As a teenager I always tried to hide when missionaries spoke during worship. I thought maybe I could become invisible to the Holy Spirit if I sat quietly in the back. Ha! A few years ago, I developed a teaching ministry to reach Black millennials and all people who were looking for a culturally relevant faith, this ministry was rooted in uncovering the central role Africa and her people played in Abba’s plan of salvation for all humanity. As I began to research Africa and the scriptures I came across prophecies and research about The Lost Tribes of Israel and how many of these tribes could be found in Africa. While on a trip to Israel I received an invitation to teach scripture and women’s empowerment to Igbo women who were a part of a Messianic ministry in Nigeria. The Igbo people claim descendant from the Biblical tribe of Gad and there are countless academic articles, books and even a documentary about this history. I was honored and though nervous and feeling very ill equipped I accepted the invitation. My first trip to Nigeria, Ghana and Togo began a faith stretching journey of being one of the few African-American women researching and visiting Lost Tribe communities in Africa.
Growing up in inner-city Brooklyn after experiencing homelessness and foster care I never dreamed that I would travel, teach and write about the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in Africa. At the age of 10, though totally unchurched I was led by the Spirit to pray and read the Bible morning, noon and night and at 14 years old I accepted Yeshua as my redeemer. Often, when we began walking with Abba he takes us on journeys that exceed whatever we could ask or think.
Often, when we began walking with Abba he takes us on journeys that exceed whatever we could ask or think.
As an African-American who has maternal ancestors that were taken from Nigeria into the slave trade I was welcomed back with village wide celebration hosted by a local King in one of the Igbo villages that lost the most people to the slave trade. I was embraced as a sister returning home and even prayed for by a King who is a believer and has a heart for the healing of his African-American brothers and sisters. As I visited the Sefwi Jews of Ghana and learned of this community’s story I was deeply humbled by the knowledge that though man may lose people and we may lose ourselves Abba never loses one of his children. Throughout history ministers, Christians, Jews and explorers have searched for the Lost Tribes of Israel because according to scripture the return of these tribes is a prophetic marker that the Kingdom is at hand.
I do not think of my travels as traditional missionary work but I think of my travels as helping to unite family back together. Over the years I have learned a great deal about the amazing love of Abba and how he never stops pursuing his children. I have learned patience and how being outside of your comfort zone develops character. Growing up I have felt the sting of being lost, disconnected and even forgotten just as many of the Lost Tribe communities in Africa have felt but I have also felt the joy of being found, reconnected and remembered by the God of the orphan and by a Messiah who searches for the Lost Sheep. This is the story of The Good News that no matter how lost we become we can always be found.
Mail to Oneilove Chika Alston