Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nigeria Notes: Part 14; November 7, 2013, Visiting Ehime-Mbano

Christine, the Beautiful Lady, with her daughter and
my new friend, "God's Gift"
Peter, our very own body guard

Finally we boarded the plane and after a 45 minute flight we touched down in Owerri.   Oct met us at the airport, along with a tall older man whose name I can’t remember, and his tall wife, dressed in a gold and pink two piece dress with a mermaid skirt.  I think she will always be “The Beautiful Lady” when I think of her.  Her name is Christine.  We also picked up Peter, our very own personal body guard.  He’s a member of the local police force and was hired for the day to ride in the front of the van with his AK47 and keep us safe.

The market near the village of  Ehime-Mbano.

 Our first stop was the noisy, crowded market in IG’s boyhood village.  We all got out and  walked through the market, rubbing elbows with the locals.  Some sellers called out to us, trying to entice us to buy, but we only had a few minutes and then it was back in the van and on to visit IG’s childhood home.

Friends and relations in Ehime-Mbano

It was a really pleasant little place. I thing there were three little houses, all clustered very close together, practically touching each other, they were so close.  They made a kind of U shape with a spot for parking in the center.  The house IG had grown up in was on the left.  They all looked alike from the outside, smooth mud walls, painted yellow, with corrugated tin roofs and small porches.              

We were welcomed by what seemed like a sea of relatives and friends, many with their cell phone cameras clicking away.  Once again, everyone was so warm and welcoming.

Ignatius' brother, the Chief of his village.

The man that IG called his “father” is actually his older brother.  His father having passed away, his brother had now become the “father’ of the family.  He wore a special suit, like the pajamas most men wear but made from an open cutwork pattern of lattice strips with beautiful pink embroidered flowers scattered over all.  Very distinguished and rich looking.

The house Ignatius grew up in.

The house was so crowded, not everyone fit!

On our way to view the village
We were invited into the house where we were offered seats on the comfy, overstuffed couches, while as many relatives as could be squeezed into the room around us could be.  The living room walls were painted blue and hung with many family photos, pictures of Jesus and a couple of crusade posters.  It appeared that there was a kitchen behind the living room and on the right wall a door that I assume led to a bedroom.  There was electricity but no running water.  I don’t know where the privy was.

Prayers were offered up on our behalf and then some food was passed around, little buns with sausages baked into the center and small cookies with cheese melted on top, like icing.  Very nice!  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Knowing Verses Wondering

Matthew 8:8-9 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   ♱   

Is it a question of “knowing” versus “wondering”?  The centurion understood the hierarchy principle.  The Jews wondered who you were.

The leper, at the beginning of the chapter, said, ‘If you want to, you can heal me.”  He didn’t wonder if you could but he wondered if you wanted to.

The centurion didn’t plead with you to heal his servant.  He stated the facts; he was paralyzed and suffering.  He didn’t say, “Please come.”  He didn't say, “Please heal him.”

When I pray for people I often speak like that.  I tell you what the problem is, like you don’t already  know.   I guess it could be said that I state the obvious.  But then, rather than asking you to heal, I proclaim that it is, or will be done.

You gave us the authority to do what you did and you said we’d do even more.  But the power to heal was not yours while you maintained your earthly body.  It came from the Spirit of your Father moving through you.  And that’s exactly who gives me the power.

Sharpen my mind.
Sharpen my faith.
Sharpen my discernment.

Use me!