A week ago at this time, I briefly passed through one of the darkest times of my life. I knew it would forever be a watershed moment--but at that time, I didn't know which direction the water would flow. Bayo is incredibly humbled that God saw fit to give him more time. Bayo is quite overwhelmed with emotion when he thinks of what God has done for him--and for the tremendous outpouring of love we have experienced.
We have experienced the Body of Christ in a wonderful way during this past week. Different people with different gifts have provided for our needs; some have even anticipated needs that we didn’t know we had.
The most amazing thing to me during this medical journey was the concerted prayer around the world that asked God to spare Bayo’s life on Friday/Saturday.How else did all of those out-of-whack vital signs stabilize over night?
There are so many stories of prayer that I will never know,but allow me to share just a few that I heard:
Late afternoon on Saturday, one of Bayo’s relatives called,and we told her Bayo had stabilized. She said she had just come down off the mountain where she and her pastor had been praying for him all day.
I know that Bayo’s siblings prayed all night long for his life. When Bayo was coherent on Sunday, he spoke briefly with his senior sister on the phone. She said she was not going to stop praying that prayer until he comes home from Kenya.
One of Bayo’s friends from young adult days told me he prayed in tongues for about two hours in the night for God to spare Bayo’s life. He said it’s been a long time since he’s prayed the way he did that night.
So many people have shared that they contacted their own network of friends to pray for Bayo’s life. Many told me they did an all-night prayer vigil for him that Fri/Sat night when his life hung in the balance.
The Body of Christ lifted us up in prayer and also met our physical needs. I can’t list them all, but let me mention a few.
Some went without sleep, running here, running there in the middle of the night to help us make plans for the evacuation.
Some showed up at the hospital with the plan of staying overnight with me in the hospital. And they anticipated the things we would need to have in the hospital.
A family in Jos gave us dollars for the journey. I sent them a text that they are “too much.” They responded that we are family. We are not actually related—not even tribally. What kind of family is that? That’s the body of Christ.
A friend gave me more phone credit than I have ever put on my phone at one time. I thought it was excessive at the time, but now that I’m out of the country, phone charges are very excessive, and I discovered that she anticipated needs I didn’t even know I would have.
My neighbors are just "too much." They literally jumped in and did anything they could to help us. On Saturday when I was preparing for the evacuation, one of them just sat in my living room and answered my phone so I could take care of some details.
We had not seen the people I am staying with in Nairobi for 18 years, but they opened their hearts and home to me at a moment’s notice.They now have some other visitors who just arrived so I have moved to a different apartment on their compound. Unbelievably, a woman I have never met before said I should come and stay in her beautiful apartment while she is out of the country for awhile. Oh God, look at how your people take care of each other.
Another family that I have known from years back loaned me a phone to use while I’m here. It’s much cheaper to call Nigeria from a local Kenyan line than on my Nigerian line that I have here.
The family of the old Kenyan grandmother in the bed next to Bayo prayed for him and encouraged him yesterday. They struck up a conversation with me, and when they discovered that we are strangers here, they asked where I was staying. I know that if I didn’t have a place, they would have offered me a place to stay.
I saw Bayo with a pair of bathroom slippers/flip-flops and just assumed the hospital had given them to him. Later I learned that the mother of Grace, a patient in the HDU ward, had allowed him to wear them.
People in my mission that I have never known before have come to encourage us and support us during our time as “strangers in this land.” They are genuinely concerned about us and strive to meet any needs that we have.
My parents have been well taken care of by my neighbors and so many in the Jos community. So many meals have been brought to them that I don't even know if my mom has cooked yet. Someone else brought them a phone to use so they can keep in touch with us as well as people in Jos.
My sister-in-law got the CaringBridge site started—I just had to login and take over.
Those who have the gift of giving have given generously to help us with the weight of expenses not covered by insurance.
Friends in Jos temporarily covered the Jos hospital bill until I can get back to clear it. They anticipated that it would be difficult to scrape together that much cash on a weekend, and they didn’t want anything to delay our medical evacuation on Sunday morning. (In Nigeria, the patient can’t leave the hospital until the entire bill is cleared.)
For things I have forgotten to mention or don't even know about, God has seen, and is surely pleased that the body of Christ is alive and well.
Health Update: Another great day. Still making progress. Pray for his appetite to return.
Life has taken me from the Midwest to Africa. Africa was firmly planted in my heart at age 17. I realized that dream when I landed in Nigeria at the age of 26. Currently I am doing the hardest work I have ever done, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Every day is full of challenges. At times life is too painfully raw, but God reaches down to us in those times of great need and helps us to press on and offer hope.