Nigeria is Nigeria

Dear ITEM Next Gen Ministry Prayer Partners,

Right now it is 8:30am PDT on Wednesday (4:30pm Lagos, Nigeria). I’ve been on the ground in Nigeria since Tuesday 12:40pm. Tuesday was tiring and patience-testing, to say the least. But today, Wednesday, most things started to turn around a bit and I could begin to see a reason for coming here at this time.


I got up in Nairobi at 2am Nigeria time to get to the airport but my flight out of Nairobi was delayed 1hr40mins. I touched down in Lagos, Nigeria at 12:40pm, Tuesday. Clearing immigration took awhile. It was hot inside the immigration room (90s outside) and there were only two immigration officers handling maybe 200 (or more) passengers. But that was only the beginning of the patience-testing.

Upon clearing immigration I grabbed my luggage. And here in Nigeria there is always an abundance of men and women offering (almost demanding but not quite) to help gather your luggage and push your luggage trolley (expecting to be paid) and you have to be pretty firm to let them know your don’t need their help. But the “fun” had just begun.

Ebenezer, the young man coordinating this trip, texted me on the widely used app, WhatsApp (which I can use outside of the US when/if I have wifi, which I had (mostly) at the airport) and said he was making our booking at the hotel and he’d be right “there (to the airport).” Time passed (slowly). My phone battery was running low. Come to find out, his phone battery was running low.

He was having trouble booking a taxi. Then once on his way, he went to the wrong terminal. During this time I was asking those helping hands around the airport to call him and find out where he was and give him directions to where we were. The first guy, inside the airport I gladly “tipped” without him asking. The second one outside the terminal asked me for $20! I shrugged him off. Then a few minutes later gave him the same tip I gave the guy inside. Ebenezer showed up around 3:30pm, almost 3 hours after I landed.

We were taken to the hotel where we are staying. Found our rooms. Talked about plans for a few minutes and it was 4:30 and the meeting I was to speak at was at 6:30pm. I excused myself, freshened up and we went to dinner and headed to the church where I spoke on the topic of doing evangelism biblically and effectively. We didn’t get there until 7:10. I spoke until 7:45 and Ebenezer closed the time at 8. We stopped to get a “take out” meal of fried chicken and French fries. Then we went to the hotel. I was in bed shortly after 11pm, 21 hours after I got up in Nairobi. What a day! I will have more to say about the content of my talk and my second talk, today Wednesday, in tomorrows report.


I was originally scheduled to speak at a conference at the end of the week and after getting my flights locked in, the dates of he conference were changed. So, Ebenezer has been trying to fill up the week for me. I was at the same church Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning (a May Day holiday like in the US). And come to find out, the pastor is the pastors coordinator/chairman of his denomination in the area. He has been pleased with what I have shared and if I come back he will be involved in gathering pastors, I’m sure.

Then Friday, there are other leaders who will be present and Ebenezer said there is a Four Square conference every April where 5,000 people may attend. So, if things go well Friday and Saturday, Ebenezer will speak to these leaders to see if we can get at least one slot in their conference next April.


So, please be in prayer about the Friday and even Sunday, that the Lord will use the rest of the week to introduce ITEM’s Next Gen Ministry to the church leaders and open a door for me to speak to the conference next April.


Lagos, Nigeria is a hard city to maneuver. Most days, it is pretty much wall to wall people and wall to wall cars and other motor vehicles (vans as taxis, motor cycles, and three-wheeled, covered, golf-cart looking, thig-a-ma-jigs). And I think it is fair and reasonable to say it is not a gentle culture. East Africa is more gentle by nature. And in Nigeria (according to Ebenezer) the drive to acquire money (by any means possible). Of course, Nigeria is the exporter of the radical health/wealth Gospel and you can see sings (literally and figuratively) of it everywhere.

Another issue is gas availability. They produce their own oil but there are fights over who owns it. When the fights flare up, shortages are created. That is the case now. Today was a holiday and there were lines of cars for blocks and blocks waiting to get gas so they can return to work tomorrow.

That covers the “other stuff.” Tomorrow I’ll share what I’ve been saying in the two sessions and I will run through the really good, thoughtful questions I was asked today during our one-hour Q&A, But that will be tomorrow.

If you have questions or comments for me, send them to me personally:

Here is the link to the picture album with some new pictures from yesterday,Tuesday

Off day Thursday. University students Friday. A seminar and seminary students on Saturday. Heading home Sunday night.

Keep all of this in your prayers. Thanks.

By His grace,



ITEM Next Gen Ministry