Called to Witness Nigeria

Called to Witness in Nigeria

In April, the 2008 Called to Witness group will travel to Nigeria to see Catholic Relief Services responding to poverty and fostering peace. Check back in the weeks ahead for postings to our travelogue, telling the story of our journey and pilgrimage to Nigeria. If you are interested in learning more about Called to Witness visit the Called to Witness homepage.

Called to Witness participants pose with religious leaders from the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in Abuja (April 17).Called to Witness participants pose with religious leaders from the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in Abuja (April 17).

Our first entry in the travelogue is written by Sue Versluys, from the Diocese of Rochester.

Graced with Hospitality

After spending a day in London and a 6-hour flight to Nigeria, the Called to Witness team departed the plane upon its arrival at 4:30am. We were greeted by CRS staff who helped us negotiate customs, luggage and our first morning in Nigeria. We are staying in Abuja, the capital city, for one day and then travel to Jos on Friday.

After a short morning rest, we met with CRS staff at the CRS/Nigeria office. The staff, who was most welcoming and hospitable, provided a security briefing and an overview of the CRS programming throughout the country.

In the late afternoon, we traveled to the office of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) where we met Rev. Fr. Peter Okonkioo CMF, director of Pastoral Agents CSN and Deputy Secretary General and Director of Pastoral Affairs, Rev. Fr. Louis Odudu. Sister Benedin shared her story as General Administrator. We toured the offices of the CSN, then met with some youth ministry folks who were debriefing their first National Youth Day Abuja 2000 for which nearly 6000 young adults (or as they say in Nigeria, “youth”) attended.

After a busy day and late dinner consisting of pounded yam, various soups, stews and salads, we collapsed for a good night’s sleep. As the day neared an end, we can all be grateful for the graceful hospitality and care with which we were welcomed.

– Sue Versluys

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