November 15, 2010

Waving goodbye

5.30 am – Departure from the hotel. I’m glad I don’t have to stay here any longer. We rushed onto the bus. Perhaps I slept just a bit too long. But we weren’t a minute late. We drove from the hotel to the Governor’s house for the last time. By now, I am familiar with the streets. I feel as if I’ve been here for six months, although the time has just flown by. It was all so intense, challenging, arousing.

In the semi-darkness, I quietly say goodbye to the slowly dawning day. I don’t really know the people here and I’m glad to be able to leave this place behind me. Yet I sense a strangely strong bond with the people.

Over breakfast, we said goodbye to each other. We were joined on our bus by a group of Brazilians. The Brits who had previously shared our bus had already left during the night.

Our convoy set off on the dot of 7. I’m not sure if those in charge here are real Africans as they are always so punctual. For the 200 km to Lagos, we were to spend the next 8 hours on the bus. As we set off we were told that we were not going to stop on the way. So we weren’t to drink too much. On our way through Ogbomosho we were given a warm farewell. People stopped and waved to us. Our Brazilians opened the window and shouted “Goodbye” in Yoruba out of the bus. It’s really funny in Ogbomosho. Although they had done that in every sizeable town on the journey, the people still looked a bit uncertain.

On the way back I saw this land differently from when we arrived. Then I saw the rubbish and the people’s living conditions and I felt a sense of hopelessness. The rubbish was still there but now I saw the many happy faces. I saw more and more houses that were swept clean, with no rubbish lying around outside. I saw little shops, whose owners were busy trying to make something out of the little that they have.

Over the past few days, I have seen the Kingdom of God spreading throughout this city. People becoming inwardly and outwardly healthy. The power of Jesus changing people and even an entire city. Now I am sure that this city will go on from there, that the wounds will be healed.

I am convinced that Jesus wants to bless us in practical ways with healthy families, happy relationships and yes – with a degree of prosperity, too. I am convinced that Jesus heals, saves, restores, gladly gives in abundance and delights to give us good gifts – here and now and in Germany, too.

Half way to our destination a man, a Muslim, drove into the side of the bus because he really wanted to weave in between the convoy and a car was coming towards him. There was no damage apart from a dent. That was also part of the package.

At 3 pm we finally reached the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos. To me it was like a foretaste of heaven. Only 8 more hours to take-off and 14 hours until I finally see my family again.

(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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