Nigeria Trip Report 2017

Nigeria 2017

René and I had a burden from the Lord to attend the Nigeria national camp meeting this year. While we work with the Nigerian brethren and have met in Ghana as well as supported some of the ministers to make mission trips to other countries, it had been many years since I visited Nigeria.

Bro. Igbanibo has not been in good health and we were impressed of the Spirit to go fellowship with him and the other saints. We flew to Nigeria by way of UAE. On August 28, 2017, we flew from Dubai to Lagos where we spent the night before taking a local flight to the city of Owerri the next day. We were graciously met by a large group of saints (with security) at the airport. It was a blessing to see many old acquaintances and to find people still standing in truth.

The national meeting in Nigeria is held at a different location every year so as to accommodate better the various congregations and to avoid partiality. A secondary boarding school is usually rented where there is a hall large enough for the meeting as well as dorms and dining hall facilities.

Morning devotions were generally held at 4:30 a.m., morning service 9:00 – 12:00 am, afternoon session 2:00 – 5:00, and the evening service from 7:00-9:00 p.m. While services did not always start on time, they made an effort to conclude the services on schedule. The emcee of the service would give a reminder to those who began taking too much time.

The saints in Nigeria sing from the Evening Light Songs hymnal and most of the songs in the meeting were songs about the Church of God. There was much special singing from the various congregations. The national meeting in Nigeria is a time to “teach and correct what is wrong.” While everyone was present, the afternoon services were focused for the children, the youth, and the women—one day for each. Different people would get up and give short instruction or counsel. René shared with the women during one afternoon session. With a good emcee, this type of forum proved to be a real blessing. We were able to purchase cookies and drink for the many children to distribute after their special service.

Because of the many languages in Nigeria, English is the one most commonly used in their assembly. They speak what they referred to as “pidgin English.” At times, when a minister spoke quickly, we were not able to understand everything spoken. I believe it was the same for them when I preached.

The saints in Nigeria continue to value greatly the writings of the Church of God, past and present. Africa Mission and Beyond continues to send funds to facilitate the printing of the Gospel Truth, Bible Lessons, and other gospel literature.

We enjoyed the fellowship and the time spent with our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. They face some of the same spiritual struggles as a body that we do here in the USA. There seemed to be a great appreciation for my wife being with me and for her example of modesty. The enemy is the same there as he is here at home, and it was a blessing for them to see the standard that we maintain.

The ministry is very focused on the message of the Church as they continue to reach out to people of other fellowships with a call to come to the purity of the gospel. Let us continue to pray for the work of God in Nigeria.

 

Nigeria Trip August 2017

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