I was a teenager when my dad accepted Christ, and although he didn’t know how to explain salvation, he made sure I read the Bible.
It was through the Word of God that I learned of my need of salvation, and at the age of sixteen, I accepted Christ.
Immediately afterward, I asked God to show me what church He wanted me to attend, and a few days later, a man from Wayside Baptist Church of Ridgeway, Virginia, knocked on my door and told me that if I wanted to go to church, a bus would come by and pick me up.
I began riding the bus to church, where I followed the Lord in baptism and was first trained to be a soul winner.
Five months later, our youth group attended Youth Conference at the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, where I was called into full-time Christian service during an invitation given by Dr. Jack Hyles.
I enrolled in Hyles-Anderson College in the fall of 2000 and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in missions in January of 2005.
Sandra grew up in Germany in the home of a missionary. It was after a Missions Conference one evening that her dad led her to Christ. She later followed the Lord in believer’s baptism, and as a teenager, she surrendered to full-time Christian service.
I first met Sandra when I went to help two of my coworkers move, not knowing that they would be my future brother- and sister-in-law, as Sandra made the 3½-hour drive to help also. God used that to introduce us to each other, and at a stage in our courtship, as we are still courting, we got married.
We both have experience in the bus ministry, teaching Sunday school, and soul winning. Sandra has experience teaching in a Christian school.
I’ve had the desire to go to the mission field for years, and when God confirmed with me that it was time, we sold what we could (house, vehicles, etc.) to finance a three-month survey trip/internship to Nigeria, working with veteran missionary, David Maskey.
David Maskey has been a missionary to Nigeria since July of 1994, and we are raising support to return to Nigeria to work alongside him for a brief period before starting our own independent work, which would be a soul-winning, discipleship, and church-planting ministry.
The day after we arrived in country was the 28th anniversary of Port Harcourt Independent Baptist Church, and they had…
817 in attendance.
170 first-time visitors.
60 people saved.
The Nigerian people are wide open to the Gospel, and everywhere we went, they were asking for missionaries.
We are looking forward to returning to Nigeria so we can continue to reach the people with the Gospel, as well as disciple them.
Our last scheduled meeting in August was at Maranatha Baptist Church of Bethany, Oklahoma, for their annual Missions Conference. I met Mike on Thursday morning while soul winning in the area with Caleb, a member of the church. Mike appeared to be a young man in his twenties and was in the passenger seat of a car in the parking lot of an apartment complex, waiting for someone. I was able to lead him to Christ while Caleb talked with the occupants of the apartment. Unfortunately, before I could go over discipleship information, the driver came back and peeled out of the parking lot. Our family tried going back on Saturday but could not locate Mike; however, the occupant of the apartment, Torah, said she was interested in attending the church. Please pray for Mike’s spiritual growth and for Torah.
My wife met Rick while soul winning in the same area with Caleb’s daughters. Sandra didn’t have the opportunity to witness to Rick; however, he did express an interest in riding the bus to church. Sandra and I followed up with him on Saturday, and I was able to lead him to Christ. Rick is 65 and retired; he lives alone, as his wife passed away 18 months ago after battling cancer. Although Rick did not end up riding the bus on Sunday, he did promise to come soon and probably bring his brother Ray. Please pray for Rick to follow through with this.
Lee is 22 and attends another Baptist church in the area; however, he didn’t think anyone could know for sure they would go to Heaven. I was able to show him from the Bible that he could know, and he accepted Christ. The church he usually attends had an event that he was going to go to with family; however, he said he would visit Maranatha soon.
Aeryel is a 26-year-old mom who answered the door with her two-year-old daughter. Aeryel was very receptive to the Gospel and accepted Christ. All six in our family rode the bus on Sunday, and we picked up Aeryel, along with her three children Zamaya (age five), Zamarra (age two), and Glaniah (age eight months). Areyel got baptized and was introduced to Pastor Domelle.
We ended the month at our home church of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, for our Commissioning Service.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support,
Jeremy, Sandra, Carina, Barrett, Henry, & Alex Barker
Some of the ladies of First Baptist Church are praying over Sandra at our FBMI Commissioning Service.
Some of the men of First Baptist Church are praying over me at our Commissioning Service.
With Pastor Allen Domelle of Maranatha Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma
With Pastor John Wilkerson and FBMI Director Mark Bosje at our Commissioning Service
Our entire family rode the bus to church with Aeryel, Zamaya, Zamarra, and Glaniah