Many Koma to Christ
The threat of terrorism delayed C4C’s most recent foray into the Koma Hills. But the enemy could not keep the Word from reaching the Koma people living in Nigeria’s remote northeast.
We wrestled successfully against the cosmic powers over this present darkness – including the failure of the local chief to announce the impending visit of our own Pastor Chris Joseph – to share the Jesus film and preach the Truth to a crowd of about 200 people.
“Soaked in the power of the Holy Ghost, I expounded the Scriptures to them, exposing the dangers of living a sinful life and the consequent banishment in hell fire,” Chris reported. “Thereafter, I made an altar call and about 40 persons surrendered their lives to Christ.”
We praise God for this moment, which occurred in His time and His way.
70 percent of the estimated 53,500 Koma living in Nigeria follow folk religions. The majority of those unbelievers live in mountainous areas.
A short-term Evangelic Expedition to Nigeria in 2014 was postponed because of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Pastor Chris was sent to represent C4C in the Atlantika Mountains near the Cameroon border, but he had to wait nearly three months to make the visit.
The gateway to Yola, capital of Adamawa State, and the place where an estimated 1.5 million people have been displaced by Boko Haram attacks in the northeast. (Photo by Chris Joseph)
He traveled from the Christian south, where his home and C4C-partner ministry are based, to Adamawa State on Feb. 2 and 3. The vehicle in which he traveled stopped overnight because of the presence of bandits, who have been working “a stone-throw distance from a major military checkpoint.” Anyone who has followed the events of Nigeria in recent years knows that the military has proved nothing short of inefficient when it comes to protecting people. Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group, has run rampant on a murderous campaign throughout the northeast – and into neighboring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
When Chris reached the tribal lands of the Koma, he was required to wait for the leader. He said he was covered in dust from the travel and already had been greeted by the scorching sun. “Indeed,” Chris noted, “missionaries go through horrible things all for the sake of Christ.”
The next two days were fraught with frustration as Chris learned the chief and others with whom he had communicated had failed to inform the people of his arrival. He decided to go door-to-door himself to invite people to attend the crusade.
“A woman cheerfully and respectfully greeted me in the Koma language and I responded in the Koma language, too,” Chris said. “She began narrating through an interpreter (one of the ladies) how she had chronic asthma and a typhoid fever that defied medical treatment, but after I prayed for her in my previous trip (in February 2014), she received instant healing.
“The woman out of excitement beat her chest repeatedly and jumped in demonstration of God’s healing on her. Right there, I regained my hope.”
Chris praying for the sick woman in February 2014.
That evening, Chris opened the program in prayer. God provided an interpreter when the original person who had agreed to translate reneged on him. Chris began showing the Jesus film, but fearing the cold evening temperatures might cause people to leave early, he stopped the film after 30 minutes to preach.
After making the alter call, Chris said, “The woman who was healed excitedly shared her testimony.” Chris then prayed for the sick and “the power of God was present both to heal and to work wonders among His people. A young girl under demonic influence was prayed for and she started spinning until she was completely loosed from satanic shackles, thereby falling on the ground. It was shocking to the Koma people in attendance, but it was simply the power of God in action.”
Praise God for that.
After all of this, Chris distributed packets of salt – symbolizing being a Christian – to the women in attendance and gave schoolchildren gifts of books, erasers, sharpeners and rulers.
“I cautioned the people against making merchandise of missionaries who come to salvage their communities from the forces of darkness,” he said. “I prayed for the Koma communities to come to the light of the Gospel, prayed for civilization and the peaceful conduct of February general elections (now postponed to late March).”
The people then asked to see the rest of the Jesus film, which was shown until after midnight.
Before returning home, Chris met with Chief Moses and his family to discuss our agreement to put his son, Moses, through Bible school. The father was excited and the son “joyfully accepted the plan,” Chris said.
“If asked to comment on my mission trips to the Koma Hills, I would say this was the worst in terms of attack and the best in terms of positive result.”
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)