Saturday, June 13, 2009

love and basketball

By Andrew Lovedale '09 (with Lauren Biggers)

This is one of those days when you sit back and just look at how much God has been able to accomplish through the use of his vessels of nobodies like myself and others who made sacrifices to attend to the needs of others.

I intend not to go into details about our early morning rituals because Molly, Lauren and Morgan have already shed some light on it. However, our routine today took a slight twist.

We are patnering with pro health, a religious organization that is committed towards providing free health care to families across Africa. Pro health is carrying out a 10-day free health project here in Benin, while Samaritans feet is also doing "shoes of hope distribution."

We woke up at 5.30 am as usual, Lauren and Morgan were pumped for morning prayers because through bad communication, they thought it was my turn to lead praise and worship' and it turned out I did not, which left them disappointed.

Unknown to Lauren that I was supposed to lead praise and worship before bible study, she somehow skipped because she needed the rest. One cannot blame her for resting because everything is tough but the joy of the lord that emanates from our service, provides us with the strength to keep marching on.

Manny's wife (Tracy Ohonme) led bible study, and it was a great time. After a wonderful breakfast, we took a little break, sorted out the bags some, and hopped on the bus. We drove to church where a school called "logos academy" was also situated and handed out 200 pairs of shoes just loving on them and telling them how much God loves them.

Frank went to Abuja to collect his Visa so Molly talked me into reading the story of Noah to the kids while thay awaited their turns for ministration. One cannot help but marvel at the joy on the faces of these little ones whose future looks so bright. Some little kids got white shoes and would use their hands to dust off any dirt on it every 10 seconds or so even if there was non present.

The church volunteers turned out in their large numbers, which made things move fast. At about 12.30, we were done with giving out shoes and spent some time outside the church taking photographs with members of the church as well as others around.

Then we drove to VICS for lunch, of which it rained on our way and Molly could not help but take pictures of the flooded roads of my city. Truth be told, Morgan was sort of scared and that came to light when she saw other cars hesitate to drive in waters ventured by our driver as she said " those people are all going back because they are scared. Sunny (our driver) is the best."

We got back at 2.30 and had to be ready to leave for the basketball court by 3.30pm. During the one hour window, i went into "the queens suite" (MML) and just picked on Morgan for all the countless love letters she has recieved from my fellow Nigerians.

Whie cracking up and just chilling, the last thing i remember doing was taking a picture of Morgan curled up in a sofa in a weird way. After passing on the sofa, I woke up and asked Lauren how long I had napped for and she said 10 minutes. Although 10 minutes, it was worth it.

I ran out of their suite because it was time to go and before you know it, we were on the bus to wire road to go assist with the newly renovated basketball court, play games with the folks and just love on them.

and now, this is lauren... i intended to have andrew write about the day, but wasn't sure he would get it done. certain things have not disappeared even though we are worlds away, and the depedency of andrew and frank on morgan and i is one of them. (lauren, can you please... morgan, where is..., etc. etc.). as frank so accurately observed one of our first days as molly, morgan, andrew and frank and i were waiting outside of the internet cafe, 'it's like we are sitting in your office in baker, and yet we are on some random street in benin.'

i intend to write the blog for today, and thus, include some more details from wednesday's basketball clinic. for the first time since we have been here, i have not wanted to commit a crime when getting a 530 wake up call. (i also cannot believe how clean we look in the blog picture!) i am off to breakfast now, and then we are scheduled to spend our day visiting orphanges. i'm sure it will be an emotionally challenging day, but we hope to distribute the remainder of the shoes that we brought with us on the plane. everyone sends their love home!

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