The Perils of Recording in Nigeria
Take a moment to ponder what cost you would pay to make the gospel available in another language ... Would you be willing to risk being targeted by terrorists, or accused of being a terrorist yourself? How about risking a snake bite? Or being stranded with a broken down vehicle in a remote African location? These perils are normal risks for many of our recordists, and were all encountered on a recent recording trip.
Are you a terrorist?
Christians throughout Nigeria are often afflicted with fear and panic due to the activities of terrorists. This was very evident when a recording team from Northern Nigeria travelled to the Kukele people in Southern Nigeria.
The recording team arrived in the village on a Saturday and they were pleased to discover a women's program taking place in the church. They thought that this would be a good way to make contact. However when the women saw the vehicle's registration, and recognised that they came from the north, they assumed the worst. They alerted the pastor that terrorists had come to bomb the church and to kill them. The pastor left the church and hid.
The team had a GRN recording playing Christian material from a loudspeaker, but the women saw this as a ruse by terrorists to disguise themselves as missionaries and to gain their trust. The team insisted on seeing the pastor, but the ladies were unwilling to help. Finally the pastor's daughter led the team to his house, very much against the wishes of the group, and provided chairs so that they could sit outside and await the pastor's return.
Whilst waiting, the team had to deal with a snake that threatened them as they waited for the pastor to return to his house.
Much later the pastor summoned up the courage to go home. He saw the team's guide, who happened to have been his classmate in Bible college. The pastor ran and hugged him. The women looking on were amazed. It was much like a scene in a movie.
The pastor took the team around and introduced them to the other churches. He also scouted around for language helpers to help with the recording, and found adequate help immediately. Within two hours the pastor received a call from his supervisor saying that he had been informed that the pastor was harbouring terrorists. Thankfully this interruption did not stop the work.
Take a moment to ponder what cost you would pay to make the gospel available in another language ...
The next day was Sunday, and the team was given time in the service to introduce the ministry of GRN and to reassure the people that they were not the terrorists that so many had presumed. The people believed that everyone in Northern Nigeria was Muslim. At the end of the day everyone was pleased, and the recordings were made.
This recording trip was accompanied by multiple breakdowns. The team's vehicle's fan failed which caused the failure of the head gasket, the exhaust system required repairs, the starter motor failed, as did the drive shaft. Praise God for a mechanic's help.
It is sobering to realise that so many people live in fear of terrorist attacks. Churches are bombed and Christians are killed in Nigeria with monotonous regularity. It takes courage to even attend church in much of Nigeria; our workers are Nigerians, working under very adverse circumstances.
Give thanks for
- Our Nigerian team who continue to make and distribute recordings despite the danger and difficulties,
- These recordings made in the Kukele language,
- This church which facilitated the making of the recordings despite their fear,
- The church in Nigeria which perseveres in the face of such persecution.
Please Pray With us
- Our Nigerian team: for strength, boldness, protection, opportunities, provision, perseverance and spiritual growth,
- God's enabling as they make and distribute recordings in many languages,
- Nigeria, God's people in this nation, the government and peace.