Proclaiming the Good News in the Koma Hills
Pastor Chris Joseph, who serves with Climbing For Christ in Nigeria, returned to the Koma Hills on Dec. 12, 2012. He traveled from Port Harcourt in the south, where his family, home and church are located, to the Adamawa state in the northeast.
“I arrived at Tantile, the village before Koma (Hills), and we drove straight to Chief Moses’ residence. But I was told he went to the market. Without any further delay, I asked Moses (the chief’s son) to serve as my guide to the Koma Hills dwellers. He obliged and we both proceeded to Wiwp Community.”
Moses had served as our guide and translator on Mission: Nigeria 2011. He led us to Wiwp, where we met the village head and gained permission to share the Gospel with some villagers. The village head refuted our testimony, telling his people not to listen to us because we were like the previous missionaries who apparently had come from Cameroon and never returned. However, this did not keep the village council from asking us for a generator. Chris delivered the generator in February, which proved to the villagers we are, in Chris’s words, “genuine and trusted servants of God.” [CLICK HERE to read “Delivering on a promise.”]
As Chris and Moses trekked, Chris lost the sole of his shoe. “I had no option than to pull out my sandals from my bag to put on,” he said. But because of “the rolling nature of the mountain, I had to remove (the sandals) and walk barefoot to the Wiwp Community.”
Clothing delievered to Wiwp.
Chris went bearing clothing to deliver to the people, especially the women and children who dress in a traditional fashion – that is, mostly naked.
“My wife and I went to the market to purchase some clothing materials particularly for the women who are still alien to wearing clothes and children,” Chris recalled. “We got some fine long-lasting clothing materials, which were arbitrarily measured by a seamstress and later sewn. We also bought some (gently) used clothes and shoes for children. In our bid to purchase quality clothing materials for the women (skirts and blouses), we did not take into (account) the amount of money the seamstress would charge for labor. This became a challenge and I resorted to prayer.”
Chris’s prayer was answered.
The Climbing For Christ-supported Wonderland Chapel, where Chris pastors, was preparing to celebrate its second anniversary recently. Chris put out a banner in front of the building. “A couple who live opposite the church stood by and read the banner and shortly after that walked up to me while I was in church thinking on what to do in order to make our program a huge success,” Chris said. “The husband handed some reasonable cash to me and within the twinkling of an eye, he disappeared. I was overwhelmed as this never happened to me in my 15 years as a preacher.
“I used part of the money to pay the seamstress for the labor charges and I also used the bulk of the money to purchase almost everything needed for the baby we are expecting. Hitherto this time, we concluded Elijah Martin (their fourth baby) was our last child. On that note, all our baby stuff was given out to people who needed them.”
As Chris and Moses arrived in Wiwp most of the villagers were in their farmlands. “I sent for them, but it took about 30 minutes before few of them in farm apparel started appearing,” Chris said. “Before embarking on this trip, I asked God to give me direction on how to affect the whole community and not just a fraction of the community. I got a ministration to get clothing for the women that put on leaves as their only dress and get them preached to and dressed up in the church rather than preaching to people who are supposedly Christians. Hence the need to sew those clothes for the unbelieving (traditional) women with the intention of winning them to Christ and breaking the primitive culture of wearing leaves. The clothes given to children who are younger were to (introduce) a civilized culture in them.”
Children of Wiwp.
Chris told the people of Wiwp he had been sent this time on a different mission: “To demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to all the people living here and not just to Christians.”
Chris said he “sent for the women who use only leaves as their clothes to come to the church and, surprisingly, they obliged. I shared the Good News to them. I started by telling them that the organization that sent me with gifts to them does this not because it has so much money, but the reason is that we simply want to demonstrate the love of Christ to them. Jesus went about in towns and villages, remote areas, doing good to ALL. It is on this note that I am here.”
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” – Matthew 9:35 (NIV)
Chris asked them to respond by receiving Jesus Christ in their hearts as their personal Lord and Savior.
“Thereafter, I handed over clothes to the women in leaf skirts and without waste of time they joyfully wore (the clothing). I also gave clothes to the children and some clothes to the wives of the brethren there. Pairs of shoes were also distributed.”
Wiwp women after they have shed their leaves, which covered only their lower body, and put on new dresses.
Chris took one treated mosquito net for the Wiwp village head, but he learned that the leader had died a few months earlier. “I decided to send the mosquito net to the Waggi village head (who had accepted Christ during our evangelic expedition in December 2011) and I presented one to Chief Moses,” said Chris, who also gave a Bible to a friend of Chief Moses. “I also presented a dress to Chief Moses’ wife. I told them we will be visiting next year April (2013), God willing. I prayed for the communities in Koma, prayed for Christianity to make impact and finally left for Yola in order to get a vehicle to Gboko, Benue State” and then back to Port Harcourt.
– Gary Fallesen, founding president Climbing For Christ
Pray, Give, Go: Please pray for the ongoing work in Nigeria, especially in those areas where persecution is occurring and terrorism that targets Christians. You can support this work through Climbing For Christ. Go with His ministry to Nigeria in 2013.