Rev. Linus Otronyi is one of LBT’s International Scholarship students, currently studying linguistics at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. He continues to work on bringing the Bible to the Yala (his home community) and other peoples of Nigeria. You may find this map of Nigeria helpful as you read.
There are always challenges when one transits from one place to another. This is partly because of differences in culture, weather etc. I just experienced this recently when I left from Jos to Calabar, though I stopped briefly in Ogoja to meet with the Catholic leadership and other language projects to discuss details of the Jesus Film Script writing workshop coming up on the 22 August to 2 September 2011. That meeting was blessed by the Lord.
I got to Calabar on Sunday evening (24/07/2011), and almost everything is different from the way it is in Jos. Though it rains in Jos, but here in Calabar it can rain a whole week long or more without stopping, and since I came that has been the case. One day, on my way in, I was baptized with rain, so without delay, I bought an umbrella. This makes going out of the house a little bit challenging, so people must own a car or umbrella in order to survive. That is the way we have been surviving.
Other differences between here and Jos are the cost of living which is on the very high side here, the complex way of living; you have to struggle for taxi to go to anywhere. My short period of absence makes me to forget some of these details. But thankfully I am adjusting to the realities of life here. The good news about here is that it is peaceful and you can sleep with your two eyes closed without the fear of any crisis as the case in Jos now.
Thank God that I am here now. Last Saturday, I attended a wedding of one of my colleagues in school in a Redeemed Christian Church of God (Pentecostal Church). It was good to be there to share in her joy. But things were done so differently from the way I am used to and from the way I have seen things done in other weddings I have attended. God is the author of diversity and He is gloried in it.
The following Sunday, I attended the service in one of the Lutheran congregations where I normally fellowship here in Calabar. The minister requested to me preach as usual. I then remembered that I had to put on my chasuble as it is the practice here. I almost forgot that because in Jos such vestment is not necessarily requested of a preacher. More so. I don’t often preach in Jos. So I have to struggle with this too. The service started and God helped me to give the message. The text (from the pericope) was taken from Acts 8:26-40. The fact that the Ethiopian Eunuch did not understand the scripture on his own but needed the help of Philip bothers me and makes me feel for the thousands of people who may be in Church yet lack the understanding of the scriptures. This brings to mind the importance of Bible translation in helping people understanding the will of God. All of us involved in this task are playing the role of Philip. Nothing makes people to understand the scripture more than the translation that speaks to the heart of people. For the Eunuch he admitted that how can he understand without someone explaining, but many people will not admit that they need help to understand the scripture. You may be the Philip God is leading to help others today. Someone may need your help in order to understand the gospel of Christ.
This has been my prayer thoughts for this week.
Please pray: That people will understand the Word of God clearly. That God will bring the people he has called for the ministry of Bible Translation. That the Jesus film script writing workshop from 22 August to 2 September will be a success.