[ACNS] An electrical fault is the suspected cause of a blaze which destroyed the education secretariat of the Diocese of Gboko in Nigeria last Friday. The neighbouring office of the bishop was undamaged. A service, which was underway in the nearby St Mark’s Cathedral, continued as nearby people tackled the fire.
“During the course of the service, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria interrupted the power supply,” diocesan communications officer Martin Yar Anger said. “In a matter of minutes, light resumed - then bulbs began to blast both in the vicarage, church hall and offices. Perhaps the office also caught fire from the high voltage. What would have happened? We could not fathom” he added.
“At about five minutes after the blasting of bulbs and sparkling, while the second Bible reading was being taken, a lady who had attended the [earlier] service stood close to the church building shouting and pointing Fire! Fire! At first, we thought it was a vehicle that caught fire. But when we came out, behold the office was on fire.”
Mr Yar Anger said that the preacher in the service continued his sermon, on the theme “fear not” from Luke 2:10. “He stated that many times the devil brings about difficult trials and temptations just for one to conclude it is over. It’s not over, fear not because the Lord God is by your side.”
Commenting on the fire, the Bishop of Gboko, Emmanuel Nyitsse, said that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail; the Lord will build His Church, and the later glory will be greater than the former”.
Bishop Nyitsse thanked those who worked to put out the fire and encouraged them to “continue to look unto God and be bold to encounter such trials of faith whenever they come our way.” He has appealed to Christians, churches, the government and supporters of education to “come to the aid of the diocese to rebuild a befitting education secretariat to the glory of God.”