A descendent of slaves in the West Indies, I feel a special kinship to Nigerians. I am convinced that my ancestors came from this area of Africa, but I will do the testing to ascertain that this is so. At any rate, I arrived in Lagos this morning, and I feel that I arrived home. I am here at the invitation of the Diocese of Lagos West for their tenth anniversary celebration.
I attended the dedication of the new St. John’s Anglican Church, Iju-Ishaga. The Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi presided at the service. He acknowledged my presence at the beginning of his sermon, and I felt very special, but more importantly, I felt the welcoming love of all present. I am truly at home in Nigeria!
The service lasted three hours! In and out of my dozing off, I can say it was a lively service. It was joyful — you don’t notice how long it is going on because it keeps you riveted. I sang and I danced. There were four occasions to give offerings, and the people came forward with joy and gladness. The Anglican Church is growing in Nigeria, in a country where they compete with Islam. More and more churches are being planted, more dioceses are being created. They are ministering to the sick, the friendless, and the needy. Even though women are not ordained here, I see that they are empowering women in other ways. In time, I’m sure that women will be ordained — then the church will really explode, as women are known to make things happen.
The Diocese of Lagos West is about to dedicate a hospital for women and children. Though they have operated clinics in many neighbourhoods, this is the first hospital, I understand. As I learn more, there will be further commentary.
I am grateful to my sister Olajumoke Akinkoye for her love and friendship that made this trip to Mother Africa possible. Blessings to her, her family, and the people of the Diocese of Lagos West.
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