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... Read more »
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... Read more »
“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... Read more »
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... Read more »
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 ... Read more »
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... Read more »
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... Read more »
By the grace of God the North American team members have returned safely to the States. Read more »
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... Read more »
"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... Read more »
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.
“Brandy, what does your name mean?” Pastor Brown asked Canadian team member Brandy Everts.
“Filled with joy” Brandy replied.
Pastor Brown co... Read more »
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... Read more »
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... Read more »
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... Read more »
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... Read more »
We trekked downhill from Wiwp and through several other villages in the Koma Hills with temperatures of 105F in the sun. We needed to return to Tantille after our water filter broke as we obviously need drinking water in this blistering heat. We know this is part of God's plan because the chief of Tantille came for a long visit after our return. We learned many things about the 16 villages he governs. He invited us to send a full-time missionary here to minister to the 4,000+ living up in the mountains.
We were welcomed back to the Christian church and school at the entry to the hills. Chri... Read more »
We hiked for five hours into the Koma Hills searing heat that dehydrated our bodies and challenged our resolve. We were accompanied by Moses, the 18-year-old son of the chief in Tantile, and 17-year-old Lazarus on our trek to Wiwp (pronounced “weep”) where we attended a funeral for a 98-year-old man who was the oldest person in the village. We were told the dead man was a “traditional man,” which explained the music, pipe-smoking women, dancing by women wearing leaf skirts, and throwing of gifts (nuts, water and chewing gum) at the wrapped corpse carried overhead during... Read more »
We arrived safely at the Koma Hills after another 2 ½-hour drive over 90 miles on dirt roads in a very small vehicle. We now are waiting for one of the tribal leaders or a local pastor, or both, to show up so that we can be greeted into the area. Hopefully the tribal leader will do that so that we are free to wander about and do our business, or do God's business, as we like to say.
After about a seven-hour wait, a tribal chief returned to his home. We spoke with him and he granted us permission to go into the hills, which we will be doing at first light on Sunday.&n... Read more »
We sped across the Christian south into northeastern Nigeria, driving for about 17 hours from Port Harcourt to Yola. This is our jump-off point for going into the bush to trek toward the remote Koma Hills people.
"I feel like, if there was a speed limit we'd be going double it," Mike commented as our hired driver careened through one village.
TIA (This Is Africa), too: crazy, long drives on roads (mostly paved) pocked with vehicle-eating potholes and littered with police checks.
"Yola is like traveling to – I don't know what to describe," said Chris, although we can think of a f... Read more »
Rochester, NY to New York City to Paris, France to Lagos, Nigeria to Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Twenty-six hours of flying. And that's the easy part.
We were met at the airport by a series of bribery seeking officials and finally Chris Joseph and eight or 10 other pastors. We drove in a sort of mini-motorcade for an hour on dark, bumpy and congested roads to reach our motel for the night. Chris' lovely wife delivered us a traditional Nigerian meal as a greeting.
Welcome to Nigeria. Read more »
The team prepared for Nigeria by viewing Louie Giglio's teaching “God's Passion for God's Glory” on DVD and then watching a DVD from Open Doors ministry about persecution in Nigeria. We followed that with a study on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), reading Scripture about God's defensive and offensive provision found in the “full armor of God.” We completed the team building with a study prepared by Jordan Rowley on folk religions. And then closed with a time of prayer.
Not long after this we received bad news: Jordan was again denied a visa to go. That means Br... Read more »
The team came together in Rochester, NY, USA to prepare for the journey ahead. Good news awaited as Jordan Rowley, who didn't get his visa, might yet be able to go. With the help of Climbing For Christ member Melissa Waheibi in New York City, we are applying again at Nigeria's General Consulate on Tuesday. Read more »
Preparations for this Evangelic Expedition may not have gone exactly as we would like (one team member did not get a visa to make the trip), but God is in control. We prepare to GO in His name and to His glory, knowing we must put on the full armor of God, so that we can take a stand against the devil’s schemes (see Ephesians 6:11-13).
The spiritual warfare has been intense — an indication that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.
As our team prepares to come together we share our prayers for the weeks ahead.
Brandy Everts: “My main prayer for Missi... Read more »
Date: Nov. 30-Dec. 13, 2011
Purpose: To deliver the Gospel to Koma people living unreached in the Atlantika Mountains and to explore the need for Climbing For Christ ministry in this part of the country. The Climbing For Christ team also will be teaching at conferences and celebrating the anniversary of the C4C-supported church that is pastored by Chris Joseph.
Cost: Estimated at less than US$1,000 plus airfare to/from Nigeria.
More information: To inquire about or to apply for this mission, e-mail info@ClimbingForChrist.org. Read more »