“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.The church has been sandwiched in the crevices of a dying world. So rather than attend to the wrongs around us we keep lamenting and bemoaning. This is largely because some of us seem to have lost our focus and seem not to have direction again. So rather than do what we have been called to do, we moan.But there must come a time when we need to move from Lamentation to Acts. We need to act. Enough of the tales of woes around us. Enough of talking about the evils in the church. Enough of this feeling of helplessness. We must get up to do something and do something positive.
It is true that we can’t but talk about the evils once in a while. But while talking about the evils we must be armed with solution.
What practical solution for instance do we have to insurgency? The insurgency of today is a consequence of our past neglect. Let’s think for a moment, if for instance the church had taken up the challenge of evangelizing the north thoroughly perhaps the mindless group called Boko Haram will find it difficult to get recruits for its nefarious activities.
That is why even now the church must wake up to its assignment of evangelizing the world around. In the month of February there was a missions’ conference in Lagos organized by Agape Generation International Church. Over 200 missionaries gathered at the conference. It was a four-day event. Those four days were days of deep reflection given the preponderance of the needs and challenges around us as enumerated by the missionaries.
The conference brought to the fore the reality that there is a remnant that are not busy cursing the darkness. They are busy shining the light. They are busy doing the master’s bidding.
While many are busy on social media arguing about scriptures and doctrines that bear no relevance with our walk with God, so many others are busy out there doing exploits for God, breaking boundaries and shining the light. While some churches are busy with ceremonies and activities that have no direct link to souls, there are a number out there who have placed their lives on the altar, hunting for souls and paying the prize to win them to Christ.
Indeed it is time to shine the light. But then we are convinced that there is so much misinformation about the church that makes a lot of people despondent and wanting to give up on their walk with God.
Those four days of mission conference were days of deep reflection and revelation. You can’t be in the midst of over 200 missionaries from across Africa especially from the length and breadth of Nigeria and not be sober. A woman at the conference particularly caught our attention. Her husband was literally butchered on the mission field, yet she has gone back to that same field, not minding what might become of her life.
Another brother Bitrus Matawera who comes from Gwoza local government in Borno State has remained in the north east for years doing missions. He relayed a disturbing story of how people were being killed and slaughtered in the North east.
Despite the evil, Matawere who is the coordinator of the Christian Missionary Foundation in the north east said between last year and now, about 300 souls have embraced Christ at his Adamawa field. He declared that lessons from the Global Mandate Conference GMC has been a great blessings to the mission work under his purview.
Then the story of Mrs. Dupe Singerr will intrigue you. She left the University of Ife at the age of 19 in the 80s. She had worked in the media and risen to the position of editor. She moved away from media and began her own concern till the Lord arrested her. Her mission field is here in Lagos. The Lord sent her to homeless people. She holds meeting regularly with these people in unusual places. She is a woman with so much passion and heart for the Lord.
The truth is that all around us there are challenges. There are people in the throes of darkness and what they need is the gospel. We can’t keep on lamenting. Rather than curse the darkness let us shine the light. Missions, like one of the speakers pointed out during the four-day conference, does not have to be in rural areas. There is work to be done right at the back of our houses. Rather than complain that there are strangers all around who may one day wake up to eliminate us, it’s time to shine the light and preach the gospel to them.
Whatever gets us annoyed must get us to act. It is time we take missions everywhere we go, our workplace, the market place, our neighbours. Agape Generation International Church which played host and largely sponsored the conference in the conjunction with the Lagos Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, now runs a church for Hausa speaking people. It was a great delight to see folks from the North who have embraced the gospel leading special sessions during the conference. This is one aspect of the ministry that other churches can emulate.
Think, what can you do to reach out to the people around your church area? Missionaries from the North have more gripping stories to tell. Indeed, the sun is not shinning in that part of the country. Apart from tales of insurgents ravaging the entire north east with a great burden of internally displaced people, the north seems to be the home of some incredible practices.
We had an interview Lazarus Bako who came from Taraba. He cuts across as somebody with so much passion and burden. The work on his hands is enormous. He runs a school for indigent students and had literally converted his personal accommodation to a school.
But that is not the story. The story is that his mission field is in a community called Kam. The people in that community worship a human being. It sounds incredible. But Bako told us those who live in that community literally worship their king. Think of what you do to God, that is exactly what is done to the king of the community. They pray to him, bow before him and do all that he asked them to do without question.
He said it is so bad that if any of the wives of the supposed god gives birth to a male child, such child is killed on arrival because they don’t want the man child to compete with their god. But it is just one of the many ugly things that go on around us.
The testimony of Bako is particularly exciting because long ago as a young man he had abandoned his ambition for secular pursuit.
He comes from the Ham tribe. He says the family is linked to the Biblical son of Noah. He wanted to be naval officer. But right from his childhood in the Assemblies of God Church, he embraced the Lord. He joined Harvesters Missions School after his school certificate and was trained for 18 months on missions. He turned down the enticement to study Nursing in the UK because of his passion for missions. He has seen too many deaths on the mission field that deaths has literally lost its meaning. He told us that he lives in the midst of death. He has lost friends to the insurgents, yet he remains in that part of the country to do the Lord’s assignment.
Unfortunately many of us are in the big cities pontificating. We have become so used to the church system that some of us can predict the message of our pastors per time. We enjoy the comfort of our Sunday, Sunday treat. Nothing wrong with that. But then, it’s time for the financially buoyant church to think of the church in the distressed world. If we can’t go to these troubled spots we can support. If we can’t support financially we can help with prayers. If we can’t pray, I wonder then what purpose we serve in the kingdom. But then it is time to obey the great commission. The Lord is presently available to help us.
As we think of the problem, we need to think of the solution. The solution to a confused world is the gospel. But the problem is that carriers of the gospel are inhibited by their prejudices and their little covens called church. We must break that barrier and shine the light instead of cursing the darkness.