By Sharon JeffersonThe journey back home was a journey in itself. The last several weeks of the missionary journey were like none that I have experienced. Nigeria was in total chaos. The Boco Haram — an Islamic sect — was blowing up churches, shooting people in their prayer meetings, and shooting Christians on the streets. This is something that we as Americans cannot wrap our minds around. There was marching in the streets, burning tires, shake down of people who would dare to travel. I talked to a minister from the U.S. on the flight home who said he was stopped on the road. They jacked up his car, poured gasoline on it and were about to burn it when one of the tribal chiefs stopped them. There were literally millions of people protesting.On Jan. 1, the government raised the price of gasoline almost three times the price. The Boco Haram were burning police stations, burning churches and the homes of Christians. It was really intense, but life had to go on. I went through nine civil wars while living in Haiti, but the noise throughout the night is never pleasing to try to sleep through. This is a time that you need to know that you are where the Lord has placed you. Knowing that brings peace in every situation.I was scheduled to leave Nigeria Jan. 15. We had purchased several hundred mosquito nets, and I was determined to get them passed out before leaving. It was not safe on the streets, but we went out at night under the cover of darkness to complete our mission. I went out with two other pastors. When we arrived at the first church, I was amazed to find the church full of people. In spite of all that was going on, the danger of being shot or murdered, they came to church. I knew that if something like that were to take place here in America, the churches would be closed. What an eye opener for me. It is about commitment and loyalty to the Lord — and being willing to die for the sake of the Gospel. How many of us are really willing to become a martyr for the Lord? I was pressed during this time to go to another level of trust in the Lord. It was awful to stand in the pulpit, knowing many had died while preaching recently and that I could be next. But I refused to live in fear. That is just not an option, especially on the mission field. Fear will of paralyze you and prevent you from any forward movement, and I just refuse a life of fear. God allows us to get into these situations to press us into drastic change. It does not feel good at first, but after the test is complete it is a wonderful feeling. From glory to glory, He takes us — if we are willing to take the journey. Believe me, it is worth it.When time to leave Nigeria, even a trip to the airport was questionable. We did not know what to expect along the road, or even if the roads were open. But you trust the Lord and move out in faith. My flight was scheduled for 10 p.m. I arrived at the airport around 4 p.m. You would not believe the people at the airport. Many people were doing anything to get out of the country. I stood in line for five hours, being pushed and shoved — not even able to go to the bathroom. At takeoff time, I was still standing in line when they announced that the flight had left. I was outdone. I had gone by the rules, checked in online, bought my ticket a year ago, confirmed my seat — and still was on the ground. They had sold my seat, and 60 others. Delta put us up in a hotel for the night. We arrived at the hotel about 1 a.m. I killed a few cockroaches and went to sleep. They called my room at 8 a.m. for breakfast. I had to get on a flight this day. Everyone was working, trying to make connections for the next flight. I did not know if I had enough minutes left on my phone to call Atlanta to rebook my flight, but I took a chance. I called and the ticket agent said, “I have one seat left.” That was all I needed. I left for the airport about 1 p.m. It ended up to be another day of pushing and shoving, but I was determined that I was going to be on that flight. I checked in and went to my gate. I was so happy. I boarded the flight and arrived at my seat. A ticket agent came and asked if I was Sharon Jefferson. I said yes, and he said you have a new seat assignment. My new seat was in first class.Look at God work His favor in my life. There was no fuel in Nigeria, so our flight had to go to Ghana to refuel. As we were landing in Ghana, the brakes went out on the plane, so we had to spend the night in Ghana. They put all those in First Class in a beautiful hotel at $500 per night, on Delta. We had three meals, also on Delta. This was a blessing. I only had $2 U.S. dollars. While I was on my journey, my bank changed from Visa to Master Card. My new cards were at home, so I didn't have access to my accounts. I truly had to trust the Lord. Delta provided three meals a day for me during this entire journey, praise God. I left Nigeria on Friday night and finally arrived home on Sunday morning. What a journey, and God was truly with me every step of the way. Who would not serve a God like this? Am I going back to Nigeria? You bet. As soon as can. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-222-3966.