I would like to begin this report by saying that this trip to Africa has tremendously changed my life, my way of thinking, and my attitude towards going on mission trips. This report will be in two segments; in the first segment I will talk about the places that we went to and the life that was in those meetings. In the second segment, I will discuss a couple of prevailing thoughts that were throughout the entire trip in the different words that were shared. I hope that I will be able to convey the feelings that I have in my heart.
We (Mr. Lux, my Dad, and myself) left the States on the 31st of July and met up with Grandpa and Grandma Asbill in Paris. From there we went to Port Harcourt and arrived there on the 1st of August. My first taste of Nigeria was the airport and just getting through that is quite the experience. Brother Chijoke, along with some of the brethren, met us at the airport and took us back to his house. That weekend we had some meetings at one of the fellowships in Port Harcourt. By now God was beginning to work in my soul because I had to do things that I would not normally do, like get up in front of everybody and say hello and how glad I was to be there. Now those that know me will know that I do not like to do things that are new or different. I usually like to just sit in some obscure corner in the back where nobody will notice me, but that is not what God wanted me to do because that would not help me to overcome. So I got a front row seat and when Grandpa Asbill was introducing the team and I knew that my turn would come up, although my knees started to shake and I was really nervous, I made it through alive. And I tell you this, by the time that it was the last time that I would have to get up in front of everybody, I was not nervous at all.
After the meetings in Port Harcourt we went a place called Umuahia. The people there were hungry for the word of God and you could see it on their faces and by the way that they responded to the word. I was saved at the age of five so I have been a Christian for ten years and I can’t remember even one time that I was as excited as these people were over the word. I look at myself and wonder, “What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I get excited?” It’s because I worry too much about what other people might think about, and yet it is really self. After our stay in Umauhair we went to Owerri. The words that came were still good, the praise was good, but the response was different. The people were not as excited in their response. The team had not been to Umuahair before whereas they had been to Owerri before. There is something that happens when a people that want God hear this word for the first time; it excites them. Then you also have a people that have heard this word before and they get used to it. That is what happened to me. I thought that because I had heard this word before, why do I need to hear it again? I can tell you why it is that I needed to hear it again, because I had not done anything about the issues that I had that the word pin-pointed out to me. And it is the mercy and the grace of God that He comes back with the same word, because He is giving me another chance, but there will come a time when there will be no more chances and I will be held accountable for what I have heard and for what I have done.
We went back to Port Harcourt on the 11th and had two days of rest before the youth camp. On the 12th of August Grandpa Herrig came in and the next day Brother Mark Janzi arrived and we went to the camp on the 14th. I would have to say that the youth camp was the highlight of the trip for me. Nobody can tell me that God was not there in the midst of us because I was not content to just be a witness; I had to partake of the life that was there. The praise that came forth was amazing. When Nigerians sing, they sing, and they put their heart into it. The best meeting that we had was the last one. Earlier that day we had almost 60 water baptisms. They were not just people getting baptized for the first time but a lot of them were getting re-baptized to renew their covenant with the Lord. That night as we got together to praise the Lord, the Spirit of God fell on the people. There was no need for an alter call; people just started to come up. The unique thing was that the first ones to come up were children, children under the age of 12. I have never seen anything like it in my life! The way that God moved in the praise was phenomenal. We would have a couple worship songs and then it would move to praise songs and it was in the spirit. When something like this happens you just cannot contain yourself; I could not be content to just sit down and be still. That was not what the Spirit of God was doing. I can only describe it to you but I hope that you will understand the amount of energy and life that was in that meeting. It was so amazing.
Now I would like to discuss some of the prevailing thoughts that came in the different messages and that is a need for a relationship with Christ and what are we feeding off of? You could actually place these two under the heading of death to self, because in order to achieve a relationship with Christ or to feed on Christ, you have to die to self. To have a relationship with Christ you have to feed on Christ. How do you feed on Christ? By reading your Bible, praying, listening to messages, and reading other books like the Pattern or the Revelation Series. But it is more than just that, you have to stop feeding on the Devil. It says in the book of Daniel that Daniel determined in his heart not to be defiled by the king’s meat. It speaks of a separation that was going on. The world is feeding on the king’s meat and the only way that we are going to stop feeding on what the Devil has to offer is by separating ourselves from it and by setting ourselves aside for God. The Devil needs strength to fight against us and he feeds off of the darkness that is in us. But as we begin to separate ourselves from the world and start to have a relationship with Christ, He will begin to show us the darkness that is in us that needs to be dealt with. As you start to overcome and to get the darkness out of you, you will begin to starve the Devil. I cannot even begin to explain everything that was said, but this is just a sample of what was going on.
I did not want to go to Nigeria but I asked God that He would give me a right attitude in the midst of it, and He did. Coming to Africa was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me! It has revolutionized the way that I live, and the way that I think; I can feel that I have been changed. I pray that God will continue to work in my life and all those that were at the youth camp.
God Bless You,