The church we were attending today was Salem International Christian Centre. Another large well attended church, with again far too little room between row for my liking and comfort (but necessary to fit everyone in). Worship commenced with the choir singing and with volume up .I again didn’t know many of the songs sang and again the ones I did know seem to be sung much slower than I used to. I still enjoy the great ‘gospel’ feeling it is uplifting, I just wish I had the word on the screen rather than our faces, but everyone knows the words so I guess they don’t feel the need for the words.
The guest preacher was a Nigerian that lives in Essex. I lost a lot of the meaning of the preach, due to the strong accent and speed and volume, but what I did keep up with I enjoyed. The theme was on obedience to God, something that I feel I am being by coming to Nigeria. This was a good reminder as to why I’m here as half way through the month, I suddenly feel home sick and would like a roast dinner and a strong black filter coffee (one of my vices that I have had to leave behind). This probably isn’t helped by the fact that I hadn’t been in contact with home for a couple of days, due to timing and internet failure.
When the service finished, Femi made his way up to see the Bishop to introduce him to me .He was a very pleasant man, but the fact that we had to go through rooms and people and request to see him surprised me. This is something (religious etiquette) that I struggle with, I am a Christian and respect the Elders and leaders of my church, and thankfully my church doesn’t have this kind of religious requirements. Our Elders hang around chatting with who ever needs to speak to them, they do not place themselves out of reach or make themselves unapproachable. This is something that is however common in a lot of churches and it is by any means just typical or critical of Nigeria. What I did like was that (maybe just as a new comer to this church) I was given a donut, this is something that we are sometimes lacking with at DCC. Saying that I will probably now be expected to purchase some on my return!!
After the service we headed back, but before leaving the Island. We stopped for some food at Tantalizers again. I suddenly felt this overwhelming tiredness and didn’t feel hungry, so just grabbed a meat pie, knowing that I could easily eat back at the hotel should I become hungry later. Then travelling back past the luxury high-rised hotels and the grandeur and the immense amount of work in progress, it’s easy to see why people that only stay on the Island can almost be fooled into thinking that this is more the norm of Lagos and be blinded to the mammoth scale of poverty and deprivation that is a stones throw away.
We hit the long bridge that joins both sides of Lagos together and leave the luxury and wealth behind us and return to Mafaluku. A warm welcome awaits me at my hotel some of the staff are now becoming quiet familiar with me. After my more expensive but substantially smaller room in Lekki, I am pleased to be back on familiar ground. I am disappointed that the internet isn’t working again as I desperately want to chat with home, but after an hour or so I receive a call from reception to be informed that the server is back. I am soon chatting on line to Tony and Beth and reassured that all is well at home and they have been so kindly looked after by another family at my church, so many of who have been such a blessing to them whilst I’ve been away. I think I might just have to get the donuts in on my return after all!