Thank you to the Campion family and the ECWA Egbe Hospital Revitalization Team for enabling me to spend another 2 weeks at the Egbe Hospital site. I think the team members used me gently because I was the senior member on this trip. I bet there are a lot of other 79 year olds out there who could do this too. Your health and resources are every bit as good, or better, than mine.
I departed Toronto, Canada, at 7:30 pm, Thursday, Oct. 19, and, after a night in Abuja, arrived in Egbe at 5:30 pm, Saturday, Oct. 21. The return journey left Egbe at 8:15 am on Friday, Nov. 3 and arrived in Toronto at 5:30 pm on Saturday, Nov. 4. Both trips were long and tiring, but worth it all.
As usual, some from the Egbe community were present to welcome us with a prayer. This is their usual way of expressing their appreciation for the volunteers and the Hospital Revitalization team’s work.
Work began with ½ hour devotions for the men in the Workshop. My two weeks entailed watching over some local young men dig up roots and stumps around the compound that created problems for lawn mowers. What energetic and persistent workers! I also did some trim painting on the old storage building while others did the walls to make it more eye-appealing. While helping to reorganize an office storage room, I was surprised by a visit from Ronke Adewuyi who had been the head cook when Ann and I volunteered at Egbe Hospital in October of 2011. Other activities included visits to Fulani villages testing for HIV and malaria, checking for dental needs, and seeing a new school. Other days had visits to a Leper village and the ECWA Oyi Seminary. One evening was spent with Don Campion and a retired pastor who comes to visit and pray for all the patients in the Men’s Ward of the hospital.
Our second weekend was high-lighted by our invited participation in the local celebrations of the wedding of the 3rd son of Moses and Christianah Igunnubole. It involved dinner at the Igunnuboles’ Friday & Saturday evening, then part of the service at 2nd ECWA Egbe Church on Sunday followed by a reception again at the Igunnuboles’.
The last few days of our time included the dedication of a new morgue built around a 40 foot refrigerated shipping container that had been used to ship supplies to the project; then there was the concert by the Music Academy. This included the dedication of a Christian Resource Centre (library), a Children’s Resource Centre and the launch of the new book, “Oibo Egbe” (Yagba name for Tommy Titcombe), by Chief Olayinka Simoyan. He autographed my copy of his book. (If you are interested in the history of the Church in Nigeria, you need to read this book. It is a no-holds-barred treatment of the joys and struggles of the growing church as it moved from white missionary leadership and control to Nigerian leadership and control. Chief Yinka is a strong follower of Jesus and a former diplomat with the Nigerian Government.)
After the concert, dedications and book launch, I was surprised by being called up by (Ret’d Maj. Gen.) Joseph Adeniyi with whom I have been corresponding for several years. We met in person for the first time and he presented me with an autographed copy of his published compilation of all the committee documents relating to the 2008 Centennial Celebration of the coming of the Gospel with Tommy Titcombe.
It seemed fitting that our final ‘good-bye’ to Egbe should be with retired pastor Samuel Oloruntoba Babawarun who, in 2011, introduced Ann & I to Pastors Samuel Adeniyi & Elijah Babalolakota who both remembered my folks, Orville & Ethel Thamer. These two saints are now in glory with my folks.
Read “Isanlu, Kogi State Nigeria, Revisited” for a summary of my trip to Isanlu.