The North

Posted: September 12, 2017 by Lenny in Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Prayer, SIM

DSC_0054As we drove, headed north away from the Plateau, I remember being surprised at the beauty of it all. The landscape was much different than I imagined. Mountains out to the far distance and between them were huge expanses of green. In my mind, I thought we would have left all of the green behind. Heading into the North meant to me that we were going to start to see desert everywhere. That wasn’t the case at all. I see that this is a vital place in Nigeria that produces food for the whole country.

As we drove I noticed that people and buildings changed just as much as the landscape around me. All the women wore hijabs or some head covering. Many m0sques dotted the landscape. Periodically, I would see a sign on the road that was written in Arabic. It clearly indicated that a m0sque was nearby. The unusual part was that a man dressed in a white uniform and very animated was always standing after the sign pointing cars towards the m0ques. I figured that since we were traveling on the mu$lim holiday, Eid al-Adha, this was some kind of a service to those traveling if they wanted to stop and pray along the way. I was intrigued to find out that they actually were building m0sques in those places and are trying to get people to stop and give money to finish the construction.

gtsAs my travels continued I noticed people everywhere buying, selling, or butchering livestock to celebrate the holiday (Eid al-Adha), which is known as the sacrifice feast. The meaning behind the holiday is that it honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Abraham sacrificed his son, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead. For this Mu$lim holiday, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts. One part is given to the poor and needy, another part is given to relatives, friends and neighbors, and the family eats the remaining part. I think back now and consider how God made so many parallels in Abraham’s story with the redemption of his creation by offering one final sacrifice in Jesus to take our place. I pray the thousands of people I passed that day will have a chance to hear the rest of the redemption story.

CIMG2956As we got further away from the Plateau, our SIM Nigeria Director started to point out piles of rubble or even a green field that used to be a church. Each came with its own story about how the church members would rebuild and then persecutors would tear down the building again and again. After five or more times they would eventually give up and many of the congregations either had left or they now meet in the open air.

 

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After the five-hour drive we arrived in the large northern city of Kano. Once more, I was amazed. The sheer size of the city (around 5 million people), its development, and its history dating back 1,000+ years was awesome to see. We saw horses, camels (I didn’t get the camels on film!), and masses of people making preparations for their holiday celebrations. We arrived safely at the church guesthouse in the only few “Christian” blocks of the city. It felt small, but safe.

IMG_9982The next morning we headed a little further up the road about 45 minutes to the small town of Tofa where SIM’s indigenous partner church, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), has a theological seminary. I was blessed to meet many people there and everyone was gracious to have the cameras “ON” so that I could take film of this institution. These videos will highlight the need for missionaries to come and teach as well as identify ways that God is working in these places. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.

Overall, it was an amazing trip and very eye opening for me on how much the North needs to here about Jesus. Please join me in praying for SIM’s northern initiative to reach the unreached. Please also pray for my future trips to the North to continue to to be safe and fruitful. Pray these video’s will stir peoples hearts to want to help in the North prayerfully, physically, and or financially.

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Comments
  1. Bruce says:

    Lenny and Patrice,

    It is great to hear of your pioneering spirit and flexibility to serve as the Lord unfolds new opportunities in mission. We are all learning through your storytelling as your family explores this new turf and look forward to sharing the faith adventure with you all. May the Lord continue to gove before you all, as he did with Abraham and still proves himself to be the I AM in our daily journey of faith.

    Bruce

  2. Hudson, Clare says:

    Thanks so much for your post. I feel I was able to ‘see’ Nigeria …a place I’ve never been. Blessings to you and family as you continue to settle in life and ministry there!
    Warmly,
    Clare Hudson
    SIM USA
    Member Care Department

    [cid:320A2BBE-351B-4936-AFE4-54184828A2C3@cable.rcn.com]

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