There have been times in our ministry history when we truly have felt carried along by the prayers of friends, family, and supporters. I am hoping that this will also be the case during this upcoming trip to Nigeria on June 4th through June 17th.
This is my first time to Africa and I would be less than honest if I didn’t communicate that I am somewhat nervous. I’m not quite sure why other than the realization that there are many connections to me made, a lot of technology that needs to be configured and operating properly, and a great deal of country to traverse.
But, through it all, I am truly expecting great things from God. Will you pray for me and help make that happen?
Here is my travel schedule. Please note the connection times.
- 4 June, Saturday – leave Charlotte, fly to Munich. Depart for Frankfurt in one hour. Depart Frankfurt for Abuja, Nigeria. PLEASE PRAY THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE OUR CONNECTION TIME FROM MUNICH TO FRANKFURT. If we miss that connection, there is a massive chain reaction thereafter!
- 5 June, Sunday – Arrive in Abuja, Nigeria in the evening. I will overnight at a guest house in there. Prayer for decent weather. It is normally close to 108 degrees F but they are currently in the rainy season. Please pray that the weather cooperates.
- 6 June, Monday – First thing in the morning you will be driven approximately 4 hours to Jos where the NBTT campus is located. The afternoon will be spent unpacking and testing all equipment. Please pray the all the very expensive satellite terminals and other equipment make it safely and that we can get it configured properly for testing/training the following day and deployment purposes.
- 7 June, Tuesday – Training day. The NBTT staff traveling with you will also be there. Details about your deployment team travel itinerary will also be covered.
- 8 June, Wednesday – Depart for village locations immediately after breakfast. A few locations are within an hours drive of Jos. Some are over a days drive away. Each 2 member WA team will also have a Nigerian driver and an NBTT staff person with them. Please pray for traveling mercies. Words cannot describe the pictures of the roads I have seen and some of the driving conditions. I will be traveling SE out of Jos but am not sure of the distance.
- 9 June, Thursday – BGAN satellite deployment. Please pray that all goes smoothly. We have what looks to be a day. It NEVER works out this way though. Pray the all the equipment functions and all the training to the mother tongue/national Bible translators take hold.
- 10 June, Friday – BGAN satellite deployment – ditto from yesterday
- 11 June, Saturday – Arrive back in Jos no later than 6 pm.
- 12 June, Sunday – Attend a local church. Your afternoon is free for rest.
- 13 June, Monday – Debriefing time perhaps with a local shopping trip in the afternoon on this day or in the morning of the next.
- 14 June, Tuesday through Friday, June 17 – The rest of the 11 team members leave for Abuja, a four hour drive away. I stay two more days to learn the Nigerian team’s tech support needs and try to set up a Helpdesk, configured for and run by, nationals. This is a first and will help our national colleagues become self-sustaining as Tier 1 technical support, we (expats) being a backup or Tier 2 level tech support . If this is successful, we will use this concept to provide satellite connection technical support for the rest of mother tongue translators around the world.
Below is a little information on the people and territory I’ll be visiting. Hopefully, this will provide a better understand of the need.
63,000 speakers most of whom live within the southeastern Nigerian state of Ebonyi, one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the entire nation. Many of the Mgbolizia people still follow African traditional religious beliefs, and some are adherents of another major religion. Project Goal: NT, plus OT portions and JESUS film. In the late 1980s, teams for three related languages, Izii, Ezaa and Ikwo published NTs—since then work on the OT has been in progress in these languages. You can read more on the Seed Company’s site at http://www.theseedcompany.org/project/mgbolizia-nt
Languages participating in this cluster:
530,000 speakers of three closely related languages live in fertile southeastern Nigeria. The area is rich in mineral resources, and the ancestors of today’s inhabitants developed bronze-casting techniques over a thousand years ago. The creativity and technical skill demonstrated by those early African metal crafters is recognized as among the finest in the history of the world.
Swiss Wycliffe members Paul and Inge Meier began work among the Izii people in 1964. Christians from the Ezaa and Ikwo languages requested translation help in the early 1970s. This team of Nigerian translators, local churches and translation consultants is working together to bring God’s Word to all three languages, but they need financial resources and prayer support to help them get the job done.