Our third and final Ministry and Marriage seminar was held here in the city of Jos, Nigeria over the span of three evenings. Anita and I were delighted to have over forty people, mostly couples but also some singles, joining us for our sessions.
The event was hosted by the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust (NBTT) that allowed us to use their Hall of Praise for the event. Better yet, they helped us out by running their back-up generator so that we could keep our PowerPoint projector running during the frequent city power outages that occurred.
Jos is located four hour’s drive north of the capital city, Abuja, where we held our first two seminars.As a result, it is much closer to what Nigerian’s call the northern belt which is where the largest percentage of Muslim’s live. We also learned that people appear here seem to be more impacted by traditional African culture when it comes to practices of marriage and family. Many of our interactive discussion times centered on how to practically apply biblical teaching which is often in stark contrast with common cultural marriage habits.
One participant stated, “When a man pays such a large bride price to marry his wife, the usual attitude is that he has bought her and that she is therefore his possession that he can do with as he pleases. That is why the biblical principle of sacrificial service of husbands toward their wives is such a challenge, even for those engaged in church and ministry work.”
Anita and I have been learning so much about Nigerian culture during this trip. It’s been great receiving affirmation for our seminar and plenty of invitations to return for more training in the future, but we see how what we have offered has only cracked the door open on a truly significant topic of interest and concern Our hope and prayer is that all of those who participated in our seminars will be challenged to continue thinking through just what they many need to do to truly bring biblical balance to their ministry and marriage.