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mayblog2malI once heard a comedian say, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Well I can certainly relate to that sentiment. Many of you know that I’ve had numerous bouts with malaria since moving to Nigeria, but you may not be aware of just how many times I have been sick with it.   From my count, I’ve had it eighteen times. My malaria is now a legal adult at eighteen.  It can join the army. It has the right to vote. It can even buy a pack of cigarettes if it wants to.

On average, I get malaria every ten weeks. Now, there are a lot of factors when considering these numbers. Things like the hospital in Egbe didn’t keep medical records on me for the entire first year we were in Egbe. There is speculation that the tests were producing false positives or even false negatives.  About five of the eighteen times I self-treated with medicine when I had symptoms of malaria in the middle of the night or when it was impossible to get to a doctor. This doesn’t change the fact that I was sick with something each of those times and the treatment for malaria made me feel better each time.

mayblogmalariaAdded into the mix were bouts with intestinal worms, E. Coli, Salmonella, and a newly diagnosed ulcer.  I can truly say “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Each of these times that I am sick, I feel a stirring inside me. I’m stirred with feelings of why am I living like this? Can I just “go home” where there is no malaria? Should I be living here? Is this the way that I “suffer for the Lord?” Am I really doing anything useful in missions if some weeks I cannot even get out of bed? Am I being a bad steward of all the sacrificial donations to us if I’m ineffective? Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we were just back at home in the USA? I just want to feel normal again.

We thought that moving from the bush of Egbe to our new home in the city of Jos would help lower the frequency that I get sick, but it hasn’t changed. Now I am at the point of needing answers as to what is really going on. Do I have a low immune system? Is the malaria reoccurring by living in my body somewhere? Am I susceptible to a more dangerous disease? Do I have something else that is undiagnosed going on? Should I live here?

mayblogmal3So many questions, but there are no true answers to be found here on Jos.  So, what can be done? Well, together with SIM, we have decided that I need to seek a specialist in Tropical Medicine and infectious diseases to get some real answers. After emailing at least sixty doctors throughout Europe and South Africa, I’ve found a doctor in South Africa that is willing to see me. I’ve made an appointment for July 5th to meet with him and he is ready to run a battery of tests to see what is going on. Please pray for this time. I will go alone and leave my family behind. I am not sure of the length of stay in South Africa, but I am expecting up to one month to allow for diagnostic testing and potential treatment. 

While I’m stirred at heart when I am sick, I am not shaken. I still have faith that God has us right where He wants us and it is His ultimate plan of what our future holds. For now, we are looking forward to what this doctor says about my condition. We are letting the doctor be an instrument in God’s hands for whatever our future might hold.

Cason had to do a project about the water situation in Nigeria and more specifically in Jos. Here is the finished product… Click on the picture below…
Enjoy!

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Saying Hello!

Posted: March 6, 2018 by Lenny in Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Missionaries, Nigeria, SIM
Just wanted to say Hi from our side of the world! (click picture)

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I’ve been busy that’s for sure…

I’ve created SIM Nigeria’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo accounts. I of course stay busy finding and putting content on these social media pages for maximum exposure. I’ve been to several local events to film or take pictures to publish on our media sites. I’ve recently revised and published two very important brochures that SIM Nigeria uses for recruitment of short term missionaries as well as medical missionaries.

Along with all of this, there has also been a lot of traveling for me over the past few months in order to get video of four Theological colleges where SIM missionaries can come to serve. One of the colleges is about a 14 hour drive away from where we live.  Another college is three hours away and yet another is about six hours away. This last one being located almost to the most northern border of Nigeria. Each visit consisted of many interviews with educators, administrators, and students. After all of the travel, I’ve spent about 60 hours editing this one video. The purpose of this is to get people excited about the opportunities to serve with SIM Nigeria if they are a professor or educator. Click the picture to see the video.

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This will be longest of a series of videos I will complete for theological education in Nigeria. The idea would be to provide shorter versions of this to get people excited and if they should want more information, then they can watch this longer seven minute video.

Overall, my role here with SIM Nigeria is being well received by our fellow missionaries, who’s excitement is growing as they see the potential of helping their ministries. Also, our administration is enthused about this becoming a huge recruitment tool for our field. Some of the biggest excitement is from our Nigerian church, ECWA. These brothers and sisters who are ministering all over Nigeria, see the potential to provide a huge tool for them to reach the lost.

Pray for me as my work load is not getting smaller, but rather bigger. Upcoming, I will be working on videos and materials for medical missions, youth ministries, ministering to those marginalized & vulnerable in our society, short-term missions, the persecuted church, indigenous missions, trauma healing ministries, and so much more! Also, pray for workers, as the harvest is plentiful.

 

Wrecked CRV

On New Years Eve, one of former colleagues from Egbe was in Jos to visit. She said she wanted to meet one of her friends just down the road and said she would get a ride in a small taxi called a keke (kay-kay). Patrice said, “No way, just take our car and come back when your done.”

Unfortunately, she made it only about a half mile from the house before she was hit by another driver. The 4-way intersection is unmarked with any stop signs and it is unclear who truly has the right of way, even though our friend was on the larger

“main road”. Thankfully she is OK and had only some bruising and soreness on her left arm from the impact. We are relieved that the side airbag did deploy for her safety.

My Find in Abuja!

Our car suffered the worst. We deemed it a total loss and sold it for parts money. The good news is that SIM has a car insurance group and they are covering most all of the funds for replacement cost of that cars value. The only problem now was buying a car in Nigeria. The last car we bought, we bought from a missionary and we knew the history.

I had to take a short trip to Abuja to car shop and it was quite the experience. Most everything that I could look at had been wrecked and had terrible quality repair jobs. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t find something dependable until we came across the last car that I would l

ook at that day. A British embassy employee was selling her car and it was perfect and well maintained. It was $1,000 more than what the insurance company was giving us but we were just so grateful to even have found something.

Pray along with us that the deal goes through and that this new car will last us a very long time!

Click the picture above for a quick video of how long the line is waiting for gas.

A fuel crisis has been ongoing for about two months now in nigeria. Every year around Christmas the gas stations start to hoard their fuel in an effort to drive up prices as the demand grows. Everyone wants to travel back to their various homes and villages throughout Nigeria to visit their families for Christmas.

The result however is somewhat chaotic. People wait in tremendously long lines all day long for just a little bit of gas. Sometimes they sit there all day to finally get their turn at the pump and there is no fuel. It’s not uncommon to see a fight as you drive past the lines from one car cutting line in front of the other. Or a fight at the pump for the last drop of gas. In addition, we have notice that NEPA, the electricity company is giving power a lot less. Cell phone service is not as strong as it was two months ago and the network is constantly going down. All of these companies need fuel for generators to run things so if fuel is scarce, electricity and cell phone service is too.

For us, it just makes things more expensive. Instead of waiting in the long lines, we buy our gas where prices for gas are double or triple that at the pump. Driving the car or running our generator suddenly becomes an expensive proposition, yet we have to run our gen more because natural electricity isn’t coming to the house like before.

Please pray that the fuel shortage ends soon!

Click the picture above for a quick video of how long the line is waiting for gas…

The North

Posted: September 12, 2017 by Lenny in Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Prayer, SIM

DSC_0054As we drove, headed north away from the Plateau, I remember being surprised at the beauty of it all. The landscape was much different than I imagined. Mountains out to the far distance and between them were huge expanses of green. In my mind, I thought we would have left all of the green behind. Heading into the North meant to me that we were going to start to see desert everywhere. That wasn’t the case at all. I see that this is a vital place in Nigeria that produces food for the whole country.

As we drove I noticed that people and buildings changed just as much as the landscape around me. All the women wore hijabs or some head covering. Many m0sques dotted the landscape. Periodically, I would see a sign on the road that was written in Arabic. It clearly indicated that a m0sque was nearby. The unusual part was that a man dressed in a white uniform and very animated was always standing after the sign pointing cars towards the m0ques. I figured that since we were traveling on the mu$lim holiday, Eid al-Adha, this was some kind of a service to those traveling if they wanted to stop and pray along the way. I was intrigued to find out that they actually were building m0sques in those places and are trying to get people to stop and give money to finish the construction.

gtsAs my travels continued I noticed people everywhere buying, selling, or butchering livestock to celebrate the holiday (Eid al-Adha), which is known as the sacrifice feast. The meaning behind the holiday is that it honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Abraham sacrificed his son, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead. For this Mu$lim holiday, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts. One part is given to the poor and needy, another part is given to relatives, friends and neighbors, and the family eats the remaining part. I think back now and consider how God made so many parallels in Abraham’s story with the redemption of his creation by offering one final sacrifice in Jesus to take our place. I pray the thousands of people I passed that day will have a chance to hear the rest of the redemption story.

CIMG2956As we got further away from the Plateau, our SIM Nigeria Director started to point out piles of rubble or even a green field that used to be a church. Each came with its own story about how the church members would rebuild and then persecutors would tear down the building again and again. After five or more times they would eventually give up and many of the congregations either had left or they now meet in the open air.

 

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After the five-hour drive we arrived in the large northern city of Kano. Once more, I was amazed. The sheer size of the city (around 5 million people), its development, and its history dating back 1,000+ years was awesome to see. We saw horses, camels (I didn’t get the camels on film!), and masses of people making preparations for their holiday celebrations. We arrived safely at the church guesthouse in the only few “Christian” blocks of the city. It felt small, but safe.

IMG_9982The next morning we headed a little further up the road about 45 minutes to the small town of Tofa where SIM’s indigenous partner church, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), has a theological seminary. I was blessed to meet many people there and everyone was gracious to have the cameras “ON” so that I could take film of this institution. These videos will highlight the need for missionaries to come and teach as well as identify ways that God is working in these places. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.

Overall, it was an amazing trip and very eye opening for me on how much the North needs to here about Jesus. Please join me in praying for SIM’s northern initiative to reach the unreached. Please also pray for my future trips to the North to continue to to be safe and fruitful. Pray these video’s will stir peoples hearts to want to help in the North prayerfully, physically, and or financially.