Attending Church Despite Potential Attacks
by Dr. George Janvier
11 June 2012
UPDATE June 18: Please join in praying for the Church in Nigeria today. Attacks were carried out on three churches in Kaduna State yesterday with at least 34 people dead. One of the churches in Wusasa, Zaria is an ECWA church. ECWA is SIM's church partner in Nigeria.
On Sunday morning, 10 June 2012, another suicide bomb attack was carried out at a church in Jos, Nigeria. The next time you wake up on Sunday morning and don’t feel like making the effort to go to church, consider for a moment what attending church means for worshipers in the central Nigerian city of Jos. Here is one account by a SIM missionary, Dr. George Janvier, of a typical Sunday morning:
"Due to the increase in terrorism and church bombings in Jos, going to church has become a different experience. For example, the first stop on the way to church is a large military/police check point on the main road which causes a major traffic back-up as the security people check cars.
Then I zigzag through two church road blocks on the way to my church. The church check points are manned by members of the Boys Brigade, the youth group, and two elders who are usually dressed like FBI agents. They check all cars, car trunks, and ask who you are and where you are going. Being the only westerner (white man) in the area, I pass through quickly.
The believers are happy and encouraged that I am standing with them in their hour of need. Finally I pass through the sliding steel gate of my church. The church service is usually excellent and very God focused as well as worship-minded. Some distant police sirens, car back firing, barking dogs, and a passing police helicopter overhead keeps one’s nerves on edge.
The service ends well and we thank God for the safety that we had and then talk more about the crisis. Going home I have to find a parking place as close to my house as I can as two churches in the area block the roads near my house."