Nigeria: Happiness Amidst Heartache!

The two weeks spent here in Lagos, Nigeria have passed so very rapidly as my days are filled with consultation and assisting the Provost and administration at West Africa Biblical Seminary (WATS). I am staying in a guest house provided by WATS and walk to and from campus in the morning, at lunch time, and then in the evening.

The walk takes me down Osobola Avenue for about one-quarter mile. Fortunately, it has not rained one single day during my time of trekking! Also, fortunately, the walk takes me by the homes filled with children! Lots of children. And HAPPY children, at that.

For example, last week a group of seven boys and girls, all siblings, came up to me to give greetings and to touch my white skin! When they saw that I had a camera in my iPhone, they begged, “Snap us, snap us!”

My photographic propensity kicked in and a photo session ensued. I then turned the camera to video mode and asked, “Can you sing for me?”

You can hear their answer! Spontaneously, they broke out in song, without any consultation. One youngster started to sing, “Happy birthday. . .” He was immediately interrupted with the older ones leading, “If You’re Happy and You Know It!”

An amazing moment! You can see parts of the street–not paved and cleanly swept. Not a lot of luxury and comfort along Osobola Avenue. By American standards, not much to make children happy. I don’t see any electronic games on the Playstation! Sticks and improvised toys obviously capture the imagination of these dear children.

They’re happy. They know it! And they were proud to let others in on their secret.

Here’s a question for consideration and discussion: What makes for real happiness? What makes for happiness in the midst of the heartache caused by such social turmoil as Boka Horam?

Gotta get to the auditorium for a meeting with the administration and staff. Will watch for your comments.


4 Responses

  1. Pastor Withrow August 19, 2011 / 5:17 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing! It is a joy and true refreshing to see the life, happiness, and joy these children have! May God grant them a life of happiness. May God bless you and your ministry while in Nigeria!

  2. Ray Easley August 19, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    Aaron, thanks for your note of blessing. Seeing your comment brings to mind the trip you, Annette, I, Tom Skyles, and a couple other folk took to Ecuador in January 2005. Hard to believe that six plus years have sped past!

    Come on over to Nigeria and serve! WATS can use the help! Seriously.

  3. Ray Easley August 19, 2011 / 5:59 pm

    A Caveat! The title of this posting, “Nigeria: A Happy Land,” doesn’t tell the entire story. Happiness does not pervade ever sector of the country. I am not THAT naive! A host of other adjectives could appropriately come before the word “Land” and provide a fitting description of this, the largest nation on the African continent. Maybe I’ll post another commentary outlining one of those adjectives. Maybe!

  4. Dori August 20, 2011 / 2:33 am

    LOVE those sweet voices.

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