JUNE 28, 2019

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Sunday 11th was a wet day in Ibadan not unexpectedly because it is June although there may be other days when the clouds are light and sunshine prevails. But not on this particular Sunday when the Immanuel College Chapel Mission Team scheduled a trip to Lamona village, about 12 kilometres to the Northeast, off the old Ibadan-Oyo road. However neither the rains nor the undulating double-carriage way, under construction, would deter the Evangelists, led by our Assistant Chaplain, Vey Revd Joseph Ayodele.

As the rains continued to pour a member of the team recalled what might turn out  to be a similar experience when, seven years ago, there was no such threat of adverse weather until we arrived at Eleshu village, and our outreach was well underway. Then, suddenly, the heavens opened up halfway into the Message, by the Venerable Cornelius Adagbada, the then Chaplain, now Bishop of Oke-Ogun Diocese of the Anglican Church. About 40 villagers and all 20 members of our Mission Team were standing in the front of the Baale’s house, the outreach grounds, without any physical protection from the furious downpour. A handful of villagers ran for cover but the Ibadan Team and its Chaplain stayed put and, surprisingly, the rest of the villagers too, despite the rapid decline in temperature, from about 290C to 240C. We were shivering.

If this experience was a test of our faith, so be it. Christ, our example, confronted even more daunting challenges during His earthly ministry. So, who were we to complain! Saving souls is serious business and nothing should compete with it.

Back to our Lamona trip and our experience on June 11, 2019. We were about half-way to the village when one of our village volunteer organizers called to confirm that we were on our way, fearing that the adverse weather night interrupt our journey. We answered in the affirmative.

Finally at about 3:30pm we arrived at Lamona. The rain had stopped, to everyone’s delight. One of the 44 members of the community, who received us warmly, was the son of the former village Head with whom our Team had had an unforgettable encounter during our first visit in 2010. He could not make a choice between the christian God and his local deity. We however helped him to abandon the local god, after strenuous argument and tension, which, on our part, we had tried to avoid. Until he passed on a few years later he had become a faithful church-goer and a christian at heart.

Our praise worship was fulsome. For those who survive the hard times in our country, week-in, week-out, it is not out of place, as some errorneously believe, to thank God for His love, mercy and abundant grace, Matt. 5:44-45. 




Our Team leader for the day, the Very Revd Joseph Ayodele, delivered the Message with the theme, “Jesus Loves You”, Matt. 11:28. He said Jesus was aware of their day-to-day struggle which include lack of jobs for young school leavers, poor returns from farm produce, kidnapping and robbery. This is why Jesus says “Come Unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,”

Which means He is the only one who can bear your burden. Not your local gods. Not even your friends or highly placed relations in the community, or society at large. Human beings are selfish. Jesus is not. He is concerned about their challenges. He is the problem-solver. So take your burden to Him on your knees.

Rev. Ayodele said one thing should be made clear; Jesus is not saying that people who are elected into positions of leadership should not discharge their responsibilities to the people. The provision of roads, health facilities, security and jobs are their primary responsibilities and they must perform them. Even then God is the great provider and those who want a happy and peaceful life, indeed, those who desire heaven as their final place of rest, must believe in Him. Unlike human beings He is faithful. He keeps His promises.

After the message two women came out for special prayers, one of whose daughter was barren. We prayed, asking God, the burden bearer, to meet their needs.





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