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We’re CELEBRATNG! Yes, after a 25 year partnership with the UMC in Nigeria, we Iowans will celebrate on Monday, June 8 at our Annual Conference in Des Moines. If not a delegate to this event, YOU are invited to join us at 8:30 AM for the opening African worship service and then the celebration presentation. Plan to stroll through the Nigerian Picture Walk, visit the village hut and see the farm and cooking wares and then attend the celebration dinner at 5:30 PM at First UMC in downtown Des Moines. Keep watching for more details on this momentous event in the history of the Iowa Conference. YOU made mission happen so now celebrate!
After the signing of the partnership by both the Iowa and Nigerian Conferences, we Iowans were asked to help the Nigerian church with the restart of educational ministries. The Nigerian Government had taken over the church run schools during the oil glut in the 1970’s but when the funds started drying up the church was allowed to offer schooling for children and youth. The first project was the construction of a Nursery/Primary School, Grades 3-6 and the when a large section of land was given the church, a secondary school was plan, constructed and now functioning. The former Des Moines District paid for the “Little Red Schoolhouse” building and the Fort Dodge and Sioux City Districts raised money for the science building. Now this Junior Secondary School has two streams of classes from Grades 7 – 12.
Progress is being made on the Banyam Theological Seminary campus in Bambur, Nigeria! With a grant from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministries and a substantial gift from an Iowa donor, Provost John Pena went to Abuja to receive solar panels/batteries from Germany for the electrification of the BTS campus. Provost Pena negotiated with former German missionary friends to assist in the purchase of the necessary solar equipment and the shipment of this equipment to Nigeria. Once out of customs it was taken to Bambur for installation. With several buildings including the administration building, library, Streyffeler Chapel, student and staff housing areas, it may take more solar panels to light up ALL the campus but LIGHT there is!
Yahuda Zailani is now writing chapter 6 of his dissertation at Africa University with plans to graduate on June 13 with a Master’s Degree and then return back to Nigeria where he will resume his teaching assignment at BTS. He needs funds to purchase a one way airline ticket and a Kindle for teaching purposes. Wouldn’t it be nice to give him a monetary graduation gift? He is grateful and appreciative of your support during his two year study period.
After two years at Simpson College Ishaya David is also planning to travel back to his home in Gombe where his mother and brothers live. There are increased incidents with the Boko Haram terrorizing this area so let’s pray the situation settles down and Ishaya feels safe on this visit.
As always, you are welcome to share in any of the Nigerian UMC educational programs, be it funds for pit toilets at BTS, offering scholarships to theological students or providing funds for airline tickets, donations may be made through your local church to the conference treasurer marked: INP #230, your designation or as undesignated gifts. Na gode to you for your prayerful support as well.