The Journey Begins!

I decided to start on my blog while I am sitting and waiting to board the plane to Addis Ababa and I am a mess right now. I just said goodbye to mummy(Patrice Miles) and it feels like she is coming back to pick me up, we all know that is not happening.

30 Hours Later!!!

I want to say a huge Thank you to all those who were and are praying for me because I felt your prayers. A week to leaving Nigeria, I had a lot going on up in my head, I had never been on a plane before and my first time would be flying all the way to America with three connecting flights. I was scared and anxious that I was somehow going to miss one of my connecting flights and get stuck at someplace( I know!! now that I am typing this it sounds stupid). post It took us five hours to get to Addis Ababa then seven Hours to get to Dublin where we had to refuel and another long seven hours to Washington, where I went through customs and I got on another plane that took me to Philadelphia where the Harrars( the family I am living with was there to pick me up). Through it all I was calm, collected and did not get lost, not even once, all because you guys were praying for me. Thank you!!

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Anxious me on the plane to Addis Ababa!

Now I am currently in my precious room typing away!! So thankful to the Harrars that help set it all up especially Sam and Lydia, with them guiding me I feel I will be more prepared for my life in America.

I want to say Thank you again to all those who made this happen by prayers, donations, words of encouragement and so much more. Thank you and God bless!!

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Brrrrrrr

IT IS COOOLLD Y’ALL….and the party just started. I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive even though the extreme weather of Pennsylvania is trying to kill me, so keep praying that my body adjusts well. Less than 40 degrees is starting to be the norm here, brrrrr. I don’t think we’ll see the likes of 70 degrees anymore this year, till next year.

So I helped out at a church called One City this evening, they had a ‘trunk or treat’ and we were able to share the gospel too. It was awesome, minus the fact that Maddy and I were freezing. ‘Wise’ me didn’t wear boots, I only had flat shoes on. I had no idea. My toes were so numb I thought at some point they’ll fall off, boy oh boy I am not looking forward to January. Its cold now but its going to get so cold, I wouldn’t know what hit me in the face.

School is going well, the fall semester is almost over, just one month and two weeks left YIPEEE!!( I know…I know, still far away). I love learning but there are some days I’m like-‘get on with it already’. So here are some pictures of the how the fall season is going for me.

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Maddy and I today, both of us performing a duet: “I AM FREEZING”
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My itty bitty carved pumpkin. Sorry its not that clear, My phone tries its best:)

 

 

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L-R; Yin, Grace, Moi, et Hannah!!!
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Can’t wait to see this little pumpkin in December!!!! (Excuse our glittering tears)

Thank you all so much for keeping up with me! I am grateful! If you are living in a place that is currently warm with an awesome weather, I have a message for you……. ‘Don’t talk to me until you are cold and freezing!!!’

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It is so easy to get caught up with the rushing river of time and go with the flow, when this happens it gets harder for us to see God in the little things. This is what has happened to me in the past few weeks, there is a lot I have to get done and my work just keeps piling up. People around me can testify to the fact that the time I spend talking and catching up with them has reduced. But even with all these God revealed himself to me in areas I never expected: like in my friend Maddy, who gave me a frame of the map of Nigeria so I would not miss home too much, or Marty who continues to be ridiculous and funny on days I’m feeling low, or even Grace who is steady and reminds me to continue to grow in Christ. I love them all so much!

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Marty!!!!

When I was applying for college and mummy (Patrice) expressed her wish for me to go to a Christian school, I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of having to go to a Christian college. The reason for this is because I grew up in a very conservative environment with a lot of man-made doctrines I thought was ridiculous, and so I struggled a lot with thoughts of if I wanted to have anything to do with the kind of God these doctrines portrayed. Obviously I had assumed that going to a Christian college will only frustrate me and probably cripple my new found love for Christ, naturally I struggled with accepting God’s plan when he kept opening the doors to LBC. God knows our hearts, he knows the deepest parts of it we refuse to acknowledge because we are too embarrassed to admit it to ourselves. God knew my thoughts and thankfully didn’t just let me end up at any Christian school, but specifically just at LBC and I am grateful.

This past week I realized something life staggering, and it is that I honestly don’t know who I am. Before anyone starts getting concerned about that statement, don’t. What I mean is not my identity, my identity is in Christ but what I am talking about is my personality. What I thought my personality was is apparently all a facade! Let me explain that. So what I mean is that who I presumed I am is just a reflection of who I wanted people to see. Before you get confused I’ll break it down, so while growing up I was a little emotionally unstable and apparently I have unconsciously built walls around who I am to protect myself from getting hurt or being vulnerable. I never realized just how much my childhood affected me, and how most times my reactions to situations around me is just a default setting my mind has unconsciously set up.

Something I have heard a lot from my friends presently is- ‘Titi, learn to ask for help’. Now, it is definitely not my wish to bulldoze everything on my own, and I didn’t realize that I don’t ask for help when I clearly need help, but the default setting in my mind is that- ‘to ask for help is to be a burden to people’. I didn’t realize this for the problem it could be and I had just assumed that is who I am. This is just one of the examples of my many realizations.

 

God has opened my eyes to this, its like reaching out of the rushing river of time and hanging onto a branch just to see where I am presently. Everything I thought I knew is being broken down to pieces, every foundation being remodeled. When I had just accepted Christ I used to pray all the time that God should help me know Him more, I had no idea the depth of my prayer. To be honest it hurts a lot and it is very unsettling, but I pray that God will continue to keep me small just so I can always see how big He is.

Thank you all soo much for your continued prayers, support and love. I am super happy that I am currently attending LBC, because finally I am getting to know and to understand this powerful and mighty God.

A Call to Counter Culture.

I do not know if you are acquainted with David Platt but if you are then you probably are familiar to my title, because it is the title of his own book. David Platt is a pastor, writer and also into ministry work. I have spent two weeks at LBC already and I love my classes and my professors, I just don’t like the reading and assignments but they kind of go together. I would not say College Composition and Research is my favorite course, but I thank God for letting my professor choose A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture as one of the course textbooks. I have been reading this book since last week- mainly for school work and I have grown to appreciate and respect David Platt, but I have just recently finished reading a chapter that has spoken to my soul and heart.

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Permit me to tell you a story of one of David Platt’s experiences. ‘Maliha’ means beautiful and she is a girl that was born in northern Nepal, among the Himalayan mountains. She was nine years old and Maliha and her family has struggled to survive, they lacked clean water, sufficient food and basic medical care.

Imagine her mother’s hope when a young man saw beautiful Maliha washing clothes and talked to her about how he would love to help provide for her family. “There is opportunity for various jobs in Kathmandu, the large city at the base of these mountains. So many jobs for families like yours” the man said. Maliha’s mother attention had been captured at this point, but she was reluctant as she did not want to let go of her daughter.

In days to come however, Maliha’s mother kept thinking of what the man said, she would look at the beautiful, hardworking Maliha and think, Could this really be true? Can my daughter be well cared for? Is it possible that she can later be able to provide for our family? Yet as these questions churned in her mind, she immediately thought, No, I cannot be separated from my daughter.  Until one day the man returned and pledged to Maliha’s mom that he would bring Maliha back with him every year to see her, and he gave her ten thousand rupees to show his desire in providing for her family. Ten thousand rupees is the equivalent of about one hundred dollars to approximately half a year’s wage for Maliha’s mom, and she thought of how generous the man was and agreed.

Now when Maliha was told she was to go to the city she was sad to leave her family, but of course she wanted to be able to work and help them. Maliha went off to the city with the man and was given an amount of food she had never had in her life. She was taken to a small room and after the long journey she went directly to bed. The next morning she was given pretty clothes to wear and the man sat her down to explain to her that she would have to start working to pay him back the money he gave to her mother. Maliha nodded and asked, “what would you like for me to do”. She never could have imagined what her answer would entail.

During dinner the next day, the man gave her alcohol with her meal. With her senses impaired, he escorted this nine-year old girl upstairs, took off her pretty clothes, took away her innocence, and raped her in her room. In days that followed, the man repeatedly raped her and naturally she fought back even though she did not understand what the man was doing to her. But the man threatened her by using her family and reminded her she had to pay him back the money he gave to her mother, there were days she fought back and wanted to go home but she was beaten into submission. It did not take long-only a couple of months- before different men started trooping in, take a look at her beautiful face and lead her upstairs, eventually her spirit was broken.

This was Maliha’s life and she couldn’t find a way out.

I have never felt so helpless like I did tonight. I was overwhelmed by anger and frustration that my tears could not stop because I realized that right then little girls like Maliha were falling into the trap of sex-trafficking due to ignorance. This is probably another touching story for you, you feel pained and emotional but then your phone rings, or your loving daughter calls for you, you suddenly remember you have a paper to submit, you are late for work, or you get a message asking about that party tonight- and then this moment passes away. You might also think or believe this was made up, but you would be staggered at how the rate of slavery presently is more than even centuries ago when it started.

David Platt said and I quote, For Christians, it is the portrait of Christ in the gospel that compels us to fight for the detonation and destruction of slavery in the world. We cannot be silent, and we must not be still. We do not have that choice. We are compelled to pray, to give, and to work to see sex slaves released from their captors and restored to a new life. We are compelled to proclaim Christ, who alone has the ability to bring complete freedom. We are compelled to fight in all these ways with the truth of the gospel on our minds, the power of the gospel in our hearts, and the love of the gospel in our hands.

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I have never been more sure of my calling as a social worker like now, imagine looking down to see all these evil and violence in this world, how it saddens Christ that the work of his hands will be so vile and cruel. He has called us to fight against every single one of these evil with his power and I want to say thank you to all those who have prayed and helped me to be here so I can know how to fight against injustice and be the voice for the helpless and desperate, thank you, thank you so much.

Remember you cannot be still, you cannot be silent. You do not have that choice!

WOW!!!!

I have been in America for almost two weeks now and this last week has definitely been a weekend of welcome. My school; Lancaster Bible College has a program that extends over the weekend to welcome new students and allow the returning students associate with the freshmen before school and all the work starts. The past four days have been real exciting for me as I was ushered in slowly but surely into the LBC community. I definitely can say that it has been wonderful and it was also a real eye opener for me.

On Thursday I got to meet seven other new international students that will be resuming with me this fall from different countries; Malaysia, Peru, Costa rica, Burkina faso, Ethiopia and of course Nigeria. I can definitely tell all of you that it helped knowing that I was not the only confused one, that it was okay to be disoriented so I did not have to do so much to keep my cool. I was also able to meet with the angel in human form Rosie Lammy (mummy’s best friend), apparently its not only to us she’s been so considerate because everyone one was like: ‘so you’re Rosie? oh! its so great to finally meet you in person, thank you so much, you’ve been a great blessing’. Rosie made everything easier for mummy and I over the course of applying to LBC.

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The wonderful Rosie Lammy

On Friday we were given more time to mix and interact with other students and I was really able to connect with my Malaysian friends; Grace and Ziyin, Ziyin is me before you get to know me because she’s a complete introvert, really easy going and Grace is me when we are comfortable with each other- a complete extrovert!

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Moi et wonderful Ziyin!
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We found the world map and we’re pointing to individual countries (Grace in the middle)

Later in the evening, Grace and I were at the block party the student body organized and we were talking about how we were already culture shocked, how we could be surrounded by people and we still felt lonely or ignored and I remember saying that to get out of that we also need to break down our walls and actually make attempts to have friends. Lo and Behold! a girl walked out the dormitory ( I was eyeing her earlier in the day because she was the only girl I could see that we were the same shade of black) she walked over to us and said ‘Hi! I’m Sandy, you are?’and there it is, the start of another friendship and you just know the difference between the one who is going to stay and ones who just introduce themselves for courtesy or nicety purpose.

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The Kenyan-American friend Sandy!!!!

The highlight of the week was on Saturday when we were in the Chapel to listen to our president; Dr Peter W. Teague gave us a talk on what to expect at LBC and how we would all be provided the environment needed to achieve our God given purposes. What touched me and that I would like to share is his story about his thirty seven years old daughter; Jessica who was born with severe intellectual damage ( or like one of his phrases-highly retarded). I would like to go into the long story but I will just give you the lesson: when she was born, he and his wife were devastated, disappointed and went through a lot of suffering. Through all these they turned back to God but kept asking why? why? eventually God transformed the question to how? How can you use Jessica for your glory?

We all have or will have a point in our life the question; why? will go from the deepest parts of our hearts to God, the key is not to only cry and rant but also turn back to that God to ask the major question-how? It doesn’t necessarily have to be as devastating as Dr. Teague’s but when your WHY turns to HOW it is definitely life-altering.

P.S. When I say mummy I mean Patrice Miles…so I suggest that you get used to it, I will be using it a lot….Peace everyone!!

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Officially part of Charger nation!!!
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Welcome by R.A’s and C.A’s!

 

 

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