Day 2 November 15, 2017
They Pray Too.
Very early that cold, dry morning I was woken up by the loud chants from the neighboring mosques, but amidst the sonorous chants, within the dark room could be heard another rhythmic sound coming from the corner of the room. Our missionary roommates had woken up to pray, although they could not be clearly seen, the fervor with which they prayed could both be heard and felt.
This was heart warming and a huge source of encouragement to me, as I was inspired by them to commit what was going to be a day full of uncertainties to my Heavenly Father.
We were expected on this day to leave Minna for Dukawa, our final destination and the place were our work was to begin. So after we had cleaned ourselves, packed our bags, received last words of encouragement from our beloved roommates; we were treated to breakfast for what was going to be a rigorous trip ahead.
The Sun and a Bumpy Ride.
After we had finished our breakfast, negotiations were made in Hausa, with the driver that was to take us through the first part of our trip. The vehicle the missionary had gotten for us was smaller than the bus we had boarded from Lagos to Minna, the car took six passengers excluding the driver.
We set off early, because we had been told the day before that Dukawa was a pretty long distance from Minna. We began our long journey deep into the hinterlands, catching a glimpse of sparse settlements and numerous farmlands.
We finally arrived Kontagora (in my personal opinion a tongue twister) and the sun had peaked to such a scorching degree, that I was scared Chica was going to become dark. It was at Kontagora we boarded the next vehicle, that vehicle was to take us to Dukkawa.
You must have heard the saying that ‘the journey of life is full of ups and downs’, the rest of our trip typified that saying literally. Unlike the other trips we had taken, this time we were the only passengers in the car, except the driver. After barely fifteen minutes, we were introduced to what was the longest stretching and the most abysmal road we had all come across in our entire lives.
The bumps and portholes were countless and the car seemed to be fidgeting vigorously with every move it made. The only visual compensation we had was the beautiful hilly view to the right and left of the grotesque road, thank God Tola got an ample number of photos of the magnificent hills. The driver was so engrossed in the arduous task of driving on the road that he never for once responded to our questions and random chit chat.
Another thing that was quickly noticed was that we began to lose our beloved mobile network, this would characterize the rest of our trip. After about three hours of what was a terrible roller coaster ride, we arrived at Christian Learning Center, Otab, Dukkawa.
Dukkawa at Last and Another Taste of Northern Hospitality.
We were not sure what to expect when our driver suddenly veered off the major road into a narrow untarred path. But intuitively we all knew that we had gotten to Dukawa. O how I wish I could properly describe the imperfect beauty that was our next destination, if I could only take a glimpse through Picasso’s eyes and paint a perfect picture.
We arrived at a time when the school kids were observing their siesta, alarmed by sounds from the car they all fled each one of them, mat in hand. We eagerly unpacked our luggage from the vehicle and thanked our driver for his efforts. Then we all stood for a brief moment to internalize the sights. Then interrupted by arguably one of the most cheerful people on earth, we were given the warmest welcome from Cindy. It was Cindy and her husband who oversaw the work at the Christian Learning Center.
Immediately without delay we were given water, seats and later on food to fill our stomachs, because even the blind could perceive that we were tired and hungry. We ate our meal with relish over some interesting conversations about the trip and Bible doctrine. At that moment we also presented the gifts we had gotten for the kids, that comprised of books, mathematical sets and pens.
After we had eaten and were shown to our rooms, the boys decided to leave the girls in their discussion, to catch a glimpse of the new place. We met Oliver and Fear God (that’s an actual name) who took us on a tour of the school. It was lovely I tell you, I wish I could be more descriptive. There were students, mostly dark skinned, probably because of the intense heat of the sun, mud silos called ‘rumbo’ with thatched roofs, classroom and hostel buildings and a lot of other sites too many to take in.
The school was not fenced round, so you could catch a glimpse of the village settlements, farms and animals. We came across many fascinating animals at Dukawa which I cannot fully describe to you: we had the ‘discerning’ dogs, camels, proud turkey and the hen desperate to lay an egg.
While our new friends took us round the school we took the opportunity to discuss matters that bothered around missionary work and reaching out to Muslims.
Tales of Conquests.
After sight seeing for a while, we were told that Cindy needed us in her office for a brief discussion about our activities. As she reeled out our daily activities, something that had become ubiquitous with the missionaries we had met, began to happen. Cindy began to recount her tales of missionary trips, but this was nothing like others we had heard.
She shared her stories with so much passion, that sometimes it seemed like she would burst into joyful tears recounting them. There was so much nostalgia in the air, we all listened intently and I personally did not want the stories to end. After listening to Cindy speak, you could feel such an assurance that there is a God and He is interested in His work and children.
As Cindy went on and on, Lanre came in and although Lanre looked to me like someone in his late twenties or early thirties, he already had a sufficient contribution to make to the awesome stories of missionary conquests.
Bible Study and a Paradigm Shift.
After we had been delighted and encouraged by the wonderful tales from the missionaries, we were told we would be the ones to teach the kids Bible study for the night. So we started straight away to prepare our minds for what we thought we should expect, as this was going to be our first interaction with the school pupils.
We took a brief ride with Lanre to the village corn mill, to remove the husks from the maize, that was to be used to prepare meals for the pupils. Lanre was in charge of most of the technical activities that went into running the Christian Learning Center. The school did not have any electricity, so when it got dark at night, Lanre was in charge of maintaining and turning on the school’s generating set.
Briefly after we returned from the corn mill, we were handed our training manuals for the respective classes we would be taking. At seven in the evening, it was time for Bible study, we had been distributed to classes and assigned topics that were mostly about missionaries. We were not sure what to expect, but I promise you by the time the study was done, we were full of surprises.
When we all gathered to recount our experiences, we were all in agreement that a lot of work had been done on the kids. Jesujoba was especially shocked when he had very serious theological questions thrown at him by his Basic 7 or Junior Secondary School 1 students. Altogether all our preconceived impressions and expectations were unbelievably altered.
Prayer, Dinner and Subjects
After the Bible study we gathered for evening prayers with the rest of the teachers. The prayer lasted for thirty minutes and prayer points were raised on different issues ranging from healing for the injured, wisdom for the kids, supplies for the work, prayer for the lost and other things that needed God’s intervention.
After the prayers we all introduced ourselves then reclined for dinner. It was at dinner I got introduced to Tuwo Kincafa and I loved it, because I had secretly and openly spoken about eating Tuwo Kincafa and I am glad I finally got my chance.
After we had eaten and drunk the nicely prepared watermelon juice, more discussions started off about the work. Then we all had subjects distributed to us in relation to our various academic disciplines. After the subjects had been sorted out, we proceeded to catch some night’s sleep, for it had been a day full of many adventures.
So The Journey Continues…
Read A Trip To Dukawa – Day 1 if you missed it.
A Trip To Dukawa continues next Thursday (05/9/2019) and you don’t wanna miss it
We have another intriguing story you would enjoy, click here to read SHADOWS #1