Nigeria Blog Day 8: Slow Down and Reflect

Let me start out with taking just a little space here to yell out a huge Happy Anniversary to my beautiful and precious bride! It was 28 years ago today that I was blessed beyond measure as we grasped hands, joined them in marriage and began this beautiful journey together. I can honestly and without hesitation say that I love my Baby Doll deeper today than I did then, because it’s every day since then that I realize the blessing God granted me that day, November 3, 1990! She has always sacrificed above and beyond; MLO’s for the past 12 years have taken me across the pond to celebrate my birthday in Croatia and that often is not with my family. A couple of times she has been with me during those, but not together in our own home. Not to mention that this is not the first time we have been an ocean apart during our anniversary. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I have been overseas during her birthday a time or two as well. So you can see, she has sacrificed more than her share and she deserves much better than me, but I’m thankful she does not believe that! Thanks to my beautiful bride! I would ask that you pray for her and our marriage as we march along the path He has illuminated for us! Thank you! 

Today has been a day of slow down in the schedule! We were not scheduled for any meetings or school visits; their only plan for us was to rest and then head to the ballpark to watch the day's games. The three of us spent a great morning resting, reading and re-energizing, and the early afternoon debriefing, praying, sharing scripture and talking about next steps. What a blessed time the three of us had sharing what God had revealed to us through our time here and what we could do to help moving forward. During our prayer time God elevated two distinct visions: 
  • One vision was of God carrying us as He walks us through, with us bringing unbroken worship of Him and carrying His love into our dealings with politicians here in Nigeria and across businesses in Croatia; 
  • The other vision was of Him walking the ball from the pitcher on the mound to home plate where we were waiting to hit. He set the ball on a tee and told us to swing away.  Wherever it goes, let’s walk it out together!
God has blessed the ministry of HiS PRINT immensely, and I can’t wait to see what He has planned for the near and distant future!

We spent the afternoon at the ball park watching games that were filled with enthusiasm, visiting with players and coaches, and listening to their hearts of passion. It often feels like we are celebrities, with everyone wanting to take pictures and selfies with us. It is humbling to know that a little handshake, our willingness to take a picture, and our desire to sit and talk will bring a moment of joy that (we are told by all) will last a lifetime! 

Pre-game practice

Celebration of victory!

Final game of the day

Softballers around "Pappa Joe"

Coaches from the teams in the tournament

We finished the evening asking our new brothers to join us in our evening devotions.  We had a blessed time praying, sharing in the Word and listening to one another’s heartfelt gratitude for what is happening here! They thanked us for making history for them, and told us that everyone we met felt our love for Jesus and saw the Holy Spirit that is in us! We are blessed to say the least and overjoyed at this wonderful opportunity God have given us! 

Coaches and players who have become friends!