Tuesday, March 23, 2010

God Bless Nigeria Church and My Experience At Marakana

When we were told that we were going to evangelize at Marakana in Ajegunle (Lagos), I did not know what to expect. I was not scared. I just wanted God to teach me things by making me meet with other people, and probably use the opportunity to reach out to someone. Below I share my experience / point of view of meeting 3 sets of people out of many. I left Marakana with a different perspective to life and a decision to be thankful to God every day of my life. I say that I am privileged to be where I am today, and with what God has blessed me, I must use to bless others.

I wake up in the morning and worry about my fuel tank that is near half, about my job that is too demanding, about the generator that cannot carry the electric cooker or the bed sheet that is not soft enough. My experience at Marakana made me realize that there are people, human beings like me, who do not have food to eat. They do not have fire to cook. They do not have beds to lie on. They do not have cars to drive. They do not have livelihoods. And the churches, or whatever they are called, around them, have exploited them in the name of God. There are people who do not know that they can have a better life. Their mindset is limited. They do not know what to hope for. They do not know that they have purpose.

But what touched me was there are people who are sick, who are blind, who are deaf and able (previously referred to as deaf and dumb) that wake up in the morning to praise and worship God. They are thankful for life, and believe that God is able. I was humbled yet encouraged. Please find below my experience with some people.

Esther: She vigorously fanned the wood awaiting the first flicker of fire. She had been trying to fry her egg for over 15minutes but the fire was not lighting. I came to bring the Good News to her.
“Come and join me to church,” I said. “Today we came with doctors who have medicine for those that are sick.” I hoped that would lure her.
She laughed mockingly. “Will they test me for AIDS?”
“I am not sure about that, but maybe we can go and find out”.
She said nothing, but continued at the fire. It seemed she was getting upset with the fire for she had started murmuring. I offered to help but she did not accept. I was at loss for how to reach her.
“Will you come to church?” I asked again. She laughed. Final answer. I left.
How could I explain the Good News when she had no food to eat (and was scared that she had contacted AIDS)?

Case 2: They all lined up for their “breakfast” – Weed. Both male and female. Those that had taken their dose sat around the man who had the full basin of weed. They were all quiet and dazed. My companion talked about the church and the free medical services. From my point of view, it was as if they could not understand what he was talking about. “Church you say?” One of them managed to mutter. He sighed and went back to his “breakfast”.

The children that grow up seeing this every day, how can they know better if people do not come and tell them?


Faith: After a brief fellowship, we were asked to have a one-on-one with the people. I was assigned to Faith. Faith is a lovely, playful, “faithful” lady. She told me her story. The day she was born, her father was being buried. She has no siblings. She grew up with relatives because her mother did not have enough to raise her up. Her education ended in secondary school. She is a nurse and a hairdresser. She works hard. She came to know God through evangelism by members of God Bless Nigeria Church. She has a fiancé and plans to get married this year. We prayed together. If you hear her talk, every word that comes out of her mouth is filled with faith. Life and joy bubbled within her. “Are we going to see Pastor Tony today? The tall Pastor?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. She became very excited.

I was really encouraged by Faith and the others in the fellowship. These are people who live in Marakana but had chosen to be separate. It was evident that transformation had begun in their lives – thanks to the word of God and the work of God Bless Nigeria Church to reach out to them with the Good News.

I thank God for God Bless Nigeria Church (can be located at Onikan Stadium, Lagos). I thank God for those who accepted the vision, for those who decided to be partakers and for those who have made sacrifices to reach those places most of us will not. I have seen how people’s lives have been transformed from darkness to light, and from doom to purpose. Drug addicts, armed robbers, prostitutes, the sick, the incapacitated and the homeless have been reached by the church. God bless Nigeria. As we decide to change and make better a life today, in no time, we will see that many lives will be changed for the good of Nigeria.

18 comments:

BBB said...

you just inspired me,
we always believe we have problems forgetting that in everything we should give thanks.

it really is our calling to spread the gospel
and i bless God for giving you the strength to not only experience this but to share it with us
thank u

Harry-Rami Itie said...

This is so cool... God will bless you for what you are doing in the lives of these people...

jhazmyn said...

Its amazing really how we are transformed by the mere act of reaching out to others, we begin to see a totally different outlook on life and as we reach out to bless, we in turn are blessed in many ways by those we set out to bless.

I pray that the seeds that have been sown in their hearts would yield great fruits.

God bless you Rita

Tricia said...

God bless you Rita!
This post has touched my heart because every time i think about all these people going through hard time bu still praising God, am humbled.

Jaycee said...

Wow. I can't explain what this post did to me. As I was reading how Faith asked whether "Pastor Tony, the tall pastor" was coming, and how she got excited that he was...I was deeply moved. It was for this reason Jesus said we should spread the news to the Nations...

Thanks Rita for sharing this absolutely moving post.

Debbie said...

Wow! You are doing the work of an evagenlist as commanded, this is all that matters. Well done

Ms. 'dufa said...

Its so heartfelt and touching that you can go to the slums to evangelise...Sometimes we get too comfortable to raelise that they are millions of people worse off than us...
May God help us all to answer the call of evangelism

Rita said...

@BBB: - Thank you. I wish I had taken pictures (just that we were prohibited). These people lack the basic things in life…

@ Harry-Rami Itie: - Amen. I was not planning to go back again but with this your prayer, just maybe…

@ jhazmyn: - my dear, it was a real eye opener and transformer…thanks luv.

@Tricia: - same here, I really wonder how they manage to praise God.

@ Jaycee: - while I was out there, I began to imagine what Jesus would have been doing, all day moving from place to place, and the kind of excitement He brought to the people. I think that is the excitement we should be having for the things of God, though without idolatry…

@ Debbie: - hey Debbie…it was just once oh! I don’t know if I will go out there again…

@ Ms. 'dufa: -Amen. One cannot imagine what others are going thru except seeing for himself/herself.

Enkay said...

A little light can go a long way.

I know I don't do enough but my prayer is that I may be a light in my own immediate sphere of contact. God bless Nigeria and god bless you Rita for being a part of this.

Writefreak said...

Rita, God bless you for this post...

Dear father, i pray that you show me daily someone that i can touch, that i can reach out to and when you show me, give me the grace to heed the call! Amen!

Blowing Blessings Your Way said...

Wow, what a wonderful experience! God is soooo good....thanks for sharing and May God bless you for your labor of love...may it never be in vain! Keep up the good work Rita!!!

And it's been a while...hope all is well?

downtheaisle said...

Rita you need not say more...
We really don't know how much God has blessed us with the opportunities we have.

Myne Whitman said...

God bless you and all you put your hands to do Rita. For giving of yourself, time, talent and all, God Himself is your reward. You keep inspiring me. Take care.

. said...

nice to see u again....keep it up Car Rentals and Taxi Services

Gee said...

Wow--Rita longtime oo
I knw I have been AWOL--but I am back.
Honestly I love u--nd the work you do for christ, I really would cherish moments like that, cuz its so inspiring.
Great work Rita, words cant even express much of my Joy with this post.
Its indeed very heart warming. Hopefully one day Ild get to go to d ends of the earth to share the gospel too.

How u dey?
God bless!

Kafo said...

this is really inspiring
Esther's story struck a cord

thanks for the reminder of living more like Christ

koinonia said...

Oh my goodness, you attend TPH. I went for a concert there a couple of years back and a footage on God bless Nigeria Church was aired. I was in total awe of what you were all doing.

Great job. Keep it up.

chaitali said...

Hey I love your style I will subscribe for your feed please keep posting!

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