Archbishop Ndukuba’s reflections on ministry under the threat of Boko Haram

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๐—ค: ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ, ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ผ ๐—›๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต?

A: The issue of persecution in serving the Lord and challenges in ministry in the North is very real. But you know one thing, just as I have said, you need to listen to the Master.

He said: โ€œ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฌ ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ.”

Again, He said: โ€œ๐˜Ž๐˜ฐ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฉ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ.โ€

I donโ€™t know how others may interpret it, but I love taking the Lord by His words literally and it has helped me in my ministry. ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—š๐—ผ๐—ฑโ€™๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜†, ๐—š๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต ๐—ถ๐˜. Indeed, God likes to be challenged. For example, when you say Lord, this one, I am not going anywhere until you do something for me, and you stay put, you wait on Him, I have never seen Him fail. It may not be easy; it is one of the most difficult and trying things.

On the issue of Boko Haram and attacks, ๐—ป๐—ผ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†, ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ. Let me just share this one experience in February 2014. In 2013, the Lord asked me to organise a prayer that would embrace all the pastors within Gombe metropolis. We were to use ECWA Church and not Anglican Church. So, we threw it open and invited all the pastors- Pentecostals, Anglican, Roman Catholics, ECWA, Baptist and all the other churches, and we started the prayer.

We met every Monday by 7 am to pray, and we did that for almost three months consistently. Sometimes, we were few and sometimes we were many. After some time, we stopped, but some people agitated that we should keep on praying, because by then, everywhere was burning around usโ€” Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and sometimes, they would come into Gombe to attack.

On February 14, 2014, they landed, and even the soldiers ran away with their uniforms and guns. They attacked the army depot, attacked where they stored their ammunitions and looted the place before the Air Force intervened. Everywhere was thrown into confusion, but we asked the pastors to be in the place of prayer. What we did was to evacuate the women and children. We arranged and moved those who ran from the town into the Bishops court to the southern part of the state-building.

While all this was happening, the Lord spoke to me and said: โ€œ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ, ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถโ€

He said He would not give His heritage to the wicked. When that word came to me, I held on to it. In fact, I wrote it down on a small card. As the word was coming to me, I was writing it down like a covenant word I held on to. I remembered that the Lord had prompted us to pray for three months, which we had just finished and were waiting for the next direction. When this was happening, that word came.

๐—ฆ๐—ผ, ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ, ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ, ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€, ๐—š๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„๐˜€, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—›๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป. His plans for us are of good and not of evil, to give us hope and to bring us to an expected end, and we need to hold on to Him. I came to the realisation that oftentimes when we are pushed to the wall and we depend on Him, we see Him opening doors and ways.

๐— ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ข๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐˜€. Just be faithful. Oftentimes, I tell people that I may not be as faithful as He wants me to be, but He knows my heart. My desire is to always please Him. I know the flesh will always be there and I may fail, but He will never fail.