… as Scripture Union tasks FG on godly values
UGO AMADI, BUSINESS EDITOR
A call has gone to Nigerians irrespective of their creed, ethnic background and political affiliations to work together and pray with one mind so that the country can overcome her current challenges and stem the tide of high level of crime and other social vices among youths in the country.
The call was made by the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria His Eminence, Dr Samuel Chukwuemeka Kalu Uche, when the leadership, of the Scripture Union of Nigeria led by Prof. Madu O. Iwe paid him a courtesy visit at Wesley house Marina, Lagos.
In his opening address, Prof. Madu also called on the federal government to engage in serious value re-orientation and empowerment for the youth as one of the panacea for salvaging the youths from social vices. He said apart from reconnecting with the Prelate as one of their own and to deepen the bond of fellowship between the union and the Methodist Church, another purpose of their visit was that the SU had been generally attracted to the Church by its programmes and themes since the Prelate took over the leadership of the Methodist Church, Nigeria .
He said: “We have noted that the Methodist themes in the past few years relate closely to that of our union. We seem to be working on the same platform. We are aware that last year your church concentrated on the Word, my Guide. It is very interesting to note that at the Global Assembly of the SU worldwide in November last year at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. SU leaders from national movements across the world spent four days critically x-raying Psalms 119:105 and 106. This year again while your church is addressing the issue of peace and holiness, SU Nigeria has devoted the year 2018 to look at holiness. With these few examples, we shall recall the hymn ‘The church is one foundation ……(MHB 70I)” . He said it became expedient therefore for them to visit the leadership of the church so that both can partner for the benefit of the Christian community in Nigeria and the Nigerian state.
He also narrated that the first scripture union meeting in Nigeria started here at the Wesley house marina Lagos and the first SU indigenous travelling secretary Mike Oye was also a member of Methodist church Nigeria.
He maintained that for 150 years Scripture Union has lived up to her Aims and Objectives in Working with the churches, to make God’s Good News known to children, young people and families and to encourage people of all ages to meet God daily through the Bible and prayer, so that they may come to personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, grow in Christian maturity and become both committed church members and servants of a world in need.
“Children and youths nurtured to Christian maturity, following Jesus and transforming families and nations”
He stressed that as people come to faith in Christ through SU, we believe they will be the means of transforming the communities in which they live. Therefore we place emphasis on helping them grow in Christian maturity and encourage them to become committed church members and to shine as a bright light in a dark world.
Iwe stated that the ministry does a lot of work behind the scene to promote global evangelization and nurturing of Children, young people and families through bible engagement and prayers. Some of the activities we carry out in scripture Union Nigeria are: BIBLEREADING: we write, produce and distribute bible reading aids such as Daily Guide (for adults); Daily Power (for young school youths); Daily Milk (for Primary school age) and other vernacular notes such as BibeliAjumoka(Yoruba version of Daily Guide), Inye-Aka(Ibo version of Daily Guide) and Odudu-Uwem(Efik version of Daily Guide etc). There are other Bible study outlines for the Christian community, Young converts, entire society and discipleship resource materials for growing Christians.
Responding, His Eminence Kalu Uche described the event as a beautiful reunion . He said they were called unprinted names in those days as they insisted on standard Christian principles everywhere they went “but God reversed it for us. The products of that era are now professors, doctors, engineers and highly respected men of God every where”. He said the scripture union made impact in evangelical, Catholic, Methodist, Anglican and Pentecostal churches promoting tithing, funding , children bible classes, house fellowship, youth fellowship , camp meeting and so on. He promised that the Methodist church was ready to partner with the SU to rescue Nigeria from the abyss of bloodshed, domestic violence , sexual immorality killings , armed robbery and kidnapping .
Expressing his preparedness to do more for God, he said’’ we need to preach Christ more than over before . I am available to do more. In the church, we have all sorts, of people , sinners and saints. It is the function of the church to make sinners become saints’’.He solicited for prayers as that is the weapon to accomplish the assignment .There were exchanges of gifts and books between the union and the leadership of the church.
Odelana Phillips, General Director, Scripture Union Nigeria gave the vote of thanks appreciating the warm reception the union received. He prayed for more strength and wisdom for his Eminence, saying Christians in the country will need his services much more.In an interview, the Prelate promised to pray more for Nigerian leaders and the Methodist church would continue with its evangelical, charity and educational programmes that are always geared towards turning lives around for the people .
It could be recalled that Scripture Union is an International, Inter-denominational and Non-denominational Christian Organization which started in United Kingdom in 1867. On 2 June 1867 Josiah Spiers, an English man spoke to fifteen children in the drawing room at 309 Essex Road, Islington, London, where he pioneered a new approach to sharing the word of God with children who were neglected by the churches at that time. Josiah taught the children hymns and choruses and told them stories of Jesus in a way that they could understand. It was also so lively, so informal and very different from the boring sermons they had sat through in their churches such that, all the children returned the following week with some of their friends.
From this humble beginning, today, Scripture Union is in over 130 countries, spread over all the continents and 42 countries in Africa. Scripture Union came to Nigeria in 1885 and was fully registered in 1967 as a non-profit making organization. In Nigeria, we are divided into 10 Regions for administrative purposes. A Region is a combination of 2 or more states. We also have 37 Area offices across the nation.SU was formally inaugurated in Nigeria by Rev. Gollmer, a CMS Missionary on the 1st of January, 1885 at Wesley Chapel, Tinubu Square, in Lagos with 204 children. Scripture Union Nigeria was officially registered on the 9th October 1967 as a non-profit making organization. We are inter-denominational and non-denomination in nature.Our non-denominational nature has made it possible for us to reach where the churches will not easily reach. Our membership is also voluntary.
It is a well-known fact that Scripture Union in Nigeria has made a lot of impact in the lives of many who are standing firm and doing quite well in their Christian faith today. If you do a little survey, it will interest you to discover that most of these people met the Lord through the activities of Scripture Union while they were in secondary school. It was not fashionable to identify with Scripture Union in the early years especially before the seventies. But those who did are the pillars of Christianity today in Nigeria. Up till today when anyone is seen as a serious Christian anywhere in Nigeria, people refer to him as ‘SU’ irrespective of the denomination.
S.U Ministry, work with a relatively small number of staff who motivate, train, equip and support a larger number of volunteers with whom they work in partnership. It is important to note that SU is funded by free will donation and offering from members, churches, and friends of SU. Scripture Union Nigeria does a lot of work behind the scene to promote global evangelization and nurturingof Children, young people and families through bible engagement and prayers. Dignitaries present include: Ngozi Dallah, Lagos Regional Co-coordinator, SU, Odelana Phillips, General Director, Scripture Union Nigeria, Mrs Nkechi Iwe ,wife of the SU National Chairman, Bro. Asuquo Antai, Lagos Regional Chairman, SU Lagos Region and Revd. James Gblele Olugbebi, Vice Chairman, Scripture Union Nigeria.
For a better society