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By Sue Kromminga
Photos courtesy of John Penna and Chris Congdon
An intentional decision and a step of faith make all things possible with God’s help. This story is shared with you to encourage you to become a partner of The Iowa Nigeria Partnership.
For many years, the missions and outreach to the community and the world were very limited by the three congregations that make up the Living Faith Parish in Monona, Iowa. The annual Thanksgiving Ingathering was supported but the leaders of Living Faith Parish came to a decision point. They made the decision and commitment to one another and to God to invest their hearts, hands and lives in mission to God’s people.
It started with a mission trip to the inner city of Kansas City for hands-on mission with their marginalized and neglected brothers and sisters.
Next was a leap of faith. They partnered with First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls to build a medical clinic in Nigeria. They donated $5,000. Within a short time, they saw how their response to God’s command to love their neighbors was making a tremendous difference—not to just in Nigeria but in their individual and corporate life together as the church and beyond, into the community.
Their decision was intentional. Their actions supported their decision. This is not the end of their story.
Living Faith Parish was intentional. What is your church doing to make an intentional effort to answer the call found in Acts 1:8?
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.
You can get in touch with members of The Iowa Nigeria Partnership to learn more about the ministry by contacting: Sue Kromminga, 319-269-4643; Julie Kinsella, 563-564-6044; or Mark Fransdal, 319-269-5580. We are available to provide a program or worship for your church.
The Iowa Nigeria Partnership welcomes the support. Money may be safely sent through your local church to the Conference Treasurer marked: INP, #230. You may also indicate if you would like to have it used in one of 3 areas: Church to Village Relationships, Village Wells, and Banyam Theological Seminary.
The Iowa Nigeria Partnership, better known as the INP, has a new leadership team. On January 9, 2016, Sue Kromminga (chairperson), Julie Kinsella (vice chairperson), and Arlona Fredrickson (Financial Secretary) were voted in as the new leadership team. Other board members include Mark Fransdal, Chris Congdon and Tom Shinkle.
Each of these women, Sue, Julie and Arlona, have put their feet on the ground in Nigeria and found God placed this mission on their hearts. They have grown to love the people, and what God is doing in hearts of the poorest of the poor. God is moving in Nigeria. God is making a difference. The relationships being developed are becoming friendships built on trust, love, and respect.
All the members of the leadership team share a passion for the mission/ministry in Nigeria which motivates them to continue supporting projects that have been started but not yet complete. The team plans to work with the Nigerian partners to be the hands and feet of Christ in a country so hungry for the Good News. Together Iowa will see lives change and be changed just as the Nigerians will be.
As you can see in the video above, the children’s faces show the love of Jesus. Just look at the smiles and hear the sweet voices sing praises to our God. We cannot stop helping the people of Nigeria. Providing basic needs and an education spreads faster than you can imagine. Think of it—a child learns to read, shares this knowledge with his/her siblings, and then with his/her parents, the others in the village and so and so on.
We will continue to provide updates on the transition and news from Nigeria. God is alive working through people just like you and me all over the world. The INP is alive, carrying out the mission God laid on Iowa's heart to minister to the people of Nigeria.
Members of the leadership team would like to share with you the experiences and the work you have been supporting over the years. Please call Sue Kromminga, 319-269-4643 to request a program for your church community.
In 2007 and 2008 Sue Kromminga made the trip to Nigeria with others comprising the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP) Team. Little did she know who that would impact her for life. She fell in love with the country, its people, and the ministry/mission. She knew it was God who put this on her heart and convicted her to become more involved than she could imagine. Sue now serves as the chairperson for the INP taking over the reins from Linda Rowe January 9, 2016.
Sue would like to share this story with you that has come to impact her call to mission. During her time in Nigeria, Sue toured the Junior Secretariat Seminary (JSS, a high school compound) in Jalingo. There she was able to interact with several students and was amazed by the fact that these children were grateful for their education and recognized that the school was supported by the Iowa Annual Conference.
In 2012, Sue went along with Asbury United Methodist Church in Bettendorf to Africa University (AU) in Zimbabwe. When this group went to worship, they were standing outside the front of the church waiting for others to come and join in the worship service. Soon a young man stepped out of the doors and invited us in. It appears most of the people on campus enter the chapel from the lower level and we were unaware anyone was there. He invited us in for worship and we were very impressed by the participation of the students in the service.
Later Sue had the chance to visit with the young man who had greeted them. Once introductions were completed Sue asked him where he called home. He chuckled, responding, "A place I am sure you have never heard from." Sue continued to pursue her line of questioning. He finally conceded and said, "Jalingo." Sue laughed and said, "Do you know John Pena, Bishop John Wesley Yohanna, Hannuta Robertson, Simon Benjamin?" As Sue said each name his eyes grew bigger. "How do you know all those people?" Sue explained she had been in Jalingo in 2007 and 2008. She shared with him she had visited JSS both times.
When they met up later in the day, he told her he had thought about it and remembered when Iowans visited the school. He didn't remember anyone in particular but was so impressed that someone from his past would remember and share the memories with him.
This young man is Albert Abbo Walkili and he and Sue have maintained a friendship since. Why do I share this story with you? To tell you in part of Albert's testimony. Albert shares the way Volunteers In Mission have influenced his life. He remembers the Iowa Teams visiting JSS while he was a student there, then at AU he meets Sue and stays in contact with her. Upon completing his studies at AU he applied for a position with the General Board of Global Ministries and is accepted.
Albert Abbo Wakili is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service. He was commissioned in August 2015.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Wakili is serving as a youth and children’s worker with the Blanchardstown Methodist Church, Dublin, Ireland, one of the newest and most ethnically diverse congregations in Irish Methodist. Blanchardstown Church is an off shoot of the 120-year-old Dublin Central Mission; operates a school; and has a membership of 46 families, with 68 out of 130 individuals under the age of 18. Wakili works with the church’s youth ministry committee and mission team in summer and after school ministries, as well as in the training and use of volunteers. He also relates the work at Blanchardstown to other Methodist churches and educational programs in the area.
You and/or your church can make a donation to Albert and receive credit for missionary support. It can be made online to: Albert A. Wakili #3022105.