January 7, 2018

The Kingdom of Ten Villages

This story began four years ago. Parts of it have been already shared, here is “the rest of the story.”

Nigeria has seen a lot of conflicts and religious persecution—from the burning of churches to Boko Haram attacks. In some remote regions, however, the old tradition of “kingdom structure” remains.

"But who could they go to?" 

In one of those kingdoms, comprised of ten villages, someone began listening to the Adventist World Radio (AWR) broadcast in the Hausa language and soon became convinced that it was the truth. He shared it with his family, and before long, forty people from his village were gathering to listen and discuss what they learned. After a while, they became convinced about the Sabbath as the God-commanded day of rest and the need to be baptized. But who could they go to? They knew nothing about our church organization and only knew the “Seventh-day radio church.”

One of the young men decided to find this radio church. As Providence would have it, when he arrived in the regional capital city of Jalingo and asked for the Seventh-day radio church, he was directed to one of the local Seventh-day Adventist churches, and the first person he met was the brother of the union president!

He shared his story and his village’s need for someone to visit and baptize them. The brother promised to speak to the church leaders and have someone visit them. With that promise, the young man returned to his village to await their arrival.

Meanwhile, the union president was informed by his brother of what had transpired, and that 40 people were awaiting baptism. He couldn’t believe it and said, “This I’ve got to see for myself!” He and the union treasurer set out for the village to investigate. It was so remotely situated that they had first to take a bus, and then another, and then motorbikes as far as they would go, and finally, they had to walk. But they found the place!

To their great surprise, the people were waiting for them—and had even built a rudimentary church structure! The president and the treasurer spent a wonderful Sabbath with the people, and as they were heading back home, the president said, “It was the best Sabbath I’ve had in a long time!” And then he had an insight: “We just spent a lot of money on evangelism and baptized 20 people, but here we spent nothing and 40 are ready. We have to use our evangelism budget to support Adventist World Radio!”

This happened four years ago, and now, here is the “rest of the story”:

When the king of these ten villages learned what was happening in one of his villages, he decided to investigate this new truth for himself. After hearing the story of Jesus and how He died to save the human race, the king said, “I want this truth to be heard in all 10 of my villages!”

Today, all ten villages are Seventh-day Adventists! That’s the power of the radio being used by God to reach the unreached in the world.

There may be turmoil in the socio-political world, upheaval in nature, wars and rumors of wars, and even unrest inside our church. We must, however, keep shining the light of God’s truth as a beacon, never wavering in our calling, until the whole world is lighted with God’s truth, and every heart has a chance to make a decision for Jesus.

Duane McKey serves as president of Adventist World Radio.