Traveling to other countries since COVID came on the scene can be very interesting at times. I mentioned in a previous email that, in most cases, if one is not vaccinated, one has to take a COVID test to enter other countries, as well as take a COVID test to get back into this country. In May, I took a trip to Nigeria to be with Missionary Mark Holmes. I checked on the test requirements and proceeded to get the test within the proper timeframe. What I did not realize is that if you transit through countries, they may also require you to get tested, BUT the timeframe might be different than your destination country. Such was the case with transiting through Germany. As a result, I had to get a second test prior to leaving the U.S. Then Nigeria required those staying in country for more than seven days to get tested on the seventh day. That meant I had to get a third test while in Nigeria and finally had to get tested prior to arriving in the U.S. Four tests for one trip! We live in interesting days, do we not?
In spite of all the “test” hassle, the trip to Nigeria went well. The first conference was the National Soul-Winning and Leadership Conference held at Truth Baptist Church in Abuja. This conference started off with me preaching at Truth Baptist on their anniversary Sunday. There were at least 7 visitors, all of who were talked to after the service by trained soul winners. We had 35 pastors attend the conference, as well as many of their members. Many of the day sessions were well attended because so many pastors brought their members. The night sessions were packed. I preached or taught 16 times from Sunday through Thursday. In one of those services, I was honored for my service to the Nigerian pastors with a plaque given to me by Pastor Adewale Adesina, founder of The Pathfinder Foundation, a foundation established to challenge Nigerians to reach Africa with the Gospel. I love the vision this young man has for his country and for Africa.
Missionary Holmes and I flew to the city of Aba to conduct a Regional Soul-Winning and Leadership Conference, held at Faith Baptist Church. There were 18 churches represented at the conference, and I was able to teach or preach 8 times from Sunday through Tuesday. I was again surprised to receive a framed certificate, honoring me for my service to the pastors of this area. Pictured below: Receiving the plaque and certificate, teaching sessions at both conferences, and the Aba attendees and us
Upon returning to the U.S., Linda and I were able to have a short visit with our eldest daughter and her family down in Kentucky. We were also able to meet up with Linda’s only living brother for a couple of days up in Duluth, Minnesota. During the month of June, I was privileged to preach in churches in Iowa and Missouri. As a Field Service Coordinator for FBMI, I teach sessions during the yearly Candidate School and Missions University. This year the theme of the Mission’s University was “Money in the Middle,” with the emphasis on the financial side of the missionary’s life. We had a great turnout, with a combination of deputation missionaries and veteran missionaries in attendance. You can see some conference pictures at this link: https://www.fbmi.org/prayer-letters/wilson/2021-missions-university.
Please be in prayer for my upcoming trip to Brazil from August 6–17. I plan to be visiting at least five different missionaries in three locations. Pray for my health, for all my flight connections to go well, and for God’s power as I preach in some of the churches. I just want to be a blessing to these great couples who are serving in that largest South American country. Thank you for praying and supporting me in this ministry.
Missionary Evangelist James Belisle