23 August 2021Building Update
Why Not Sponsor a Bedroom
Your name honoured as a sponsor to God’s glory and the furtherance of the gospel in Jos.
Would you like to sponsor a bedroom in our training centre and have the room named after yourself or a loved one? You will fund the £4,400 per room cost for building materials, beds, mattresses, pillows, linen, towels and curtains.
You are welcome to sponsor as an individual, family, church congregation, or business.
“We are so grateful to the people in Nigeria, America, France, Great Britain and Ireland who have been fundraising for this building,” said Tassie Ghata. “This is our most ambitious building in our compound in Jos.”
The training centre now has a ground and first floor with first fix plumbing, though it is still a roofless shell.
In the photos you can see the current cement brick construction and an artist’s impression of what the completed building will look like. It may not look much but for our Grace & Light team it is major progress.
When finished the training centre will sleep 54 people in twin bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom. It will also have a large lounge, dining room and meeting hall.
All construction work is carried out by local skilled workers and labourers, with each stage being built as we have funds – first the foundations, then ground floor, then first floor. Next the roof which we have partial funding for.
Work will then go on hold while we source funding for the windows, electrics, plastering, bathrooms and kitchen, then furnishing the bedrooms, dining room, lounge and meeting hall.
Benefits for the Local Community
Currently, we hire local venues for training and conferences, but there are few facilities available near our Jos headquarters and they are over-subscribed.
For instance, we had to rearrange our 2018 leadership conference at short notice because the venue was double-booked and our international keynote speaker was not available on the new date.
Our own conference facilities will also mean we no longer have external venue hire costs for our own events. These reduced costs will free up budget to run more training courses and workshops, plus we can earn extra revenue by hiring out this affordable venue to local churches and Christian organisations.
Please pray for:
- Success for our charity partners fundraising for the major costs of our training centre
- Safety for workers constructing the roof and installing the many windows
- God’s blessing and favour on this building as we use it for his glory in Jos.
23 August 2021Community Prays Together
5,000 people solemnly assemble to petition God
More than 5,000 Christians congregated at roundabouts across Jos to repent and ask God’s forgiveness and healing on the land.
Imagine 5,000 people at 16 roundabouts on the major thoroughfares across the city; that is an average 300 people per roundabout. All sitting in the dirt in the hot sun and dressed in black with heads bowed crying out to God.
These people have come from many of the congregations in Jos, including a sprinkling of Muslims who saw what was happening and joined their Christian neighbours in solidarity for the peace of their city.
“We sat and cried out to God for mercy from eight o’clock in the morning until four in the afternoon on 10 June. In Nigeria we have a God-sized problem that needs a God-sized answer,” said Tassie Ghata Grace & Light international coordinator.
Earlier this year Tassie felt burdened by God to call people to respond to all that is happening in Nigeria – insurgency, bandits, kidnappings, attacks on villages and killing of Christians across central Nigeria and the North East.
“I was reading Isaiah 58 and 59 where God tells the Israelites they know what they should be doing and they are not doing it. Their sins stand between them and God, preventing him answering their prayers. The same is true of Christians in Nigeria.”
Tassie called on leaders from the Christian denominations in Jos to support a solemn assembly day of prayer. Most denominations sent representatives who met every week for six weeks to pray and plan.
Churches in each area organised the gatherings at their roundabouts and church leaders invited their congregations and other local Christians to join in. The turnout was more than anyone expected and a very visible witness for God in Jos.
“Local police officers were worried such large gatherings would attract violence from opponents and tried to stop the solemn assembly just 24 hours before we were due to meet.
"We knew God was with us and said we are going ahead. There was no opposition or violence at any of the roundabouts,” said Tassie.
Also, violence in and around Jos noticeably reduced after the solemn assembly and remained low right up to the end of July. Kidnappers released their captives including a Grace & Light member.
In contrast, violence began increasing in August leading to a period of 24 hour curfew from 14 August – emphasising that Christians need to come together regularly in such powerful prayer to overcome evil.
Please pray for:
- Violence, kidnappings and killings in and around Jos will end
- Nomadic herders and Jos home owners will learn to live together in peace
- A second solemn assembly in Jos with all denominations actively involved in prayer, planning and gathering
- Churches organising their own solemn assemblies in Yola and Jalingo.
23 August 2021Annual Leaders Conference
Leaders debate practical solutions to corruption, poverty and gender issues
Political, medical, academic, business and religious leaders are joining Grace & Light to discuss practical ways of countering corruption, poverty and gender issues facing their communities.
We are expecting 80 leaders from across society in Plateau State to join us for our fourth annual leaders conference in Jos this September.
This is an opportunity for them to share their own experiences, to learn from each other, to discuss social issues and debate practical solutions they can support each other in implementing.
Participants will also be reviewing academic research recently conducted among church congregations in Jos. It found:
- 47% admitted falsifying their age in job applications
- 47% confessed to cheating in exams
- 24% used false measures in business
- 24% abused their office and its privileges
- 22% admitted electoral or political fraud
- 17% stole workplace money or property
- 14% confessed to mistreating subordinates
- 28% confessed to one of these offenses
- 55% said they had committed multiple transgressions
- 28% felt the church was trying to address the problem
- 49% felt the church was part of the problem and caught up in corruption.
“These days a leader’s value is set by what car they drive and the clothes they wear, not by their achievements. Many Christian leaders falsify their credentials to make themselves eligible for jobs or to continue in them,” said Tassie Ghata, international coordinator.
“We believe God is calling on leaders who still put him first to band together and plan how to stand for righteousness in all situations. This conference aims to inspire and equip leaders to do just this.”
If you are in senior leadership in Nigeria you are welcome to join the conference from 14-16 September. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are praying current violence around Jos will die down so people are able to travel safely to Miango where the conference is being help. People are wary about travelling because they are afraid of being kidnapped.
Please pray for:
- Safe travel for delegates to and from Miango and a reduction in violence in the area
- Wisdom for Tassie as she leads sessions each day and interacts with delegates
- God’s spirit speaking to delegates, challenging and encouraging them to model gospel values.
23 August 2021New Volunteer Training
Welcome to our new volunteer team in Gembu
Sixteen volunteers have formed a new team in Gembu, Taraba State following training in Jalingo during June.
Already they are visiting local churches for Sunday services, sharing the gospel, counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS and calling on congregations to rededicate their lives to Christ or make first commitments.
In total 22 people attended Grace & Light’s five day new volunteer training in Jalingo at the Christian Association of Nigeria offices. The remaining six people have joined our existing Yola and Jalingo teams.
“Although they all believed they were strong Christians, 19 realised they were not living lives that honour him,” said Tassie Ghata international coordinator. “They had never been challenged to give their lives to Christ.”
Each of the 19 people rededicated their lives to Christ, are now supporting each other to live according to gospel values and have become Grace & Light members. Every person who attended the training is now active in a volunteer team.
Tassie added “We are especially grateful to Samuel, a local church leader, who inspired people to volunteer for the training. He visited many churches in Gembu, introducing Grace & Light and calling people to volunteer. They were inspired by his zeal.”
Over the five days from 23-27 June the volunteers heard about social righteousness, HIV transmission, prevention and treatment and learnt practical skills in counselling, HIV testing, care and support, setting up life sharing groups in churches, building relationships with church leaders, plus teamwork and relationships.
Funding for this training was raised during the charity walk in Chichester Harbour at the end of May. Thank you to everyone who joined the walk that day and to the many people who sponsored each walker.
Please pray for:
- Gembu team members will remain committed and visit at least one church a month
- Churches in and around Gembu will be open to Grace & Light and welcome the volunteers to their Sunday services
- Congregations will be open to our message of social righteousness, repent of their behaviours that foster corruption, discrimination and sexual/ gender violence, and recommit their lives to Christ.
23 August 2021Church Visits
Supporting people as they open up about their sexuality
Homosexuality and bisexuality are taboo subjects in Nigeria. There is great social stigma, including in churches, so people are not open.
Instead they pretend to be heterosexual, lying to themselves and their loved ones, marrying and having children, feeling stressed and guilty, confused about whether God loves them and their lives are worth living.
“It takes a great deal of courage to be open about sexuality in church,” said Tassie Ghata, Grace & Light international coordinator. “People fear the same condemnation that those living with HIV/AIDS faced when we started Grace & Light almost 20 years ago.
“We thank God people are beginning to be open with us when we minister in churches. Over the last couple of months three men in two churches have shared they are homosexual or bisexual during counselling and asked for support.
“They have each rededicated their lives to Christ and we are following up in partnership with their church ministers. ”
Four volunteer teams have been active during June and July. Between them the Jos, Yola, Lafia and Jalingo teams visited 13 local churches..
In total these teams shared the gospel of social righteousness with 2,634 people and tested 530 for HIV/ AIDS. Two people tested positive and are receiving ongoing support and care.
Of those who tested 509 people (96%) chose to join life sharing accountancy groups in their churches, 453 people rededicated their lives to Christ and another 33 made first commitments. Just 21 people chose to keep their results confidential.
Please pray for:
- Wisdom and empathy for church leaders supporting members who are homosexual, bisexual and lesbian
- Church leaders in Jos as they support their congregations following the recent violence against Christian communities
- Volunteer teams struggling to visit churches in Gombe, Lafia, Biu, Damaturu, Potiskum, Bauchi, Mangu, Michika and Hong because of insurgency.