One Boonville man teaching a village of people the possibilities
A stream with no real bridge could not stop Boonville resident Julius Udinyiwe from pressing forward to Ogiza, a village near Benin City in Nigeria. Once there, his mission persevered to teach the people of Nigeria things we may take for granted here in the United States.
In November, Udinyiwe journeyed back to his home country, not to visit relatives, but to continue a mission he began not long ago. Each mission is a continuation of the past mission, which includes drilling wells for the locals, building schools and teaching skills to allow the villagers to be less dependent on each other or a higher government. Furthermore, Udinyiwe brought some gifts along with him to give to the villagers of Benin City. These gifts included some balls, shoes and New Testament Bibles donated by local Boonville residents. According to Udinyiwe, the villagers use the Bibles in their everyday lives.
While in Benin City, Udinyiwe did not just drill one well, he drilled two. Udinyiwe thought since the infrastructure and help was there, it would be more cost effective. The water has allowed villagers to drink cleaner, purer water, instead of going to the stream where villagers bathe and do laundry.
An hour drive from Benin City is the village of Ogiza, where the largest transformation may be taking place. For Udinyiwe, the hard part is changing the ways the local villagers think and live. Every time Udinyiwe visits he shows them the possibilities and know-how to get these large projects done. One idea Udinyiwe is trying to bestow in the minds of the villagers is an alternative to renting land. Udinyiwe believes owning land will allow for independence and a way for individuals to progress forward to a better way of life instead of being at the mercy of a land-lord; who could ultimately one day tell the villagers it is time for them to go.
Udinyiwe is also helping the villagers construct a school. Instead of traveling to the next large village to attend classes, village children will be able learn close to their homes.
From knowledge gained in Central Missouri, Udinyiwe is showing the villagers how to become an entrepreneur. Land once used for waste can now be used to house animals. He believes goats, for example, may become a good source of money for the village since goat meat is more expensive than beef in Nigeria. The only obstacle was persuading the villagers raising goats were a good idea as the villagers often attributed goats to being destructive. Udinyiwe's answer being, enclose them in a fence.
What may be a weed to the villagers of Ogiza is an expensive plant in the United States. The Peace Lily grows throughout the land surrounding Ogiza and villagers do not think twice of what the value could bring for the village. Udinyiwe hopes to be able to help propagate the plant and find a way to make money for the village.
Udinyiwe said in a couple years the village, which needed assistance will be thriving. He said it only takes knowledge and hard work. Organizations such as Stepping Stones Global Ministries in Boston Mass., Faith Family Church in Fayette, Church of the Nations in Columbia, Santa Fe Baptist Church in Boonville, Gideons International, Boonville Rotary Club and the First Presbyterian Church in Boonville have contributed to Udinyiwe's mission.