The weekend of Friday to Sunday, November 9-11, 2018 was a special one for the 2,623 delegates who gathered at Lekki Assembly Hall for the 2018 Regional Convention. The programme was held in Pidgin West Africa, being the version of Pidgin English common to Anglophone West Africa.
The programme featured a six-part symposium on Friday, which highlighted 6 factors that could erode courage today namely; hopelessness, complaining attitude, improper entertainment, bad friends, worldly wisdom and doubts. To cope with life’s challenges and develop courage, the attendees were encouraged to have God-given hope based on the Bible’s promises, be thankful for all that Jehovah God has provided and is still providing, engage more in preaching the good news of the kingdom, select and associate with good friends, cultivate godly wisdom and have faith based on the Bible.
The Saturday programme was based on Phil 1:14. The day’s programme featured 4 symposia. The first focused on how married couples can manifest courage in the talk “Be a Courageous Marriage Mate”. This talk focused on how to enjoy happy family life and have a successful marriage despite health and socio-economic challenges confronting modern families. The speaker highlighted key scriptural points which if applied would make our families and marriages work.
A video clip of a woman that showed much courage when her once healthy husband unexpectedly became sick and developed stroke was presented. The courageous woman never abandoned her husband but stuck to him, showing him love and nursing him in line with God’s view of marriage. The speaker also admonished married couples to be quick in settling marital difficulties using Bible principles and realising that we can never have a perfect marriage among imperfect humans.
The delegates were also thrilled to know that they can learn courage from the things Jehovah has made. By means of a five-part symposium, it was revealed how Lions, Horses, the Mongoose; Hummingbirds and Elephants all demonstrate courage in their unique ways. Short video clips accompanied each presentation and at the end vital lessons were learnt.
The last symposium on Saturday instilled courage in the delegates as it showed how fellow Witnesses in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and the South America are enduring various trials and challenges with courage. The experiences of witnesses in these continents were indeed faith strengthening. The Saturday programme included the baptism talk delivered by Mr. Enwere Glory. Twenty-four new disciples made up of 11 males and 13 females were baptised. The oldest was 58 years while the youngest was 11 years old. The 7-part symposium on Sunday morning entitled: “Future Events that Will Require Courage” prepared the delegates for future challenges.
One of the highlights of the convention was the Public talk entitled: “The Resurrection Hope Imparts Courage – How? The speaker, Mr. Benson Onororemu, stated that death is perhaps the most devastating challenge facing man, which leaves mankind distraught and hopeless. Conflicting teachings about the condition of the dead and their hope have left man frustrated. He however explained that God’s word the Bible provides clear answers, comfort and hope. First, he used Ecclesiastes 9:5 to explain that dead persons are unconscious, do not know anything and can neither help nor harm us. Mr Onororemu explained further that the scriptural hope for our dead loved ones is the resurrection. (John 5:28, 29) He explained that the resurrection is in two parts. First, a few humans shall be resurrected to heaven to rule as kings with Jesus Christ and second will be resurrection to earth made into a paradise. (PS 37:9-11). He encouraged all to trust in Jehovah’s ability to resurrect our dead loved ones and not to fear Satan.
The Sunday programme also featured a 50-minute movie entitled: The Story of Jonah – A Lesson in Courage and Mercy, based on the biblical account of Jonah. The movie encouraged the delegates to overcome their fears and inhibitions and courageously do the will of God.
Three more conventions are scheduled for Lekki in English and French languages between the weekends of November 16 and December 9. Other convention locations and dates around Nigeria may be assessed at jw.org.