Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Let Us Talk About Nigeria

Travel Plans

We pulled the trigger on our airline reservations for Nigeria Monday. I mentioned last week that Kelly Jo and I were looking for places in Africa or Europe to rest and explore for opportunities to minister to people before coming back to the states. The airline schedules and world happenings seemed to conspire against us and nothing was dropping into place that felt "right."

Sunday night the tickets for our USA to Nigeria round trip flights dropped almost $300 each. That "felt" right and it seemed good to us to jump on that price drop. We had to shuffle our schedule a bit and leave a little earlier than planned, but it is done. 

The cheapest tickets were also the best tickets. We have routed through different cities in Europe before, but unless we are connecting to another European city it is much better to fly direct from the USA to Nigeria. Those direct flights are usually a little more expensive, but Monday they were the cheapest. Yay!

We had explored a few options stateside for resting after Africa and we are now looking a little closer at those options. It always takes us a few days to bounce back after making the trip home.

Let Us Talk About Nigeria

With all the talk of our preparation for Nigeria, I inevitably stir up questions about us going there. Readers that have joined us recently are often curious if we are transitioning to Nigeria full time.

-Are you moving to Nigeria?
My answer to that question is the same as it was the first time we returned from Nigeria.

We would willingly go and stay IF God directed us there. We are under no illusions as to the adjustments when living outside of the USA, but we love the Nigerian people and we love to follow God. IF God puts those two things together, we would go. 

Until that day we are completely content to go, preach, invest in lives and help every opportunity we can. IF we had our way and resources were unlimited, we would definitely plan to go much more often than we do. We feel connected to our brothers and sisters there and love to help any way the door opens.

A second question goes along these lines.

-Are you a Missionary, Missionary/Evangelist or what?
That is a tricky question for some folks, but it is not a designation that is difficult for us. We see ourselves primarily as Evangelists that are sometimes privileged to evangelize in countries that might normally be considered a foreign Mission Field.

A Missionary to the USA? I can accept that title. A Missionary to Nigeria? I am less comfortable accepting that. In my mind a Missionary learns the language, spends a bunch of time in the mission nation and gives a whole lot more of themselves than I have ever given in Nigeria.

A Missionary may be holding revivals and conferences, building schools and churches, drilling wells, running a Bible school, attending to medical needs, translating the Bible, distributing Bibles and maybe a hundred other things. I may do those things for a week or two, but a Missionary is there until local saints can be trained and take on all of those tasks themselves.

Calling myself a Missionary to Nigeria discounts the service of men and women that have dedicated their lives to foreign mission service. Right or wrong, that is the way I see it.

When I am in Nigeria, my Nigerian friends refer to me as a Missionary. That is how they define me and that is fine. I am thankful to be with them, thankful they love me and thankful to go by whatever name they give me.

Another common question that still catches me off guard every time is something like this.

-How many churches do you have in Nigeria?
Wait, what? How many churches do I have in Nigeria? I have nothing in Nigeria except for brothers, sisters, friends and family. 

We have poured many thousands of dollars into churches, ministries, school buildings and lives in Nigeria. Most of that money came from resources we were able to pull out of our operating funds. The rest came from individuals and churches that entrusted us with funds specifically for Nigeria as we determined best to spend it.

We give that money into the kingdom of God, no strings attached. We are not building a kingdom for ourselves and we are not building a kingdom for Bro. Shobanke. We are working together with him and his team and with others to win souls to God's kingdom.

Yes, we help with the school. Yes, we have helped build parts of several churches. Yes, we have helped complete much needed improvements to existing buildings. Yes, we have helped preachers and churches and individuals financially as they struggle to live and work for God. Yes, we plan to continue to do all of these things in the future as God makes us able.

However we do not claim ownership in any of that! We have no churches in Nigeria. We have no schools in Nigeria. We have no preachers in Nigeria. God has churches, schools and preachers in Nigeria and we are privileged to come along side them to assist them as we are able. It is our joy!

With all of that said, I am ready to go!

Image result for nigeria boggsblogs

If you have any questions about Nigeria or anything else we do, I would be glad to try my best to provide an answer. On occasion, the answer may even be correct.

Thank you for reading today.


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