• Organisation holds forum in Lagos, canvasses support from churches, others
By Gloria Ikegbule
In the 70s and 90s, the term, S.U., was a very popular sarcastic appellation for born-again men and women, owing to their high moral and religious standards presumably influenced by the Scripture Union. Today, the organisation seems to be inactive.
But recently, at the 2016 Ministers/Supporters Forum in Lagos, the Scripture Union, Lagos Area, refuted this. The organisation reeled out how its members made so much impact among the Nigerian youth in 2015 and called for more support.
The Scripture Union is a non-denominational Christian organisation, which began in the United Kingdom in 1867. With headquarters in Ibadan, the organisation has spread through the country, especially the southern part with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mrs. Nike Adesina, wife of Pastor Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, is one of the products of the Scripture Union. She joined the S.U. during her secondary school days. And, according to her husband, the training given to her by the Scripture Union makes her a delightful wife to her husband.
“Some people still ask, Scripture Union, are they still here? I will never ask such question because one lives in my house – my wife. She is the pillar of our house and this is very clear to me and my children.
“In my 25 years of marriage, I have never regretted marrying my wife – a product of the Scripture Union. I appreciate her and the tremendous impact the training has on her. If Scripture Union can have this positive effect on her, it can do same on any Nigerian youth. This is the more reason I will do my best to support the organisation,” Adesina said.
The primary focus of the Scripture Union is evangelising and nurturing children and young adults into well-rounded adults, it was gathered. And the Lagos Area of the Scripture Union Nigeria said it had remained consistent with this mission, devoting great resources to capacity building of present and future leaders, and transforming them with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But the area chairman, Pastor Olalekan Arebede, said the organisation had not done enough, considering the population of youths and children in the country. He was optimistic, however, that the body had the capacity to be more impactful.
The Travelling Secretary, Kingsley Ibekwe, said in 2015, the Scripture Union, Lagos Area, took its mission work to 16 primary schools, using morning devotion and various club activities to groom children to healthy adults. Fifty new school groups were established, even as 11 new children bible clubs were opened.
“Also, 630 children are currently undergoing discipleship programmes in 36 children clubs; 770 children participated in the camping held in ten centres; 452 children participated in the children outreach held at zonal levels and 261 schools are currently under their mission coverage,” he said.
The reporter gathered that the Lagos Area also engaged in school rallies, youth camping, distribution of Holy Bibles and bible study outlines, training of volunteers and others.
Kingsley Ibekwe noted: “Our testimony in all of these is that many lives have been transformed through the school ministry. Nonetheless, the challenges have been both financial and material. We lack adequate manpower, hostels for youth camping and we spent about N8.5 million in our 2015 long vacation children/youth camp, which had 492 converts.”
He called on well-meaning Nigerians, ministers of the gospel and churches to partner with the Scripture Union to enable it achieve its aims for the spread of the gospel.
Dignitaries at the event include Olalekan Arebede, Lagos Area chairman; Pastor and Mrs. Femi Adesina, St. Mark Osang, Regional Co-ordinator, Mrs. Bisola Toriola, Bro. Austin Nwaonu and Very Rev. Isuchukwu Chukwudebelu, Presbyter, Assemblies of God Church, Apapa District. Even though they did not disclose their financial commitments to the organisation, they all encouraged Nigerians, especially churches and ministers of the gospel, to support the Scripture Union for greater impact in 2016.