When our boat finally pulled along side the other one Darlene decided to stay seated in our boat. Everyone else got out and we assembled on the spit. The very point of the spit was sandy with grassy headland above and farther back, as it widened out behind us. We could see maybe 200 yards back and 100 or so yards at its widest point.
|Dancing in the joy of the Lord!|
|A discarded fishing net on the spit of land at the|
confluence of the Niger and Benue Rivers
The first thing we did was sing. We stood in a circle and one of the pastors introduced a song that was one that I had learned many years ago, “We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord” What a gift! To sing in this foreign land, as foreigners with these brothers a song that I know so well and love! After that we sang and danced, me in my orange and black caftan, with my red bandana and Bob’s solar shield sunglasses and all these distinguished looking ministers in their expensive 3 piece suits! Next we walked and prayed over the entire sand spit, claiming for God.
|participating in repentance and forgiveness.|
Next we made a circle, holding hands and we began to pray for the reconciliation, repentance and forgiveness of the tribes of Nigeria. Before too long we were all on our knees.
I’m telling you...it was at least 110F on the spit with no noticeable breeze. I think it was the hottest I’ve ever felt and there was no shade. Praise God I had remembered to put on #30 sunscreen!
|Glorifying God in 110 degree heat!|
Holy Spirit came and settled over us as we listened to each other repent for the sins of our forebears and received forgiveness. At first it was just the representatives from the three tribes that asked for and received forgiveness. But then I felt compelled to speak up. I said I was an American but needed to also repent for my ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France who had mistreated the black man and did so much to intentionally make the black man small. I declared that the black man is not small, but mighty and straight and tall! And great in God’s sight!
And forgiveness was freely given.
Then we all just glorified God!
By this time everyone was back on their feet except me. I had rolled over into a sitting position. I knew the sun was too hot for me to remain standing. I raised my voice in worship, sometimes in English and sometimes in my heavenly language. It was as if the air around me became white, and then whiter and all around me fell golden rain! Never, in my whole life have ever felt such a heaven coming down to earth! I was sitting in the Shekinah Glory! I will remember those moments for the rest of eternity. At one point I heard a “click” and looked up to see the photographer snapping me. It didn’t interfere with my worship and I’d love to have a copy of that image. I think I may try to paint it.
Well, our time in Heaven passed and we hugged each other. (I even hugged one of the officers with an AK47!) We got back into our boats and flew across the surface of the of the Niger toward the police station. But not before I filled a water bottle 1/2 with water from the Niger and 1/2 with water from Benue! They are a beautiful shade of blue green, completely blended!
|Racing back to the station.|
|On our way back to the police station|
Poor Penny nearly fainted from the heat and I had trouble getting my legs to move when I finally got out of the boat. Bob had to help me up the bank to the bench under the tree.
As we sat discussing what we had just experienced someone pointed the significance of the location of the the police station. The building, 200 years ago had been the holding place for slaves that were captured inland and were waiting to be loaded onto bigger boats to be taken to the sea and far away to the new world.
|The Marine Police Station in Lokoja|
before the 2012 floods
When we heard this we went into the police chief’s office and asked if we could pray for him, his staff and building. When he said yes we began to bind evil spirits and cast them out. Then we repented for all the atrocities that happened at the hands of white people and black people alike. We prayed for the well being of the chief and all his staff. He actually got down on his knees as we laid hands on him. He was so humble and ready to forgive and accept our blessings over him!
We came away feeling very full indeed! Curses and strongholds had definitely been broken. (Two weeks after we returned home a police station in Lokoja was attacked muslim terrorists and more than a dozen people, including police men were murdered. But not the marine police. They were protected by our mighty and loving God.)
|My bottle of Benue/Niger River water|