Preaching in Africa
Click here to weep in bliss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxhdEiKiFnc
I would just like to share with devotees some of the recent developments in our preaching in Nigeria. In March 2011, a local devotee in Lagos offered me his facility to use as a base for outreach preaching in Lagos. It is called the Hare Krishna temple, Apapa. We have a nucleus of three temples in Lagos. All working extremely harmoniously. The Apapa temple acts as the hub of my preaching activities. It is located in a prestigious area of Lagos and is a very nice property. It is not run like a traditional Ashram. Rather we have two full-time devotees taking care of the puja and services. From this property, we are organising our outreach projects. We have house programs in different householders homes in the evenings, we do food for life 3 days a week, we have charitable activities in other parts of the country, (we sponsor eye cataract operations, we have bore holes giving free water to the villagers), and we emphasize youth development.
We have festivals on the property every 3 to 4 months. Each festival gets between two to three hundred people, but also, the festivals go
out to about 10 million people on T.V. We started off with a Janmasthami program that went out on T.V. to over 10 million people.
We followed up our Janmasthami program with a youth camp. The youth camp was held at the end of December for 30 children, and on the 1st of January, 2012 we had another festival. The new year's day festival was so popular with the Nigerian T.V. stations that they continued playing clips of it for many weeks after the event. Excerpts of the two festivals that were held in the Apapa temple, a glimpse of our Radha Govinda Temple and our farm community can be seen in the following youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxhdEiKiFnc
The second temple in Lagos is called the Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math in
Kiri-Kiri. There are more than 30 devotees living in the community.
The property consists of a temple room that can easily accomodate 200
devotees and there are 8 flats on the property, which is on an acre of
land. The presiding Deities are Sri Sri Radha Govinda. This temple is
in a ghetto, but the grounds are very peaceful and beautiful. The
devotees have a very beautiful program and the prerequisite for living
in the community is that you have to get up every morning for mangal
arati and the morning program before going to work. Each family pays a
monthly ammount towards the maintenance of the temple and Deity seva.
This temple is a very important part of our preaching activities
because of our focus on the youth in this community. We are starting
up a cultural troupe with the kids, (their first public performance
was on New Year's day 2012).
The following you tube video was done when we had our Janmasthami
festival at the Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math.
The third temple is on the outskirts of Lagos, just past an area
called Lekki. It is the most popular area in Lagos right now. It is by
the ocean and is the most rapidly developing area in Lagos. In the
midst of all this development, there are some agricultural areas were
construction is restricted. In one of these areas we have a group of
20 devotees who farm that land. The owner of the property was once a
practising devotee until his father gave him an ultimatum. "Give up
Krsna consciousness or give up your right to your inheritence",
he gave up Krsna consciousness. But before he did that, he had a small temple built on the property and had converted some of his workers into devotees. Those workers took initiation from Tirtha Maharaja in October. They are getting up every morning for mangal arati at 4.30am before they go to farm. They are still worshipping in the temple built by their boss. For me,this is the nicest place. You just have to watch out for the snakes.
We also do social work in the remote parts of Nigeria. For the last
three years we have sponsored eye cataract operations. Here are
youtube videos of the last two eye camps.
Our immediate focus will be training the youth in various art and
cultural forms. We will have them enrolled in dance, music and
Practically all of the African children that took part in the youth
camp and festivals are devotees from birth. For the most part, their
parents are struggling financially. We have one girl that is 13 years
old, but will be going to University next year, but her parents do not
even have the money for her to take her examinations in high school
what to speak of enrolling in University. We have another girl that is
an expert dancer. She has never had any training. We want to enroll
her in African and Indian dance schools. We have many children like
this. If anybody would like to sponsor any of these children, please