Apr 2004

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April 23, 2004

Have you ever considered visiting a missionary? We thought you might like to hear from friends (Jeremy and Katie Sayre) who recently visited us in Nigeria:

We have just completed a six-week stay with the Thachers.  If anything can give you a whole new perspective on life, it’s being in Africa.  During our time here, we’ve had the chance to be involved in a variety of ministries with the Thachers and around Jos.

One of the things that really impacted us is the physical needs of the Nigerians.  Being a dentist and nurse, much of our time was spent helping out in a local mission hospital.  We also enjoyed our time at a ministry for homeless street boys (there are plenty) and the poor in downtown Jos.  The crippled, the blind, the lepers and the sick—we frequently rubbed shoulders with each of them.  The smallest things, such as a smile or a handshake, make a world of difference.  It’s humbling to be with people who have so little and yet give so much joy.

The gospels really come to life here when you spend time in conditions so similar to those is Jesus’ day.  This is what many of the villages outside Jos are like.  Goats and chickens roam everywhere.  People live in mud huts with thatched roofs.  Women draw water from the village well.  We really enjoyed our time spent in one such village on a three-day outreach, meeting peoples’ physical and spiritual needs.

Tom’s work at Jos University Teaching Hospital has a direct impact on the physical needs here.  We enjoyed seeing where he works and directs the family practice program.  We were also able to meet several of his rickets study patients, along with some of the residents he trains.  Jeremy had fun assisting Tom with his rickets study by assessing the oral condition of several patients.

Our marriage has been strengthened as a result of participating in a Home Builders’ group Tom and Rosie are currently leading.  Eight Nigerian couples and we “butures” (what the Nigerians call white people) would meet every Sunday evening to study God’s blueprint for marriage.  We found that though our cultures are different, our struggles in marriage are similar.  We spent a lot of time sharing and laughing together about the same issues!

Visiting the Thachers has enabled us to know their needs and pray for them specifically.  One area that comes to mind is living in the Nigerian culture.  Pray for patience for the Thachers—at least if we were here long-term, that’s what we’d ask for!  Americans like to plan ahead, Nigerians don’t.  Americans like to keep things short, sweet, and concise.  Nigerians don’t.  Americans are usually task-oriented, while Nigerians are usually people-oriented.  All this to say patience is invaluable when living in Nigeria!

Some highlights of Nigeria:

bulletThe adventure of taking taxis around town
bulletVisiting the hot spot for tourism in Nigeria—Yankari National Game Park and hot springs
bulletRosie’s desserts
bulletNever being cold !
bulletHuge rainstorms
bulletThe market downtown with hundreds of people crammed in small alleyways shoving their items in your face so you’ll buy them
bulletThe Thacher Zoo, complete with a tortoise, geese, ducks, chickens, a dog, and a talking parrot!

We’d definitely rate our accommodations here as four star.  Book your rooms now!  The Thachers’ hospitality was exceptional, and they proved to be great tour guides.  Their door is wide open.  Come get a whole new view on life!