Post 83 / The Next Language

Nigeria – First Impressions

Completing my first week in this land I realized that though I had been in the most populous city of Lagos and also in Jos, capital of the highest and most central State, I had not seen a single other white face — anywhere. That certainly speaks to the successful extraction from being a British Colony in 1960. (Just a year after Alaska was freed from being a US territory.)

Evidence of colonial practices that I had observed years ago in India are noticeable. Probably the first thing I noticed was the emphatic “Sa” that concluded every greeting. Took me a while to recognize this as a very British “Sir.” Divisions of labor persist regarding gatekeepers, chauffeurs, and housekeepers, which are to be respected … as I learned when at the GRN office. I heard someone knocking on the gate and, true to practice in Mexico, I jumped up to open the gate. But I was immediately and firmly sat down told that there was a gatekeeper and I was not to infringe on his duties — even though he wasn’t there right then.

I am staying in a guest house belonging to Rhema International. We are in a “Christian” zone that is less prone to violence than where the office is. The compound is bounded by the police commissioner on one side and an ex president on the other. Though less vulnerable, the area is certainly not immune from rolling blackouts and internet interruptions. Lack of water and limited power generation from petro chemicals makes electricity a luxury everywhere in this country. This shortage makes cereal production insufficient — enough so that most people can’t afford feed for chickens or, for that matter, even dogs. Have only met one dog so far and seen few. No roosters in the morning. Instead at 4 AM we awakened by the call to prayer from a local mosque.I have not seen any cactus yet but just going by the temperatures and the arid landscape it does not appear much different from our home in Tucson. Haven’t seen any mountains yet.

Kish explained that Nigeria is divided about three ways. The North and Central are largely Hausa speaking and dominated by Muslims — many radical and fueling the civil war. I have heard a lot of talk about the ongoing civil war and losses that get pretty close to Jos and to the families of the staff of GRN. Haven’t once heard about the invasion of Ukraine.

The southern part of Nigeria is largely Yoruba Muslim and more characterized as tolerant and peaceable.

Nigeria has a large Christian community that dominates the central portion of the nation.  ECWA has about 10,000,000 members and was founded by SIM who had its genesis here. At one point this land was called the Sudan thus the Sudan Interior Mission made sense. The three original missionaries made their initial trek into the interior and Bingham was the only one of the three to survive malaria.

Gospel Recordings Nigeria was founded as a pseudo subsidiary of ECWA. The board chair is also on the board of ECWA but ironically today ECWA sees GRN as a foreign supported agency. They are sympathetic and beneficiaries to the ministry but insensitive to the need for Nigerian support of the ministry.

I met this week with most of the board and another meeting is planned before I leave. We are delicately moving toward a proposal that would accelerate completing all the languages of Nigeria.

Defining the task is not easy. Joshua has had the data in hard copy that I brought and finally yesterday told me that he will not be able to confirm a lot of the suggested information on unrecorded languages until the language areas are actually visited on the ground. (Not that different from the situation we started with in Mexico.) Unlike the situation in Mexico, the only documentation to the completed recordings in Nigeria is in the form of cassette and CD masters that cover a wall pictured in the photo along with staff members (left to right) Solomon, Kish, and Joshua.
Data is available in our GRID database but the office is not even served with internet.

Pray that between now and April 7 we will be able to get our arms, heads, and hearts around the unfinished task and God’s plan for the future.

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact RolandHeck@GlobalRecordings.Net

Previous “The Next Language” posts
From the Land of Nod – Post 82
Tribute to Mexico – 1967 – 2022 – Post 81
Miniaturization – Post 80
Knowing The Times – Post 79
God Comes to a Dirty World – Post 78
Corn in Mexico – Post 77
When the Church Says No – Post 76
War – Post 75
Theirs Is the Kingdom – Post 74
The Hippie Era Lives On – Post 73
Genesis of a Recording Set – Post 72
Back Tracking – Post 71
Witnesses- Post 70
Who Is Your Owner? – Post 69
An Unsolicited Endorsement – Post 68
Oral Tradition – Post 67
Works of  Man – Post 66
Deliverance – Post 65
New Discoveries – Post 64
The Wall of Pain – Post 63
Is There a Place for the Gospel in Your Story – Post 62
The Love Pyramid – Post 61
Obsession – Post 60
Verb Tenses in Hebrews – Post 59
The Unseen Weapon – Post 58
The Gospel Arrives in Zapoteco:Elotepec – Post 57
Fishing – GRN Style – Post 56
A New Day in Mexico – Post 55
Seeking – Post 54
Pick Your Battles – Post 53
How Big Is Your God? – Post 52
A Muted Gospel? – Post 51
Dedication Service for Marcos – Post 50
Two Weeks, Two Months, Two Years – Post 49
What Will You Give to Jesus – Post 48
Special Assignment – Post 47
The Good and the Best – Post 46
How Many Languages Are There? – Post 45
Verifying Speech Varieties – Post 44
Those God Things – Post 43
Meet Notch, the Desert Cottontail – Post 42
The Lost Languages – Post 41
The Rest of the Yoke – Post 40
What About Those Last Languages – Post 39
A Yoke That Fits – Post 38
The Other Side – Post 37
It Is Finished – Post 36
On the Ground in Culiacan – Post 35
I Will Go With Thee – Post 34
Unseen Warfare – Post 33
God of the Gaps – Post 32
The Father of Faith Missions – Post 31
WAIT – Post 30
Our Ultimate Weapon – Post 29
What Are You Doing Here – Post 28
Recordist Training Course Update – Post 27
Still Shameful – Post 26
Numbers Update – Post 25
The Gospel and Idolatry – Post 24
Could Ye Not Pray – Post 23
John the Baptist and the New Normal – Post 22
Genesis of a Script – Post 21
Embena Experiences – Post 20
An Easter Like No Other – Post 19
Go Or Stay Home – Post 18
The Next Language – Post 17
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