One thing that we notice living in Nigeria is the need to be flexible. Plans often seem to change at the last minute. Our most recent experience of this has been the elections that were to be held a couple of weeks ago. The election process for president of Nigeria was then postponed for 6 weeks to Saturday the 28th March.
Please pray that God’s peace will reign in our hearts and minds during this time.
The new date that has been set for the elections clashes with the annual spiritual retreat for our group. This is going to cause issues for our Nigerian members of staff who need to vote in their local areas. We can not change the date of the retreat significantly because the place where it is held is fully booked and we have a speaker travelling here from overseas.
The result is that we will not all be able to arrive at the same time, with those who are able to vote arriving a day late, after they have voted.
On another topic – some of you may have seen the news item about a missionary who was kidnapped in Nigeria. Here is a little more information from our end:
This week an expatriate missionary with the Free Methodist World Missions was abducted in Kogi State, South-Central Nigeria, and she is being held for ransom by an unknown group. The U.S. Embassy has been notified, and the U.S. State Department and the FBI are working with local authorities to find and rescue her. All of our SIL Nigeria staff are safe and continuing to operate as normal with reasonable safety precautions. Please pray for Phyllis’ safety and speedy release, and pray for security and protection for all missionaries and Christian workers in Nigeria.
NB. We are roughly as far from the location that this took place as London is from Dundee. Nigeria is a BIG place!
We are praying for Phyllis that she will have peace and joy even in the midst of this, that she will be able to be a light in the darkness even if the darkness is pitch black. I am also praying for her captors because it occurred to me that however bad her situation – theirs is worse.
Before you decide that I have lost it and clearly need my head seeing to, let me explain my rationale. She is a Christian, she has put her trust in Christ and he has saved her eternally. When you look at her situation with an eternal perspective – she is safely in God’s kingdom and no physical harm can remove her from that place of ultimate safety. Her captors on the other hand, do not know the God who saves, or if they do, they have rejected his plan for their lives. They are at risk of spending eternity in Hell – definitely not a safe position to be in! So, I am praying that God will rescue not just Phyllis, but also her captors.
STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
We have just heard that there has been another twin bombing in Jos. We are safe but please pray for comfort and provision for all those affected.
Peace in Jos following the election postponement announcement.
Our speaker for retreat is still willing to come despite the uncertainty of being here over elections.
For peace up to and including the new election period.