Day two on arrival was a Saturday (other days of the missions had crusades, house-to-house evangelism, community engagement and prayers) and just like any other camp, the commandants woke us all by 5am to start exercising and this time spiritual exercises. Knowing well that like the Spartan warriors we will be divided into groups to cry, yeah! Morning cry! So we dispatched in groups led by the preachers with mega-phones out to the nooks and crannies of the community that consisted of four villageswith some of us sleep-walking through the bush-path during the morning cry. That was when I recollected the mission field description given to us, which stated that the community which was still majorly practicing ATR (African Traditional Religions) and worshiping what we called “gods” and “idols”, had one shrine at least in front of their houses, which were decorated with
calabashes, bottles, red ropes/scarfs, rusted knives and feathers with symbolical offerings of eggs, kola, palm-oil, etc. A place where the Catholic Church reached in 1928 but could not erect a structure till date; A place where people are engulfed with fear to confront the norms with meaningful questions and only the bold or lucky ventured out of the community. So you understand better now, that it wasn’t about me or us.
The community whose major languages were a combination of Ighala and Igbo also surrounded by streams and rivers had very few government amenities, and less educational involvement. Majority of its populace lived in abject poverty as illiteracy and ignorance was the community’s cologne. From inferences gathered from most missionary journeys, I am tempted to believe it is so for most “border-communities”. I don’t have an issue with a communal society or any rural area but my major concerns were the mindsets and diabolic lifestyle of some sets of persons.
So what was special about today? Today was the day of reaching out with physical substances, today was the day for clinical outreach with some pharmacists and medical practitioners coming in to assist the people, health-wise. Today was the day for the last community crusade by my fellowship and people were expectant since the previous days had incidents of divine healing and deliverances… before I forget it was also a day we will “fast” (abstain from food till evening) and a day I would have a feel of swimming in a river (which I eventually didn’t do). After morning devotion, we commenced arrangement of welfare materials ranging from clothes to books, from foot wears to appliances, at least before the medical personnel’s arrived.The arrival of the medical bus gave us a leap of joy and that was when the day really started. In other to execute plans in an ordered manner, the idea was the villagers were to come gradually to the counseling units and dependent on the issue at hand, would either meet the prayer department or the clinical department and after that they get some welfare materials… Now you get the bait! Children on the other hand were spoken to by some selected persons except if there were indications of health issues by their parents.
Funny enough: we had people who didn’t know their problems, we had people who rejected some welfare materials, we had people who believed the prayer sessions were too short, we had people who just stared and watched from afar, we had chief priests meeting and people jostling for more items. The good, the funny and the extreme all came together to make it a great day. We all broke our fast like touts break glass bottles and others like maids break ceramic plates and it was rounded up with a grace filled, power packed crusade that saw many liberated.
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P.P.S i've been working in an hospital for the past three weeks and its been hectic.. lots of gist sha