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Janet Abai (Wycliffe/SIL Nigeria) talks about faith, prayer, her journey as a believer, and growing up in Nigeria. Plus, an exciting announcement at the end of our session!

Quotables to Share:
  • Janet Abai: “So yeah, for those who do not know me, my name is Janet Abi. I am originally from West Africa. Nigeria was born and brought up in the central part of Nigeria in a small city called Joss.”
  • Janet Abai: “But my dad was the opposite. I felt like even at that young stage of life, my mom was able to instill in my siblings and I’s mind and soul the reality that there is a better father.  Although, I kind of like struggled with that because I was like, okay; at home, my mom would always teach us about, you know, the reality that we have a better father in heaven. God kind of like deepened a desire for me to go into this like research, if you will, or this path of asking questions and seeking to know him as a Father. And I remember attending this outdoor crusade, and it was after the preacher’s message that I believe they played the passion of Christ movie. And I just kind of like saw the love and the pain that that Jesus went through and yeah, I just kind of like and somehow the Holy Spirit in me connected that with the absence of my dad and, and in a way, I was like, wow, this must be the God that my mom has been talking about. So, at that point, like, I knew that something within me was like, okay, I want this love for myself. I want this God for myself.”
  • Janet Abai: “I remember really lamenting that because my neighbors, our neighbors at the time, used to have a television and they were well resourced beyond my family. But yeah, even in that kind of like lack, my mom utilized the opportunity to instill in us the value for education. She taught us how to value family and so we had each other. The value for family was deeply ingrained in us, but also the pursuit for God I remember, was like, I think growing up, like the church was like the second home, like Monday through another Monday, like we’ll always in church, like doing one thing or the other. And yeah, looking back now: Yes, it was physically under-resourced where we were mentally, and maybe spiritually well-resourced as a result.”
  • Pray For Nigeria: “I would say pray for Nigeria: Pray for peace, pray that the leaders there would have a compassionate heart, pray that the gifts and the skills that the people of Nigeria possess will be able to speak for them. So, pray that the gifts that the people and the skills of the people of Nigeria possess would be able to continue to set them apart. And I think that is true for arts and entertainment. But I also believe that there is more to be excavated, there’s more to be uncovered from that nation. There are many potentials being buried as a result of poor governance in Nigeria. I also believe that prayer can move mountains, including the mountains of corruption in Nigeria. Prayer can turn things around. Prayer can change situations around. And so, if you think about Nigeria, please pray for Nigeria. And yeah, look for the less exaggerated news as well.”
  • Janet Abai: “As a child of God, I don’t just want to end up with my computer and my paper. I want to make an impact in the world. I want to be where the people are. I want to be where the souls are. And I think in this very generation that we are a part of social media kind of like creates a platform for that.”
  • Janet Abai: “Well, this is a call for theologians. This is a call for pastors, for missionaries out there. You know, we cannot just kind of confine ourselves to, you know, just kind of like reading the Bible. We have to allow the Bible to speak for itself through our character.” 
  • Janet Abai: “I began to feel like the Lord was calling me to do something different, you know? And so, I felt like I wanted to be where the people are. Like I wanted to go to the local communities. I wanted to, you know, be with pastors and be with church leaders and be with community leaders to talk about their, you know, literacy needs as it relates to, you know, language development in Bible translation, which is kind of like the focus of Wycliffe.”
  • Janet Abai: “And so I had the financial security, but I felt like the Lord was there: ‘Well, if you really want to have the peace that I have for you, you want to see what lies ahead, then you have to lay down something.’  And I feel like this is powerful for someone. You feel like the Lord is calling you to do something today and you’re struggling, you know, between laying something down and saying yes to God. I just want to encourage you to consider asking the Holy Spirit to grant you the faith to lay that thing down. It’s not going to be easy, but it’ll be work.” 
  • Janet Abai on her livestreams: “I don’t care about the number [of followers, people watching]. I pray, Lord let this reach the person that it is meant for. And I have seen God in many ways. So yeah, it is again, because I love encouraging people and utilizing my gift.”
  • Janet Abai: “Start from the art of prayer. A prayer can do what you cannot do. Prayer can do what the government cannot do. Prayer can do what your wisdom in your knowledge cannot afford. Prayer is the key. Truly, that’s not a cliche. Prayer is the key. It opens doors, it sets you apart. It brings blessings your way. It breaks down strongholds.”


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