The blessing was held in the Calvary Baptist Church in Bayan Loco. This will have been the forth church I have attended in Nigeria. The first three being our large local ECWA (Evangelical Church of West Africa – biggest business around here), Kagoro’s small ‘Christ the King’ Catholic Church, the large St John’s Catholic Church in Kachia.
The church is just round the corner from Fantsuam Foundation in Bayan Loco, and reflects Bayan Loco in many ways. It is certainly the simplest church I have visited in Nigeria with no altar pieces or attendants, but that may be more to do with the Baptist denomination than anything else. However the mud floor, unfinished walls and windows and make-shift benches were typical of Bayan Loco.
Na ga shaiku a chikin sun a Jesu (I greet you in the name of Jesus)
Sunana Cicely, na zo da ga UK. Ina aiki a Fantsuam Foundation (My name is Cicely, I’m from the UK and I work at Fantsuam Foundation)
The tune of the opening hymn (the introduction hummed by the pastor) was very familiar to me, however I had to consign myself to humming along as it was sung in Hausa.
Shortly afterwards, a group of children, led by Monday himself did an excellently co-ordinated musical tableau at the front of the church. I’m afraid I can’t tell you the story but it was animated, tuneful and thoroughly entertaining.
Monday first stood up and gave an eloquent and emotive speech. All of those attending the church on his behalf were asked to join Monday and the pastor at the front of the church whilst presentations were made, including the pile of his IT certificates that he has received whilst studying/volunteering at Fantsuam. These were to be the tools with which to found his new life.