A Church is Born

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Picture-422 Gathering outside the new church in Umuagwa

A Church is Born

Though I delivered many babies in my training in family medicine, it’s been a long time since I’ve delivered one. I’ve sometimes wondered what would happen if I was called upon for an emergency delivery while on a mission trip. Well on my recent mission trip to Nigeria, I didn’t deliver any babies, but we did witness a new birth.  Sunday Oct. 6 we were present for the birth of a new church.  We had been working the previous three days in the village providing medical care while pastors and evangelists shared God’s word with people.  During that time many came to Christ and were invited to church.  That Sunday we gathered in a small dirt-floor school that had been rented as the initial gathering place. Worship was incredible with just acapella singing with rhythmic clapping in the African style. It was so much simpler than we are used to, yet so free and worshipful.   We had a time of prayer and commissioning for the new pastor, Daniel.

Our team pastor, Jeff Burnett, shared an inspiring message about laying the foundation of a new church on solid ground, which is church members who put Christ first in their lives, above the idol of self.  Sixteen people committed to Christ that day. The new believers were provided Bibles as well.  It was an awesome way to end our time in Nigeria and the highlight of our trip.

Nigeria Medical Team

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Nigeria medical team

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Eye surgery team

Our 2013 medical mission team just returned from serving in Owerri, Nigeria.  Owerri is in Imo state in southern Nigeria.  The team worked with GO InterNational partner Sylva Okorienta and his ministry, Greatstory International Foundation.  The Imo Foundation, which is a department of the state government focused on helping the poor also was instrumental in our mission.  Greatstory had a team of over 50 Nigerian doctors, optometrists, nurses, pastors, counselors and other volunteers involved along with our team of 8 from the United States.  Our team was blessed to provide medical care to the poor in two villages, Abajah and Umuagwa.  Care included medical diagnosis, medications, HIV testing and counseling, surgeries, eye exams, glasses and eye surgeries.

Our team of pastors shared God’s word and counseled individually with every patient who attended. One of our team members also worked with community members on a sustainable agriculture project that will help people better feed and care for their families.   Many came to new faith in Christ during the mission and in Umuagwa a new church was planted as a result of our time there.

We are grateful to those who supported and prayed for our team. Please continue to pray for the people we served in Nigeria and especially for the new church in Umuagwa.