At the beginning of September, I got the chance to close out our three weeks of youth camps by conducting the SMITE graduation in Nigeria’s southeast. In total, the Student Missions Institutes for Training in Evangelism, held in Ogbomoso, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, welcomed nearly 500 campers from over 100 churches and enrolled more than 3,800 children to hear the Gospel in 5-day Bible Clubs. Outside of Nigeria, in addition to the camps already being held in Kenya for the last 3 years and Ghana, which held its first graduation this year, our ministry is scheduled to start a new SMITE each year. Uganda began this year in September, and SMITE New England will be held in July of next year in Connecticut; Tanzania is our new camp for 2025 (technically in December of next year), and plans are underway to partner with FBMI’s Team Thailand for a Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism in 2026. Evangelist Ajayi and Pastor Adewale successfully started the work in Uganda, with 68 registered students representing 14 churches; they enrolled more than 1,200 people in 10 Bible Clubs and saw over 600 saved.
Also in September, for the third time ever, our mission board conducted a Missions Mastermind, this time in Istanbul, Turkey. Mastermind gathers FBMI’s staff members and missionaries from around the world in a forum designed as an exchange of ideas and strategies for a better fulfillment of the Great Commission. This time, it was a joy to attend with Sabrina, do some sightseeing and souvenir shopping, and have the chance to see firsthand the work that some of our missionaries are doing in a difficult part of the world.
In October, my family had the great privilege of traveling to Thailand to introduce child evangelism for missionaries working with our mission board’s team. We did 3 days of training for about 30 people; then 2 churches conducted 5 Bible Clubs the next week. The trip was truly one of the favorite things I have ever done in ministry because my entire family was involved in the training. I did the teaching sessions, Sabrina demonstrated the Bible Club lessons, Victoria gave the Wordless Book demonstrations, and Brian taught a missionary story each day. The remaining time was filled with sightseeing, visiting both churches, enjoying family time, and fellowshipping with missionary friends.
Church highlights for the two months included hosting our mission-board president and his wife for a Ladies’ Conference and church revival meeting. Dr. & Mrs. Mark Bosje visited with the families working together here, ministered in both churches, and gave us plenty of opportunities for fellowship. During the Spirit Renewal Meeting, we hosted an open house for the seminary students and area pastors, and we held a second-ever training seminar for pastors and workers involved in our outreach to prisons. Lastly, our fourth and fifth times to have an attendance of over 400 in just the last 5 months at Truth Baptist came courtesy of the ordination of a new deacon and also a Sunday when we invited the parents of our academy students.