The Local Chapter of Bible Society of Nigeria invited me back to Maiduguri and very kindly paid my air fare London-Abuja. The engagement was for four days teaching and also a Sunday morning address to the host church (EYN Wulari congregation).
All the talks were on the theme of “commendable service” built from nine expositions from 2nd letter to the Corinthians. It was a flying visit so that I only missed one Sunday from Lighthouse and Woodbridge.
I had the pleasure of seeing many good friends briefly and I was delighted to see that the churches were prospering in grace.
I regret I shall probably not be back for quite a while. The picture is of testing the Msheliza swings (and, yes, they were strong enough).
Here is a photo of the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja which marks the end of our time here.
On the last Sunday I preached at Gwagwalada ECWA Good News (i.e. English language) church. Gwagwalada is the temporary site of the University of Abuja. I chose the little letter of 3 John with its emphasis on open hearted fellowship in the work of the Gospel. It turned out to be a lot more relevant than I might have guessed.
Gwagwalada (say it how you like – I heard several pronunciations) has its own hot and steamy microclimate but the friendship was even warmer. We parted with gifts and promises to pray for each other.
Below is a fun house seen in an eastern suburb. It reputedly belongs to a retired pilot.
We are off to Andrew’s home village for a while so there will be no news for that time. Then we go to Abuja but I do not know if I will get to an internet connection.
The Theological College of Northern Nigeria is an ecumenical college supported by around thirteen denominations which provides Bachelors and Masters degrees in theological subjects.
It is well respected and has a history going back around 50 years. I was invited to give a series of three evening lectures (2 hrs each) and also preach on Sunday morning. I spoke on Pastoral Ministry and preaching to around 100 students and the questions were relevant and challenging so it seems they were paying really close attention. On Sunday I spoke on Psalm 46.
Over the weekend we also witnessed a believers’ baptism, a confirmation and an infant dedication (all done by the Chaplain). I said it was ecumenical!
The grid effect on the photo is a result of photographing through the mosquito mesh of an upstairs window in the Library. I thought it was cool enough to post.
Rev. Bamaiyi, Chaplain of the Christian Chapel at Adamawa State University breaks the ground at the site of the new Chapel building.
The University is only five years old and the Christians have been meeting in the multi-purpose hall on campus. This week they are launching a fund to build their own chapel. The plans look ambitious and there will be an excellent suite of facilities once it is completed.
We prayed on the site and had fun taking photos with the pick-axe. The ground is marked out and foundation digging is about to start….
I had a delightful meeting with the Chapel congregation and some of the other ministers in town after driving to Mubi from my morning engagement at Maiduguri. There were lots of interesting (and challenging) questions after I preached on the “Beautiful Gospel” from Isaiah 52.
Mubi is more hilly (in the foothills of the Mandara mountains), a bit cooler and has a longer rainy season than Maiduguri. The change of scenery was fascinating and I may post a couple of photos later.
Susan and I said goodbye to the congregation of the Chapel in Maiduguri University last Sunday. I preached on the last Beatitude (“persecuted for Christ”) and took this photo of the congregation.
I also snapped the Choir with their smart uniforms but unfortunately the picture was blurred.
The Choir had done a brilliant performance of Handel’s Messiah the week before. (the 1st by a church choir in Northern Nigeria).
I shall miss these people.
Paul-Mark will be pleased to meet you at the internet and computer shop I am now using in Maiduguri. They are handily placed and the connection speed is better than many places. They have been helpful with reloading Windows when a couple of computers I have been helping with have been wrecked by virus infections.
It is possible to use the staff room at Unimaid computer centre but when all the students are in the connection speed is very slow.