At the time of writing this, I have been in Nigeria for almost a week.  My time here defies a simple description or even a simple narrative.  Experiences are intensified by the extreme emotions one feels in a place like this:

  • The encouragement I felt at meeting people with whom I share a common faith, if not a common culture.
  • Experiencing their irrepressible joy amidst hardship and persecution will remain with me forever. These are Christians whose churches, homes, families and friends have been bombed, burned, and machine-gunned.  And yet, optimism prevails with them where self-pity and a spirit of defeat might rule a lesser people.
  • Encountering a priesthood who are committed to their calling and prepared to serve and sacrifice for the sake of what the Apostle Paul calls “the household of faith.”
Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to USA TODAYFox NewsFirst ThingsThe AtlanticCNN, and The American Spectator.  In addition to being a frequent radio and television guest, he is also the author of The Grace  Effect and The Gospel Coalition Arts and Culture Book of the Year, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. You can subscribe to his blog at