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Johnwesley, you were a blessing

Published 12:21am Wednesday, November 14, 2012

While many may have heard the name John Wesley, you might not know that he and his brother Charles are credited with being founders of the Methodist movement.

One of the things he is known for was his “open air” preaching. His reason could have been to reach more people. Perhaps, the church buildings or facilities were not large enough or maybe he wanted to reach the people where they were. After all, Christ himself went out and about preaching and teaching, not always in a synagogue.

Moving forward 300 years, John Wesley would be proud of another with his name. Johnwesley Yohanna, who is a Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria, shows the strength of faith that his namesake showed many years ago. Preaching the gospel in a country where there is a large split between Muslims and Christians cannot be an easy task.

Not only are there many who are against the Christian faith, but they also resent any type of Western influence. While in our nation we may not always agree and practice different methods of worship, we still are able to come together to worship our God.

While sitting in a facility with conditioned air, electric lighting and words to praise songs displayed on a screen, we take for granted that there are those around the world who are not as fortunate.

But while watching videos of their worship, there can be no doubt the Christians in Nigeria know their Savior and seek to praise him. We may not know the words they are singing, but the smile on their faces and their enthusiasm leave no doubt they know the source of their salvation.

Johnwesley Yohanna is definitely a God-called servant. His words and emotions leave no doubt as to his calling. While sharing with the worshippers at Hartselle First United Methodist last Sunday and interjecting “Praise God” many times during his sermon, one could easily feel he meant those words and lived them as well.

Being able to praise God in the situation that many Nigerians experience on a daily basis should give all of us more reason to be thankful for our blessings and our comfortable lives.

There is a song by Casting Crowns entitled “Praise You in This Storm,” and we can all learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ from Nigeria, that we should give praise at all times, even during the tough times. He is always with us.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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