Mission: Nigeria 2016
The tribal chief of the Koma people where Climbing For Christ has ministered in northeastern Nigeria since 2011 wondered when the mission might return to the Atlantika Mountains.
“I told him that by God’s grace, they will visit the Koma people in November this year,” said Pastor Chris Joseph, a long-time Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner in Nigeria. “The hamlet head was highly elated at this news.”
Pastor Chris was sent back to the Koma people living along the Cameroon border in early January with the goal of purchasing land to establish a base for Climbing For Christ’s work.
“I went further to tell him that a medical doctor is going to be a part of the team,” Chris reported.
A team has formed (and has room for more workers with servant hearts) to take Climbing For Christ’s EMT to the Koma Hills. The EMT – or “Eric’s Memorial Tent,” named in honor of Dr. Eric Cederstrom – was used on Mission: Haiti 2012 and 2013.
In addition to addressing physical illness, this team will confront spiritual sickness among a people that predominantly practices folk religion in a state that is majority Muslim. The Koma people of Nigeria, which number about 55,000, are reportedly 30-percent Christian, according to the Joshua Project. Only 7 percent of the population is considered evangelical. We have encountered a few believers among the villages visited there so far.
Land (literally dirt cheap) has been purchased in the Koma Hills, where perhaps one day a church will be built. A borehole water project also is in the offing.
“He (Chief Moses) asked me to accompany him to a parcel of land near a hill,” Chris said last week. “On reaching there, he told me that the owner wanted to sell this parcel of land. After paying US$40 for the parcel of land, which is not usually measured, the buyer pays 15,000 naira (US$75.30) to the chief as a hamlet head. Thereafter he directs the person to the district head, who receives some money from the buyer before one is permitted to do anything on the parcel of the land.”
It should be noted that Nigeria is a country fraught with corruption, so paying multiple sources for permission to do anything is, sadly, not uncommon.
“I saw the parcel of land and I was quite satisfied with it,” Chris said. “Although it is in a ‘U’ shape, it is a large expanse of land of about two plots of land or thereabouts. Chief Moses told me that the (reason) the village head collects money for any land purchased is to secure their endorsement and defense in matters regarding disputes and legality.”
The chief ultimately rules the day among African tribes. Our prayer is this chief and those among his people will recognize the true LORD of their lives. May the possibility of providing drinking water lead them to the Source of living water.
PRAY for Pastor Chris and Lives Aglow Ministries in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Please lift the growth of Chris’s church and its impact on not only the south, but troubled northeastern Nigeria. We ask for protection over him and his family. We pray for fruit from the Koma Hills Project. May this outreach in Adamawa State become a beacon of light among a primitive people and lead to further work within unreached and unengaged people groups in the mountains of Nigeria.
GIVE to support the Koma Hills Project and the work being done by Lives Aglow Ministries. An estimated US$1,450 was needed to drill a borehole well. Email info@ClimbingForChrist.org for donation information.
GO on Mission: Nigeria 2016 in November. Trips to Nigeria cost about US$500 plus airfare. Email info@ClimbingForChrist.org to express an interest and request a mission application.