A Tale of Three Bobs

Written by | August, 2014
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From the Field August 11, 2014

One of the beginning students at our Lutheran Bible Institute in Nigeria in 1987 was Ndua Bob. He had been our preacher at a preaching station on a hillside village on the outskirts of the large city of Calabar. The little congregation there tried to put up walls for a cement block church on land they had permission to use. Each day they would lay blocks, and each night some would come and break the walls down. This happened for a while until finally our people gave up trying to build. I encouraged Ndua, who was married with children, to come to Efa to our institute for training. He did and was located in a hut just a few hundred yards from our house. One day when he was sweeping out his hut a crazy man entered the hut with a machete. When Ndua told him to leave, the crazy man whacked at Ndua and nearly severed part of his hand off. Godwin took Ndua into the hospital at Etinan and they sewed his hand back on. The trip was interrupted several times with Ndua feinting and falling off the motorcycle. Ndua was one of those men who attended the five year study faithfully and graduated. There were times in class when I would see him sweating profusely from malaria and tell him to go home and lay down. After serving several congregations he contracted some disease that caused his body to swell up.(In Nigeria diseases just happened. One did not know what it was but endured it.) Not long after this was healed he went to be with the Lord having served faithfully. His earthly remains were buried on January 26, 2002 to await the resurrection.

Ndua had a brother named Bassey Bob. Bassey was very gifted in English and could study well when he enrolled at the institute. His wife never joined the NCLC. Unfortunately, we had to tell Bassey that he would have to withdraw from the institute because he was failing his classes. I liked Bassey and would see him periodically after that.

While both of those Bobs were at the institute, we got to know a third and older brother also named Bob. He had a fine house in his home village, and we started to have services there. We tried for some time sending a preacher there, but had very few visitors. I know that people would say they would not worship in a home, but that it had to be in a ‘church building’. There was though another reason why we did not garner a little congregation there. Some time after we stopped sending a preacher there we heard that this Bob was the leader of a gang of thieves. One night the villagers caught him in the act. Justice was dispensed rather quickly with acid being poured down his throat.

With all this as a backdrop we need to thank our Lord for Ndua Bob’s time in preaching the Word in the five villages where he served.