09 Mar

The Risk of Sovereignty

There has been plenty of Nigeria in the news of late and some of the incidents have provoked me to really, frankly… Well, how can I put it? I feel like I’ve had a kick up my complacent backside about why I am here, doing what I do.

Recently I was involved in some conversations that led to some friends looking at moving out here to join our ministry. BRILLIANT! Then I saw this post on facebook. At first, it made me giggle. 

loves her son, last night's take was "so there are no earthquakes, tsunamis or tornadoes in Nigeria" (me – not that I am aware), "so we just have to be careful about diseases and getting shot, that's good"…

It reminded me that everywhere has it’s up and downs. So I replied, twice.

 HAHAHAHA brill. no tornados or tsunamis — not liable to earthquakes.. all good!

 actually getting shot isn't too high a risk either!

Sometimes it just appears like a high risk, because that is all the information we are reading about. Someone else posted a comment in the same conversation

Malaria, mugging, kidnapping, rape and killings of white people are very high, in my stats, so why would you put ur lifes at risk?

My jovial thought about a 7 year old’s mind at work was brought to a resounding sudden halt. I decided that I could give an answer to that, but firstly was it my place to answer?

Then I remembered that of course it was. I am in said country that is being questioned. Maybe I could share my experience and help out.  So after a couple of drafts (yes maybe I should have got someone to proof read it for me!) this is how I responded.

GREAT question! I’m not sure the reality of where we are living is accurately reflected in the news and by other sources – Malaria is a problem everywhere, but mugging and kidnappings, rape and killing of Ex-pats is none- existent in Jos. Yes such things have happen elsewhere in the country and there is a risk attached to living and working here.   Personally for us, God hasn't called us to a safe life.  He has called us to minister in this country of HUGE need.  We believe our lives belong to God and when we pray, 'God let your will be done' we are re-asserting his sovereignty over our lives.  If harm came to us  yes it would devastate some people it would probably affect our ministry here (maybe for the better) – BUT that doesn't change God's status of sovereign. And besides we'd be in Glory with him 🙂  We live with the risk because the people here causing the trouble are exactly the ones who need to know God for themselves, i also appreciate that everyone has different levels of acceptable risk, living out here isn't for everyone and that is okay, because God can use you where you are!  People are in need everywhere.  Hope that TINY insight helps – if not, sorry for wasting your time reading this comment.

As I pondered it even further I realise more and more that my life is not my own and maybe it has taken getting my butt out to risky Nigeria for me to truly give it up.

I’m an aspie (Asperger's). It means there is a control freak in me and it rears its head worse when I am tired or hungry or under stress. But I survive because I maintain control – and so to give up that control is a REALLY super hard, super scary and super tiring. If I give up the control it only works if I completely trust the person I am giving it up to. Gaining that trust is hard. Re-gaining after it has been broken is even harder.

I have learnt that God is trust worthy. His sovereignty isn’t something I can really test, though. God can’t earn that status – it is simple fact of life. God is sovereign.

I got some more info from the original poster and I started pondering some more and eventually replied in a message.

I don’t know what it is like trying to relate to family who aren’t Christian, I can only imagine how ridiculously difficult it must be. I wasn’t trying to stir the water, just give an honest answer to her question. God’s sovereignty is a concept that non-believe (actually many believes for that matter) don’t’ grasp. It is a work his is doing in me at the moment! To live is Christ, but to die is gain – that hard to walk balance between effectiveness and risk.

Since coming to Nigeria I have become more and more aware of 2 things.
1 – The cost of missions goes FAR beyond my comfort level. It is also a cost/potential cost to other people. I have lived far too long ignorant of the cost my decision to be involved in mission is to other people.
2 – I cannot live any longer ashamed of the gospel, not my part in getting it to people who don’t have it. A great verse that has really come out fresh of late 1 Cor 1:18 “The cross is foolishness for those who don’t believe”. They are never going to understand why we do what we do where we do it. They are going to consider it foolishness. That is tough – on them and the result I guess is that they are tough on us.
But damn it, 300 languages without a single word of scripture, I have to do all I can in the time I have here – who knows how long that may be!

 

Right now I am re-ignited about why we are here doing what we do. I’ve been complacent about it. Maybe our lifestyle is too easy-going that I’m not being kept on my knees. But I have never been more convinced than I am now of the need for God’s word to be available – in a language that people can understand.

The only way to build trust is to get to know someone. The way to get to know God is in his word. If people can’t understand his word, they’ll never get to know him any better. How will they ever trust him and rely on him and be prepared to lay their lives down for him?   

Our family is here living with those risks – the instability, the crappy power and everything else – to help make that a reality for the millions of Nigerians in the 300+ languages that don’t currently have any scripture. 

14 Mar

Technological FAIL

Just a brief message to anyone who may have received 3 emails from me this morning contain a few sentences of good stuff then 8 pages of rubbish.

I’m aware that when we get out to Nigeria that internet access is going to become somewhat more restricted than I am used to here. I have been trying to set up my blog in a way so that I cam email it blog posts that it can then post. However as is often the case I came a cropper a few times. WordPress makes it sound so simple, yet digging deeper it really is not! I have now stopped trying. Sorry to have filled your inbox!

04 Jan

Translator Kidnapped in Nigeria

Translator Kidnapped in Nigeria

January 3, 2011 by wycliffeprayer

“For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him” (Psalm 34:7, NLT).

The translator/coordinator of the Tarok translation project in Nigeria was kidnapped in Jos on December 16. Please pray for the safe release of Stephen. Pray too, for his family, and for the Tarok translation team. As a result of this incident, the team was forced to cancel a translation checking session scheduled for this month. The Tarok translation is a project of The Seed Company.

  • Pray for Stephen, and ask God to minister to him during his captivity. Pray for his immediate release.
  • Continue to pray for peace to be fully restored in Jos after the recent unrest over Christmas.

Tarok is 190km southeast of jos.

26 Nov

New Website

SOO many things need sorting and thinking about and organising before heading out to Nigeria.  1 such thing is this blog.

Sorry if this bores you, but it used to be hosted by the people who provided my internet at home in Chinnor.  When we head out to Nigeria, we will no longer have a supply company that can host the blog.   After a whole heap of research, I took the plunge and bought a new address www.robinsonta.org and some new server space.  I managed to take advantage of American thanksgiving sales!

You’ll notice  the site it almost identical, but a few kinks i am still trying to work out!

15 Sep

Nigerian's dedicate another Bible

My friends Chris and Christiebased out in Nigeria have just written about a wonderful Bible dedication seramony they attend in Nigeria. 

A few weekends ago, a little more than a year after we first moved here, we had the opportunity to attend a

 Scripture dedication right alongside the language community which was receiving the Bible in their own language: the Berom people of Plateau State, Nigeria.  This was a real privilege!

read the rest at their blog here

18 Jul

2 new bloggers

I have come across 2 new bloggers today.

1) John Hamilton and his john 20:21 blog

My name is John Hamilton and I have been a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators for over 20 years – first, with my wife Ruth, as teachers of missionary children at Vavoua International School in Ivory Coast for 8 years and latterly working with Wycliffe UK. My current role is Mobilisation Director for Wycliffe UK.

2) Philip Hewer and his hewersofwood blog.
Not only is he my father-in-law but he is also one fo the best writers i know.

In 1988 the Kasem New Testament was published, and later reprinted. Right now there is a team of pastors working in Ghana on translation of the Old Testament in to Kasem. Philip works from home on checking their translation for accuracy and clarity of communication. He visits Ghana a couple of times a year to work with the translators face-to-face, going through suggested changes.

16 Feb

WordPress for iPhpne

I have voiced my not quite satisfiedness with the iPhone. the more I use it, the more I discover its coolness. For example facebook app is great, but also discovered the Twitter app, which also integrates with my facebook status and also makes an appearance on this very blog. Suddenly a Twitter user. Also just found a wordpress app so I can now blog from my phones too!

Suddenly a bit happier with my iPhone!

12 Dec

NO CAROL SINGING. no, seriously

Just read this post by our local Rev.  It makes me really sad that everyone is happy to celebrate Christmas and spend literally BILLIONS of pounds in the midst of a economic crisis, whist forgetting how ti all came about.

It is being reported in the news that the choir of Arthur Bugler County Junior School were told that their pupils must not sing Christmas carols at Corringham Winter Festival because they did not “dovetail” with its theme.

Read more.

06 Dec

Blingamish

David over at lingamish slipped a comment about blingamish on the end of his last post .. here is my 10 minute responce ..

28 Nov

facebook and church

Just read a GREAT post about how to use facebook effectively,

fortunately i agree with it all lol.   I guess my churhc is trying it out withthe youth, but somehow they don’t connect with it.   To be hosnet it is becuase thye are an apethic ‘bunch of losers’.   as they would say …

Facebook and church 2

I’ve blogged on the subject of Facebook before,

Facebook and church
Facebook survey results
Is it the end for Facebook?

I know that people have mixed emotions when it comes to using it for their church. Based upon my previous research, observations and some personal reflections this is my opinion of how best to use Facebook as part of your church’s ministry.

Let’s start with the limitations of Facebook:
1 – Age: Facebook is mostly used by under 30s. OK there are some exceptions to this as a rule, but honestly, has this social networking thing really impacted your parents generation?

Read the rest at jouneyman’s blog.

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