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Elijah Martin Joseph We were praying for Chris Joseph and his family — in particular his pregnant wife, who is appropriately named Blessing — as they awaited the arrival of their fourth child earlier this year. Elijah Joseph was born March 16. “Both the child and the mother are safe and sound, although the devil's aim was to eliminate the child,” Chris e-mailed that day from his homeland of Nigeria. “The (mid)wife who saw to the delivery of my wife exclaimed, ‘Your God is alive because the devil came so late!’ The umbilical cord was coiled around...
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Chris Joseph was featured in The Climbing Way. He is a pastor in a country plagued by violence against Christians. We have assisted him in the battle that is waged there. Now this: The Community Chief, a traditional ruler of the kindred, hamlet or clan (irregardless of “the level of civilization and development that has taken place in their domain”), took back the hall Chris was sharing with another pastor. “The place is in a serious chaotic situation now,” Chris said in early August 2010. Chris and the other pastor were deceived by bad people who took advantage of them...
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“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” — 2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV) Climbing For Christ wired US$1,700 to Chris Joseph to secure space for a new church. “I would like to do anything human possible within my reach to ensure that C4C is fully established, not just in Nigeria but in the entire West African sub-region,” Pastor Chris wrote.
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Lives Aglow Global Outreach Center was back in business — the business of doing God's work! — the weekend of Oct. 28-31. “To the glory of God, our program slated for 28th to 31st October has come and gone successfully,” Pastor Chris Joseph said. Worship at Wonderland Chapel on Oct. 31, 2010. “The grand finale, which happened to be our first Sunday service, attracted almost 50 people and the most significant thing that happened that day was the awesome presence of God that saturated the (worship area),” Pastor Chris reported. “Salvation, healings ...
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Mission: Nigeria 2011 is announced. It is scheduled Nov. 28-Dec. 10.
Project Living Word Pastor Chris Joseph of the Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre used US$120 provided by Climbing For Christ members to purchase 20 copies of the Bible and Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke’s booklet, “Now That You Are Saved.” He set Sunday, Sept. 23 to share these precious items with new believers in his church. “This is aimed at boosting the spiritual morale of the new converts,” said Chris, who plans to distribute more Bibles and booklets on Sunday, Oct. 1.  The gifts, above, and some of the recipients, below. I charged them to study the B...
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Pastor Chris Joseph of the Wonderland Chapel in Port Harcourt, Nigeria encouraged each of his church’s members to reach out to someone who is lost. He dubbed it “Operation One Win One.” “We've some souls won, but without a copy of the Holy Bible,” Chris said recently. “A copy of the Holy Bible given to these saved souls will strengthen their faith in God. The challenge here is how to procure at least 100 copies of the Holy Bible so it can be given as a precious gift to those who turn to Christ.” Chris said he also is burdened to distribute Bibles...
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“For me, doing ministry in Nigeria is likened to a situation where you are trying, by all means, to make friends with a violent madman.” These words, from Pastor Chris Joseph of Climbing For Christ, sum up the challenge of Christians evangelizing in Nigeria's oppressed north. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with more than 140 million people. It is an oil-rich nation (ranked 11th in the world for its oil reserves), but the average annual income is about US$1,400 and more than half of the population reportedly lives on about US$1 per day. The country is divide...
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Delivering on a promise Climbing For Christ delivered on God's promise to provide for the people in the remote Koma Hills village of Wiwp by sending us back with a small gasoline generator that they had requested during our visit in December 2011. “By the grace of God, I have delivered the small gasoline generator to the Wiwp community,” said Pastor Chris Joseph of Climbing For Christ. “I handed over the generator to the village head of Wiwp community (photo above). They were so excited on seeing me with the generator. They told me that they considered us to be one of tho...
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The news out of Nigeria continues to be nothing but bad. First, the government decided to remove fuel subsidies on Jan. 1 in that largely impoverished country. Fuel prices doubled and even tripled in some states, crippling the nation. As a result, violence has erupted and strikes on Monday silenced most city streets, which normally are teeming with vehicles. Violence in Nigeria is not uncommon. “We have a history of Muslim-Christian violence in this area going back 30 years or more,” one pastor in the persecuted North recently told Open Doors ministry, “but few of us have ...
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Pastor Chris Joseph preached in the Climbing For Christ-supported Wonderland Chapel in Port Harcourt: “Although some church members traveled and (some) caught up in the web of merriment stayed at home, some fervent ones were in church and we had a wonderful service. To God be the glory.” Elsewhere in the country, there was what the secular media called, “Christmas carnage in Nigeria; 5 churches bombed.” The news story: A string of bombs struck churches in five Nigerian cities, leaving dozens dead and wounded on the holiday, authorities and witnesses said. The blas...
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We waited for seven hours, shaded by a large tree from the 100-degree heat, until the village chief arrived. This is Africa: Permission is needed from tribal leaders to visit their land. Their approval opens doors to evangelism. When the chief arrived, he said: “I met you on the road.” We glanced at each other, not recognizing the chief or what he was talking about. Maybe we were still in a jet-lagged fog from four days of travel — two by air, two by road — from North America to northeastern Nigeria. Then we realized he was the man riding by motorbike in the op...
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By the grace of God the North American team members have returned safely to the States.
The supposed one-hour drive to the airport in Port Harcourt was in its second hour and we were stuck in gridlock like I have never seen in visits to 30 countries. The sun was blotted out by the uncontrolled emissions spewing from idling vehicles parked six lanes across on a six-lane road. That's right, the vehicles going in our direction had spread out and overtaken the oncoming lanes. The air in our AC-less car was brutally hot and burning our eyes and lungs. That's when our vehicle stalled. Things were growing desperate as we prayed harder and harder. Chris went from vehicle to vehicle as...
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"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 Cl...
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The birth of Brandy Brown Our team had returned to our hotel in Port Harcourt after teaching at the second conference of our Mission: Nigeria 2011 trip, when there was a knock at our door. “Pastor Brown,” said the deep voice on the other side of the locked door. We opened the door and to our excitement Pastor Brown greeted us and gave us more purified water for the night and following morning. Pastor Brown. “Brandy, what does your name mean?” Pastor Brown asked Canadian team member Brandy Everts. “Filled with joy” Brandy replied. Pastor Brown co...
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We kicked off this weekend's first anniversary celebration at Chris' Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre tonight with an evening of praise and worship. I was blessed to set foot in the Wonderland Chapel, as Chris calls his church in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is a church that God used Climbing For Christ to rescue, which is what we are celebrating this weekend. Worshipping at Lives Aglow Global Outreach Centre. We told stories of our mission to Koma Hills and then spoke to the standing-room-only crowd of about 65, including a full worship band in a room measuring 30-by-25 feet. Bra...
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Pastor Chris Joseph speaking at the day-long conference. We taught about effective leadership and missions at a one-day conference put on by Chris in his hometown of Gboko in Benue state. Pastor Sam Gar from the local Christian Association of Nigeria opened the meeting at Gboko Christian Centre saying that he believed God would speak through their three North American guests. That was our prayer as we shared about being called to go (Gary), the six Biblical principles of effective leadership (Mike), and how to raise women as frontline leaders (Brandy). We returned to the church for an ev...
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We left the distinct beauty of the Koma Hills to return to the land of police checks and extortion. The chief of Tantille saw us off at daybreak. We prayed for him and for the work that has begun here and then made the three-hour drive in a compact car down the very dusty 90-mile dirt road to Yola. From there we proceeded for eight more hours to Gboko in Benue state, where we are speaking Thursday at a one-day conference on leadership and missions hosted by Chris' ministry. Before leaving the Koma Hills we were introduced Tuesday evening to a man who practices black magic. The chief arrange...
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Meet our new brother in Christ — Waneke. We hiked up 1,300 vertical feet in 100-degree heat that is apparently common during the dry season in the Koma Hills. We reached the village of Wagi. All of the villagers were out farming, but we found a boy to send for the village chief. Waneke arrived and we sat with him under the shade of a tree. We learned a little about him and his village. There is a church there, but Waneke does not attend. “His father made him a traditional head. He cannot be Christian,” said Lazarus, who served as our translator in the Wagi dialect (many vi...
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