Sometimes there can be differing points of view about short term mission: whether it is actually beneficial and who benefits most – the team members or the local community. Without going into the positives and negatives, it is important to remember that every single day we bump into people who desperately need the Good News of Jesus. The work of mission is needed everywhere, both at home and overseas. We need to keep our hearts and eyes wide open for opportunities to share about Christ. Paul, quoting Isaiah, reminds us that “beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”. A challenge to each of us is to think about the people we interacted with today – did they experience a little bit of Jesus by spending time with us?

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Romans 10:14-15

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Having spent the last few years in Ochadamu, I’m thankful for the relationships built with Pastors, staff and the local community. We were indebted for all their support and advice when planning, organising and carrying out various programmes. Working in partnership with the church and learning from each other was vital to the success of the team.

The Mission Africa Summer Team arrived in Nigeria on 26th July for a period of one month. We split our time between Ogugu and Ochadamu. The month was packed with many evangelistic outreach opportunities. These included Bible programmes for children and young people, praise nights, village outreaches, young ladies events and hospital and community visits. Rather than listing everything we got up to, let me share some special moments we experienced during the month.

A children’s Bible outreach was held in a nearby village and many were hearing the Gospel for the first time. Due to the roads being inaccessible during the rainy season we went by motorbike. When first we arrived, the little Church was full to the brim in the space of a few minutes! Children packed themselves in, some two or three to a chair and women with their babies stood at the sides or looked through the window. The scene gave me a tiny insight into what it must have been like when crowds of people followed Jesus and wanted to hear His message.

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After one of the praise nights, we had the joy of seeing a young man recommitting his life to Christ. Pray for him as he faces pressures from his peers, who are not God–honouring. Pray that God would lead him to Christian friends who will help to encourage him in his faith. There are similarities to our young people back home and, like here, the church needs mature adults acting as mentors in their lives.

I am thankful to God for some of our teenagers who help lead at Kingdom Kids Bible programme throughout the year. I have seen them grow in maturity and grow in their faith and understanding of what it means to be a Christian. They have been learning how to lead children’s Bible programmes and how to engage children throughout a programme. This is one of our goals as missionaries – we want to see young people grow as disciples in Christ and continue on the work.

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Another special moment was spending time on the leprosy ward. It can be rather lonely for the patients who are there for months/years and they are so delighted when people spend time with them. We shared from the Bible and did some in art therapy together. We even brought some hand drums and joined together with them in worship and dancing. Something so simple provided them with so much joy. Seeing their faces and watching the older ladies dance and praise God was heart touching!

It was lovely to spend a longer time with the children in Ogugu who are part of the Child Sponsorship Programme. It is always overwhelming when the families present gifts of fruit, drinks and food for the team. Having very little, they are always so generous in their appreciation. During the parent and guardian meeting a guardian, who recently felt led to take in three young children who were homeless, expressed his gratitude for the sponsorship. It is nice to see the positive effects of ministries such as the Child Sponsorship Programme

Continue to pray for all those who heard the Word of God and with whom we spent time. Pray also for our Nigerian friends in their various roles and ministries who were such a support to us.

“By faith, the church was called to go, in the power of the Spirit to the lost, to deliver captives and to preach good news in every corner of the earth.”