22, 2012 was the fateful day that we were on our way back to the airport to embark on our “missionary adventure”.  After deciding that, Yes, this is where God wants us, we can’t do it ourselves, the job is too big… Continue Reading

What can I do?

This week I want to tell you about something I have recently committed to.  I took the “Fair Pledge Challenge” from a non-profit group that Dan and I love called “Stories Foundation”. Here’s why I love this so much, here is the pledge I took. I pledge to think before I buy. To consider what… Continue Reading

My Friend, Phyllis

The year was 1996, we were moving from Rural Minnesota to “City Life”.  I was a bit scared, excited, and nervous.  I was moving into a whole lot of change.  As I have said before, I don’t do change well.  I would be homeschooling and staying at home.  My years teaching AWANA and Sunday School,… Continue Reading

Daddy Issues!

Think of these words, if we truly understand the impact of these words it is life-changing and life-giving. You’re a good good father It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are And I’m loved by you It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am Let me tell… Continue Reading

Match gift challenge update

We are getting very close to our $16,000 goal for the match to complete the $32,000 needed. We have just 14 days till the end of the month. Please help us get to our goal! The family that issued the challenge said that they would match dollar for dollar until January 31, 2017.  Here is our progress!… Continue Reading