My Journey In Lagos—Part One

Lagos, Nigeria—A City Of 20 Million

“As of 2000, the population of Lagos, Nigeria, was roughly 7.2 million, somewhere between those of greater Philadelphia and Chicago. By 2030 it will be 24 million, nearly as large as metropolitan New York and London — combined.”

—From “A World Of Boomtowns”

I love Lagos. It’s an overwhelming city, but I love it.

Lagos is gigantic, intimidating, wonderful, aggressive, warm, and colorful. It’s a sprawling metropolis filled with teeming millions of people from all over West Africa. There is a vitality to this developing city that fuels the spirit.

As you enter a store or hotel, people greet you with a bright and cheerful, “You are welcome.” Or, if you have white hair like me, they say, “You are welcome, Sir.”

And traffic, you haven’t seen traffic until you’ve been on the streets of Lagos. Traffic in Lagos is a free-for-all. Whoever flenches, losses. You dare not blink. If you blink, crash. There goes the bumper.

I love the Logos church. It has been three and one-half years since I was last in Lagos, and I missed the fellowship of the Lagos disciples. The NYC church has a close relationship with the Lagos church having supported the mission there for years with both funds and leadership.

In return the Lagos ministry continues to inspire the NY church with its growth, its commitment to Jesus, and its unfailing zeal. There are 17 churches In Nigeria. The most recent church was planted in July in Owerii in the Imo State in the Southeast. There are already twenty-seven disciples there.

The Lagos church has 1,900 disciples and helps oversee ministries in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and The Gambia. There are 12 churches in those surrounding countries. Counting the churches across Nigeria, there are 29 congregations in West Africa.

I landed in Lagos late in the afternoon on Friday August 10th and was scheduled to teach a four-lesson congregational teaching day on Saturday morning. I woke up Saturday morning not feeling the best, but the Holy Spirit was with me and The Spirit worked through me. The teaching day was well received by the disciple.

I taught on Generosity: Imitating the Heart Of God. This was an exposition on 2 Corinthians 8 & 9. I love these chapters. They are filled with inspirational insight and practical points of application.

On Sunday, I woke up feeling worse than on Saturday, but the Spirit empowered me to preach to one the regions in Lagos on Intentional Discipling. For a second day, the message was well received.

While at church I got to witness Christian generosity in action. One of the brothers was celebrating his birthday. For his birthday he brought a giant sack of rice to church and divided out the rice to anyone who needed it. I thought about the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than receive.”

I was thinking that a good tradition for every first world disciple would be that when their birthday rolled around that they would contribute at least one giant sack of rice to a church in a developing country. That would make for a happy birthday.

After church I went to my hotel room and rested. The rest helped me get over my sickness. I woke on Monday and the felt much better.

(To be continued)