"We are missing you already." This was first said before 3 1/2 hours of worship had even ended at Chris' church. There was an outpouring of love from our brothers and sisters in Christ on our last full day in Nigeria.
I was blessed to be asked to preach, and shared a message on love — based mostly on 1 John 4. I asked the church of about 80 adults and children, "Who are you willing to die for?" I spoke about missions and how we are called to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-4). I encouraged the church to show the God of love (1 John 4:16) to the world. We then played the Jars of Clay version of the hymn "They will know we are Christians by our love."
"Pa Gary," as he is called at Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre in Port Harcourt, preaching in traditional African clothing, which was given to him by Pastor Chris. Chris considers Gary his spiritual father.
I shared the thoughts I'd had before coming to Nigeria and how fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) is something Satan will use to bind us and keep us from GOing. I told them you cannot love from afar what you don't know. We have learned that firsthand in Nigeria. If Satan and fear had kept us away we would not have realized the love we now have for these people.
We prayed individually for each person in the church — adults and children — and then were photographed with many of our new friends.