This is one of many incidents that have been happening in Nigeria, but this one hit really close to home, as it happened to one of our Transition House girls. Elizabeth is 14 years old and is working in a guest house, doing job training there. She has enjoyed working in the kitchen and she told us about her dream to run her own restaurant. Because she will be working during Christmas – New Year, she had some time off and for the first time in a while she went to visit her mother, who lives about 3 hours from Jos. Just after arriving in the village, they heard rumors that the village (mostly Christian) would be raided. The groups that were making the area unsafe were nomads with a musl*m background who are wanting to drive out Christians. They have weapons and money, nobody knows from where. The mother sent Elizabeth and 11 other “family” children (half-siblings or cousins) a few villages further, to an aunt whom Elizabeth had never seen before. For a few days, they were good, but the people that raided the first village then came to that one. The aunt decided to take the children out of the village and back to their parents with her car, but she was too late. Just outside of the village, they were stopped by the group who demanded money. The aunt begged them to not kill the kids. They were still demanding money, but agreed to leave the children alone, if she paid. But the aunt had no money and offered them the car. They give her an ultimatum: money for her life and the lives of the children, or she would pay with her life for the lives of the children. The aunt had no money so she was shot in front of the 12 children. In fear for her life, Elizabeth takes the 11 children and runs back to the village where she hopes to find help. But the village is destroyed, burnt down. Here she somehow meets someone who lends her a cell phone, she calls Ruth (our house parent). Ruth doesn’t understand much, and apart from hearing "they will kill us all", Elizabeth doesn’t say much. She doesn’t even know the name of the village where she was staying. The connection drops. All we could do was pray BUT God heard us. In panic the group of children ran into the bush. For four days, they walked around not knowing where to go, and eating nothing. Someone saw them and told others in the village that a group of children were wondering around. An uncle recognized them based on the description, finds the children, and takes them to his home. Elizabeth makes it back to Jos unharmed, but definitely traumatized. She had the opportunity to be counseled by a young woman who does trauma healing. Elizabeth is better now and is enjoying being back at work. She is talking about all the different foods she is learning to make. Pray for continued healing for Elizabeth. We thank God for the aunt, who gave her life for these children. We thank God for his protection over Elizabeth and bringing her home safely.
Healing In Progress posted November 22, 2016
My 3 year old burn patient visited me at the clinic today. She has worn her pressure garment for one month and the scars on her right arm, trunk, and leg have reduced. She has improved movement in her right elbow and today she was able to feed herself using her right hand. Praise God!
Land Dedication and Building Project October 20, 2016
We had a dedication of the land for our new Girl's Transition House. It is such a blessing to have this large piece of land, that will provide housing for fifty teenage girls along with a vocational training center and fertile land for farming. We give God the glory and give thanks to all who were a part in helping us to purchase this land. It was great to have the Texas Team and my mom present for the dedication along with leaders from the community and our partnering Nigerian mission.
Our girls began the program with a time of singing and then shared testimonies about how the ministry has impacted their lives both physically and spiritually. We then had a prayer walk around the property. We pray that God will bless this ministry and that the seeds that are planted in the lives of these girls will bear fruit and shine forth God's light to the surrounding community
NG 96902- OVC Girl's Transition House and Training Center
It is with joy and excitement I can officially let you know that our fund raising project is ready to receive donations. You can now donate towards the building of our Girls Transition House and Vocational Training Center. The easiest way to donate is on line, but it is also possible to send checks by post, if that is your preference. If you want to donate online, click here. If you would like to mail in your donation, the address is SIM USA P.O. Box 7900 Charlotte, NC 28241. Note that your donation is for project # 96902- OVC Girl's Transition House and Training Center.
We are looking to raise a total of $118,000 for the three phases of building, which the following: and so any amount donated will be gratefully received. Phase 1 :
Build two six bedroom hostels complete with house parent apartment
Kitchen, store and dining area to accommodate up to 50 teenage girls
Sink a bore hole and erect a tower and pump and pipes to hostel
Complete building with furnishings
Total cost Phase 1 = $54,000
Phase 2 :
Build a vocation training center and shops
Classroom/workshops x 5 ( baking, tailoring, computing, hair salon ,crafts )
Build Large classroom for adult education
Set-up of classrooms, furnishings, equipment
Center leader family house ( 3 bedroom )
Total cost Phase 2 = $ 28,000
Phase 3 :
Security wall and gate around the entire compound
Total cost = $ 20,000
Vehicle – $16,000
We are excited about this project and praying that the funds will come so we can begin building. Any donation given will be greatly received.
Therapy Time posted August 25, 2016
I know the Healing Touch Pressure Garment Clinic is where God wants me to be, but Ido at times miss doing hands on therapy with patients. Recently, I got the chance to do therapy with Thomas, one of the boys in our care center. The nurse for our ministry informed me that Thomas had developed osteomyelitis in his right forearm. Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone that causes pain, swelling and can lead to deterioration of the infected bone. Thomas went to the hospital for treatment and received antibiotics to kill off the infection and reduce the swelling. After being discharged from the hospital, he needed therapy to increase movement and strength in his arm and hand. At the beginning of therapy, Thomas had difficulty bending and straightening his right elbow, turning his hand up and down and even raising his shoulder to 90 degrees. We began with simple range of motion exercises with me supporting his arm and as the pain reduced and the arm got stronger, he could do the exercises on his own. The fun part of therapy is that you can play different games and construct many activities that work the weak muscles. The kids don't even know they are working because to them it is just fun. After a short time, I noticed that it was not just Thomas that would come to therapy. Several other boys would sneak in and want do the activities as well. So our time together became group therapy, which worked out well. It gave Thomas some competition and made him work harder. Lying on their stomachs and flying like Superman, while they hit the balloon back and forth was their favorite activity. You would not know it though, by the groans you would hear when I said, "Ok let's fly". Thomas has worked hard and now has full movement of his shoulder and hand. His limitation is mainly at the elbow, where there was deterioration of the bone but he can bend and straighten the elbow to almost full range. His arm is still weak, but with regular activities it will continue to get stronger. I am going to miss these boys. My clinic will be too quiet now!
This Place Is Not My Home Posted August 15, 2016
As we drove in the gate, we were greeted by smiling faces and lots of "morning Auntie" as the kids all ran to our cars. That was the greeting every morning as we entered the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp to do Vacation Bible School. There are one hundred and thirty children housed at this center. Our teenage girls and boys were on school break, so we thought it would be a good opportunity for them to go and serve children, who have recently experienced trauma. Our teenagers could relate to these children because they come from traumatized backgrounds themselves. The lessons our teenagers taught covered topics that would apply to the situations these children were presently experiencing. Topics such as: What makes you who you are? Who are you in Christ? Where is God when he seems silent? Forgiveness Trusting in the promises of God God has a plan for your life. Our teenage girls and boys taught the the lessons using stories from the lives of Joseph and Ester. We had crafts and games in the afternoon, which was sometimes challenging with that many children, but we all had fun even in the chaos. They played volleyball and crazy football (three soccer balls going at the same time). Crazy was definitely the right name for that game! We did card making one day and jewelry making several days. We did group problem solving games and I did parachute games with the young ones. They literally wore me out! Basically, there was always activities going and never a dull moment. I developed a friendship with Joy, one of the teenage girls and got to spend some time talking with her. Her father was killed in the Boko Haram crisis and her mother and two siblings are still in the Northeast. It is hard for her to be separated from her family but her mother sent her to Jos, so she could get an education. The children in the IDP camps in the Northeast have no access to schooling, so that is why many of the families send their children to Jos. This place is not her home, but she knows that for now it is God's plan for her to be here. My prayer for all these IDP camp children, is that sometime soon they will be able to return home and reunite with their families. I fell in love with all the children I got to know during our two week Bible school. I know it will not be the last time I will see them, as I plan to go back and visit them many times! Please pray for these children and the thousands of other displaced people from the crisis in the Northeast.