November 9, 2010

On the way to Ogbomosho

2.45 pm – the police escort arrived. We were off – incredible! Full of anticipation, we got into the cars. At 3.30 pm we drove out of the hotel grounds. This was the first time that I had seen an African city. Yesterday evening it was dark and you could see next to nothing.

I was really shocked by what I saw: a chaotic tangle of electric cables, a lot of rubbish, corrugated iron huts, merchants selling used goods in home-made wooden lean-tos. I had seen pictures like that in books and on the television but thought that it was only part of the truth. Here, it is like that everywhere. A sea of corrugated iron huts, dense traffic and a vast swarm of people. Many of them looked happy, despite the conditions in which they live. Another thing that struck me was the presence everywhere of Jesus. Bumper stickers, signs on motorcycles. A church building every few hundred metres. Here a Bible college, there a Christian university. We drove past a hall in which more than a million people meet every month to pray. Everyone seems to be a Christian. Although I had been very sceptical about CfaN’s conversion figures, I now began to think of them as realistic. However, I noticed that my pictures did not add up. If there are so many Christians here, how come there is so much misery? I asked God to give me love for these people and make them precious to me even if I cannot see their value from the way they live.

Then darkness started to fall, it began to rain and I understood why they did not want to drive at night. The road was full of huge potholes and large parts of the asphalt were missing. Our driver did a grand job. When it stopped raining, we met an evangelistic team as we passed through a village. Their cars were covered in CfaN posters. They were out publicising the huge campaign that would begin tomorrow. The people were really thrilled to see us, waved at us and cried out “Bonnke, Bonnke, Bonnke”. My heart filled with love. These people are my brothers and sisters in Christ, loved by my Heavenly Father. Over the next two hours, it was like the arrival of the Pope. Reinhard and Daniel waved out of the roof of their car, the people ran joyfully alongside the vehicles, and hundreds of mopeds accompanied the convoy. The people stood outside their corrugated iron huts and waved cheerfully. I am really looking forward to tomorrow and hope that many of these people will become citizens of God’s kingdom in the next few days.

(Follow Stephan in German)

About the Author

Stephan Mittelstädt

The 2010 European winner. He is a student with ICI and studies Evangelism. He is a member of the Pentecostal church in Heilbronn.

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