Written by: Jafar Musa, A2S US Scholarship Student
Part of our norm during this mission trip is to always start the day with a morning devotion. This morning, Uche Etumonowa anchored the devotion and spoke about the samaritans. One take away from that admonition was how the samaritans helped a stranger without asking for a payback or showing off his good deeds. Note that the human mind is fragile when it comes to the point of serving. Sometimes our mind tricks us to pursue people’s gratification instead of God’s gratification. We ask God to constantly purify our heart to serve him and others like the samaritans.
After the devotion, we all set out for FaithFuel visitation. Our first visit was to Loveth, one of the A2S After School Academy students and the first A2S newscaster. On our arrival, we met Loveth’s mom and siblings who welcomed us all into their joyful home. As we were sharing pleasantries, Loveth’s dad walked in with a huge smile on his face to welcome the crew. I couldn’t count how many times he said “thank you” for the prayers and the opportunity A2S has given to his daughter. One of her news presentations was shared with the group. I believe Loveth will do great things with her God-given talent. Loveth’s dad stated, “I wish you can check my heart right now, it is filled with joy.” He also said, “I don’t want you all to leave, please stay.” Our second visit was to Wisdom Osagie. Wisdom is a wonderful 7 year old boy with tremendous art skill. He said, “I want to be a doctor and still have time to draw for leisure” and “I love the after-school academy because they teach us well.” Wisdom’s best activity at After School Academy is writing. After the closing, he said that he wants to “be the head and not the tail.” Wisdom showed us appreciation for the love and prayers he gets from people. Our third visit was to Mercy, Daniel, and Esther Adekunle. They are siblings with a single mother. The family felt abandoned because their father had left them for no reason. Their mother strives to provide for them and she believes God is their sustainer. Esther’s favorite subject is Christian Religion Knowledge (CRK). She loves reading books and wants to be a teacher. Lastly, we visited Endurance Obazee, who said she wants to be a lawyer. She is a friend of Esther and they love reading books and playing together.
After the end of our FaithFuel visitation, we grabbed lunch and drove back to our residence to gather supplies and prepare for the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp visitation with over 3,000 men, women and children. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with powerful songs that glorify God’s name and thank Him for showing mercy from the tragedy of Boko Haram. The camp chanted, “We have forgiven Boko Haram for destroying our homes, killing our families, and separating our lives, but we will continue to exalt the Lord” because they have found salvation. We gave out books, socks donated by Feetures, and soccer balls donated by Christ School (Asheville, NC). The smiles and looks of satisfaction on their faces were priceless. The children all ran back to their families and housing showing their gifts with great appreciation. After the sharing of gifts, we toured their camp, visited their housing, and played soccer with the campers. It was sad to see that 200 campers were cramped in a building that could comfortably accommodate just about 40 people. The health care building was stocked with limited supplies and beds for patients. At the end, we were fortunate to listen to some first-hand experience stories from Boko Haram captives. It was draining, but at the same time, uplifting.
Our FaithFuel and IDP camp visitations were eye-openers to everybody. It gave us a sense of appreciation and gratitude to God, and remembrance that we are not better than others just because we may sleep on nicer beds or eat three meals a day. My biggest takeaway is how those people hold onto what they believe even in desperate situations and as they face death and poverty. I would not trade this experience for anything. It has helped to shape how I view life on this earth.