Today's Delivery by Wil Triggs

The first thing to do is pray. Every time. The beginning of every delivery is taking the time to pray.

Luka tells me that this is what he does whenever he gets into the truck. It’s not just the possibility of engine trouble. Between Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen, this is not a safe part of the world in which to deliver Christian books to pastors. He is especially involved in getting theological books to pastors, teachers and students of theology.

But this is part of his calling. This is what God wants him to do. So, this is what he wants to do with this day, a few hours in his life.

Into the truck he goes. The prayer goes up to God. The key goes into the ignition. His foot presses down on the gas.

In the village where he grew up, there was a church, his church. And there was his home. These were the places where he first learned that Jesus loved him. I use the past tense on purpose, and not because Luka has moved on from the village and his childhood home or the church in which he grew up.

I use the past tense because in recent years, his church was burned to the ground. His mother fled their home and lived in the bush for months before returning. She’s back, but her body and her mind are still recovering. The church is rebuilding.

This is not the first or second or third world. This is Nigeria. A little of each of those worlds all rolled into one place. Like and unlike any other place on earth. So, Luka perseveres.

There was a time he recalls when the traffic was stopped on the road. That’s happened to all of us. It could be road work, a traffic accident, someone’s car having trouble. But for Luka, there are other options. He couldn’t see ahead enough to tell what was going on. On this day, he sensed danger. Something made him park the truck, lock up and get away.

This is not something he would normally do. Luka is not a small man, big enough to stand up to the hassles of traveling to and from rural areas. Not this time. He had to leave everything behind and get away.

Only later did he hear of the violence that lay ahead on that road.

God protected him. He returned safely later in the day and drove away, his delivery delayed but safely made.

What can we do so far away, and essentially, far removed from violence and persecution? The first thing to do is pray. Every time. But how? Especially when the many little and big details of his ministry are unknown to us.

One thing I do know is that there are Bibles and Christian books across Nigeria because of the work of this man and the publishing house, ACTS, he works for. And I know other people who take the same risks as Luka; then there are the many others who are not known. What can we do for Luka and them?

The first thing to do is pray. Every time.

I admire the joy Luka expresses on social media. Often, he will post photos of beautiful flowers or friends. His perspective is not one focused on hardship, but on beauty and truth and the great love of God.

As I’m writing this, though, I message him to ask how we might best pray for him.

He replied right away…

"We need peace. More and more pastors are targeted, kidnapped and later killed. Churches are living in fear, especially pastors. There are different levels of crime mostly targeted at Christians and those sympathetic with the church. Pray for leaders who are bold enough to condemn these activities from the Fulani herdsmen. Pray that they know the love of Christ.

“Pray for ACTS as we dedicate a one-volume Hausa Bible commentary August 17 (today!). This is the singular most important tool that pastors and evangelists can use to be effective to reach these unreached groups in the north of Nigeria, Niger republic and Sudan.

“Pray for our staff as we will be moving to distribute this commentary to churches and mission centres through these dangerous zones. Pray against the attack of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Pray that God will use it to reduce these senseless killings.

“Pray for my parents in the northeastern part of the country, for Nigeria and for my church EYN—Church of the Brethren. Greetings to the family members and the church. Thanks a million.”

When you get in your car today, the first thing to do is pray. Every time.

Pray for where God is taking you, pray about the people you will meet. Perhaps you will be making a delivery of good news to someone. Be ready and watchful.

And join me in praying for Luka and the Christians of Nigeria.