Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas From Anawim

Dear NATIVITY:NIGERIA and Friends of Anawim Home,

With so much love and gratitude, we the Missionary Sisters for the Poorest of the Poor and the entire Anawim Family wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.  You have brought tremendous joy to our hearts over the last year, and shared in our sorrows.  We strongly believe that the good Lord will continue to strengthen our love for each other in 2013.

From all the children and the entire Anawim family, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Sister Oresoa, the Missionary Sisters, & the Anawim Family

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The True Meaning of Christmas

Members of the NATIVITY:NIGERIA mission team joined together in prayer tonight. The team gathered to pray for peace in Nigeria, and ask for God blessing over our partners there. He has faithfully guided our partnership with Faith Alive and Anawim, and especially protected and shepherded our partners during this difficult time of political and religious turmoil. As a church community, we are so grateful for God's continued provision through this partnership.

NATIVITY:NIGERIA Gathering In Prayer

In remembering our partners during this Christmas season, our team prayed through a passage of scripture which is particularly relevant to our partnerships in Nigeria.
And there were, in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager.' And suddenly there was with the angle, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.' - Luke 2:8-14

As Linus reminds Charlie Brown after reading this scripture passage in the 1965 classic holiday movie, "This, Charlie Brown, is the true meaning of Christmas." The passage serves as a reminder that we live in a world not governed by our wealth, possessions, or lavish gifts under the tree, but instead, defined by and globally united through the Savior's unwavering love for each of us. 

We pray in anticipation of a miracle this Christmas season, and in praise and gratitude for continued peace in Nigeria. May God shepherd our brothers and sisters at Faith Alive Hospital and Anawim Home, and bless their communities this Christmas.

Anawim Quadruplets

Yesterday, members of the NATIVITY:NIGERIA team had the opportunity to Skype with Sister Oresoa and several Anawim community members. We are pleased to introduce you to the newest members of Anawim Home, the Anawim Quadruplets. On the same day, two were born at Anawim and two were found on the street in Kaduna. We continue to pray for our partners at Anawim Home and Faith Alive Hospital. Sister Oresoa and the entire Anawim Home community wish Nativity a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Sister Oresoa and other Missionary Sisters of Anawim, with babies Emmanual, Emmanuella, Cathrine, & Anna

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Prayer Night

NATIVITY:NIGERIA will be hosting a brief prayer gathering next Wednesday, December 19th, from 6:00pm - 6:30pm in the Nativity Sanctuary. Please join us as we pray for peace in Jos and Abuja, and celebrate all that God has done through our ongoing partnership with Faith Alive Hospital and Anawim Home. All are welcome!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fast With Us: December

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the first Thursday of each month will mark a day of water-only fasting for the Nativity:Nigeria community. (Water only means you still eat whatever you would like, but refrain from drinking any beverages other than water for the day.) The exciting news is that our partners at the communities of Faith Alive Hospital and Anawim Home will be fasting during these Thursdays too.

Please join us this Thursday in a water-only fast, as we prayerfully seek peace for our partners in Nigeria.

To read more about our prior fasting efforts, check out other blog posts here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Greetings from Anawim

Today we received pictures and a warm greeting from our partners at Anawim Home. Sister Oresoa and the residents of Anawim send their love to the entire NATIVITY:NIGERIA community. We continue to keep our partners in prayer, seeking God's peaceful protection and blessing during this difficult time.

The Children of Anawim Home's Infant Jesus Hostel

Children of Anawim Home - baking pastries

Children of Anawim Home - feed fish at the Anawim fish pond

Mary & Martha - the two newest members of the Anawim community

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fast With Us

As you may remember, members of the Nativity:Nigeria family participated in a water-only fast in support of our Nigerian partners this past August, leading up to an exciting event: "Shagali: Partners in Prayer". And now, this prayerful and enthusiastic expression of solidarity will continue on...

The first Thursday of each month, the Church of Nativity community will participate in a water-only fast. (Water only means you still eat whatever you would, but must refrain from drinking any beverages other than water for the day.) The exciting news is that our partners at the communities of Faith Alive Hospital and Anawim Home will also be fasting during these Thursdays.  We continue to pray for our partners throughout the region during this difficult time of conflict and turmoil.

To read more about our prior fasting efforts, check out other blog posts here.
A reminder of this on-going fast will be posted here to the blog each month, and on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our Online Community

Want to connect with other Nativity missionaries, hear more about ongoing local and international mission projects, or share pictures and stories from past projects - be sure to check out Nativity Mission's facebook page to join the conversation, and be part of our online community.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reflection from Shagali

Although a month has passed since our exciting "Shagali" event, our thoughts and prayers are still with our strategic partners in Nigeria. We continue to prayerfully lift up our Nigerian brothers and sisters as they resiliently persevere through the trying times their country now faces. In this memory, today's reflection comes from Gin Gin Diokno, a member of both the 2010 Faith Alive mission team and the 2012 Anawim Home mission team. She shares some insights on her experiences in Jos, where our parish has invested in several local communities, providing boreholes and wells there to offer fresh clean water to hundreds of Nigerian people.

"I've fallen in love with a special place called Jos, and a farm called Hwol Yarje. People in this farming community do not have access to clean potable water. Yes, that is still the grim reality even in the outskirts of the city of Jos. Children did not have access to schools. Dr. Chris [founder of Faith Alive Hospital] and Naomi, later joined by Amos, the architect, told us about the history of how the temporary school structure came about. We entered the three classrooms adorned with simple posters of alphabets, letters, and drawings hanging on the aluminum walls. We walked a few paces further, and there it was: an empty lot full of promises.

In front of us was a football field of grassy, untended land, surrounded by a low hollow brick fence, waiting to be dug and built upon. This is where 200 plus kids can comfortably site on their desks, learning not just about science, math, reading, social studies, English, but also their Christian faith.  This is where girls and boys will gather to sing to their visitors at the top of their lungs in unison: You are welcome to Faith Alive Community School. You are welcome to Faith Alive Community School. You are welcome to Faith Alive Community School. You are welcome."

Dr. Chris Isichei, Gin Gin Diokno, & Father Michael White (Pastor, Church of the Nativity)
Shagali: Partners in Prayer event, August 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

To Our Partners [Video]

To our Nativity:Nigeria Partners... from Church of the Nativity on Vimeo.

Here is a video of encouragement and support that we are sending our Nativity:Nigeria partners. As a result of our "Shagali" event and water fast this August, Church of the Nativity and past Nigeria missionaries send their love and prayers to all those at Anawim Home and Faith Alive Hospital.

"Take heart, I have overcome the world" - John 16.33

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sister Oresoa Visits Nativity:Nigeria

This summer, we have been blessed to welcome our Nigerian partners to the States, as they have each shared time with the Nativity:Nigeria family. Dr. Chris Isichei (founder of Faith Alive Hospital) visited Nativity earlier this month, joining us for both mass and the Shagali celebration. This week, Sister Oresoa (founder of Anawim Home and the Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor) is visiting from Abuja. Sister Oresoa attended mass at Nativity this weekend, and last night enjoyed a night of food, fellowship, and prayer with past Nativity:Nigeria missionaries. Sister shared stories of the progress and challenges the Anawim community has faced in recent months, shared pictures and videos of the children and residents of Anawim, and offered her inspiring vision for the future. Sister Oresoa vowed that she will not stop in her mission to provide a home for forgotten children, abandoned mentally ill and sick, commercial sex workers, and young mothers in need. It was a fantastic night of encouragement and fellowship, and N:N team members were humbled and inspired by Sister Oresoa's amazing stories of hope and God's faithful work in Nigeria.

Sister Oresoa (Founder - Anawim Home) sharing her vision with Nativity:Nigeria 

Sister Oresoa and Past Nativity:Nigeria Missionaries

 Sister Oresoa showing video updates of Anawim

Sister Oresoa with Bob Barczak & Brian Crook of Nativity:Nigeria

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reflection from Shagali

Today's reflection comes from our partners at Faith Alive Hospital. We share Faith Alive Hospital's Dedication Declaration as an affirmation of our commitment to faithfully serve the Lord, united globally for the purpose of building His kingdom. The declaration was read at Shagali as a prayer to end the violence in Nigeria and seek God's protection of our partners there. 

"I am confident in God's promises. My past has been forgiven. My future is secure and God has a purpose for my life. I am committed to God's purposes with God's power for God's glory. I will value character over comfort, service over status and power over possessions. I am committed to God's people. We declare that unity in Christ bridges all differences. We are one in Christ. Standing side by side with my brothers and sisters, I commit myself to grow spiritually, love unconditionally and serve faithfully. To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, Whenever, Wherever and Whatever You ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes. I want to be used by You in such a way that on that final day I will hear You say, Well done, my good and faithful servant." -Faith Alive Hospital Dedication Declaration

Bill Baird (Faith Alive Mission Team '11) leading prayer at Shagali

Monday, August 20, 2012

Reflection from Shagali

As mentioned, we will be sharing some reflections from past missionaries given at this month's Shagali event. This reflection comes from Jess Brown, who spent time with Sister Oresoa and the community of Anawim Home last summer.

"There is humbling evidence throughout Nigeria that God's love and compassion shines through the simplicity of life. The daily works of Sr. Oresoa and the Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor are predictably modest and self-sacrificing. Without fear or compliant, the sisters live a meager existence, rising early each day for Mass, serving as best they can the needs of so many, and giving of themselves in every awe-inspiring way.

But it was in the eyes of the children, that God's grace was so evident. In some ways, their lives were so very different from mine. These children lived without the distractions of technology, without the comfort of regular electricity and running water, without the guarantee of a next meal. And yet, they smiled with dignity in the simplest of pleasures - receiving pencil sharpeners and erasers from our team, reading ethnically rich novels, playing soccer on the front lawn, performing daily chores, and merely sharing a conversation with someone who really cared about them in the moment." - Jess Brown, Anawim Home Mission Team 2011

Dr. Chris Isichei (Founder - Faith Alive Hospital), Kathi Rogers &, Jess Brown (Missionaries) at Shagali

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shagali: A Night of Praise

Thank you to all those who joined in the water fast last week. The feedback has been overwhelming positive, with countless stories of people who were encouraged, challenged, and enlivened from their participation in the week-long water fast for peace. Additionally, our partners have felt the love and prayerful support, as we have joined them in seeking God's provision and blessing over Nigeria.  

A special thank you to  everyone who attended the "Shagali: Partners in Prayer" event last week! It was so exciting to see over one-hundred and twenty five people come together in worship, prayer, reflection, celebration, and feasting. Dr. Chris Isichei, the founder of Faith Alive Hospital, was with us for the event and was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for our fellowship and longstanding relationship - which was so present that night. You made a difference that night. Through our strategic partners, our church is moving all around the world. We are rescuing children from the streets of Abuja, rehabilitating AIDS patients in Jos, and bringing water to school children at Hwol Yarje. And by praying and fasting for peace in Nigeria, you are making a difference, you are participating in a kingdom movement, you are making church matter.

And if you missed the event, you can still be part of the movement - Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some reflections, stories, pictures, and videos from the event here on the blog. Also, check out our Nativity:Missions Facebook page for more pictures and information about Shagali.

Monday, August 6, 2012

See You At Shagali!

We are now 5 days into our water-only fast! Thank you to all those who have been fasting and praying with us for peace in Nigeria. Our week of fasting will end at 6pm, on Wednesday. Don't forget to join us at Church of the Nativity for a night of worship, prayer, and celebration!

Join the conversation and share encouragement during the fast on our brand new Nativity Missions Facebook page.

May the Lord give might to his people;
May the Lord bless his people with peace
    Psalm 30:11

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What does Shagali Mean?

As we've discussed our upcoming missions event these last few weeks, many have asked: “Shagali, what does that even mean?” Shagali is a Hausa word meaning celebration. This sign of praise, jubilant festivities, and a joyful spirit defines our longtime relationship with Anawim Home and Faith Alive Hospital. Each summer, Nativity’s missionaries have experienced the joyful and prayerful celebrations of these communities, as they give glory to God and worship His greatness. We have used this phrase, which is known to so many within our partner country of Nigeria, to guide the spirit of this week’s fast and maintain a prayerful connection to our strategic partners in Nigeria. Shagali!

On Wednesday, we will join together as a community to celebrate in worship and prayer as we break the fast together. Join us at Nativity to indulge in your first non-water drink, enjoy some food and live music from Al Walsh and Three Flights Up, meet Dr. Chris Isichei - the founder of Faith Alive Hospital, and fellowship with past missionaries.

Shagali: Partners in Prayer
Wednesday August 8th, 6pm
Church of the Nativity

Friday, August 3, 2012

This Fast Matters

Someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so."

But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, "Why could we not drive it out? He said to them, "This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting."
            Mark 9:17-18, 27-29

We know there is evil in the world. Our own life experiences tell us that, and the evening news reminds us of it each day. In this passage of Scripture we see Jesus teaching his disciples that there are different kinds of evil. He says explicitly that the type of evil with which this boy was possessed "can only come out through prayer and fasting."

There is evil present in Nigeria, and it's affecting people whom we care about very deeply. Our Nativity:Nigeria partners are tremendous, beautiful people doing the work of the Lord with great faith and boldness. Their efforts and innocent people's lives are being impacted by evil. We don't know what kind of evil is present, but we believe Jesus when he says some evil will only be driven out through prayer and fasting.

This fast matters. Your fast and your prayers matter. You're not doing this alone; there are hundreds in our community fasting along with you. We're all praying for peace in Nigeria, an end to violence and an end to Boko Haram. Let us continue to lift up Anawim Home Orphanage, Faith Alive Hospital, and all of Nigeria that God's peace would overpower the evil present there.


Remember to join us on Wednesday evening to indulge in your first non-water beverage at 6pm for Shagali! Dr. Chris Isichei from Faith Alive and past Nativity:Nigeria missionaries will be with us as we have a short prayer service to conclude the fast. Then our celebration will begin with live music from Al Walsh and Three Flights Up and lots of food, fun, and fellowship.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Are We Fasting?

Fasting is essentially the act of willingly abstaining from food or drink for a period of time, as a prayerful observance or sacrifice. There are countless examples throughout scripture of Jesus’ followers observing a partial or full fast in connection with His teachings.

If you've been a regular reader of our blog, you know that tomorrow begins Nativity Nigeria’s water-only fast. For the next seven days, we will be prayerfully giving up all other liquids – and only consuming water… You can eat whatever you want, but just stick to drinking only water.

Water has had particular significance to our partnership and mission in Nigeria. Over the years, Nativity’s parishioners have supported the construction of several wells in Abuja and Jos, providing clean drinking water to hundreds of people in these communities. (You can learn more about our ongoing water projects in Nigeria here). As a symbol of this life-giving and critical part of our Nigerian partners’ daily lives, we have chosen to symbolically drink simply water this next week. In abstaining from all other beverages, we will have the chance to prayerfully remember our partners in Nigeria, demonstrate our collective solidarity, and remain united through Christ. In particular, as the people of Nigeria continue to be tormented by religious, cultural, and political violence in recent months, this fast serves as an opportunity to prayerfully lift them up and ask for God’s peaceful provision of the region.

Throughout these next seven days, Church of the Nativity will be sending daily messages of encouragement and reflection to help guide your prayer and purposeful fasting each day. If you are not already signed up for the Worship Fully daily emails, click here. It’s quick, easy, and a source of great encouragement. Also, you can let us know how you’re doing throughout the week-long fast, offer encouragement to others participating in the fast, and send messages of hope to our Nigerian partners by posting to our brand new Nativity:Missions facebook page.

We will be breaking the fast with an exciting Church-wide event at Nativity, 6pm on Wednesday August 8th. Join us for some music, food, reflection, and some non-water beverages! Fasting is not fun, but Shagali will be. Come meet Dr. Chris Isichei, the founder of Faith Alive Hospital, chat with missionaries who have traveled to Africa, and enjoy music by Nativity's house worship band as we celebrate the end of our water-only fast. Click here to read more about next week’s Shagali event.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Season of Solidarity

This summer's event (Shagali: Partners in Prayer) will soon be here. This is an exciting time for the the entire Nativity:Nigeria family. As has been true for the past six years, the first two weeks of August will mark a time of solidarity and partnership between Church of the Nativity and our Nigerian brothers and sisters. Although we have made the tough decision not to send a mission team this year, we will once again be celebrating God's faithfulness and provision through our partnership this summer, and joining in prayer for peace in Nigeria.

Over the next two weeks, the blog here will have regular updates and information regarding this season of solidarity. Check out some more information about upcoming events, and stay tuned for more information.

August 1-8: Water Fast
August 8, 6pm: Shagali: Partners in Prayer

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Water Fast

Starting on August 1st, Nativity:Nigeria will be supporting a week-long fast. Typically, a fast is an act of abstaining from food or drink to seek God in an intentional way.  For us, we will be uniting through a water fast. For the eight day fasting period (August 1-8), the only beverage consumed will be water. No soda, coffee, alcohol, juice, etc. - just water. The fast will be our small way to connect with God, our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, and offer up the specific intention of peace in Nigeria.

We will be using Nativity's Worship Fully Today emails to send daily encouragement, prayer points, Scripture about peace and fasting, and more. You can sign up for this email through Nativity's website. And you can also read more about Nativity's water projects in Nigeria, and the water shortage there through our blog.

In order to prepare for the fast, here are a few action items for you:

1. Get Ready: prepare your heart and be a leader in this effort. Pray that God will move in a powerful way through our corporate fast

2. Be an Advocate: Send an email to your small group, ministry team, friends and family. Tell them about the fast, and the reason behind it, start spreading the word and encouraging others to participate.

3. Shagali: We will be breaking the fast together at our "Shagali: Partners in Prayer" event on August 8th (6pm) at Nativity. Join us for this celebratory and prayerful gathering; filled with worship, food, and reflection.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Calling All Missionaries

This Wednesday, we invite all past Nativity:Nigeria team members to join us for a night of prayer and fellowship. Come share in the excitement leading to our August "Shagali" event, celebrate God's faithfulness throughout five years of Nigeria mission teams, and enjoy food and fellowship with other missionaries.

When: Wednesday, July 11th - 6pm
Where: Church of the Nativity

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Haiti Mission

Today, Church of the Nativity's first Haiti Missions team will be leaving to spend a week with our partners at St. Anne's Church in Labrande, Haiti. We are praying for their safe travel and that they have an impactful week, as they serve alongside and share life with our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Follow their journey this week with daily updates and reflections, on our Nativity Missions blog.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shagali: Partners in Prayer

As mentioned in an earlier post, Church of the Nativity will be hosting a special event this summer to celebrate global missions and demonstrate prayerful solidarity for our strategic partners. The event, entitled Shagali: Partners in Prayer, will be a night of worship, prayer, and fellowship for our church community and partners. We hope you will join us for this exciting event!

When: August 8th, 6pm - 7pm
Where: Church of the Nativity - Theater & Back Patio
Prayer, Worship, Food, Reflection and Celebration

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prayer Night

We will be hosting a prayer night, centered around prayerful support for our partners and thanksgiving for God's continued grace and provision. Join us at Nativity, Wednesday June 6th from 6:00 - 6:30pm to pray for our strategic partners in Nigeria.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Big Announcement

This summer, Church of the Nativity will be hosting an exciting event to celebrate global and local missions, and to show our support for our strategic partners. For a week, our parish will be unified through participation in a partial fast, to then culminate in a night of worship, prayer, and fellowship for our church community and partners. It will be amazing gathering, and a chance to celebrate all that God has done through our church and partners, and to pray for His guidance and grace. The fast will take place August 1 - 8, and the event will be held at Nativity on August 8th at 6pm. Stay tuned to our blog for more information, and to learn how you can be part of this exciting event.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Recently, members of the Nativity:Nigeria team joined volunteers from hundreds of other Maryland churches to serve in various locations throughout our Baltimore community. This local initiative, known as ServeFest, is a day when churches partner together to serve their community as living proof of a loving God.

Lisa Hobbs, JoAnne Cianfichi & members of Church of the Nativity wash windows as part of ServeFest 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Word of the Week: Chosen

When we first entered the local destitute houses, walked room-to-room in Gwagalada's barren community school, or visited the impoverished villages at the outskirts of town, the word which initially came to mind was forgotten.  But the eyes of each of those we met told a much richer story.  This was a community deeply rooted in love for each other, and sustained by a clear and unwavering belief in Christ.

Through their hardships, they thanked God for His provision, and worked selflessly to support the needs of those around them.  They served as an amazing example that they, like all of us, are a chosen people - specifically created and favored by God.  From the people we met during our time in Nigeria, I learned firsthand what it means to remain hopeful, guided by faith, and to humbly and selfless support your community's collective needs.  - Tyler DeVan, Anawim Home Team '11

Saturday, April 21, 2012

United Through Prayer

Let Me Give
"I do not know how long I will live, but while I live, Lord let me give some comfort to someone in need by my smile, deed, or kind word and let me do whatever I can to ease things for my neighbour. I want nothing but to do my part to lift a tired or weary heart or to change people's frowns to smile, then I will not have lived in vain. And I will not care how long I will live if only I can give and give - and - give." - Oresoa

Sister Oresoa - founder of Anawim Home in Gwagwalada, Nigeria - lives by an encouraging and humbling motto. As members of the Nativity community joined in prayer this week, we were lifted up by the devout faith and sacrifice of our partners in Nigeria. Learn more about the amazing work of Sister Oresoa and the Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Praying for Partners

Join us this Wednesday (April 18) at Nativity, as we remember our strategic partners in unified prayer. We will meet at 6:30pm to pray for a peaceful resolution to the string of violence in Nigeria, and for God's continued provision for our parish community and partners abroad. All are welcome and invited to join!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anawim Greeting

Today we received the following message from our partner Sister Oresoa, founder of Anawim Home. During this tough time for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, we continue to keep them in prayer.

Happy Easter to the entire Nativity family! It gives us great joy and comfort that the Nativity parish remembers us in prayers. Thank you all so much! Today the Sisters of the Poorest of the Prayer joined in prayer for peace in our country, and the whole world. As we continue to pray for each other, may God shower his love, peace and blessings upon us all. Amen!

Remain Blessed,
Sister Oresoa

Monday, April 9, 2012

Faith Alive Greeting

We received the following greeting from our partner Dr. Chris Isiche of Faith Alive Hospital. In light of yesterday's tragic violence in Kaduna, Nigeria, we continue to pray for peace in Jos and Abuja.

My Dear Friends,
We feel the impact of your prayers and continue to appreciate you for the many lovely and godly things you do. We shall overcome in His name. Easter reminds us all of the supreme price He paid for us, and I thank God for all of you at Nativity who continue to follow in His steps.
- Dr. Chris & the Faith Alive Family

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Wishes

Holy Week is a time when, as a Christian community, we get to joyously remember and give thanks for our Father's remarkable gift. During this celebration of Christ's resurrection, we specifically pray for God's provision and grace as He continues to support the needs of our partners at both Faith Alive Hospital and Anawim Home. We send love and prayers to our family in Jos and Abuja during this Easter season.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Word of the Week: Hope

Anawim Home is a place where marginalized youth, mothers, elderly, disabled, and sick of Nigeria are given a second chance at life.  By providing physical and spiritual support, Sister Oresoa and the Sisters of Anawim have given their residents hope for the future.  Anawim Home's strong faith in God provides strength and optimism to improve their lifestyle and move forward, one day at a time.
- Jess Brown, Anawim Home Team '11

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Summer Trips Update

It is with a heavy heart that Church of the Nativity will not be sending teams of missionaries to Abuja or Jos this summer. Unfortunately, the targeted violence of Boko Haram and the inability of the government or police to effectively control the situation has led us to this decision. It is important to Church of the Nativity that this relationship remain strong and vibrant, even in the wake of a team not traveling to Jos or Abuja this summer. Church of the Nativity ministers have been gathering regularly to pray for peace in the region as well as for the work of Faith Alive Hospital and the Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor. This summer, our parish will be fasting and joining in prayer for the continued success of both missions. Church of the Nativity will continue supporting Faith Alive Hospital and Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the  Poor through joint projects with Hope for West Africa Foundation as well. We look forward to sending teams to serve in again in Abuja and Jos once the region has stabilized. Please continue to lift these communities up through prayers of peace.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Word of the Week: Giving

Giving is defined as "presenting voluntarily and without expecting compensation; to bestow upon." Sister Oresoa and the other Sisters at Anawim engage in unconditional giving each hour of their lives. We can all learn from them, and attempt to bestow our own kindness upon someone in need without expecting compensation. We all win when we give.
- Kathi Rogers, Anawim Home Team '11

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sister Oresoa & Dr. Chris

This video was the first in a series of showcases about some of the amazing people our teams met and worked with in Nigeria. It features Sister Oresoa Selo Ojeme and Dr. Chris Isichei, founders of Anawim Home and Faith Alive Hospital respectively. You can read more about the inspiring work they are doing in Nigeria by visiting their individual showcases on the right side of the blog.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Word of the Week: Power

Sometimes when I'm feeling overwhelmed, when I have too much to do, and so little time, I think back to my time in Nigeria. I think of Sr. Oresoa and the others, her constant determination and strength as she deals day in and day out with the concerns of running Anawim Home, the small communities she serves, and her goals, for example, building a new school. All of my concerns of getting a paper done or passing a test seem more achievable when I think of all these women have done for the community of Gwagwalada and everything they have given, with the limited resources they have and the daily struggles they continuously overcome. -Adrienne Brooks, Anawim Home '11

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Praying for Partners

This week, members of the Nativity:Nigeria mission teams joined together in unified prayer for our partners in Jos and Abuja. We draw from their spirit and strength, and pray for God's protection and provision over their community. We Are One Body.

Bill Baird (Faith Alive Hospital, '11)
Kathi Rogers, Jess Brown, Gin Gin Diokno (Anawim Home, '11)
Lisa Hobbs (Anawim Home, '10), Kathi Rogers & Joey Barczak (Anawim Home, '11)

Anawim Home (Team '11) - Join in Prayer for Partners

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anawim Greeting

Today we received a joyous greeting and picture from our partners at Anawim Home in Abuja. The children and sisters of Anawim Home are lovingly in our prayers this lenten season.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Word of the Week: Connection

It's amazing how strong connections can become on short-term trips. What I remember most about my trip to Nigeria last year is the people we connected with. They impacted me by being light in their own communities, modeling what it's really like to be generous givers and servants of God. - Brian Crook, Faith Alive Team Leader

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Faith Alive Hospital - Video Profile

Founded in 1996, by Dr. Chris Isichei, the Faith Alive Clinic in Jos, Nigeria regularly serves more than 10,000 patients each month. The clinic offers a holistic approach to health care and offers all of it's services completely free of charge. The majority of the patients served are HIV positive, and the clinic currently provides anti-retroviral medications (ARV's) for over 3,000 patients, but there are an additional 10,000 on the waiting list.

Want to learn more about Nativity:Nigeria's strategic partners at Faith Alive Hospital? Check out the video below for a great profile on this amazing organization.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jos Bombings

We have spoken to our partners at Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, and everyone is doing fine. Although no one within the Faith Alive family was directly affected by the senseless bombings last Sunday at COCIN (Church of Christ in Nigeria), the area continues to experience unrest and destruction. We join with our brothers and sisters in Nigeria to pray for the peace and stability of the region.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Word of the Week

Each week, missionaries from the 2011 Nativity:Nigeria team will be reflecting on their experience and sharing a Word of the Week, or a word which exemplifies the mission to them. Check back each week to hear more about how Christ met our N:N missionaries during their time in Nigeria.

This week, Anawim Home team leader Gin Gin Diokno shares on her experience.
Word of the Week - Heartwarming
To me, the mission was remarkably heartwarming, demonstrating time and time and again the true essence of our collective humanity. From this, I saw exactly how Christ calls us to live. Summed up best in Matthew 25:35-36, He teaches...

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of me, you did for me."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Information Sessions

After all masses during the weekend of March 10th/11th, we will be holding brief Information Sessions for all those interested in learning more about Nativity's summer missions. Whether through the Anawim Home, Faith Alive Hospital, or Home Team, we invite you to serve in this year's mission team. Come hear all about Nativity:Nigeria 2012!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nativity:Nigeria 2012 Applications

Applications for the summer 2012 Nativity:Nigeria team are now available on our website.
Check it out!

We will be hosting a brief Information Session after all masses the weekend of March 10 & 11, 2012. The above information sheet contains key facts about Nativity:Missions, or you can read more on our blog about both Anawim Home & Faith Alive Hospital.

Please submit all applications electronically by Sunday March 18th. Feel free to direct questions to