Wed June 17thThe Nativity Nigeria (NN) team met again tonight to keep fine tuning the logistics of the NN 2009 trip. To help build the connection between the children at Nativity and those we'll visit in Nigeria, the children attending Vacation Bible School (VBS) next week will be making toys to send with the NN team. Each child at VBS will make a stuffed, green turtle, and include a personalized message in a pocket sewn on the turtle. The children who attended Nativity's Whoobilation celebration also made bracelets to send with our NN travelers. We're also collecting vitamins - for both adults and children - during the 2nd and 3rd weekends in July after every Mass. We will send eleven fifty pound boxes with our 12 travelers - the 12th box will be filled with toys. Look for more information in the bulletin.
Our travelers are working on passports and immunizations, and will soon be filling out applications for visas. Flights are booked, and teams have been formed - one team will travel to the Anawim Home and another will head to Faith Alive hospital, while the "home team" helps with all the coordination efforts here at Nativity. Last year's NN travelers participated in some impromptu class room teaching and asked the home team to assist with that effort by gathering some lesson plans together for this year's team to take with them. The home team also helps by tracking lots of paperwork and information to be sure everything is in order for the August 1st departure. Our travelers will return on August 17th.
I was first introduced to the NN program through a fellow small group member, blogger Teresa Pompa, who traveled to Nigeria last year. We were fortunate that Teresa shared her excitement and reflections with our group and in her blog entries. Hearing about the experience got me interested. I'm a divorced mom of three, but my youngest is heading off to college this fall. I've always been active in volunteering at my children's schools and in their extra-curricular activities. I'd done some ministry work with my kids as they completed their volunteer commitments, but hadn't really done much in the way of parish ministry. A couple of months ago, Father White challenged us to take the next step in our commitment to God and our Faith. Inspired by the call to action, I decided it was time for me to start participating in ministry at Nativity. Teresa's experience moved me to volunteer for NN. I knew I wasn't able to travel to Nigeria, but I've managed hockey teams, tournaments and trips for 20 years for my kids. I thought I might be able to transfer some of those organizational skills to help out with the NN team. I'm thrilled to be part of the team supporting the amazing volunteers who will make the trip. There really is something for everyone when it comes to ministry at Nativity, and I love the way Nativity's children have been brought in to the NN effort through VBS and Whoobilation.