January especially seemed like a whirlwind as we cared for details regarding immigration into Nigeria and settling into our new house and ministry here. We are all trying to adjust to everything here; i.e., climate, food, culture, etc. To give some perspective on just the climate, when we left the U.S. from Boston, it was about 20 degrees, and now in Abuja, it gets up to about 100 degrees most days. If it gets down to 70 degrees, I think it has gotten really cool. Of course, hearing how cold and snowy it is for many of you in the States, I’m not sure I would want to trade places. On the food front, Emily and I have both been surprised by how many of the meals we are accustomed to use sour cream, which you cannot really find here. Honestly, though, we see these things as a privilege to go through and are small compared to the honor and the duty of bringing the Gospel to those here in Nigeria.
At the end of January, I had a fantastic opportunity to travel to Lokoja, a city about three hours south of us, to help Independent Baptist Church start a Bible institute. We hope to help many other churches start Bible institutes, as it is such an incredible tool for a church to train both church workers and pastors. We pray this will help with church multiplication in Nigeria, as people will be trained to start churches all over Nigeria.
We honestly weren’t sure how starting this institute would go, as Lokoja is known among Baptist churches in Nigeria for being a hard place to minister and see people saved. A couple of Nigerian men from our church and I worked with the pastor for five days of soul winning, preaching in schools, showing the Jesus Film in neighborhoods, and preaching in the church services, culminating in starting the Bible institute. I praise God that through all of our work and efforts, He blessed. We saw over 20 people get saved and 6 people join the first class of the Bible institute, which is a great thing because we did not know if anyone was going to come at all. We praise God that this institute is now up and running, and we pray that it will continue to grow.
One thing is continually before our eyes as we minister here: the fields are so white already to harvest. Please pray with us that God will send us more laborers in Nigeria and that we will see a great harvest of souls.
That all the world may know,