November 9, 2016
Young People Following the Faith in The Republic of Benin
From the Superintendent's DESK
Yesterday, we visited three of our churches in the Republic of Benin, and received enthusiastic welcomes as the local saints and their children lined up to greet us with singing. At each location, one of the children, dressed in native attire, presented a beautiful floral arrangement and made an eloquent speech before we continued to the sanctuary.
The abbreviated church services included special song selections, congregational singing, introductions, and a closing prayer. This was followed by a time of prayer and then an opportunity to take group photos outside.
The first location we went to was Owode, near the border of Nigeria. The church building is an example of the infrastructure development taking place in the Republic of Benin. The church is about eighty percent complete and will be dedicated before too long, though it is quite functional and already in use.
Next, we went to Porto-Novo, which is the site of our largest church building and second largest congregation in the Republic of Benin.
Our late afternoon visit was to the Pk. 14 campground. During this past camp meeting, it hosted 6,000 attendees, which is the capacity of the tabernacle on site. The saints have a long-term development plan to modernize and it includes a new tabernacle that may seat 10,000. This is a very ambitious proposal, but there is no doubt God will help them bring it to pass if Jesus tarries.
In the evening, several youth leaders presented an overview of the youth work in the Republic of Benin, including the challenges they face and the hopes they have for the future. It was an impressive and ambitious presentation. We are confident that God will honor the desire of our churches here to see their young people follow in the ways of this faith.
A question-and-answer session followed, and then I was presented with a beautiful sketch of the nation. The youth requested that it be a reminder to keep them before the Lord in prayer. They can be assured that all of us will do just that.
Today, we flew to Nigeria, arriving in the evening, and went directly to the Port Harcourt campground where we were warmly received and treated to a fabulous dinner prepared by the ladies of the church. It included roasted chicken, stir fried rice, coleslaw, vegetable soup, rolls, and my favorite: ice cream for dessert.
A full day is planned for tomorrow including a worker and ministers’ meeting in the morning, and evangelistic service in the evening.