Nigeria Mission Trip Report – Bro. Michael Smith

Nigeria mission trip
(Faith & Victory : Feb. 2001)

Greetings to all in Jesus’ name. I am thankful to report that my family and I had a profitable mission in Africa, and we all arrived home safely and in good health. The power and presence of God were with us every step of the way. One of the brothers in Ghana, in referring to something that had been exceptionally good, says, “It was too good.” Well, God has been “too good,” and I thank Him so much for His mercy and goodness…..

[note: The first part of this report can be found under Ghana Mission History]

….Rene and the boys left Ghana on the 7th of December and arrived home in the United States safely. I arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, after midnight on December 8. I was a little concerned about what I would encounter. I had no difficulty in the airport and Bro. Essien was waiting for me right outside. He was with me for two weeks taking care of every need and escorting me to various congregations. Bro. Essien, his wife and children were very hospitable, and I trust God to bless them for their kindness and love.

On the 9th of December, I was in service with the saints in Lagos. I came in and they were singing out of the Evening Light hymn book. It was a real inspiration.

We traveled for many hours over very rough roads the next day and arrived in Kwale where the saints were waiting. Kwale is where the late Bro. Titus Enu resided.

After fellowshipping with the saints there, we continued our journey the following day to Port Harcourt, where Bro. Igbanibo pastors. Bro. Alphonsus Okwuosha accompanied us and I found him to be a real man of God. When we arrived in Port Harcourt, there was an instant fellowship and communion with the congregation. I could see the evidence of the Lord working in their midst, and I thank God for the opportunity we had to worship together.

The following day we traveled by car and motor boat to the Island of Tombia and held service with the congregation there.

We continued on to the village of Asana. The history of this work was explained by Bro. Wayne in a previous Faith and Victory. Briefly, this is the area where Bro. David Madden, the Wilsons, Carvers, and Bro. Tommy Melot visited in the 1960’s and 70’s. The congregations in this area went astray from the truth. In the last few years, Bro. Essien has been inspired to work with these congregations of his youth. Revival began and Bro. Essien’s desire was for the Church of God to be reestablished in this area.

We were in a four-day convention in Asana in which many congregations in the surrounding area attended. God blessed during these meetings. There were hundreds of people in attendance, and when the Word of God went forth, the aisles filled with sincere people seeking the Lord for salvation and power. At their request, I gave teaching on holiness and Christian living. Many of the ministers that were there remembered the previous missionaries. Incidentally, the brother who translated for me was the same one who translated for all those who had visited before me. Saints from Port Harcourt came to Asana to help support the meeting. Bro. Damien Dibie, of Port Harcourt, stayed after the meeting and accompanied us on a two-day tour of thirteen congregations. We held a brief service with each of them. God was very good to bless in all of these meetings. I was physically worn out after two months, but when I didn’t feel like I could go much more, God poured in strength and gave me a “new” blessing.

I arrived home on December 23, tired, but well in body. God spared me from any ill affects of the trip. After I arrived home, I received word that after I left, Bro. Essien and his son had been sick for a week with typhoid fever. I am thankful to report that God has raised them up and they are doing fine.

I thank each one for their prayers and support while we were gone. Most of all, I thank God. We didn’t put any conditions on God before we left, but He had mercy on us, and protected us. The work of God is great all over the world. There are many needs to be met. May each one be faithful to fill the place God would have us to, and carry a burden for those in other countries that are seeking for the truth and for the fullness of God’s blessings.

During the last Sunday morning service of the convention in Asana, Nigeria, Bro. Essien gave me a public message which he wanted me to pass along to the saints in the United States.

“What man of you having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7.

I believe that the message should be very clear. There have been many, not only in Africa, but also right around us who have lost their way. While it is easiest to be content where we are in our righteousness and fellowship, God has called all of us to be concerned for those who have lost their way. We need a concern which will lead us outside of our comfort zones and reach out in love to the lost. Not everyone is called to labor in the same way or the same place. We are all different vessels for the Lord, but may God help us to have a vision and burden for the lost around us. Let us not seek to do just those things that please and satisfy those who are in the fold, but let us reach out our hands and hearts of love to those who have rejected God, rejected the church, and rejected the saints. It is only by love that the lost sheep will be returned to the fold. Let us remember and take to heart this message from Africa.

-Bro. Michael Smith

 
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