Unpacking What God Did and Is Doing in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria – November 1, 2009

emi-prayers-farm-team-pictureMorning greetings! As the sun rises on this first day of November, I am praising the faithfulness of our God and resting in Him.

Our Mighty God continues to use the visit of 11 eMi staff and volunteers for His glory among the two villages in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and beyond. Questions remain in minds as to the reason so many white people visited this area that had not received such a guest before hosting Todd about a year ago. Although the media were notified of the team’s presence in Akwa Ibom, I believe God has intentionally not allowed news to spread widely beyond the local villages at this point so that the future impact will be even greater and more surprising. We briefly encountered the congressman we were to meet with on our way back through the Calabar airport. Praise God for showing him that our presence was not a lie made up to draw attention! I believe God will still work through his influence to improve the transportation access for the Prayers Farm site, even without a detailed engineering presentation. Please pray for him, as well as the family political contact named Koko who tried to setup the meeting with the congressman.

There is so much more that I could share about this trip, and I am sure God will enable me to communicate further details in the coming days and months. For now, I want to share a few highlights:

  • From the beginning of the trip, God moved me to place a high emphasis on prayer, beginning my journal with prayer from Job 5:8-16. As I learn more about Nigeria and this project, God has revealed why prayer is such an integral part of the project. The name of the farm is not a coincidence. Everything must be based on prayer because of the extreme opposition to every part of the project. Please continue to pray that the poor would have hope and food (physically and spiritually) as a result of this fish farm training center.
  • Throughout the grueling physical work just trying to do a quick GPS survey and percolation testing on the site for the first 3 days, God’s strength sustained me. Thank you to everyone who prayed for physical and spiritual strength! God gave me words to share with those who were helping me, as well as supernatural strength to cross marshes and carry buckets of water uphill from the river. And, God supplied more energy in the evenings to play soccer with the kids and stay up late into the night with Him!
  • One of the choruses we sang in church last week included the words, “What You say, You will do.” God immediately directed me to Psalm 37, filling my heart with hope for the righteous and compassion for the wicked. Please join me in praying that God would draw evildoers to Himself so that they might be seen as righteous through Jesus. Pray that the truth of the gospel, through Christ alone apart from works, would permeate hearts and minds in Nigerian churches.
  • As I was brushing my teeth on night, admiring the heavens that God created with Rob, we heard tribal chanting in the distance. The Spirit prompted both of us to a time of prayer in the silence that followed the chanting, and as we closed with “Amen,” singing that sounded like worship of the Creator broke out in the distance. Please pray that God would overcome the confusion of mixed tribal and Christian practices, leading people in truth to worship and call to Him alone.
  • We experienced unexpected tribal restoration last Sunday at our goat feast. Two families that formerly did not get along both showed up at the same time and decided that they had nothing against each other. We praised God in a time of prayer, begging for more restoration among families and tribes in Nigeria. Praise God for His healing power that reverses years of hatred in seconds!
  • At our team closing time, God spoke more confirmation into my life of being called to West Africa. Rex, our team leader, commented that “You are in your element here.” Praise God! I can’t wait to return, but in the meantime I will do my best to share more personally with all of you.

As a testimony of the significance God has stressed to me for this project and for the people of Nigeria, I am preparing to plan a return trip with Scott, our surveyor. Praise God for already providing the funding for this upcoming part of the project! We will return to survey the correct boundaries, initially masked as we surveyed the site on this past trip. Praise God for breaking through the deception and greed, allowing the true site boundaries to be known and marked now! Continue to pray that God will overcome the corruption and deception associated with work in Nigeria, from spiritual to mental to physical matters so that His glory and truth will be displayed for all to see clearly.

Continuing prayer requests include:

  • For Todd’s witness, health, and safety as he stays in Nigeria until just before Thanksgiving
  • That the shipping container (now at port in Port Harcourt) would arrive in Ibagwa and that the enemy’s attempts to steal the valuable content would be thwarted
  • For churches in Nigeria to realize the truth of the gospel and that leaders would be convicted by the Spirit to teach the truth of the Bible, not succumbing to greed and the love of money
  • Scott and my planning for a return survey trip before Christmas to survey the revised boundary and more detailed survey once more clearing is done
  • For God’s continued leading in my life, as God has begun to reveal the potential for serving in Nigeria long-term after serving for the upcoming season with eMi in Colorado Springs

Thanks again for your partnership and prayer support! I think this is only the beginning of exiting news from God’s work in Nigeria and West Africa that I will be able to share with you!

Reflecting HIS glory,
Psalm 37

Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;
they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.

But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;
for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand.

I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.

Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.
The LORD will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

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