Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Jos is a city in the middle belt of Nigeria having a population of nearly a million residents. It is commonly called “J-town” or “Jesus Our Savior” by its residents and is the administrative capital of Plateau State. The city is located on the Jos Plateau at an elevation of over 4000 feet. During British rule, Jos was an important tin mining center. In recent years Muslim persecution of Christians has killed hundreds and destroyed many churches.

Dan Logan was our guest Gideon speaker this past Sunday (9/21/2001). He spoke of his visit to Jos in November of 2008. As a part of a team of Gideons he was privileged to distribute thousands of Gideon New Testaments to many of its citizens. His visit preceded riots that resulted in the death of hundreds and exile of thousands. I spoke to him about the timing of his visit. He was so thankful to have been given the opportunity to pass on God’s message of hope to those who later faced such desperate need.

Dr. Les Lofquist, Executive Director of IFCA International, was our guest speaker this past Sunday evening. He brought with him Steve Van Horm (International Training and Equipping Ministries) and Nathan Chiroma, a national from Nigeria currently preparing for ministry at a seminary in South Africa. Dr. Lofquist took the opportunity to introduce Nathan to us. We were especially blessed and encouraged by what he had to share. We discovered that Nathan is from the same area of Nigeria that our morning guest speaker had visited back in 2008. Nathan shared how his family had been victimized by the same kind of religious persecution that Dan Logan barely escaped several years ago.

The world is not as big as we suppose. How else can you explain the intersection of two different speakers who both spoke of the same far away place at a small church in a little town on the same Sunday! And what were they doing there in that far away place—in a town commonly referred to as “Jesus Our Savior?” They were both doing the same thing. They were, in the Apostle Paul’s words “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). The one, Danny, grew up in St. Helens, Oregon—he traveled many miles to make his way to Jos. The other, Nathan, grew up in Nigeria—he traveled many miles to make his way to us. They both worship the same Lord, are indwelt by the same Spirit, and labor for the same cause.

Their differing colors, varied past experiences, and diverse cultural backgrounds couldn’t be more different—their hearts, who they are in Christ, couldn’t be any more the same. It is an incredible God who has worked to reconcile us all together in Christ. The church is made up of people of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). We all share a common bond in Christ—through Him we all have “our access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:18). The same gospel message brought salvation to us all—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).

Both men expressed their strong desire to share the gospel with others. Dan Logan has made many trips to far away places to get Gideon New Testaments into the hands of the lost. Nathan Chiroma is preparing for ministry at a Seminary that he might be used by God to reach his own people with the gospel.

“Blest be the Tie that binds” the hymn says. Blest indeed! The tie that binds, binds tighter, endures longer, and to a higher plane than any other cause on earth. The tie that binds is none other than a person—the One referred to in the common name that is given to a far away place in the heart of Nigeria—“Jesus Our Savior.”
We were blest to have such special guests this past Sunday! It was wonderful to see the pictures and hear the stories of Dan’s ministries in Nigeria and Indonesia. Les’s message to us on the relevance and importance of the small town church was especially encouraging. Steve spoke of his heart for the pastors in Africa. Nathan shared of his experiences there. A common theme resonated in all their messages—Christ is a glorious Savior and His gospel is a glorious truth!

Pastor Jerry