Today I leave Nigeria. I’m glad that I was able to come and see first hand what I have read and studied for over a year now. This country is a great country in many ways and its people are free people. I’m so glad for all of the kindness that people showed me and the outright courage that it took sit down and talk with me.
As I prepare to leave I chuckle remembering how different the manners of people in the North are. I met a convert who bowed deeply to me and I did not make a big deal of it because of the cultural difference. But hearing that man’s story, knowing what he has given up, what he lost for the sake of Christ. I should have bowed to him, I should have honored him. I know he didn’t see it that way but I wish that I could have given him the honor that he was due.
Its a funny thing going on a human rights trip. I met with leaders of the Sayawa people from a place called Tafawa Balewa, its a Christian enclave in the south of the Muslim dominated Bauchi State. After hearing the discrimination and deprivation that they have suffered, I told them that a small human rights NGO like Jubilee Campaign could not solve their problem. But I promised them that we would never forget them.
I made that promise as a member of a human rights organization which advocates for ethnic and religious minorities. But I was the one who made the promise. Even if circumstances change and I have to leave Jubilee Campaign, I will never forget them. I will never forget their plight, their courage in the face of overwhelming odds, their commitment to Christ against all the world has thrown at them.
Part of honor is knowing that sometimes obligations come upon you suddenly, without notice. Sometime honor may require you to give more than you ever dreamed you would need to. I can already feel the weight of new obligations settling on me, and I know that I will need help to bear them.
Let us pray.
Lord I thank you for the success of this trip. Though there were challenges and confusion, You worked things out to give us an amazingly broad and effective trip.
I thank you for the kindness of those who opened their homes to me. I thank you for the boldness with which pastors and ordinary Christians told me of the trials that they had suffered.
Lord as I go back to comfortable safe America, I pray that you would be with them. Lord I pray that no harm would come to them as a result of them meeting with me. Lord I pray for Nigeria, for the endemic corruption that holds them down, but the indomitable spirit that drives them up up and on. I thank you for the life and joy that is in them. Lord I praise you for the freedom that you have given them. It is beautiful.
Lord I pray for those in the North. I pray that you would protect the Christians from harm. I pray that the Muslims would realize that Boko Haram brings nothing but death. I pray for the security forces that have already realized that. Lord I pray that you would enable the police and the military to do their jobs with integrity.
Lord I pray that key people in the U.S. State Department and the U.N. would come to their senses and realize that this is not some local ethnic problem. This is religious extremism and it has grown strong enough to threaten all of Nigeria.
Lord I pray that Nigeria would not fall into chaos, or under the hand of a brutal oppressive regime like Iran. Let there be peace, true peace, not the uneasy tension which hovers over so many of the places that I visited.
Lord I pray for travel mercies as I leave this place and return to my own country. But Lord I pray that you would keep the memories fresh. Let me never forget the truth of what I have seen. I pray that you would make me able to keep the promises I have made.
In Jesus Name