11th was a wet day in Ibadan not unexpectedly because it is June
although there may be other days when the clouds are light and sunshine
prevails. But not on this particular Sunday when the Immanuel College Chapel
Mission Team scheduled a trip to Lamona village, about 12 kilometres to the
Northeast, off the old Ibadan-Oyo road. However neither the rains nor the
undulating double-carriage way, under construction, would deter the
Evangelists, led by our Assistant Chaplain, Vey Revd Joseph Ayodele.
the rains continued to pour a member of the team recalled what might turn
out to be a similar experience when,
seven years ago, there was no such threat of adverse weather until we arrived
at Eleshu village, and our outreach was well underway. Then, suddenly, the heavens
opened up halfway into the Message, by the Venerable Cornelius Adagbada, the
then Chaplain, now Bishop of Oke-Ogun Diocese of the Anglican Church. About 40
villagers and all 20 members of our Mission Team were standing in the front of
the Baale’s house, the outreach grounds, without any physical protection from
the furious downpour. A handful of villagers ran for cover but the Ibadan Team
and its Chaplain stayed put and, surprisingly, the rest of the villagers too,
despite the rapid decline in temperature, from about 290C to 240C.
We were shivering.
this experience was a test of our faith, so be it. Christ, our example,
confronted even more daunting challenges during His earthly ministry. So, who
were we to complain! Saving souls is serious business and nothing should
compete with it.
to our Lamona trip and our experience on June 11, 2019. We were about half-way
to the village when one of our village volunteer organizers called to confirm
that we were on our way, fearing that the adverse weather night interrupt our
journey. We answered in the affirmative.
at about 3:30pm we arrived at Lamona. The rain had stopped, to everyone’s
delight. One of the 44 members of the community, who received us warmly, was
the son of the former village Head with whom our Team had had an unforgettable
encounter during our first visit in 2010. He could not make a choice between
the christian God and his local deity. We however helped him to abandon the
local god, after strenuous argument and tension, which, on our part, we had
tried to avoid. Until he passed on a few years later he had become a faithful
church-goer and a christian at heart.
praise worship was fulsome. For those who survive the hard times in our
country, week-in, week-out, it is not out of place, as some errorneously
believe, to thank God for His love, mercy and abundant grace, Matt.
Team leader for the day, the Very Revd Joseph Ayodele, delivered the Message
with the theme, “Jesus Loves You”, Matt. 11:28. He said Jesus was aware of
their day-to-day struggle which include lack of jobs for young school leavers,
poor returns from farm produce, kidnapping and robbery. This is why Jesus says
“Come Unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
means He is the only one who can bear your burden. Not your local gods. Not
even your friends or highly placed relations in the community, or society at
large. Human beings are selfish. Jesus is not. He is concerned about their
challenges. He is the problem-solver. So take your burden to Him on your knees.
Ayodele said one thing should be made clear; Jesus is not saying that people
who are elected into positions of leadership should not discharge their
responsibilities to the people. The provision of roads, health facilities,
security and jobs are their primary responsibilities and they must perform
them. Even then God is the great provider and those who want a happy and
peaceful life, indeed, those who desire heaven as their final place of rest,
must believe in Him. Unlike human beings He is faithful. He keeps His promises.
the message two women came out for special prayers, one of whose daughter was
barren. We prayed, asking God, the burden bearer, to meet their needs.