Nigeria Blog Day 5: Adjectives in the English Language are Not Enough

When we thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, today happens! As I mentioned above, there are not enough adjectives to describe what went on today with the overwhelming greeting and opportunity to participate in the Opening Ceremonies of the baseball/softball tournament. We discovered in full color today the magnitude of our visit and what it means to this country.

When we went to the field this morning for opening ceremonies we thought we were going to a part of a small kick-off with the teams, coaches and a few people from the town. What we found when we drove down the road to the field and turned the corner was several large tents, not only the teams participating but many students to watch the festivities, all the government officials we had met the day before and more people than I had time to count! 

As we pulled to a stop they opened the door to our cars, music playing and the announcer telling the people that their distinguished guests from America had arrived. Walking into the schools yesterday to the cheers and claps of the children was a sight for sore eyes, but the greeting we received and the standing ovation given today was beyond words! From listening to the words of the government ministers who each thanked us and acknowledged that baseball needed to be recognized and elevated, to the shaking of the hands of all the players, to being honored by their request for me to say a few words - although I had not been informed that I was going to speak and therefore not prepared for it, the Lord again granted me favor and gave me the words to say - the experience was overwhelming! So without saying much more, because the words would not begin to give the experience justice, I will let the pictures do the talking. 

Receiving Line to shake the hands of the players.

Government officials to kick off the tournament.

My opportunity to thank the government for their hospitality.

The table of dignitaries.

Some of the participating teams.

Me after throwing out the first pitch to the Minister of Sport.  Just thankful I didn't hit him!

Let me close with the words Super Joe Page gave during the closing prayer of the ceremony! The Holy Spirit led in giving him words that expressed what we are feeling and what God is doing. Also remember we are in a 75% Muslim area of Nigeria. 

Joe’s closing words of Prayer: 
“The power of the Lord and the hospitality of Kwara State Nigeria have made the many miles between us and Ilorin seem very close and the different cultures feel as one.” 

Have a wonderful God filled day! WE ARE!