To those who follow us on social media, those who are our champions, engaged partners, friends, relatives, and those who support our work from here in the US; we are so grateful for you. This is our monthly newsletter that we would like to share in our blog space to stay in touch.
Africa Comes to America:
“Muna ga duniya!” I heard these Hausa words more than once the past two weeks as we hosted Filibus and Tabitha, our steward and house help from 45 years ago in Nigeria. After being away from Africa for 30 years we started to receive telephone calls. After many conversations and trying to damper their expectations, I made a statement…if they could get a passport and a visa, I would help them come to the States. They had no idea what they were asking and I knew it was impossible…and I was safe.
It had been a passion, a dream, a fantasy; something they worked for to come and visit America. Their request had been denied several times by the U.S. embassy. After years of effort, engaging others to help, and rejection after another…it finally happened: a two year multiple entry visa. A miracle!
They come from a rural village called Baissa in Northern Nigeria near the Cameroon border. To date they do not have running water nor electricity in their home. Neither attended primary school. Tabitha speaks four languages, Filibus three. Neither of them speak English although Filibus understands some. They are no longer young. Filibus has some serious eyesight issues.
It reminds me of the story found in the New Testament about a lady who dreamed big dreams for her two sons. She came to the Master and asked that they have positions in his kingdom. Jesus’ response was incredulous and he responded with “You do not know what you are asking!” (Matt. 20:22).
To put it bluntly, having Filibus and Tabitha here has been an absolutely incredible experience. They were like babies, innocent, dependent, helpless; yet they helped us gain insights into our own culture, values, and spiritual journey. It also reminded us of how utterly useless, helpless, and dumb we were when we first arrived in Nigeria. Reaching out to serve others, and in our case, the provision of clean and safe water to those most needy, cross culturally around the world sounds audacious, unrealistic, and not much based in reality…until I think about the last two weeks. They kept saying “Muna ga duniya!” which means “We are seeing the world!” In the near future I will share more about this experience and how it changed my life as well.
My prayer is that you will continue to partner with us as we see and embrace the needs of the world. Check out our website at www.Businessconnectworld.com and see our 500 mile walk progress for this year. Join us. We need you!
With a grateful heart,
Lou Haveman and the team