Mission 4 Vision Trip to the Niger Delta 2015
Wirtten by: Alex Tinson | Updated: 10/04/2016
A short summary of our recent ministry trip to the Niger Delta in November 2015.
Mission 4 Vision has joined once more with the New Foundations Medical Mission to travel to the Niger Delta, Nigeria, to conduct medical and optical training and run a pastors conference for local ministers.
New Foundations have run a clinic for over 11 years now, whilst Mission 4 Vision is seeking to establish a permanent eye centre in the Delta which would be a first for this truly deprived region. Ian and Brigitta who run Mission 4 Vision spent much time investing in the lives of 3 New Foundations staff workers who they hope in time will be able to run the eye clinic to all intents and purposes independently of the UK. This will be a long haul as the training is complex and time is at a premium. The needs however are vast in this neglected area of Nigeria; the team have been making inroads into some of the inner jungle communities that just 5 years ago were a base for militants in the area and a no – go area for outsiders, especially Westerners. New Foundations is working towards building a clinic right in the heart of this area which formerly was the centre of kidnapping operations against the oil companies operating in the Delta.
My main task was running a 3 day pastors conference and ministering in various churches in the area. The pastors conference grew in popularity as the days went by, with many leaders enthusing over the teaching they received. We looked at the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New Covenants, how they came about, how they related to each other, which are still current and active and which are now obsolete. We also looked at what exactly the blessing of Abraham is and to whom were the promises made and how this affects us today. There is much ignorance of these matters in the church which in turn results in bad spiritual practice. Many people mix the different covenants and do not understand how they relate to one another and indeed how they relate to us today. This can lead to idol worship, mixing dead works with our faith and all manner of confusion in the body of Christ.
We also looked at what circumcision of the heart is, how it works and how it relates to our salvation experience. This is a crucial area yet I've never heard a sermon on it in all my years of being around church. Finally we briefly looked at end times events, specifically the gospel of the Kingdom as put forward in the Kingdom parables of Jesus.
Many of the pastors were challenged in their personal walk with the Lord and how they run their churches. Fervent prayer went up daily as pastors did real business with Him who is the Chief Shepherd. It is common in this area for churches to be run as pseudo – businesses, and for Old Testament practices and principles found in witchcraft to have quite an influence. But there still exists a remnant of leaders who have not bowed the knee to Baal and who hunger after the truth and a genuine move of the Spirit.
We held question and answer sessions every day which showed the pastors were absorbing the teaching. Questions also came in on the practice of tithing, physical circumcision, whether a believer can be cursed, church structure, the validity of pastor appreciation days, divorce and re – marriage, the payment of dowries and even whether a man could divorce his wife if she turned into a snake in front of him! Quite a challenge. Most pastors have little opportunity to debate and discuss ministry issues so this conference was quite an opportunity for them to do so.
Please pray that the seeds sown will be watered and caused to grow under God's mighty hand. Pray that the work in the Niger Delta will continue to bear good fruit for the Kingdom, impacting physical as well as spiritual eyes.