“Due to the meeting of our executive committee meeting here in Abuja, I have now had the privilege of enjoying African hospitality already for 10 days,” he said. “And I cannot express how moved and impressed I am with the generosity, the friendship, the cordiality and, above all, the great spiritual inspiration we have experienced from our host churches here in Nigeria.”
Bedford-Strohm also reflected about learning what Nigerians have to struggle with, including poverty, corruption, and violence. “Where can be sources of hope in so much despair?!” he asked. “For me, ecumenical gatherings like our executive committee meeting last week and now the All Africa Conference of Churches are such sources of hope.”
We trust that this suffering is not the last word, said Bedford-Strohm. “The last word is resurrection,” he said. “The last words are justice, reconciliation, and unity.”
Ecumenical bodies have different opinions, struggles, and even divisions, he concluded.
“But the love of Christ is stronger, so that we listen to each other, we bear with each other, we pray with each other and for each other, and we act with each other,” he said. “Let us always strive towards being what we are called to be: salt of the earth and light of the world.”