January 19, 2010

Nigeria - An Update

Blessings Friends & Family from Alexandria, Egypt. We pray you are having a beautiful beginning to your New Year. We wanted to start by saying thank you so much for your prayers and the outcry of support for our last minute effort to Nigeria. Together we raised a little over $1,000 in a week! People did bake sales, tithed work checks, and gave as God led them and we are so incredibly thankful. Time and time again we are amazed at how God uses His body to support one another!! Thank you for being apart of that and lending your support on behalf of the marginalized in Nigeria.

So we have an update and it's a little sad with a lot of optimism and excitement mixed in. It appears that indeed our visa & financial situation will hold us back from getting into Nigeria this Friday. It was just to much to fast to try and apply for visas as foreign nationals in a not so efficient foreign system. The Nigerian Embassy in Cairo has been giving a lot of mixed information and it appears that visas wont come together in time. It would also financially basically flatten us at the moment (even with what was raised) because of flight price jumps. So with a little sadness we have to report that Nigeria will have to wait for PhotogenX.

That being said, we are really excited. It was after all a very quick and hectic undertaking to try and go so speedily for such a short period of time. Yet during the last week of trying to make it happen we have been able to speak with our leadership and we all feel that Nigeria and the injustice perpetuated there, along with the incredible response our Y family is already undertaking needs to be a new front line for us this coming year. So it's with excitement that we return to Kona with some direction. In some ways this will allow us as a community to slow down, research, network and then go with confidence, purpose, and more intentionality. So we are indeed planing on heading to Nigeria in 2010 (Lord willing).

If you gave towards our effort to Nigeria, please know that we will put aside any funds raised specifically for Nigeria to go towards that specific effort next year. If you would like to be reimbursed or have the money used for another purpose we are more than happy to do so! Simply communicate that with us. You are a blessing...

This past week in the scramble we have researched Nigeria like never before. Please take some time to pray for our brothers and sisters there and to make yourself aware of the issues the face. The greed and international exploitation countered by violence and bloody mayhem is a totally overwhelming. Pray for the Church in Nigeria, specifically in Port Harcourt where the brunt of the violence is and where the Y community is stationed. Pray it can be a haven of peace. Pray for our families effort to rehabilitate so many hurting young adults and that our Father will break the violence from their hearts. Pray that more productive and creative ways of ending oppression can be birthed and that the Church would rise up and lead these efforts. Let us all lay a prayer foundation as we begin to put plans together for next year.

Thank you for your love and voice! We will be in touch in February when we are back at home base. There will be much to share and pray into together as we move into 2010 with all the Lord is planing to do with PhotogenX this year.

Grace & PEACE,
Steve & Diane Schallert

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