About a week after we got these shoes we got an email asking for donations of shirts, pants and size 11 shoes for a young man in Nigeria who was going on a mission. We have a couple in our Ward, the Weber's, who work there and live there, but Carolee comes home frequently. This young man's parents have both passed away. The Branch President in Nigeria, usually doesn't ask for donations because he wants them to be self reliant, but this young man had no parents so Carolee sent out this email when she was home last. You've probably guessed by now that we had a pair of size 11 shoes. Coincidence, I think not. I sent a check to the Missionary Mall and gave the shoes to Carolee to take back with her. I just got a neat email from her yesterday with pictures of Ben, aka future missionary.
I keep forgetting to send you a thank you from Ben for the shoes you donated for him. He was over here a month ago just after I got back to Lagos and tried them on and they fit great! I'm keeping a suitcase here with clothes and things for his mission, so he's saving them till then. He is leaving on November 24th for the MTC in Ghana and will serve in the Calabar, Nigeria mission. It's interesting that his mission covers the area of his home village, so he's excited about the possibility of going back there and teaching some of his extended family. He says the shoes are so nice that he's worried about ruining them on the bad roads on his mission. He says he will save them for church and times when he knows they will not get ruined by the mud. He is very grateful for your generosity.
I was so worried a week and a half ago -- he called to say he had been in an accident when he was riding his bike to work. I had been worried about him riding his bike to work as he goes along a very busy road and the drivers here are very reckless, but he wanted to save money for his mission so he was riding his bike rather than taking a bus. He was hit by a bus and he said his neck was broken and he had a bad gash on his leg. I was afraid that he was seriously injured with a neck injury. But he said he was walking (with a stick) after a few days in the hospital, so I hoped it wasn't so bad. It's kind of sad here how the hospital system works -- he was dropped off at the hospital by someone on the scene of the accident, but they don't treat anyone until there is a payment for the treatment. Ben called his employer, who sent someone out with money for his care. You may think medical care in the US is bad, but if you see hospitals here -- where patients have to provide many of their own supplies and things are quite unhygienic -- you're really grateful for the US health care system! Ben came over yesterday to visit us and show us his injuries (I think also to get a meal and some financial help....) and it turns out that it was his collarbone that was broken. His gash in his foot is healing well -- we gave him some first aid supplies to change the dressing as he said the hospital wanted him to come back to have them change it but he didn't have money for that.
Thankfully, he's on track to go on his mission on schedule and he's convinced that the devil is out to get him to change his plans, but he "belongs to God and God will watch out for him." He was quoting scriptures right and left and says he is studying hard to prepare. He has a wonderful spirit and will be a great missionary. The second picture is of him yesterday, and shows his great smile.
Hope you're all recovering after Homecoming festivities and having a great Sabbath day at your house!
I was touched that he thought the shoes were so nice and he didn't want to ruin them, and we do take a lot for granted here. I really do have an easy life. I am truly blessed!!