Nigeria

S.O.S. is working alongside an international student family in planting churches 
and caring for the poor in three unreached areas of Nigeria.

Ogun State (small)

Ogun State

Particulars:

  • Farming is only source of income – no one in villages has vehicle.
  • No water (nearest 1 km away); no electricity (nearest 2 km away)
  • Three biggest needs according to leaders of village: Water Well, electricity, and employment (no jobs)
  • Chief’s name (the “Mayor” of the villages as they are called): Romanoke
  • No evangelical church or witness
  • Three water wells complete as of January 2013.

Testimony of Visit:

Three months after our first visit, we were reunited with the village. Praise God they received us back!  We arranged for a meeting with those present in the village as well as the leaders. The moment we opened the Bible, other leaders from nearby villages arrived and took away the leaders of the primary village to a meeting.  Come to find out that these leaders from different villages were challenging the leaders not to leave or abandon their heritage.  Discerning this, we turned our attention and took an interest in their living conditions. The villagers took us to their water hole (remember no electricity and running water). It was just as deplorable as Makoko’s water. They also took us around to show us their main crop, as well as other aspects of their living.  In other words, we were caring and observing their village life.

Once the meeting of  leaders (representing 3 villages) was over, I requested an audience with all 11 leaders together as well as the villagers who were present.  Not knowing if we would ever be granted such a meeting again or how they would respond, we seized the opportunity and opened up the Scriptures declaring Jesus Christ as the glorious God and Savior of the world.  With the ambiance of the day, sharing in their culture, visiting their water hole, giving out gifts in the name of Christ, what happen next is indescribable!

A teenage girl came up at that moment and asked if she could sing us a song.  Within 5 minutes, the whole village erupted into clapping, singing and dancing – African style!  They sang praises to God for providing them with hearing His Scriptures and that they have not been forsaken by Him.  Two leaders joined the celebration, clapping and saying in a loud voice “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!”.  This jubilee response of these leaders and villagers was like a reenactment of the city of Samaria when Philip ventured to preach there.  After proclaiming Christ and doing all kinds of marvelous wonders it was said that “there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:8)  What a tremendous reminder of what happens when the Gospel is preached and then heard and received…it causes great joy to ring throughout their hearts and region.  The Lord is Good!

Orphanage1 (Medium)

Orphans and Widows

Particulars:

  • Orphanage in village of Abeokuta – hundreds of children under the age of 17
  • Orphanage was founded and began as a result of many Christian families in Nigeria that have lost their lives because of religious riots…..All the orphans are children of persecuted/martyred parents!
  • Founder/Director of orphanage is Isaac, a native of Nigeria – established in memory of Richard Wurmbrand (founder of Voice of the Martyrs and Romanian pastor imprisoned for 14 years for his faith)
  • Orphanage provides food, clothes, shelter, and education

Testimony of Visit: 

As word got out regarding our love for orphans, this Nigeria family insisted we go and visit this orphanage.  After speaking words of encouragement from the Scriptures and enjoying their company all day, I took a picture of two girls (both 7 years old) who had been following me quietly (both sets of their parents had died in religious riots when they were infants). As I looked into their piercing penetrating eyes, I asked them their names.  They told me, “Our names are Favor and Peace”.  It was all I could do to hold back from melting with tears all over the ground.  Then I considered: in the midst of such hardship and difficulty, our heavenly Father, who “defends the cause of the fatherless” (Duet. 10:18) looked upon these two girls and showed His Favor allowing them to live and be cared for so they might experience His Peace!!
This defines the orphanage. God stirring the hearts of people like Isaac to care and love for these children of martyrs, and even giving them such precious names as provision is made for them.  Please pray that the provision of a kitchen would be provided.  The current one is a few two-by-fours and a sheet-metal roof with no walls or flooring.  And most importantly, pray for Favor and Peace and all such orphans that they would grow up believing, following, and loving this Father of the fatherless!

Makoko

Makoko (Medium)Particulars:

  • Population: Over 100,000
  • A.K.A. “The Water Village” as the village (made up of wooden shanties) sits in the shallow waters of a large lake that feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. Or as you may wonder, is it the “Forgotten Village”?
  • No electricity, no running water
  • Chief’s name: Themede
  • Average income per shanty (each shanty having 10 people): $10 a month – this is possible through fishing and a nearby lumber yard.
  • The community began initially for fisherman coming and going. Then developed into family units residing and staying….now over 200,000 people!
  • Biggest need: a church (no sound evangelical church), medical attention, and education
  • 5 teachers for 192 students; teachers make $20 a month – they sit on wooden planks on the floor as there are no tables and chairs for the teachers or students
  • Cost of single room shanty: $2000
  • Cost of a permanent ministry structure like the school: $30,000 (Made of strong wood and steel)
  • Estimated 25,000 children under the age of 12 years old (doing the math – if only 192 are going to school that leaves 24,808 children without an education!)
  • The condition of the water in the village is like a lavatory that is used and never flushed.
  • They are the poorest of poor – In the Scriptures, Apostle to Apostle: Their words of exhortation to each other (of all the doctrine and challenge they could have given each other this is what they said…), “remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do” (Gal. 2:10). This village is the poorest I have seen on the 6 continents I have preached the Gospel on! Are we eager to remember and help the poor?

Testimony of Visit: Upon entering the village, we had to rent a canoe to get around (canoes made of wooden planks and tar holding it together…not water proof!). The only way to visit even your neighbor is by canoe (remember the condition of the water). The Chief welcomed us, and surprisingly and immediately provided a venue to preach the Gospel (which the many that had gathered in a listening ear were very inclined to hear). We looked at how Christ came to heal the physical and spiritual need of a man born blind in John 9. A couple of men actually broke out clapping when we got to the part of the story when the Pharisees had rejected the man healed of blindness, only to have Christ reveal Himself to him which led to him believing and worshipping his new Savior (vs. 38)! This set the stage for the rest of our time there.

The Chief then toured us around to show us the village. Within three hours of us being there, he offered S.O.S. land (that is “water”) to build on, right next to the school. This was a considerable gesture as the hopelessness on the people’s faces was evident and somber. The people, including the Chief were gracious to allow us to lay hands on them, pray over them, and then speak the Gospel in each of the class rooms.

My journal entry the following day of my second visit reveals the sober impression:
What does it mean to “remember the poor” (Gal. 2:10)? Upon my second visit to the Forgotten Village, the air was saturated with putrid burning fish smoke, awful sewage and waste smell, filth of human odor, etc. Leaving that place more sober than my first visit, my clothes were drenched with that smell. Upon returning to the place where I was residing, I removed my clothes and hung them up to air out (for they were too smelly for even the dirty clothes pile). As I lay in bed, trying to sleep as it was a hot, steamy night, the stench of my clothes began to saturate the room.

Instead of removing the clothes from the room, with tears in my eyes I began praying for the village that God would have mercy, provide, and listen to their cries; I also began for the next few hours considering them, their condition: no Scripture, no hope, wondering how many were hungry as they try to sleep on their floors made of wooden planks, how many were hurting and suffering from disease and bacteria…with all these thoughts and the stench still in the air…I was moved with compassion! Is this not what it means to “remember the poor”? Remember the smell, the condition, the hurt, the hunger, the tears, the hopelessness?! And God help me when I get back to the states that I, we, the body of Christ, would actually do something and engage in ministering to this village!

In the words of a godly man, “Do you feel their pain, has it touched your life; can you taste the salt from the tears they cry?”   I offer no apologies. The Lord has chosen, called and placed His redeemed children to remain in this world that we may have “beautiful feet”. Please join us as we embark on this new frontier mission in Africa.

News:

Nigerian Frontier Mission

Did you know? – Nigeria has over 155 million people, half the population of the U.S. – It is the most populated country in Africa and the 8th largest population in the world – The average income per family is $330 a year (that’s only $28 a month!) – There are 470 spoken languages, with
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