Mark and Sabrina Holmes Prayer Letter: New Missionaries and New TravelsWe were truly privileged to help three new missionaries adjust to living and serving in Nigeria last year. In 2022, the Lord is adding a fourth couple, this time from Vision Baptist Missions. Graham and Olivia Young, along with their Africa field director, took their survey trip in early March, and they are planning to move here fully in July. They have been blessed during their deputation process, and we are thrilled about having them here soon to begin working with us.

Our independent Baptist movement in Nigeria has an interesting history, in that, the first churches in the late 70s and early 80s were planted by Nigerians who trained in American Christian colleges, raised their support in the U.S., and returned to their home country to eventually become “patriarchs” for dozens of missionaries and pastors who would follow their lead. Over the years, God has given me the privilege to befriend, serve with, and be influenced by these seven founders in various ways. In the middle of March, I was given the high honor of being the funeral service preacher for Dr. David Jacobs, who ended his 80 years on earth in January and left behind four strong churches, numerous graduates who were mentored by his teaching, and a wonderful family with five children. Even though he had already been serving here for 25 years before our arrival, Dr. Jacobs greatly entreated me with opportunities to preach his first church’s anniversary service, to train one of his preachers at our college, and to join us for a recent seminary commencement. He was truly “apt to teach,” and I join others who will miss his great spirit and inspiration.

In early April, both churches in which our family are involved honored us with special services for Joseph. In anticipation of us bringing him back to the U.S. for college, our deacons and pastors had a “send-off” prayer over our firstborn at the end of the morning services on the first two Sundays. Joseph was showered with gifts and well wishes, and our whole family felt truly loved by our members. On April 12, our family departed Nigeria for a four-month furlough. We will attend three graduations in May, and much of June and July will be spent visiting family and helping Joseph settle in for life in America. For now, his plans are to live with Sabrina’s mom and attend a local community college in the fall.

Believing God,

Mark Holmes
Written 12 May 2022