Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trip to Nigeria I

The Road is bumpy in the back of my mind I wondered if we would make it in one piece! As we approach our destination I was thinking to myself I haven't seen this many potholes since the Bronx. The natural rocks and the abundant greenery has formed picturesque scenery, man it looks like its straight out of a catalogue. The air has left a fragrance of incense! I saw a goat on the side of the road. As I noticed the faded red cross on a stone building I figured it was a hospital. Then reality hit me when I saw the sign that said Osunu Village, I woke up and told myself DUDE you are in Nigeria lol!

Although my trip didnt start there, these were one of the many adventures I had while in Nigeria. It was a whole new world, with new people, new customs, new culture, new politics, new social norms, new foods, and best of all a new faith experience! Before going to Nigeria I had many expectations and desires for the trip however I had no idea of how Powerful God was. Matter of fact prior to this year I did not think He could move the way He does. Ever since I accepted Jesus as my Lord in Savior (last summer) He has been doing incredible things in my life! He brought me out of the captivity to drunkeness, addiction to club life, low self esteem, and suicidal thoughts! Ever since I have been putting my trust in Him he has done miracle after miracle and he ceases to amaze me! Nigeria was no different!

For the two weeks while we were in Nigeria there wasn't one day God didn't surprise me!
Every day was a surprise from God, I didnt know what to expect. Our first experience was a village outreach. The people gathered in the venue where the village has community events. In Nigeria the major tribes are Igbo, Yoruba, and Housa. The people in the Osunu village were from the Igbo tribe. As the people came in I observed that most of the adults wore natives while the younger kids wore plain clothes. In addition there seemed to be more women than men as they registered on a paper and received a number for their names to be called for assessment of vitals (Blood pressure, temperature), a consultation from a doctor, medication, and pastoral counseling! Everything was FREE 99. Yes you heard me FREE! The system was efficient and flowed nicely! Everybody was delegated a task except me. I didnt see it as any negligence but I decided to take initiative and felt the Lord telling me to go speak to people. As I saw 3 young women congregate I seized the opportunity. I approached them, introduced myself, and we began talking about God. While we were conversing I asked them if they were "saved" or when they gave their lives to Christ. A young lady named Marrit answered yes, I was born Christian! I responded in a polite tone: how is that? She answered well I have been Christian since I was a little girl, my mom is a Christian. I began to explain salvation to her and told her that one must be born again in order to be a true Christian. When she understood salvation I asked her a simple question: would you like to accept Christ into your heart. She was skeptical and was a bit uneasy. I reassured her how her life was going to change as a result of her commitment to Christ. She agreed to say the prayer with me and gave her life to Christ! Her sister did so also! I felt an enormous amount of joy in my heart! After the outreach we shared stories and some of the ladies had sky rocketing blood pressures (200s). About five or so people gave their hearts to Christ! I didn't expect that! The next day it was twice as many villagers and more people helping out.

The Lord always has a twist in our lives. I had the privilege to meet Marit's Mom who claimed to be a born again Christian. She began to speak and she was like a fire-breathing dragon: the word she preached was intense! So intense that my missionary leader came over to me and asked me if everything was alright. I told him everything was ok. Although she was so humble, she was very passionate about the Lord that her speech and face showed it. In my whole year of being Christian I had never encountered somebody with such fervor, desire, and passion for Jesus. She briefly spoke about sanctification then began talking about persecution in the village and the spiritual warfare that exists. She pointed out two men who she identified as idolatrers (men who worshiped ancient gods and offered sacrifices). She began saying that they lash out against the Christians and seek to do harm against them by conjuring spirits and wishing horrible things upon them. Some of her family members developed these skin lesions as a result of their spells and demonic assaults. However through prayer and covering with the Blood of Jesus the demons fled! As I ministered to Marrit, her Mom, a friend, and a woman with a baby I heard a loud and uncanny noise in the back of the room! I turn to see what was all the commotion and I see a guy yelling in agony, twitching and shaking as if he just came out of an arctic pond. I speculated and thought it was a demonic possession. My speculation was confirmed when I asked uncle George (Missionary leader) if it was a demonic possession. He calmly answered yes and said"its a minor one though". One of the pastors on the deliverance team gently placed his hands on his neck and side and casted out the demon. I thought to myself if its a minor one I don't think I am ready for a major one lol! This was an incredible experience that strengthened my faith as the gospels where Jesus and the disciples casted out demons came to Life. This reminded me not to doubt the power and might of our great God. The authority vested on us through Christ allows us to do awesome things like cast out demons.

Later on that day I had a small conference with all the young men and boys in the village where I got their name, email, age, and any health complaints. The most common health complaint was worms in their stomachs. Most of them were still in the world and ranged from ages 9-17. One particular young man sticks out in my memory Onye which was an abbreviation for his Igbo name. He began telling me about the stress and social pressure he was experiencing from his family: he was the oldest (first born) and in the igbo culture the firstborn is in charge of the family and takes care of their financial, medical, spiritual, academic, and any other needs. However he was out of a job and had no way of providing for his younger brothers and sisters (juniors). As I gave him some funds it broke my heart to know he did not have the funds to sustain himself nor provide food or medical attention for his family. The worse part of the story is that all the weight beared on his shoulders! However the miraculous part of the story is that I prayed for him and I trust that GOD will provide. If its one thing that I have learned about God s I have drawn closer to him is that HE answers prayers. When we trust Him, have faith in Him, believe with our heart, and prophesy based upon His word He is faithful to grant us our desires if its in His Will!

Before we left Osunu Village Uncle George declared and decried prosperity and liberation from bondage in that whole village. He also rebuked the ancient Gods (idols) that people worshipped. He has forever shown me to claim and establish Godly authority over any house I enter. The power of the Lord was present and was so much more than I expected!

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