The GLS in Nigeria is raising up leaders prepared to impact change in their divided churches, impoverished communities and corrupted governments. Nigeria is a country twice the size of California with a rich history full of tragedy and strife. The CIA world fact book lists Nigeria as the 9th biggest populatiopn in the world. Nigeria suffers from a number of ongoing problems common in African nations: high mortality of its citizens due to AIDS, creating a life expectancy of only about 47 years. In fact, Nigeria ranks 3rd in world of people living with AIDS. Oil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor economic management, has made several attempts at improving its state with some improvement. But, as you can imagine, the church in Nigeria has quite a lot it works against.
Francis Olubambi, The GLS's leader in Nigeria as well as the director for several other Christian ministry branches there, has a vision for Nigeria and what it could become with God at the helm. In a recent conversation with him, he laid out some of the issues the church faces in Nigeria and how The GLS is working to help church and business leaders there overcome the corruption and poverty so entrenched in Nigerian systems.
The situation of the church there is complex.
We have a lot of churches in Nigeria, the churches are growing and the conversion rate is high, [however] Christian ethics is very low it seems as if so many Christian has the charisma and no character. One of the major causes of this shallowness is lack of leadership development. Churches in the Northern part of Nigeria are persecuted by Islamic fundamentalist.
In response to the need here, one way The GLS has addressed the problem of the corruption and poverty seen in Nigeria is to unite denominations and educate business leaders as well on the principles found in the Bible.
GLS conference has been helping to impact leaders across the board: from corporate world and the church world. Another advantage of GLS is that it affords us to bring different churches together for mutual relationship.
The church in Nigeria has seen a tremendous amount of division caused by dissenting beliefs from various denominations. Some groups have grown progressively more liberal while others committed to more traditional outlooks have fought widely with those with a more liberal outlook. The GLS is working to unite these denominations around their first love: Christ. Olubambi's biggest prayer for The GLS in Nigeria? Cooperation in churches.
The team in Nigeria overcame tremendous obstacles during their GLS events. In underresourced areas, there is often huge trouble finding a projector to use at the events. Because The GLS works to produce an extremely high-quality event for every attendee, the best projectors are sought out to create an extremely high quality picture. Occasionally, there isn't a single projector in the entire country up to the standards we work hard to meet. Three of seven Nigerian GLS sites were without projectors only a couple weeks before the event and needed to rent one, sometimes at a very costly rate. The teams also had numberous details to see to. Our awesome volunteer teams didn't miss even one. The attendees who have lived and worked in such difficult conditions all their lives had their sights lifted to envision all that the church can be.
Seven GLS sites were held in Nigeria this past fall. Click here to see the results.