Outreach Report from Lagos & Nigeria
15-Jun-11 10:56 AM Category: Africa
A window of opportunity to reaching out to some of my kinfolk with the Message of the Hour was opened to me some time in December 1999 when my family and I visited our village Ashisha, a little settlement in the Yoyo district of Katsina-Ala Local Council area of Benue State while on holiday. Prior to this time, a cousin named Martin, who had visited me in the city, believed after I preached to him and was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. He went back to share his new found faith with some of the villagers.
This cousin was therefore a kind of a forerunner with the Message before our arrival in the village in 1999. He had told them that I was coming and would expound to them more about the Message. Many of them had been disenchanted by the religious hypocrisies of their denominations and were yearning for the truth. Our visit to the village was therefore a tremendous blessing to them.
We had a service also attended by my wife and three daughters. You could see their faces lit with joy as the villagers listened to the Word of God which I preached to them in their native Tiv language. They were obviously hungry for the Word. They said they had never heard the Bible explained in this way before. I took many of them to the water for baptism. Among those baptized were my mother, a woman over ninety years old and my cousin, Torve , who had been long in his denomination but had become disillusioned. The Lord dealt with him in a supernatural way. Though, uneducated, he understood the Message very fast and was helping to explain it to others. After seeking the Lord’s face, I encouraged him to oversee the church. He has no form of education but can read in the local language. With his Tiv Bible and the little he had learnt from me the Lord began to use him.
Tiv people of central Nigeria, who are the country’s fifth ethnic group, are predominantly members of an off shoot of the Christian Reformed Churches known as the Church of Christ in the Sudan among the Tiv locally called (NKST). They pride themselves as having the Word and are very conservative with their belief. Almost every Tiv Christian is born as it were into this denomination. A sizable number of the population however is also Catholic. The End Time Message had been in Tivland since the early eighties but not with much impact.
Torve caught the fire of the Message and evangelized the village with a great deal of zeal. Within a short time, close to forty people were attending services. They built a makeshift hall roofed with thatch for worship. A wave of persecution soon arose from denominational leaders leading to an exodus of many members. But God raised a standard and some of the brethren who had left later came back. In a renewed zeal, Brother Torve is taking the Gospel to neighbouring villages. His brother in-law, Iyorhon, who had been staying with him, went back to his own village called Ahungwa and preached the Message and another church came into being!
By August 2010, the two churches organized a convention and sent for me. During the meeting, thirty one people were baptized including two elderly men aged seventy and eighty years respectively. The joy of the Lord filled the hearts of every one as they danced, sang and played local musical instruments of worship. A third local church has now been added after a denominational preacher also embraced the Message and started preaching it in his village.
With the aid of a Printing Station from Bible Believers, Canada, we now print and distribute Brother Branham’s sermons from our Lagos–based Calvary Message Assembly locally. Translation of the sermons into Tiv language is also in progress. The sermon, Then Jesus Came and Called, will soon be completed. We are happy to testify that Tivland, which before now had been indifferent about any other form of Christianity besides NKST and its rival Catholic Church, is now catching the fire of the Message!
The Lord also led Brother Henry Agunbiade, Pastor of Bible Faith Restoration Tabernacle, Offa, to carry out another Gospel campaign in Buruku area of Tivland where over fifty souls received the Message and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. By his second visit of the area early this year 2011, a church had been built by the brethren there using local materials. We expect more harvest of souls as the Message spreads further into remote areas of Benue and other states of the central Nigerian region. Through the help of Africa Coordinator of the Message Hub, Brother Victor Adimora, and Brother Steven Kuku, a print station has been delivered and installed for Brother Agunbiade.
Report by Brother Steven Kuku
Calvary Message Assembly,
Ejigbo, Lagos, Nigeria.