Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 233rd good thing about Lagos: A new church building with easy access!

Our church congregation was divided recently, in the desire to allow worship closer to members' homes to save them the time and expense of travel. It's taken a while to actually make this happen (nothing happens quickly or easily in Nigeria), but finally in June our new meeting place was ready for use. This was fortuitious, as the road to our former church building can be treacherous during rainy season. The new building is a quick 5 minute drive from our house on roads that are paved and with minimal puddles. This is a great benefit that both we and our driver appreciate.

Many of the church members are now able to walk from their homes to church, and I know they are very grateful to be spared a lengthy ride on an okada to church. Our congregation is small, but we are always so glad to be together and I've enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the Nigerians much better than I did in a larger congregation. The past few weeks I've been the only expat woman there -- most of the other American women and children are away for the summer. The Nigerian members always make me feel very loved and valued and I'm going to miss them all for the next two months while I'm away. Our building was formerly an eye clinic and is just off a main road on the island of Ikoyi. Here's our main meeting room:

We were away the first week they met in the building, but I got this photo of the members (with some missionary visitors) the second week in the building.
There's always a good time mingling after services.

This is a photo of the Ekong family. They are such wonderful people and a real strength to our congregation.

I had to get a photo of the beautiful women in this family. Priscilla, on the left, is a former AWC scholarship student, and her youngest sister, Victoria, on the right, is a new scholarship recipient. She was home for a short time and left later this day to go back to her college town. Their father is a retired policeman and their mother worked for the government (and is still waiting for the government to give her the pension she was promised and she's been retired for several years). I've so enjoyed getting to know and love them.


sheri said...

wow, such beautiful news! who wouldn't love to be just minutes from church?? i can't imagine worshipping with your nigerian friends...i can't help but wonder if you've been able to reach a new place in your own worship thanks to their honesty and transparency in giving their hearts to all that they do. you are truly a blessed woman, to have known a people who call to you to become more...

lovintheempteenest said...

Talk about community outreach! Your recent round of charitable visits has showcased some very basic needs.

I have used charitynavigator.org to evaluate a charity and determine how much of my charitable donation will actually go to the charity versus paying for administrative costs, marketing etc. All the charities you have showcased seem to be "no frills" and everything you donate goes right to the need. I like that.

You are such a wonderful person to give so much of yourself to the causes you have involved yourself in. I'm proud to call you my friend!