Tonight at the pastor’s dinner, the chairman of the central working committee for the crusade gave a powerful and revealing address. We learned a lot about where we will be ministering over the next week. For instance, he told us that a top local Church leader was murdered recently by locals and cut into little pieces.
The idolaters and witchdoctors in the area are very aggressive and there seems to be a heavy yoke of oppression over this land. I am including a few excerpts from his speech that will give you a good idea of what we are up against here and provide some direction for your prayers.
“…Let me quickly acquaint you with some of the peculiarities of this land: This city is like Jericho, and her people like the Reubenites. Geographically, Afikpo is pleasant to behold and strategically located too, as you have already observed. It is a strategic gateway both spiritually and physically. A city on a hill with beautiful terrains and scenic outlooks, ‘but the water is naught and the ground barren’. Our dwelling seems far from ‘the fatness of the earth and of the dew of heaven from above.’ We inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land not inhabited. Good, very often, eludes us, and our rights are taken to other people. We labor much and bring in little, and much of what we bring in, the winds often blow away. …As for our people, they are like Reubens: …we excel only with overbearing difficulties. Our old men spend their days in vanities while our youths languish in shame. We have won several awards but mostly in those things that cause shame. Servants now rule over us
.…Our women are ravished before our very eyes, and our old men are not honored. Our children die in their youth, and our mothers are left without care at old age. All these and more have come upon us, and we know why it is so.
…Although shrouded in myths and legends, the history of Afikpo indicates that she is under some heavy unbroken generational curses, which came upon her due to some acts of wickedness against strangers and innocents in olden times.
…Our addictive strange beliefs led our forbearers into such barbaric acts as killing twins and banishing their mothers, burying ‘criminals’ alive (burning them alive in the recent times) and shedding much blood in the land, even of ministers.
…We are trusting God that by reason of your visit to Afikpo, the curses on the land will be totally broken, and the heaven shall be opened upon our land, making it to yield her increase.
…We are also believing the Lord that the hearts of our people shall be opened to the Gospel and many of them shall be saved and also healed.”Additional prayer requests mentioned:
• That the people would be releasesd to serve God “without fear”
• That the shackles of poverty would be broken
• That the Church would experience unprecedented revival
• Integrity in the political sphere
• Overthrow “the spirit of pride”.