Passion for Christ
May 30th, 2012 | By peggywlester | Category: Women of Faith, Words of Wisdom
By Peggy Lester –
I was blessed to be a part of a mission trip to Nigeria with some short term missionaries in 2008. We would be speaking at a conference where attendance would peak at 13,000 people or more. We flew into Lagos, Nigeria. The next morning we flew several hours to Enugu. We were met at the airport by security that would see us safely to Okpo, our village destination. Okpo, in Kogo State, is approximately 2½ hours by car from Enugu.
The conference was an experience I will never forget. This village of approximately 350,000 people had no electricity or running water. We met on top of a hillside under temporary arbors from early morning to late night. The event was like your old time camp meetings; a lot of preaching and some singing. Many people came to know the Lord and experience His Presence for healing. Some made deeper commitments to the Lord in their faith as well.
After the keynote speakers’ message delivered, we would break up into workshops. The widows would have a teacher, the women would have a teacher, pastors, a teacher, etc. Our first break out session, I met with the women. I was translated into two different dialects. I taught on keeping your focus on Christ. They seemed to take in every word the Lord gave me to speak. There were probably, at least, 800 or more there from various tribes and dialects.
Our second break out session, I spoke with the youth. It was so exciting. These youth literally surrounded me. There must have been 500 or more ranging from adolescence to late teens. Those that had note paper took copious notes and were so attentive.
For this conference, people traveled many, many miles. The conference starts on the first Tuesday evening of August and goes through Sunday night. At night, the families would be bed down wherever they could under the arbor. I never saw the first person with a bottle of water or drink. Babies slept on blankets next to their parents. Occasionally, during a service, you might hear a baby cry but not often. These people were so hungry to hear from God, it was so amazing at their thirst to learn. Oh, yeah, by the way, there were no bathroom facilities on the top of this mountain either.
What would your spiritual thirst measure on a scale of one to ten be under these circumstances? We are so used to modern buildings, soft pews, heat and air conditioning, nice restroom facilities, mostly one hour messages, etc.
To experience the hunger for God in third world countries, keeps me on the edge of my walk with the Lord. Who knows the day may come, maybe sooner than we think; we might have to meet in uncomfortable places to gather for worship and to experience the Presence of God. Don’t take your freedom to worship for granted; stay passionate about your relationship with Jesus and your service in Kingdom Work!
We have just celebrated Memorial Day when we remember those who have given their lives so we can remain free…did you remember those who died for your freedom? How about the ultimate freedom giver, Christ Jesus? Thank you Lord for “true freedom”!