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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Life is Beautiful (An Update)

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When someone says ‘beautiful!’, our brains are wired to think of something perfect and flawless. My definition of beautiful these days is really different from the popular definition. Imperfections, weaknesses, vulnerability, struggles, mistakes and resilience now mean ‘beautiful’ to me. Life is beautiful! Although sometimes I wonder, if life is really beautiful why do I need to repeat this phrase to myself like a mantra?

I do, we all do. We are humans, we tend to drift off all the time. We get caught up in our struggles and we forget to appreciate the mundane things, we forget to appreciate God. I would know because I am especially guilty of this…. Beloved people, I am just going to give you a recap of school so far. Since in just two months I will be through with my first year in college…crazy, I know right?IMG-20181226-WA0005 

Last semester I took sixteen credits, which equals five courses. I loved almost every single one. I’ll start with my favorite;) Intro to Social Work is a great course, this course would put my mind to rest every time I had doubts about my major. Professor Yager was wonderful and did a good job in introducing us to the broad field of Social Work. Not surprising I ended up with an A in that one…wink wink.

The next favorite is Engaging Faith and Life, this is one of the mandated Bible classes we all have to take at LBC. I am sure glad it is required, Doc Ayers is absolutely a wonderful person (I could cry with appreciation), I am so glad I ended up in his section. This course is mainly about the application of the word of God in our lives and circumstances, boy I loved that class. As a result of how wonderful Doc. really is, I was able to get an A in this course too.

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At the Chinese New year party! L-R Emily, Grace, Hannah, Moi, Ali, and Emily.

This next one is not really a favorite, but Professor Klopp (you are NOT allowed to laugh at this name) did a great job. So in her honor, College Composition and Research comes third in the list. Just like its name, the course is really about writing and how to do effective research on whatever it is you are planning to write about. I don’t really like following rules in writing so I struggled with that course. How I ended up with an A is a miracle, I am not kidding.  We always had SOMETHING to write about hmmph!

This one is Public Speaking, not really much to it. Just like its name we have to come up with something impressive every two week for Professor Toews. We had different categories available to us, and so every two weeks we had to stand in front of the class with an impressive speech. I almost had an heart attack every time it was my turn…wheww! My friends don’t believe that I do get nervous every time, apparently I look confident up there (rolling my eyes right now). Professor Toews graced me with a whopping A.. lol

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Sandy and I!!!!!

This one, Lord have mercy. Prelude to Biblical Studies is another mandated Bible class. Although I really learned a lot from it, I’ll grudgingly agree to that. Prof. Kim though, woah! My professor has a weird way of teaching, dude will just take points of your paper without telling you what you are doing wrong. I bet he grudgingly awarded me the A- I ended up with. All things being equal Prof. Kim is good, just weird.

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I love you too Grace!!!

Its almost mid-term of the second semester, and its passing by. I am taking eighteen credits this time, which equals six courses. I will let you know how everything turns out soon, but you bet I’ll have a lot of complaints. If I have this much and its just mid-term, imagine the end of the semester (smirk). I will also have a lot of praises too;)

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LOL!! this is just me goofing around.

Thank you all for sticking close to me, I really appreciate everyone’s effort. Thank you and God bless you all, enjoy my random pictures. Peace y’all! 

The Truth

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I came across this piece of writing a few days ago in a small notebook, I apparently jotted down my prayer to God the beginning of last year. I would just say that the stage I was then, is the truth. I have definitely come a long way since then, understood a lot more. But, here goes…

I literally have no life outside Jesus, he holds me together through it all. I definitely did not have it together before I knew Him. I would handle everything badly, break my relationships with people all the time. I would hurt people over and over again because I did not have any idea how to do better. I still hurt people but at least now I can say sorry, stick to my word, and try not to do it again. I am scared to live fully surrendered to God, because I am afraid it will kill me. I am not letting it all go because I have at the back of my mind the fear of disappointment.

I am scared and afraid of trusting Him, because I am worried He will take me to where I will never recover. I have been hiding pieces of my heart from God because I doubt he will be a good father. Even after accepting Him, I still go ahead and do things on my own. In the process of not trusting Him fully and not allowing myself to heal, I could not see the beauty of His word.

God, I don’t know how to do this better than just opening up to you. Truth is; I suck, always will. Thank you for your son though, at least through Him I can be better. I could go on and on and make excuses about why I did not open up to you before, why I always question your decisions because I feel you should handle situations differently, but I won’t. I am sorry Jesus, I am so so sorry.

   Help me, because I have no idea what I am doing or where you are taking me. But Spirit lead me to where my faith would be stronger, where my trust is deeper than my feet could ever wander. Let me walk upon the waters where you would call me. Help me to stop doubting your capability in taking care of my life and every situation there is. I am no longer calling on God because He is the only one I have, but because I want to. He is the only one who loves, understands and completely saves.

Is anyone else surprised that I am currently where my feet would never have wandered on their own? I’m not. I can safely say that the phase I was then brought me closer to Christ and I am thankful. Is it not wonderful that we have a God that transcends our world and is willing to listen to us? I think it is beautiful that God wants us to be open to Him, and call out to Him. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

The truth is, this is my life as a Christian. To be a Christian is to walk with Christ, now that path has never been easy and it will not be easy. But I do not think that Christ has called us to live easy lives. Peace y’all!

 

 

 

 

Small Memories, Big Memories

It is hard for people to believe in miracles these days. Humans no longer walk on water, the Red sea doesn’t need to be parted into two again because you can always just book a ticket and fly across the sea. Even some Christians are skeptical of miracles these days, mainly when it cannot be explained by science. Love is a miracle though, it cannot be fully explained by science and it is absolutely beautiful.

Most of my generation have misinterpreted the meaning of love, absolutely reconstructed the meaning that only a few will recognize it. Mostly we search for how another person makes us feel, how happy we become  in their presence, or even how much fun we can have with them. These can surely be part of it, but most of the time we forget that love is a verb and requires a lot of sacrifice.

The few days I have spent with the Riddle’s have made me recognize that love is a miracle, and it works wonders. From Testimony’s laughter, to Miracle’s dry jokes, or Finn’s absolute shrieks of delight. The confidence that is so obvious in them now that was not there before, and the smiles that now come easily to them. All these were really refreshing to me, we all made small and big memories together.

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Look at them…you can almost hear their laughter..

We rode bicycles down the neighborhood with cold fingers, and listened to Testimony make Maui sounds every time we go down a free fall- ‘Cheeeee ooooo’. I watched Testimony interact with friends, and participate in different events with confidence. I had to endure Miracle’s constant repetition of a country song. It was refreshing to listen to Finn’s laugh every time I said ‘ridiculous’. I got this weird feeling in my chest when we had a sing-along to ‘a million dreams’ of the Greatest Showman soundtrack, while we were on our way to their school.

Love is definitely not about how happy or content another person makes you feel, it is how far you are willing to go for the sake of another individual. This is purely evident in the lives of the Riddle’s, in Nick & Katie’s fight to secure a better future for Testimony and Miracle. Their continuous love for them even when they had a valid reason to give up, and this inspires me. No wonder the Bible places so much emphasis on love, of course it is powerful and magical. But we throw around the word ‘love’ so much these days its easy to think it’s all about feeling, well it is not.

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At Church for a Christmas dinner!!!

These few days with the Riddle’s have jarred me awake. The next time we tell ourselves we love someone, let us also remember to ask ourselves how far we are willing to go for that person. Peace y’all.

 

First Semester; Check!!!

I have been dancing around all afternoon ever since I wrote my last exam and came back home. My last update was five weeks ago, and it was all about waiting impatiently for the semester to be over. Well now it is!!

The last five weeks have been filled with series of events: my first snow, my trip to New York, Thanksgiving, and the wonderful concert organized by my school. As wonderful as it all sounds, it has also been a struggle for me. Like you probably know from my previous posts, God has been breaking me down and remolding me. We all know that is not always pleasant. I would say I am the sort of person that likes having all my plans laid out, and I am not really fond of impromptu situations. So, every time God asks me to be calm and patient, I’m always trying to remind Him of everything that is at risk, and why He needs to hurry up with whatever He’s planning. So there it is, please pray that I will be more patient with God’s plans and with people.

God is so good to me, He is calm, stable, unchanging, loving, patient with me, a human. Even when He is the King of all, and rules from heaven, wow! I am surrounded with people who are always trying their best to help me and be there for me, so I am grateful to God for them. I also want to say thank you to everyone, praying for me, sending me letters, supporting me. Thank you all so much, I haven’t forgotten anyone and I keep everyone close to my heart. You all make me feel better and loved, especially when I have 7 to 9 pages to complete;)

Here are the pictures from the past five weeks……..

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Snow!!! Pretty but hmmmmph!
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Thanksgiving!! See the colorful cap and scarf! Thank you Margie!!
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My friends Hannah and Joanne (middle girls) were part of the Chorale at the concert.
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So proud of these girls
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This is how you smile when you know you don’t have any paper due for the next month..(Maddy and I)

Peace y’all!! Can’t wait to spend my break with you all (I am looking at you T-money, Margie and Mimi) Kisses!!!!

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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