April 7 ~ Hello from Africa!

Written by: The Bridge on Saturday, April 8th, 2006

Oops! Instead of landing in Nigeria, the plane got lost and ended up on Jupiter, well at least that what it looks and feels like! (Ok, Matthew CS, I can see you laughing at that one!) As we got lower and lower you could watch the outside temperature on the info screen go up, up and up. At 3000ft we were around 22 degree C. then 23, 24, 25, 26…I was thinking, “That’s quite enough already, you can stop now”, 27, 28…Altitude 1500 ft and falling, temperature 29, 30 and still rising. The monitors shut off just before landing, so I didn’t get to see the final temperature, which was just as well.

Did you know that the term confusion and chaos was created especially to describe a Nigerian airport? Just kidding, but that would perfectly describe the airport experience! I’ve never seen so many people all going somewhere, and nobody really knowing what is going on. Mind you, they did manage to somehow sort most of the white people into a separate line, of course there was a lot of waving and shouting involved. Eventually we got through in one piece, there were some boys from Palmgrove there, waiting to take us home. Going through the city of Port Harpcor is an experience in itself. I’ve seen scenes like that before on videos, but to actually see it and experience it…it’s unbelievable! People living in poor conditions and in such dilapidated houses, even old containers are made into crude homes!

If you’re ever wondering why the horn on a vehicle is on the steering wheel, it’s because it is just as an essential piece of equipment as the steering wheel itself. If the horn doesn’t work, you may as well not have steering wheel. It didn’t take long to learn to hold our ears shut when we saw a big truck passes by.

Our first day in Palmgrove, we went around and looked at everything. At dinner time, we went over to the dinner hall to eat. We had rice and…well…rice, with bits of unidentifiable protein mixed in, it tasted good though!

The current situation in PalmGrove itself is a royal disaster. Everything is worn out and run down by the lack of care and maintenance. For those of you who wanted to hear some good news, sorry, but it’s a depressing situations to be in. The income in Palmgrove is next to nothing. We don’t know where to start, so much to do, so many obstacles. On a brighter note, reading the bible has become a more real experience, simply because it the only thing that we can trust and depend on. Back home, we had it so well made with a steady income and trusted system, whereas out here there is nothing but uncertainty.

Showing 11 comments

leanne said:
On: 9th Apr, 2006 at 12:51

dad says hi, he and mom enjoy your entries and look forward to every new one! The situation sounds pretty sad in Palmgorve, but we trust all you can handle things and straighten them out, as best as you are able. I would guess you will become very familiar with this “rice”….indeed too much for your taste perhaps! Around here the water is reaching nasty levels….pretty high. The horse pasture is under water. I have to go crusing around the dike today to check it all out! Stand firm and God bless you.

ah, just me said:
On: 9th Apr, 2006 at 15:10

Cheers to our missionaries in Nigeria, for God is in control!!

Thanks for being honest about the whole siuation. How could we have expected much more, considering the whole situation. Yes, it’s in such times that our faith is really put to the test. Don’t let satan discourage u. God is in control no matter how bleak, depressing or hopeless your circumstances may seem!! Pray to Him, lean on Him and each other, contiue reading +finding comfort in His word and He will somehow help u build things up again. Trust Him and God will reveal His power + might to u in ways that few of us, sitting comfortably at home will ever experience. He has promised to help+so he will!! Hey, u could pretend the rice is “Manna,” that should help! (just a bit of lame
“In, ihn lass tun und walten, er ist ein weiser Fürst. Und werd sich so verhalten, dass du dich wundern wirst, wenn er, wie ihm gebühret, mit wunderbarem Rath. Dasz Werk hinausgeführet, dasz dich bekümmert hat.”

Mark/Decker said:
On: 9th Apr, 2006 at 16:53

Hi all,
Interesting stuff.
I’d be interested in knowing how you can “blog” from Nigera? You might want to explain that part? Do you have inet/email access?

Ian said:
On: 10th Apr, 2006 at 08:39

Hi Lance
Remember the song “Look for the Silver Lining”. I guess that will be your purpose in Palmgrove. Sometimes we have to wait through the dark hours of a storm for that moment when we see the “silver lining”. Let your Bible be the textbook that you use while you deal with any issue that may arise.
Know that you have the support and prayers of the church here at home!
Ian Kl.

M.W said:
On: 10th Apr, 2006 at 09:22

Lance, to us readers it sounds discouraging to know that the place you will call home for a time being looks a bit discouraging. Well realize this…Even though the country looks rundown from a persons perspecting who never lacked, it’s still filled with many many gems, priceless pearls and diamonds. But they lie within the heart of the ppl there. But..likewise as a person needs to dig for those jewels on earth, so you will have to search for it within their hearts. Then with God’s word bring out the glimmer and shine of that diamond within them. God will never let you down, and like you said the bible seems to be the only thing reliable, which is so true even to those of us who have everything we need, earthly possesions arent anything to place foundation upon. God be with you!

E.H said:
On: 10th Apr, 2006 at 11:42

It is so wonderful to hear that you are save and sound in Palmgrove. The picture you are painting looks a bit bleak to the western eye, but most of Africa is very poor, millions die every year from war, starvation and disease. Palmgrove’s current situation doesn’t look all that promising, but it has a few bright spots. With your strong witnesses we hope Palmgrove’s light will become brighter and more souls will be won for the kingdom of God. To men some situations look hopeless, but with GOD all thing are possible. So trust him in your troubles, for he is so loving, kind, and wise, and most often trials are a blessing in disguise. As you said there is one bright note, reading the bible has become a more real experience. So depressing times will bring you closer GOD, and that is priceless. Hold fast, stay strong!

Lynda Waldner said:
On: 10th Apr, 2006 at 17:55

Ol! Sounds like you had quite a landing! Glad to hear you arrived safe and sound even though it was a bit…rough! Do they even have good ol’ stop signs there?! Sorry to hear about the bleak picture you’re painting here. I trust with the crew we have down there now, it’ll get better in time. May you find the strenght to start every day with renewed hope. “He is our rock in times of trouble, He picks us up when we fall down, all through the storm, His love is the anchor, our hope is in Him alone”! God be with you, we are all cheering you on way down here.

Jennifer/Haven said:
On: 10th Apr, 2006 at 20:03

Hi Lance,
I couldn’t find the words to describe my first impression of Haiti; but that description of Nigeria would do very well – it’s pretty much right on. Isn’t it a fascinating change from North America!?
But that reply from an “M.W” is so true. I actually felt like I was walking in bible times.

Robb said:
On: 10th Apr, 2006 at 20:20

Hai Lance!
I don’t know much about Palmgrove but I would think that there should be a person or group of people who supervise the operation so it doesn’t go to ruin. Perhaps I am missing something here.
How many people live in Palmgrove?
I never considered that there would be such a sharp contrast between our environment and that of Nigeria. Nor have I envisioned that government corruption would be so obvious. Reading this report here was truly surprising. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Leah said:
On: 11th Apr, 2006 at 19:30

Keep you chin up Lance…May God be near to your home away from home….

Serena said:
On: 11th Apr, 2006 at 22:14

Hey Lance and Talitha and everybody….
Thanks so much for all the effort and time you put in all those write ups.. There every appreciated … Quite interesting the situation in Pam grove… Always remember that the God who’s fighting for and with you, is stronger than any situation in this world…He can move any mountains and can give you the strange and courage to do so to… So keep striving for the right and God will send His blessings…