It has been a busy week of teaching at the ECWA Seminary with 27 students in my class. Some are bishops. Some are pastors. Some are civil servants. Some work with international or local nonprofits. Some are in business. Some are Baptist, Christian Reformed, ECWA, Catholic, Lutheran, and others. They are taking Integrity and Finance as part of the degree, Masters in Organizational Leadership. It's always a fun class to teach, with some tough dialogue about the challenges of ethics and integrity in the day-to-day lives of people struggling with temptations, especially for those also struggling with poverty and a lack of hope in the system.
On Saturday, we were able to lead a workshop for another of our students, a bishop of a Lutheran Diocese in Abuja. His church has 1200 members and is a beautiful building. He had just under 100 pastors and church leaders in attendance and it was a good day to continue to share the vision of the church being the people of God and not the building.
Today (Sunday) I leave Abuja for Jos, to teach a two-day microbusiness training. Dr. Walker will head to Kaduna with Dr. Gaga (our partner) to do a two-day training for about 100 pastors and church leaders. Please pray with us for these two events.
Jos has quieted down in this last week, for which we are thankful. For three days, the Christians will fast (Monday-Wednesday) and pray for peace in the Plateau State. If you feel so led, please join them. There is so much anger and stress relating to this long-time struggle between the Fulani herdsman and those who live in the path that they travel. Conflicts, murder, kidnappings for ransom, extortion, and hatred/fear are an all-too-frequent occurrence. One pastor confessed that she had been preaching on how we need to love our neighbor while knowing in her heart the anger and unforgiveness she holds in her heart towards those causing so much strife and hurt in this country. There is a deep fear that Christians are going to be annihilated. Words fall short in these times of deep despair, especially from outsiders. We know that the church has often grown significantly during times of persecution, but that is little comfort.
We cry out to God for peace, for strength, for perseverance, for reconciliation. We pray for the Church to rise up, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to forgive, to love, to point all towards the light of Christ.
|The Lutheran Cathedral which we were privileged to speak at on Saturday.|