Rice. Itís whatís for dinner Ö and lunch, and even breakfast. I am eating so much rice that my pants will be falling off me by the time I leave. It is served with beef (ďcow legĒ), chicken or fish. The beef is like leather, the chicken is like rubber, and the fish, well, letís just say Iím not going to eat something that is staring back at me.
I am not out of Lagos yet, but if the rest of Nigeria is like this, I may not make it for the next 5 weeks. Everything is dark here Ė the lights, the colors, even the faces. Light and joy are precious commodities in the lives of these people, and they donít give them out easily. I donít know how to put it in words or describe the feeling that pervades this place other than to say it is like being in a dark fog. Even the lights donít seem to burn at full brightness, that is of course, if and when the electricity decides to work.
This brings up a good question-- if there are so many churches here and so many professing Christians, why is the air so heavy with this feeling of oppression? When you speak to pastors, you can hear their faith and their hope for a great move of God, but it is as if they are pressed under a curse that lies over Lagos.
I have no answers Ė a lot of guesses, but no answers. This is way bigger than anything I can handle and I almost feel lost standing inside this cloud, and yet, I really believe a move of God is coming here. I know what the Lord has shown me, so I know without a doubt that something big is coming to Nigeria, and, even though the messages He is giving me are challenges and Godís providence is always conditional, I can hear in the voices of these people the strength of hope and determination to answer the call.
Hope. Thatís it! Thatís whatís missing. Itís as if they have lost hope and have sunk back into a resignation of their fate. Itís the despair that makes it feel so dark around here -- not like I have felt in the slums of Kenya, but like a corporate despair over everyone that is almost invisible in its ubiquity. I know Iím grasping for words here to describe what Iím seeing, but I feel that somehow this is a major spiritual battle that must be conquered before Nigeria can be set free.
If I can just strike enough matches to light a fire, it can spread. You can see it written all over their faces when I finish a service. Now Iím beginning to see why they are so thankful that I have come. Itís not me. Itís not how great I am or how powerful the messages are, but they can feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the touch of His wings as they brush across the congregations. And that gives them back their hope that God will return to His people who have sunk so deeply in despair. Wow, I think Iíve got it! Thatís exactly what it is like!
This is a huge job and I am just one little guy. I really donít know if I am up to the challenge, but itís too late to go home. Iím stuck here until November and I havenít even begun the main task that I came here to do. What else is in store for me here?
Pastor Daniel has been with me this entire time. He is young, zealous and totally committed to the cause of bring Nigeria back to a place of revival. He has been a constant blessing here and, more than probably anyone, will be responsible for bringing revival to Nigeria. He has organized all the meetings and has been making sure that I get to each meeting.
I have told him that we will be going through the kind of warfare during these 50 days that he has never faced before, and he knows it will unalterably change him, but he is ready for whatever God puts before him. This will be a baptism of fire for him, but thatís what makes warriors out of believers.
We have victory in Jesus Christ. Satan knows it, but he will not go down without a fight.