Mission To Paala
was biting cold in the morning but as the sun rose up in the sky the
temperature increased gradually such that, by the time we departed the Immanuel
College Chapel, mid-afternoon on January 12, it had become hot and sweaty. But
when you are riding in an airconditioned bus you are protected from the heat.
That is, until you reach your destination, which, in our own case, was Paala
village some 10 kilometres Northeast of Ibadan. It was our first Mission
Outreach, the Immanuel College Chapel Mission Team, in 2020.
we approached the village we saw the reality of the Nigerian economic recession,
that is, one of its enduring casualties. On our last visit in 2016 the newly
established enterprise, a poultry farm with capacity for 2000 birds, was
flourishing. It was near enough for the village community to be a source of
labour for the management. But on this
trip we were shocked to see that the business had collapsed. The poultry house
is in ruins, the well, the source of water for the birds, has been abandoned
while the manager’s office and the entire premises have been overtaken by
we drove past we began to wonder what impact the collapse of this enterprise
would have on Paala village and its people. Mercifully, on arrival, we did not
see any direct evidence of the disaster. Rather the deep well, which our Chapel
had constructed and commissioned, for use by the village community in 2014, was
still functional, providing the much-needed drinkable water all the year round.
was more than a relief. Moreover the villagers had gathered, ahead of us,
awaiting our arrival, singing christian songs.
The only evidence of any loss was a grave, right in front of the most
prominent building in the village, which provided shade from the burning sun.
recession has been a painful part of life in Nigeria in the past four years,
and has severely affected millions of
people, especially the middle and lower classes, christians and non-christians
alike. Yet God, the ever faithful Father, has shielded his own from its most
destructive impact, I Cor. 10:13.
wonder, our Chaplain, Very Revd Idowu Ariyo, who led the Mission Team, dwelt on
the theme “God Our Source of Provision and Security”. He opened his message with:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though
the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, Ps. 46:1-2
told the village audience that the challenges of 2019 have become history. If
there are any left-overs God would take care of them. The new year is a year of
hope. It is a year of blessing for those who put their faith and trust in Him.
Which is why He says “Ask and it shall be given to you…” Luke 11:9-13. God is a
loving Father and a generous giver. He gives life, He gives comfort and
safety. As you all know not all
travelers reach their destinations. But for children of God He gives protection
against demons who waylay travelers on the highways, seeking to cause havoc.
be assured that throughout this year you will move around, from village to
village, from village to cities, indeed everywhere you go, without fear. Our souls must be filled with God’s word so
that we can finish well.
Because the word of God is power. The devil cannot resist it. God has given us
the assurance that “no weapon formed against thee shall prosper” Isaiah 54:17.
this does not mean that God will always protect you even when you are on the
side of those who cause confusion in the church or within the village community,
if you are among those who seek to divide rather than unite. If you want to
prosper you must be willing, willing to serve and be obedient, Isaiah 1:19.
year 2020 is your year of blessing. Claim it. No matter the challenges you face
God will not abandon you. It is not in His character to forsake His own people.
He first loved us even before we loved Him, I John 4:19. But we must play our
own part too. We must love and serve Him. And we must avoid sin because those
who commit sin time and again make Him angry, Ps. 7:11. And when He is angry He
will punish the offender, sometimes severely.
the end of the sermon we prayed for everyone-adults, youth and children.
Special prayers were offered for two women each of whom had been carrying a
burden for several years.
Chaplain ended the outreach with a prayer and Benediction at 5:30pm.