Blog Posts


Taraba State pledges to help rebuild fire-damaged dorms

2/15/2014

We started the day early as it was awards day at the orphanage. We also wanted to finish taking photos of the students from JSS and the government school (about 27 in all).   It was an overcast day so we set up our photo studio outside. It went quickly as Jim helped with names, I took photos and Dorothy did interviews. We had finished taking photos when the head teacher Magdiel asked Dorothy and me if we planned to change our clothes. We hadn't and then learned we didn't look "Nigerian" enough ...


Television interviews and Valentine's Day

2/14/2014

By the time this gets posted (Saturday) I will very likely be made a grandmother for the first time. I look forward to meeting the little guy when I return. My son and daughter-in-law live in Grand Island, Neb., so I might have to make a short road trip when I get back. Friday started with breakfast about 8 a.m. We made it a priority to get to the Internet café early so that we could go to interviews at the last two media houses. Benji paved the way on Thursday for these last two sessions. Both...


A day full of shopping and hopscotch

2/13/2014

Today was a much slower activity day. It started with both Dottie and me not feeling as well (she with an upset stomach and me with a sore throat) as we would have liked. Despite our slow start the three of us were at the Internet café by 9 a.m. It offered wireless so our fears of attracting viruses to our computers was minimized. We spent over an hour there as I hadn't had success transmitting blogs 5 and 7 until this morning.   I was also able to send a few photos. Dottie caught up with her ...


Sharing the news of the orphanage and the Gospel of Christ

2/12/2014

Our day began with an early morning visit from Mrs. Pricilla Thomas. She was our cook and pretty much took care of us on previous trips to Nigeria. Mrs. Thomas is on her way to a UMW revival in another part of the conference, but wanted to share her red stew recipe with us before she left. Jim and I then went with Simon Benjamin to visit with various folks. First we went to see Mrs. Lucy Nayme, an orphanage board member. She is an aunt to the former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nayme. Lucy is...


Meeting with Acting Governer Alhagi Garba Umar

2/11/2014

Today (Tuesday) was the most interesting day yet. We started with a trip to the orphanage to take the final portraits of teachers and staff. The students were quite enamored with our photo-taking so we took many more photos with them and showing them how the camera worked, etc. Mid-morning Benji took us to two scheduled meetings with two bank managers. John Ogbaji represented Diamond Bank and were thanked him for his bank's many food, clothing and other drives and collections on behalf of the ...


Interviews, photos, donors and appreciation

2/10/2014

We began our day at 8 a.m. with eggs, juice and bread. We wake up with instant Nescafe coffee and powdered cream. I have rediscovered sugar cubes and have gone to having a couple of lumps in my coffee. Our first stop today was to visit Chris Adamu, a recently retired government worker who is passionate about the poor and vulnerable. He has just incorporated a non-profit called Fanta Adamu Biyam Memorial Foundation. Its motto is “Service to Humanity.” Benji explained to us that Adamu has been a ...


Sunday worship and meeting Bishop Johnwesley Yohanna

2/9/2014

We had a good night's sleep at the bishop's guest house. We gathered at 8 a.m. for breakfast and then were off to a 9 a.m. worship. We celebrated the Sabbath at the Taraba State government-sponsored church. The pastor announced that all faiths are welcome. The three-hour service included spirited music from all sectors of the congregations — youth, women's group and young adults — the clergy-led songs being particularly engaging. Four pastors took part in the worship. A retired minister ...


A Jalingo welcome

2/8/2014

The Roses Hotel in Abuja was a lovely place where we slept Friday night. We rose early on Saturday and visited the building site of the Bishop Peter Dabale Memorial United Methodist Cathedral currently under construction. District Superintendent and Cathedral Senior Pastor Mathew Dangombe provided a tour of the construction and time to meet with many of the leaders of the church including the chair of council on ministries, lay leader, among others. United Methodists comprise the smallest sect...


En route to Nigeria - part 2

2/7/2014

During our eight-hour flight with fine accommodations from air Lufthansa, I couldn't help but think that more food was thrown away on that flight than what is probably available on any given day at the orphanage.   Now we await our next leg of the journey from Frankfurt. It's about 1:30 CT at home and 8:27 a.m. here. It's about a six-hour flight from Frankfurt to Abuja where we will stay all night and travel via Nigerian domestic flight on Saturday. We will arrive in Yola sometime on Saturday ...


En route to Nigeria - part 1

2/6/2014

We are on the flight to Chicago from Omaha and feeling very surreal about being at the Orphanage sometime in the next 24 hours or so. When I walked into the airport this morning it was about 7 below zero. When we arrive in Jalingo it will be 95+. I'll admit, I'm looking forward to wearing sandals.   More importantly my traveling friends, Nigeria Partnership Chair Dottie Halvorsen and Lincoln Christ UMC Pastor Jim Miller and me are eager to see our friends and colleagues at the orphanage. We will...


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