The inspirational magazine that lightens your path

 

March 2010

 
News & Reports

TEKAN HOLDS 55TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, RENEWS COMMITMENT

  

The Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria, otherwise known as Tarrayar Ekklesiyoyin Kristi a Nijeriya (TEKAN) in Hausa held her 55th General Assembly at the headquarters of the Mambilla Baptist Convention of Nigeria (MBCN), Gembu, Taraba State on 12th - 18th January 2010.

The General Assembly was presided over by the president of the Fellowship, Archbishop Nemuel Abubakar Babba on the theme: The church and threat of Religious Conflicts in the twenty -first century: the case study of Northern Nigeria.

The president, in his opening speech drew the attention of the fellowship or the assembly to the seeming danger that TEKAN faces, which wore the semblance of denominationalism or in his words, isolationism, hence the heading of his address, "cascading down the slope of isolationism again?" He said the enemy of the church and the fellowship in times past that used hostile colonial policies and persecution by adherents of the African traditional religion has now changed tact and strategies for the annihilation of the church. As a result he challenged the TEKAN churches viz: Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) Lutherah Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN) United Methodist Church of Nigeria (UMCN), Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), Ekklesiyar’ yanuwaa Nigeria (EYN), Nongo u Kristi henSudan oTiv (NKST) Haddadiyar Ekklesiyar Kristi a Nigeria (HEKAN), Mambila Baptist Convention of Nigeria (MBCN), Nigerian Reformed Church (NRC) Evangelical Church of Christ in Nigeria (ECCN), Reformed Church of Christ in Nigeria (RCCN) and All Nations Christian Assembly (ANCA) to return to the sort of unity and sense of belonging and purpose that the fellowship was known for.

The call became necessary in view of the present State of the fellowship which portends fear as the fellowship is witnessing some kind of gradual and dangerous retrogression in its cohesion. Symptoms of the disease eating TEKAN are persistent perennial poor performance in the remittance of annual dues, failure to observe the TEKAN week and remit TEKAN Sunday Offerings, Lack of patronage of the Daily Spiritual Diet by member churches, Lack of Commitment to TCNN and withdrawal or abandoning of Warari Bible School in Kambari Land and so on.

The President finally suggested the way forward out of the denominational parochialism experienced by TEKAN as follows.

1. TEKAN needs to know that her unity is gradually eating away, and that the fact of the pursuit of the Abuja Declaration of 1986 by Islam means the forceful attempt to strangulate the church will remain with us

2. TEKAN should take a careful and honest self-examination and see if she still sees value in her existence even if it is just for the occasional coming together and sharing of individual denominational stories of Kingdom-building efforts, the blessings, challenges, prospects and plans.

3. The story of TEKAN should form part of the curricula of our seminaries and bible schools 4. Leaders need to mobilize their member's torward awareness on the fellowship and show this commitment by doing those things we as an Assembly have resolved in the name of the Lord to do.

5. Develop the kind of mindset that teaches us to think beyond our own lifetime and labour assiduously for a brighter future for those after us.

6. Train our youth to value and respect all churches regardless of our big numerical strength, educational attainment, economic statuses and other human success- measuring yard sticks.

7. Encourage and enhance the fellowshiping together of our members, that is, interdenominational communion.

 

"MAMBILLA DECLARATION"

The TEKAN Assembly went into plenary sessions after the speech of the President, Archbishop Nemuel A. Babba, and the question of whether the fellowship was still necessary was raised.

It became obvious that the points raised by the president were beyond denial, and especially that unity is imperative for the progress of the church in Nigeria. As such the assembly was unanimous in probing into the conscience of every member church to know her resolve concerning being a member of TEKAN. Thus, a roll call was conducted during which period all the denominations present answered in the affirmative that the fellowship must continue.

The answers, which came from either denomination heads or General Secretaries as the case may be, displayed the renewed commitment and loyalty to the fellowship. One of such responses came from the CRCN president. Rev. Istifanus B. Bahago who when asked what the resolve of his church was, replied, "For better for worse, TEKAN for life," The resolution by member churches could best be described as "Mambila Declaration" as at the end of the session, it was clear that a New TEKAN was born.

 

GOVERNOR DANBABA CALLS ON NORTHERN GOVERNORS TO IMITATE HIM

The Executive Governor of Taraba State, Pharm Danbaba Danfulani Suntai calls on all Governors, particularly those of Northern States of Nigeria, where Christian Religious knowledge is relegated to the background to borrow a leaf from him by providing the Christians in these states with all the necessary amenities and land to enable them practice their faith.

He made the call in Gembu, Sardauna Local Government Area of the State at the 55th General Assembly of TEKAN held at the Headquarters of the Mambila Baptist Convention of Nigeria (MBCN). Governor Danbaba who was represented by the special Adviser on Interreligious Matters, Rev. Jatutu while delivering his goodwill message said it was worthy of mention that this state was in partnership with the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Muslim Council, a partnership which has resulted in the state assisting the two religious bodies in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Drug Abuse and other it in the society through seminars.

The Governor continued that the state also made funds of over N150m available to CAN and the Moslem Council respectively in the state to build centers that will help in this regard. The centers, he said, have been stocked with internet facilities that will help the youth in teaching, and provide conducive environment for capacity building.

According to the Governor, "we have done this to serve as an example to other states to show that we are our brothers' keepers, and that we have no skeletons in our cupboards whatsoever to show segregation."

 

PURSUE UNITY, PREACH THE GOSPEL

His Excellency, Governor Danbaba D. Suntai of Taraba State has called on Ministers of the gospel to pursue unity, and preach the gospel in the wake of internal challenges of tribalism, sectionalism, leadership issues, immorality and humiliating dressing styles; and the external challenge of Islamic fundamentalism.

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Taraba State on Inter-religious Matters, Rev. Jatutu, delivered the message to the TEKAN General Assembly after reading from the book of Psalm 133 verse 1. He said TEKAN, which is the unity of the Christian churches in Nigeria, fulfills the scripture.

Governor Danbaba according to Rev. Jatutu congratulates the founding fathers of TEKAN, and prays that the aims, motives and objectives of the assembly be achieved. He said government is fully aware and appreciative of the social and spiritual activities carried out by the individual denominations, and collectively as TEKAN to compliment government efforts in providing amenities, services and security to the public.

The Governor said, "as your brother placed in charge of the state, I am under the order of God to be the light of the world. I therefore wish to assure you that I shall be aware, and indeed be working according to the will of the Lord." And to the church leaders he said the assignment that God has given to the church is go out and make disciples of all nations, as such every one should leave the assembly and go and be about the master's task.

Finally, he charged delegates to truly be the light by forgiving one another and making for peace. He wished everyone the blessings of the Lord that flows through "Nature's gift to the Nation"- Taraba State.

 

CHRISTIAN PREPAREDNESS IN THE FACE OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT/ PERSECUTION

The theme of the 55th General Assembly, 'the church and threat of Religious Conflicts in the 21st century: the case study of Northern Nigeria' was facilitated by the Stefanos Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that serves as the voice of the persecuted church.

Handling this theme the coordinator of Stefanos Foundation, Mark Lipdo x-rayed religious conflicts in Northern Nigeria with particular emphasis on the ‘Boko Haram’ incident in Maiduguri, Borno State during which 26 churches were burnt hundreds of lives lost and property worth Millions of Naira destroyed; and the Kalikato incident in Bauchi State.

The assembly was impacted with knowledge based on the word of God that so long as the world remains there will be crises, conflicts, disasters (whether natural or man-made) wars and rumours of was (Matt 24:6-13) as a result Christians must be proactive by being ready to respond positively to the needs of victims. Others lessons are that Christians must be abreast with global events be watchful and be prepared always.

Also the assembly during her deliberations noted that the crusade by Moslems in Nigeria is not just about Islam, but that it is about subjugating all other tribes to Hausa Fulani.

Contributing his own quota, the Provost of the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN) Bukuru Rev. Dr. Tersur Akuma Aben leading one of the devotions charged the church to be courageous as all hope is not yet lost. He read from Daniel 4, Isaiah 2:1-5 and Micah 4:1-5 and said the church is the rising kingdom that cannot be destroyed.

He told the church never to loose sight of Jesus’ statement in Matt 16:18 that no matter how hard Islam tries, it can never conquer the church, rather it will ultimately bow to it, because it is the handiwork of God.

He enjoined the church to be prayerful and to take up the matter of bible teaching seriously so as to groom parishioners spiritually, and for appropriate Christian service.

 

REPORTS

All the member churches presented progress report with the exception of RCCN who were conspicuously absent; the obvious reason being the death of her president whose funeral fell within the days of the assembly.

Arms of the TEKAN Fellowship gave their reports with the TEKAN Youth Fellowship reporting that they were able to carry out their mandate of strenthening the bonds of our Christian Unity by encouraging interchurch / denominational activities, leadership training, Bible- based tutoring and spirit-filled mentoring across the youth Fellowship.

The Youth President, Brother Samuel, Emmanuel Naule on specific activities said they successfully hosted the October 2009 Convention of the Youth in CRCN Puje, Wukari Taraba State, purchased a 14- Seater Bus, had a delegate representation at the 1st ever Youth NIREC (Nigeria Inter religious Council) meeting at Minna, achieved the formation of TEKAN Youth Fellowship Arms in Kaduna, Taraba, Yola, Kwara and encouraged representation in the Youth wing of CAN; and Strengthened the implementation of the Beacon of Hope ABY Project and are prepared for the second phase implementation.

He concluded his report by intimating the assembly of their proposed programme of action for 2010, making a plea for the inclusion of Youth president/Director in Assembly Delegates from churches and to be granted at least observer status in the Executive Council; and the commitment to conquer all odds militating against the fulfillment of their vision.

Rev. Gerald Hogeterp and Bro. Bitrus Dan Adis jointly presented Beacon of Hope's report on behalf of Chris Roos. The report has it that they have been active in the area of ABY in Nigeria through which they have trained 976 staff, promoters and co-promoters who in turn are teaching life skills promoting abstinence and faithfulness to 12,565 leader youth.

The report further said Beacon of Hope is working with Eight (8) TEKAN Youth Fellowship groups through which they have trained 2,390 youth leaders, 1075 males and 1315 females. I 2009, through the HCT programme, they tested 7,421 people to determine their HIV status. Out of the number, 291 tested positive (219 woman, 72 men). Other areas in which they recorded success are OVC, Health Outlets, PLWHA, Pastoral counseling programme, SACA/LACA Symposium.

Concluding his report after enumerating challenges and plans for 2010, Beacon of Hope said the battle against HIV and AIDS can only be won with the combined efforts of state, church and society. The General Assembly prayed for Rev, Gerald Hogeterp on hearing that he will be leaving Nigeria back to his country.

CLOSING

Traditionally, TEKAN General Assemblies end with worship and communion services in the hosting denomination's church, and a cultural dance in the night.

True to it, the worship and communion service of January 17, 2010 was lively, spirit-inspired and colourful as it was wrapped up with Holy Communion. Not sooner than the service closed that news came that a religious crisis had broken in Jos. This sad news changed the mood of the assembly, hence the Gala Night of Dances turned to a Night of fervent prayers for Christians in Jos in particular, and Nigeria at large.

Read the Resolutions.

 

 

RESOLUTIONS OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN NIGERIA (TEKAN) AT THE 55TH ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY HELD AT THE MAMBILA BAPTIST CONVENTION OF NIGERIA (MBCN) HEADQUARTERS GEMBU, TARABA STATE NIGERIA, FROM 12TH - 18TH JANUARY, 2010

 

COMPOSITION: The 13 member churches of the fellowship with about 15million followers are: -

1.Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN)

2. Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN)

3.Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC)

4.United Methodist Church of NIGERIA (UMCN)

5. Nongo Krist Ken Sudan hen Tiv (NKST)

6.Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN)

7.Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN)

8.United Church of Christ in Nigeria (HEKAN)

9.Mambila Baptist Convention in Nigeria (MBCN)

10.Nigeria Reformed Church (NRC)

11.Evangelical Church of Christ in Nigeria (ECCN)

12.Reformed Church of Christ in Nigeria (RCCN)

13.All Nations Christian Assembly (ANCA)

Theme: The theme of the 55th TEKAN Assembly is "the Church and threat of religious conflict in the 21st Century: the case of Northern Nigeria.Praise and worship:

1. Unity in body of Christ: After a careful review of strides so far made by the fellowship the Assembly resolved to refocus on the vision and spirit of the founding fathers with a zeal to sustain the desired unity and steadfastness in the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as commanded in John 17:21 and Mat. 28:18-20.

2. Rebirth of TEKAN: Considering the grave consequences of disunity and individualism in the face of growing threat to the corporate life of the Church, the TEKAN, member Churches resolved to renew their commitment for unity and made moving declaration of a rebirth of TEKAN.

3. Religious Conflicts: The Assembly took an in-depth look at the Boko Haram incidence in Borno State and noted the recent Kalikato incidence of Bauchi State and expressed disappointment to say the least at the manner the Government of the affected states failed to protect the lives and properties of citizens, mostly Christians whose 26 places of worship were burnt to ashes in Borno State. The Assembly resolved to call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency direct the Governors of Borno and Bauchi States to pay full compensation to the families of those who lost their lives, properties, schools, homes, businesses and Churches.

4. Security and Protection of Citizens: The Assembly resolved that the incessant and perennial attacks on Christians resulting in colossal loss of lives and properties is enough and demands that the Government at all levels, Federal, State and Local must provide adequate security and protection to all citizens as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

5. Emergency Preparedness and Disaster response: Having noted that disasters whether natural or man-made are bound to occur as long as we are in the World, the Assembly resolved that TEKAN Member Churches and Christians generally should be more proactive by being organized and prepared to protect and provide promptly restoration to victims of disasters whenever they occur.

6. Peaceful Coexistence: The Assembly reaffirmed the importance of peaceful coexistence for National Development and resolved to pursue peace-building process through interfaith dialogue between Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths.

7. Equal treatment of citizens: The Assembly commends the Government of the hosting Church, Taraba State for its commitment to the sustenance of peace and unbiased support of both Christian and Muslim Communities and programmes. The Assembly therefore resolved to call on other Governors, especially those of the Northern states to emulate this laudable governance.

8. Education: Worried over the near anarchy and total collapse of the educational system in the Country, the Assembly resolved that TEKAN member churches should get more fully involved in the establishment and development of educational institution at all levels, to ensure proper and functional education of our children so as to produce responsible, morally and spiritually sound future leaders, who will serve the Church and the Nation.

9. Health and HIV & AIDS: The Assembly observed with satisfaction the progress made in the fight against AIDS by TEKAN Member Churches in particular and the Country at large and resolved to intensify the fight using all available means and strategies, aimed at mitigating the impact and reducing the prevalence to the barest minimum.

10. Christian attitude to persecution: Examining the Biblical prophecies about the mystery of God's Kingdom (Dan. 4, 1s. 2:1-5 and Mic, 4:1-5) the Assembly resolved that all Christians should doggedly remain courageous in the face of persecution with no feeling of intimidation, believing that God is incontrol and that His kingdom will grow from strength to strength and no gates Hades will prevail against it Mat. 16:18,22:42&44. In light of this, the Assembly further resolved that all Christians should embrace the Biblical teaching of "… be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Mat. 10:16) in the face of provocation and persecution.

11. Security consciousness and networking: As soldiers of the Most High God, the Assembly after a critical look at the fulfillment of the Scriptures with regards to our Lord's second coming which will be preceded by wars and rumours of wars (Mat.24:6-13), resolved to remind all Christians to be in a state of preparedness, watchfulness, and being prayerful, bearing the full armour of God, encouraged by the fact that the Living God Christians serve is faithful, all-protective and indefatigable. In the same vein, Christians must keep abreast with global events, be security conscious and fast in networking on authenticated information.

12. Terrorism: With a heavy heart, the Assembly flashed back at the 15 times in thirty years; Christians in Nigeria were terrorized by Islamic extremists resulting in untold sufferings. The Assembly further lamented the failure of the Federal Government to nib these internal acts of terrorism in the bud, which today has led to the inclusion of Nigeria in the list of terrorist Nations in the world. The Assembly therefore resolved to call on the Federal Government to muster courage and stamp out religious extremism in the country; in order to restore the honour of Nigeria and the dignity of her citizens in the comity of nations.

13. Political and leadership situation in Nigeria: The Assembly noted with deep concern and high sense of responsibility the present uneasy situation in Nigeria created by the absence of the president on health grounds, leaving the country without commander in chief and resolved that relevant authorities should take urgent steps in accordance with the constitution to resolve the impasse.

The Most Rev. Dr. Nemuel Abubakar Babba                  Rev. Dr. Caleb S. Ahima

TEKAN President                                                           TEKAN  General Secretary

 

 CRCN Centre Jalingo declares feast of Thanksgiving, clocks three

The number or figure "3" is said to be one of the numbers commonly referred to as divine members. In Christendom the member "3" is strategically important because our Lord Jesus Christ died, was buried and he resurrected after 3 days.

It, therefore, symbolizes triumph, a new beginning or new dawn to the Christian.

It was no coincidence that CRCN Gu Centre Jalingo decided to devote the weekend of Friday 11th to Saturday 13th December 2009 as moment to declare a "feast" of thanksgiving to appreciate God for his goodness and abundant mercies to the Church in the three years of its existence. The occasion also double as a time to celebrate God's faithfulness for all that he has enable then to achieve or experience during year 2009.

In the words of the Resident Pastor of the Church, Rev. Nuhu Peace Nyajon "the Almighty God has been wonderful to us as a Church and as individuals in diverse ways ranging from spiritual blessings, promotions in our various offices, appointment to various positions, restoration of souls, fruits of the womb, financial breakthrough, healing and so many of them…"

He said it was also time to thank members of the Church for their individual and collective supports and contributions towards the growth of the church.

The CRCN President who was the Guest Speaker at the three days event opened the first day in a reflection note. He enjoined the congregation to first of all examine their relationship with God, who they are to God and what God is to them.

According to him King David was an example of people who after examining God's dealings in his life, from a humble beginning, an insignificant shepherd boy to one of the most celebrated Kings in the history of Israel. He (King David) attributed every thing to the grace of God. He therefore acknowledged that God alone is the great shepherd, his redeemer, his provider, who will continue to protect him against his enemies. Thus, according to Rev. Bahago, King David was one man who was appreciative of his position before God and is full of gratitude and assurance of God's faithfulness all the time.

Speaking during the second session from the book of II King 4:8-13, the CRCN President admonished Christians to emulate the family at Shunem who through well endowed with resources (wealth) sought for an opportunity to express their gratitude to God. He said through the prompting of the Spirit, the Shunemite woman built a resting place (a guest house) furnished with necessary facilities for Prophet Elisha to rest and prepare for his ministration any time he was passing through their territory.

This single demonstration of love and gratitude to God brought the blessing of a child thereby delivering them from the agony and reproach of childlessness. He therefore, said God is prepared to bless (reward, grant increase or open-doors) to believers who show gratitude for what he has done to them either through inventing in his work or in the life of his servant, since nothing done for the house of the lord is in vain.

In another session where he derived his massage from Mathew 14:22-28, Rev. Bahago said the disciples had cause to worship Jesus after he had calmed the storm that threatened their ship as an act of gratitude for delivering them from shipwreck and drowning.

He enjoined believers not to forget to appreciate or reverence God for his intervention after praying (crying out) to him in the time of trial or trouble as Peter and the Disciples did.

He reassured the congregation that Jesus is ready to step into their situations and change them for the better.

The climax of the celebration was during the Sunday worship service where the CRCN President drew attention to the one leper who was the only one that came back out of the 10 earlier cleanses to appreciate Jesus for his deliverance. According to him, the leper demonstrated what should be the attitude of believers after the Lord intervened in their situation.

He noted that lepers who were considered as outcast and third class citizens, unexpectedly had their statuses and destiny changed overnight by a pronouncement made by Jesus Christ, yet only one came back to appreciate God. He observed that like the nine who did not come back, many Christians who enjoy unexpected promotion, achievements or deliverance find it difficult to thank God or even grumble because they are expecting more. He assured that a Christian who returns to thank God will receive packages from him (God).

During the programme, the CRCN President commissioned some of the projects worth millions of naira executed by the church, CRCN Centre, Jalingo. These include a one storey complex with offices, conference hall and modern guest house.

Other projects include fencing of the church premises to beef up security, a sound proof generator to boost lighting system, two stores and kitchen, a block of eight compartments of modern toilets and bathrooms. Some projects in worship centres at Mayo-Dassa, Abuja Ward Phase II,Kuri/Jemi, Sunkani and Nahuta are either completed or ongoing.

The church also purchased a Toyota Carina E as official vehicle for the Pastor, and purchased a piece of land at the airstrip.

The Resident Pastor who was highly elated with the successes, however, encouraged the members of the church to brace up to the task of building the Pastor's Residence, purchase of land to accommodate CRCN Abuja Ward phase II, construction of overhead tank, and renovation of the main church auditorium among others.

The Secretary of the church in a brief history said it has a numerical strength of about one thousand and eighteen (1018) worshipers, with about 97 communicants who were baptized by the Resident Pastor in2009. It also has seven worship centres namely: Kuri, Jemi, Sunkani, Nahuta, Yadi, Abuja ward Phase II, and Mayo-Dassa. The church is also said to be very supportive of the work of evangelism in Niger State, Cameroun, and Niger Republic among others.

PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY

If there was any time for Christians to put their faith to work, it is now, in view of the economic meltdown, which has made things difficult for the common man. It is not gainsaying that the world is in dire need of such Christians.

Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki (Makaman Donga), the Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Taraba State took to the challenge by giving his faith corresponding action, hence he put smiles on the faces of people and gave them the reason to be joyous and thankful during the yuletide.

The programme, which held on the 24th December 2009, at the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria, LCC Donga, saw the coming together of widows (indeed), destitute, pastors who were given cloths, food items and meat to use for the Christmas Celebration.

The CRCN President, Rev. Istifanus B. Bahago who was guest speaker at the occasion read from the book of James 1:27, and challenged Christians to demonstrate their faith is a more practical way that will impact on the lives of people.

Rev. Bahago said true Christianity is practical, backed by positive action; and that the best way for one to demonstrate his or her faith, is to do what the text says, that is, to take care of widows and the less privileged in our society.

He concluded by saying, "today is a day of grace, manifest grace, and practical grace to all of you that will benefit from the magnanimity of the servant of God, Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki."

Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki brought greetings from his entire family and read from Jeremiah

17:5-8 after which he charged recipients of the gifts to always put their trust in God which leads to blessings. He said he was only a vessel, a channel that God has chosen to use, and so, no one should thank him but direct all gratitude to the Almighty God.

As already mentioned, widows were given a cloth, a sack of Rice, Meat and Maize each. Pastors were given a cloth, a sack of Rice, a copy of a book titled Tapping God's Resources for Life and Ministry and also a copy of Living Seed Magazine each. The Youth had their share of a Bible and a Hymn Book (Sacred Songs and Solos), while elders got a copy of Hausa Bible, and Hymn Book.

In an interview after the occasion CRCN President, Rev. I. B Bahago said CRCN was proud of Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki who has distinguished himself as a worthy ambassador of the Church. He said though Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki could not be said to be the richest person in the whole of Southern Taraba, who is into politics and governance, he has always taken the needs of widows and the less privileged into consideration.

The President recalled that of recent, Hon. Maiyaki empowered widows of Southern Taraba by giving them Sewing Machines and placing some at the widows' Craft Center in Takum. Also, the President mentioned his role in uniting the people of Southern Taraba through the sponsorship of Annual Christmas Carol.

Finally, he called on all sons and daughters of Southern Taraba Senatorial District in particular, and CRCN at large to be more proactive by channeling their wealth towards the upliftment of the lives of widows and the less privileged; and to come up with developmental programmes and projects that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

Responding on behalf of the Widows, Mama Isanu Hikon, whose husband died over thirty years ago, said she is short of words of gratitude to God for the goodness she and her colleagues have received from the hands of Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki. On her part, Pastor Helen S. Garpiya of Christ Favour Ministries, Donga, also expressed gratitude to God and said she was challenged by the humility of Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki who after the display of such grace, warned that no one should thank him, but to direct all praise to God. She advised other wealthy individuals and corporate bodies to use their wealth to glorify God.

In his goodwill message, the Paramount Ruler of Donga Chiefdom, Dr, Stephen Bayonga (JP), the Gara Donga, expressed satisfaction with the gesture by Hon. Bulus D. Maiyaki, and gave a message of peace and harmony to all the people of his domain and wished them a Joyous Christmas Celebration. He used the forum to call on Government to support Donga Chiefdom and the entire Donga Local Government Area.

A MISSIONARY CHURCH INAUGURATED, NAMED AFTER REV. PETER DEKKER

The Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN) recorded another milestone achievement on the 26th of February 2010 in Wukari, Taraba State with the inauguration of CRCN Ndo-Dekker as a Local Church Council.

CRCN Ndo-Dekker (Ndo-Dekker in Jukun means, Dekker's House, or Residence), located within the same vicinity of the new mission site obtained in 1948 and occupied by Rev. Peter Dekker and his family in July 1951, started worship service on 21/9/1994 through the efforts of Evang. Bulus M. Jwaye at Ladan primary school Wukari. The attendance recorded that day was 34 people; prominent among them were Rev. & Mrs. Ezra M. Gangum, Evang. & Mrs. Bulus M. Jwafa, Mr. & Mrs. Joel Shamaki, Mr. James Ciroma, Mr. & Mrs. Timothy D. Sarkin Noma, Mr. & Mrs Solomon Kefas, Mr. and Mrs. Hosea Wazari, Mr. Yohanna Idi, Mr. Emmanuel Danji and Baba Lenge.

Continuing with the history of the church, Rev. Dawuda B. Tanko, said CRCN Ndo-Dekker enjoyed the approval, counsel, support and advice of Late Rev. Ezra M. Gangum Rev. Luka D. Awudu, Mrs. Carolina D. Danjuma, Elder Anthony Nto Burba and many others too numerous to mention to have come to its present state.

The Guest speaker at the occasion, Rev. Philemon Ali Garjila who read copiously from the look of Acts said the establishment of CRCN Ndo-Dekker must be on the premise of Evangelism and church growth as seen in the early church; and not to boost the ego of any leader. In the course of his sermon, he proclaimed CRCN Ndo-Dekker as "center of Mission" based on its history, location and nomenclature.

The CRCN President performed the inauguration after which he installed the pioneer Elders, Deacons and sub-group leaders of the CRCN Ndo-Dekker LCC. The Elders installed were Elder S. B. Manga (Chairman), Elder Jerry Danladi (Secretary), Elder Manasseh Bemua (Asst. Secretary) Elder Emmanuel Gargbain, Elder Idinga Yaro, Elder Yusufu B. Ashu and Elder Yohanna Sungbadu. The Deacons were Deacon Solomon Baba (chief Deacon), Deacon John Ido (Secretary), Deacon John Bala Amalatsa, Deacon Emmanuel Mamman, and Deacon Patrick S. K. Usman.

The inauguration was colourful and well attended by officials of the church from the headquarters and other dignitaries, amongst whom are His Royal Majesty, the AKA UKA, ably represented by Hakimi Abe Shishi, Mrs Dorathy Ibrahim(Wife of Maj. General AT Ibrahim Rtd), the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Wukari Branch, Rev. Luka D. Awudu.

The Chairman of the Wukari Regional Church Council, Rev. Bulus A. Gani, delivered his own message in which he thanked the Pastor In- Charge of Puje Consistory for making the dream of establishing/organising new Congregations a reality despite the economic meltdown experienced the world over. He both welcomed and thanked the CRCN President and his entourage from the Headquarters for making it to the programme. He also announced that in no distant future, three Congragations will be organized from the Wukari Local Church.

In his own goodwill message, the paramount Traditional Ruler of Taraba State, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi, CON, said Christianity is the only religion that gives salvation; and that it is the prayers of Christians that has given us the peace we enjoy in the land. The AKU UKA applauds CRCN for the progress she is recording, especially with the establishment of a worship center in his palace, and pledged his unalloyed support for more progress by the church.

The CRCN President, Rev. Istifanus B. Bahago in a goodwill message charged the newly inaugurated congregation to be people of love, law abiding, and prayed that the new LCC's proposed by CRCN Wukari Congregation will come up soon. He concluded by suing for peace in which he said, "God did not make mistake by stationing us in Taraba State."

The programme, which concluded successfully, also featured beautiful renditions from the various musical groups of the church. Worthy of mention is that by the Zion Praise Band (Children of Zion), the singing group with a small, popular and remarkable beginning spearheaded by Mordecai Ezra M. Gangum. They drew inspiration from the popular Baba Ayuba of the Mission Quarters, who made gospel music using harp. They too, began gospel music using cans, tins, sticks and other toys.

To God be the Glory!