I’m just returning from a 12 day trip to Mennonite Church Nigeria (MCN) in the southwestern part of that country. This time I was doing the last sessions of the preaching seminar that we hadn’t finished when I was there in December. We had eight students who preached sermons to the rest of the group and were evaluated by their peers. Some of them were in the vernacular language, so I rely on the student evaluations of those sermons to know how to evaluate them myself since I don’t speak Ibibio, the local language. For two of the students it was the first time that they had ever preached, but the others were experienced preachers and they did quite well. We took four class periods to hear the sermons and spent the rest of the time getting a good start on the next seminar topic, The History of the Church.
Here’s a link to some photos from the trip.
Though the seminar was the major reason for my trip, there are always other things to be done. Two of the MCN pastors and I worked out a budget and plan for the seminars that we will do during 2008. Mennonite Mission Network has been contributing four Nira (Nigeria currency) for every one Nira that the MCN has provided. With that we will be able to do nine seminars with the students who participate all through the year and two “Ministers’ Refresher” seminars for all the church leaders. There are normally six to eight participants in the ongoing group while 45-50 leaders attend the “Ministers’ Refresher” seminars.
There was also an invitation to preach in one congregation, to do a Bible study in another, to visit a preschool that one of the church regions has started and any number of invitations to visit this or that person or attend this or that event. Though I don’t plan these kinds of things ahead of time, my days usually fill up rather quickly once I’m there. For now it’s good to be getting back. I’m currently in the Lagos airport waiting for my flight to Cotonou and hoping to be home by early evening.