Yesterday we went to the state capital of Abia State. We met with the Chief Security Advisor for the governor to confirm the governor’s presence at our conference on Saturday. We were invited to come back the next day to speak with another official about some possible business dealings as well. We are discussing community development projects that are possible in Abia State, and the government is at least interested for now. We’re going back today to discuss further plans. When we returned to Aba, we picked up Pastor Emeka's two children from their school, Living Word Magnet School.
Last night Pastor Emeka’s wife had her baby. She was so big when I first saw her and look like she was very uncomfortable. Pastor Emeka had a hard time last night finding a doctor. They had arranged for her to deliver at one hospital, when they went and talked to the nurses they said that the doctor was unavailable. He went to another hospital, registered his wife, only to be told that the doctor was also unavailable. He called him on the phone and explained that his wife was about to deliver and the next time you call back the doctor had turned off his phone. After attempting to reach for doctors, he finally had to admit his wife into the hospital with no doctor available. It appears that everything is working fine since she delivered a big baby girl within only a couple hours of admittance.
I also met with the pastor of a local church and had a long discussion about several things including the rise of the Christian church in Nigeria. he said that in one generation Christianity has begun to take over as the dominant religion. Even in the north, where Muslims are strongest, there are many believers with powerful testimonies that are winning the hearts and minds of the community. He also said that several other African countries have come to Nigeria requesting that missionaries and pastors be sent. He said that many Nigerians are responding to the call to missions. He also said that as Christianity rises, the next step is to begin the transformation of society. Even though many claim to be Christian, there is still a wide gap between those who actually follow Christ and those who simply claim Christianity. The same could be said about the West. Those who are cultural Christians, and yet live their lives as if they had complete freedom, are everywhere.
School children watching us as we air up the tires in the One of the reasons that people find themselves forced into lifestyles that are not congruent with their faith, is the extreme poverty in which people find themselves. He said there is so much competition here in this country just for survival that people are willing to do almost anything to live. The gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening even as the natural resources are used up and the proceeds go to a select few who deposit their money in foreign banks. There is a great need in this country to build even the basic infrastructure of society so that individuals can rise up out of their poverty and desperation. We talked about the missionary methods of the past that were holistic in nature. Missionaries who came to African countries often preach the gospel while at the same time providing for some basic needs of the communities in which they served. Hospitals were built, wells were dug, farming techniques were improved and individuals are empowered to make a better life for themselves and their family. He said that some Nigerian churches are now doing this, but the main issue is that they don’t have the same capital resources as the missionaries who came before. One church that I saw, had built a beautiful children’s Academy, a hospital, an orphanage and were building yet again. This congregation was serving his community and also gained resources through these ventures. This is very promising. The Nigerian churches will be able to do more missions as they gain more resources.