Franklin pastor helps spread gospel in Nigeria

Published 10:35 am Monday, March 22, 2010

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. Charles Worth, senior pastor of True Word Christian Church, recently returned from a medical/evangelical mission in the country of Nigeria. He was invited to go by Jon Cash Ministries as the second preacher on the trip. Jon Cash of WAVY-TV 10 was the lead pastor on the mission. Following is Worth’s account of the mission.

We arrived in Lagos State Nigeria on Sunday, March 7. The first thing that you notice is the heat, almost oppressive at 95 degrees, with humidity in the 60s. Then it is the smell. It was the aroma of 13.4 million people cramped into a city the size of New York (NYC has a population of 8 million), with a heat index of 113 degrees.

We left the airport and began an almost two-hour drive through the potholed, litter-strewn streets of Lagos. We arrived at a place called Canaanland. This 5,000-acre campus includes the headquarters of Winners’ Chapel, Covenant University, Faith Academy Secondary School and Kingdom Heritage Nursery/Primary School. We were housed in the Covenant Guest House, while modest it was secure and allowed us some freedom of movement. We were cautioned not to venture out on our own as kidnapping for ransom is a problem throughout the area.

The following morning we arrived at the first site. This was held at a Christian school. On that first day we had 750 people come out for medical treatment. Jon and I prayed over any who desired ministering to their spiritual needs as well. The most interesting thing to me about this school was their need to lock their bathrooms. Plumbing in Lagos is a commodity, and they were apparently concerned someone might seal the toilets. We held a revival that night, Jon preached a message of salvation through Christ, and 57 people accepted Christ as their Savior.

The next morning things happened fast. I got pulled to go with Pastor Ben Mabumere to Faith and Grace Church. As we were driving there I noticed a lot of mosques; upon inquiry I found that I was going to the Muslim area of town.

After preaching, I offered to pray for anyone needing prayer. All 175 people lined up. It was an amazing experience to be in prayer for the next 3½ hours. While I have prayed that long before, it was not a time of continual intercessory prayer.

About halfway through this time of prayer a young man came forward, slightly bent over, giving evidence to the fact that his problem dealt with his stomach. As he walked up to me, the man behind him said, “Pastor, no! He is a Muslim.” I told that man to stay there and my interpreter and I took the Muslim about 10 feet from the line. I asked if in fact he was Muslim, to which he sheepishly answered, “Yes.” I explained that while he prayed to Allah, I did not, I pray to Jesus Christ, but that my Jesus loved him and I would still pray for him.

I then asked a favor: If my Jesus answered my prayer for him, I asked him to listen to the interpreter tell him about Jesus. As I suspected, the young man said he had stomach pain. I prayed for about five minutes or so until he straightened up right with a confused look on his face, then he marched off to the pastor I had identified earlier. About 30 minutes later he was brought back to me to pray for his salvation through Christ Jesus. During this time 17 accepted Christ at Faith and Grace, and 153 accepted Christ when Jon presented the Gospel at the medical mission.

That evening, still separated from the group, I ended up being the only one at the evangelical event. Demonstrating that when it rain it pours, we had a storm come through and the rest of the team was stranded at the hotel or in traffic. I arrived a little over an hour late to find people still worshipping God and waiting for the message to be given. Again, last minute I filled in.

What a wonderful experience. When I did the alter call, everyone came forward. When I asked the Nigerian pastor about it, he was not surprised at all. He just simply stated, “We all are in need of prayer.”

The storm that had stranded the team was headed our way, so I asked the folks to get in a big line and called up the Nigerian pastors to help me pray for them.

When I got done and turned to get back on the stage for the closing prayer, I almost tripped over this small woman who had pulled up a chair behind me. I asked if she had been prayed for. She looked up at me and adamantly stated, “No, you!” and pointed at her legs. I looked down to see legs twisted and a cane on either side of the chair. I figured it would be faster praying for her than argue that a pastor already prayed for her.

I anointed her, laid hands on her and prayed as we are told to in James 5:14-15. As I prayed I watched her legs straighten. She stood, took a step and began to dance, giving thanks to God that she was healed.

We left there and went to Eche, River state Nigeria for two days, and while I saw and have been told of by Bishop Friday Nnah, our host, of others he has learned of since we left, I do not want this story to become about people being healed by my praying over them. The true story here is how God used a little-known pastor from a little-known church to help do His work in Nigeria.

In all, 1,137 people accepted Christ in five days. We treated 3,794 people through the medical mission. The most amazing miracle is that God healed me. Sometimes as the pastor of a church, dealing with the problems of all our congregants and the issues of leading a church, we get spiritually tired, even complacent. I received more from these simple people than they ever got from me.

I received more from God than anyone else. God renewed my relationship with Him. I felt the spirit of God move upon my life and, through me into others, as I did when He was my first love. If you get the chance to go to some backward little country to help them be prepared, seeing the faith of those with nothing else will change your life.