Thursday, January 29, 2009

NCCF Style!

My ZM tales would never be complete if I didn’t include the wonderful experience of Rural Rugged.

NCCF, Nigerian Christian Corpers’ Fellowship, is a wonderful body of Christ.
I never thought I’d have anything to do with NCCF, because my pre-NYSC vibes about it were… unflattering.

Those vibes were incorrect, and made me miss out on one year of high-quality service to God, but I’ve been forgiven, and most importantly, I’ve learnt my lesson. (In fact, it is January’s Lesson for me).

What I have to say about NCCF is incapable of doing them justice, but I’ll still speak/write:
In the 40s, a man of God, Sir Elton, foretold a time when Nigerian youth would be paid to preach the Gospel of Christ in all parts of the country. In 1973, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was established, and in their different locations, Christian Corpers began to meet. Corpers serving in Lagos thought, ‘Ya kamata mu dinga saduwa don mu yabi Yesu, ko ba haka ba?’ and began to meet together as a fellowship. So did Corpers in Abia, Gongola, Bendel, Sokoto… but each chapter was unaware of the other until they began to swap NYSC tales with each other.
“Mm! Those people make us farm for them on CD days oh!”
“Oga oh! It’s not only you guys. And the weather there is so strange! See their scary forests!”
“Mm! But sha, our fellowship activities made us feel better about everything. We did a lot of community evangelism.”
“Wait! You mean you guys had a fellowship that did that too?! Amazing!”

And in 1984, NCCF, a fellowship made up of Christians of different denominations, was officially established.

What makes NCCF different from other Corps Member fellowships is Rural Rugged. And herein lies the Man of God’s prophecy:
Rural Rugged is an outreach/evangelism programme aimed at the communities in the corpers’ place of primary assignment. Every NCCF State chapter has at least two Ruggeds per Service Year.
The mode of operation differs with each State, but the aim is the same: To tell people about Jesus Christ. Last week, NCCF Zamfara had its first Rural Rugged for the year (or the last Rugged for Batch As though). The target area was Nasarawa Godel, a community in Birnin Magagi LGA. Two-and-a-half hours away from Gusau, the State capital, some say it is only N150 away from Niger Republic.

I thought that, being a Jos gal, my Otondo (NYSC khaki) jacket would suffice for the rumored cold weather there. I was extremely wrong. (Don’t take any chances next time, ‘Josite’).
Aside from the cold, it was a fantastic opportunity to SERVE.

We gave them clothes, bathed and brushed the children’s teeth (people who couldn’t stand the sight of blood vamoosed though), gave free meds to their people and livestock, did two dramas -which the children liked- and on the last night, we took the bull by the horns and showed them the Jesus film in Hausa. The Aduras (Prayer Coordinators) who had been serious at work throughout the programme were even more so during the filmshow. I think all of us prayed fervently in our hearts too. Everyone was fully aware of the fact that anything could spark a religious riot in The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, ZM. Thank God for His supervision and protection.
As ZM is a Muslim State, we didn’t do an “alter call” per se. We just asked if anyone had any “questions”. Some did, ranging from “why is Isa (Jesus) different in your own account (Bible)?” to “why do you call Isa God as well as Son of God?” But the question that had the counselors on red alert was “why did you people show us this Jesus film?” BOING BOING BOING!

Yes, Rural Rugged was great.

The community was wary of us at first, but became comfortable after a while and even gave us seven goats and a lot of sugar cane.
In our estimation, we’ve prepared the way for more Good News to the people of Nasarawa Godel, Zamfara State. And wasn’t this the best way to convey God’s message?

“Unselfish service is still acknowledged as a very powerful moral good in our societies. People in the street will listen to those whom they perceive to be unselfish, humble, genuine and caring.
Service is most effective when it comes before proclamation. Jesus served before He preached. He continued to serve after He preached. Service was the ongoing focus of His ministry and mission. All people are touched by unselfish service.”
– Adventist World, Feb. 2007

Those totally committed to NCCF will reveal to you that even NYSC’s regular Community Development Service(CDS) is their chance to let their host community know about The One True God (John 17:3).
"I slept and dreamed that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted, and behold, service was joy."
- Rabindranath Tagore

NYSC’s motto is Service and Humility.
To God. To country.