The Nigerians I Know

mike-and-becky-at-dan-daura-school.jpgSince I arrived in Nigeria in April of 1982 I have always known Nigerians as an energetic;  a loving, caring, smiling; a determined and hard-working; a loyal, committed, heroic; a faithful, enthusiastic, worshipful; a joyful, singing and dancing people. Always they have welcomed my family and me with the open arms of faith embracing our own. I have often laughed heartily with them; I have prayed with them; I have wept with them; I have pondered difficult dilemmas with them; I have agreed and I have disagreed with them; I have searched out the riches of God’s Word with them. I have been inspired by their faith, their courage, their confidence and hope in God. I have been challenged by their unselfishness, their love of family, friends and church. I have misunderstood them and they have misunderstood me. At times I have been disappointed, but more often than not, I have been proud as I have lived among them.  I have loved them in the Lord and they have loved me back more deeply than I can express. I have envisioned them as a people dancing and singing before the Throne. I have despaired with them in the face of the vast numbers among them who have never heard the Good News. I have been challenged by their readiness to sacrifice so that all may hear. I have been inspired by their commitment to go wherever they need to go so that all may hear the Gospel. I have seen Jesus in them over and over again, and I will always rejoice; I will praise God for the thirty years He allowed me to thoroughly enjoy living among them.

These are the Nigerians I know,
Loving with their whole hearts
Their God they love and serve
And genuinely.

These are the Nigerians I know
Getting their priorities in order
So that God comes first,
Their family second
And work a hardy third
For all the days
And nights of their lives.

These are the Nigerians I know
Loyal forever beyond fault
Until those bonds produce
Koininia fellowship,
Compassion perfected
And God’s Kingdom on display.

These are the Nigerians I know
Grateful for a lifetime and
Loyal beyond bloodlines
Welcoming enthusiastically,
Dancing together passionately
And prizing ties that bind.

These are the Nigerians I know
Deeply valuing families,
Treasuring time-honored values,
Jumping to defend brothers,
Sisters, fathers, mothers,
Children, grandfathers and grandmothers. 

These are the Nigerians I know
Working tirelessly, always
Worshiping jubilantly, often
Praying with true devotion,
Mourning with deep conviction,
Celebrating with abandon.

These are the Nigerians I know
A godly, dynamic,
A compelling, noble,
A strong, yet compassionate people
Longing to see God eternal
Forever on His throne.

July 27, 2018
Philippians 1: 3-6

 I give thanks to God for every remembrance of you,
always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 
 I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.




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