The venue of the
August evangelism campaign of the Immanuel College Chapel Team was the playing
field of the St. Andrew’s School, Idigba Village. And appropriately so.
How? The target
of the outreach this time was school children, currently on holiday. Our aim was to prepare them for the new
school session which begins in September.
the theme of our outreach was “Back To School”. From the end of June we had
requested our village Volunteer Assistants to mobilize the five village
communities, around Idigba, so that their children would attend the August
outreach in large numbers.
We had a good
number but rather less than we had expected. What we did not reckon with, at
the planning stage was the muslim festival, Eid Kabir, which coincided with our
outreach date, Sunday August 11. All the
same, 45 school children and 16 adults were already waiting when we arrived at
Idigba, singing excitedly, under a large tree which provided shade from the sun.
For the expected 30 or so additional children, youth and adults, by our
calculation, the “Ileya meat” in the homes of muslim friends and relations, was
a rather irresistible attraction.
outreach began in earnest at 3pm, with a prayer by our Assistant Chaplain, the
Very Revd Joseph Ayodele, who led the Mission Team.
The children in
the crowd were excited as the Rev Aluko, a youthful student of the Immanuel
College of Theology, began to preach. He said Jesus Christ came to the world to
save human beings from their sins, and to reconcile them to God who is the
creator of the world. He and His Son, Jesus, were particularly interested in children
because they are innocent. Which is why Jesus told His disciples:
little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the
kingdom of heaven, Matt. 19:14
He laid his hands on them because He loved them so
The Idigba children were very happy when they heard
that Jesus loved them too as emphasized by the preacher. However, Rev. Aluko
quickly added that Jesus loved the adults too. He knew that many parents were
struggling to pay school fees or even to buy new clothes for them.
While on earth Jesus healed the sick. An example was
the Woman with the Issue of Blood who was sick for 12 years, bleeding everyday,
Mk. 5:25-34. Those who were blind He opened their eyes and they were able to
see, John 9:1-7. He was so kind that He provided food for more than 5,000
people, who were hungry, and fed all of them in a single day, Matt. 14:15-21
What is more, He
brought dead people back to life, John 11:41-44. Jesus did all these wonderful
miracles when He was in the world. When He died He went to heaven and sent the
Holy Spirit to His disciples on earth so that they could continue to do the
miracles. And they are still performing those miracles in the world even today.
Rev. Aluko told the
children that they too can do the wonderful works Jesus did if they study the
bible, obey the words of Jesus and ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to them in
their prayers. But they must not tell lies or steal. If they do Jesus will not
be happy with them. He will not send the Holy Spirit to them.
After the sermon we
prayed for the sick, the poor and the needy. We also prayed specially for the
children, asking God to protect them from criminals, most especially
Thereafter, each of the
children was given a pack of exercise books and biros. In addition everyone, including adults,
partook in the refreshments. Our Assistant Chaplain, the Very Revd Joseph Ayodele, said
the closing prayers and the Benediction.