My husband Michael served on a two week mission trip in Egbe, Nigeria in 2012. He returned from that trip a different man as God had done some amazing work in his heart. So when he asked if I would consider joining him on another trip to Egbe this past October I was surprised that I had a reluctant heart. Every excuse seemed to rise to the top of my list as to why this wasn’t a good time to go, but God began to speak to me and helped me to get to the root of my reluctance. I was afraid, but probably not for reasons you would think. You see we were missionaries to Africa some 17 years ago and experienced riots, gun shots, poverty, terrorist threats, malaria etc. The list goes on with what life can sometimes looks like in a third world country. But despite all these things, we absolutely loved Africa and its people. Unfortunately we were hurt from our mission and left deeply wounded. It was this wound that I feared being opened again if I were to go, yet somehow I knew I needed to go.
We met part of the team at the Toronto airport and the rest on a connecting flight to Nigeria. Our first night was in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. The next day we met others who would join us on the 7 hour bus journey to Egbe. During that ride I knew I was right where God wanted me and I felt the beginnings of letting my guard down with this group and somehow felt at home again on African soil. We arrived to warm greetings from some town folk, gifts of love, and a time of prayer for our safe arrival. This place became home for the next two weeks and it didn’t take long to settle in. I sincerely loved everyone on our team. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute we spent together whether it was during our working hours or pool time or climbing Mt. Baldy or sitting around in the evening talking. I couldn’t get enough of it. Fellowship, fun, and teamwork was what I was missing before, but found with the common goal of seeing God at work during our time in Egbe on the Hospital Revitalization Project.
I want to shout out a huge thank you to Betsie Campion Smith for all her leadership and calm spirit as she helped us prepare for the trip and all that she organized for the team during our stay in Egbe. To Don Campion for his passion to see this project completed and his true heartfelt care for the people of Egbeland. To Robert Read for his compassionate heart and pastoral-like guidance and for his great sense of humor. To Sueanne Campion for her fun loving spirit and for coming alongside of me and encouraging me every day we worked together. And finally to the rest of the team, I am eternally grateful to have met you and hope we have a chance to meet again this side of heaven!
So if you have the opportunity to serve on a team for the Hospital Revitalization Project, using whatever gift God has given you, may I encourage you to GO. Jamie T