March 8, 2004
Thanks to our gracious God and praying friends, we made it safe and sound. Back in Nigeria since January 9th, we found some things have changed, while others remained the same. Mobile phones and internet cybercafés have proliferated. The military has withdrawn from Jos, two years after the ethnic/religious conflict that resulted in so much loss of life. Fuel shortages and frequent electrical outages are still the norm. Strikes by government civil servants disrupt essential services, and the university hospital has just resumed after a 2-week strike by nurses and other ancillary hospital staff.
I returned to meet the Department of Family Medicine in good standing. Many of the residents have made progress in their training by passing their national exams and successfully defending their dissertations. In my absence, our department had been commended for temporarily taking on the care of psychiatric patients in the university hospital for want of a psychiatrist.
While we were away in the US, two couples from some of our past Home Builders groups led two different groups, totaling 15 couples,. One of those groups was led by a Nigerian psychiatrist and his wife working in Ethiopia. (Now you know why there were no psychiatrists left at our hospital!) Anyway, we are excited that they had opportunity to reach out to couples in another part of Africa
We have begun another Home Builders group with 9 couples, ranging from 2 weeks to 35 years married. We trust that over the next 3 months they will grow in their relationships with Christ and experience His power for oneness in their marriages.
As another outreach to couples, we are organizing an upcoming Family Life conference for our church. At their request, we will be leading sessions each evening for the week of April 12-18. Last year 50 couples attended. To encourage people to invite their friends, the conference will be free for those who attended last year and bring along another couple.
We are encouraged by a visit from the Sayres. Interested in missionary service, Jeremy is a dentist, and his wife Katie is a nurse. They will be working here in Jos until mid-April. We have known Katie’s parents for many years, and we got to know Jeremy and Katie better while in Salt Lake City last year. Please know that our door is always open to visitors!
Tom and Rosie