After a relaxing Christmas holiday, the year started busily and victoriously, as we quickly realized that this would be a historic semester for our full-time ministry-training school. Providence Baptist College & Seminary welcomed a record 13 new students for a total enrollment of 40 for the first time ever. Our part-time ministry training school also broke new ground by having 3 of our new missionaries teaching classes, both on Saturday afternoons and Sunday evenings. We are keeping the regular Truth Baptist Church evening service schedule and making space for discipleship meetings and Temple Baptist Institute courses.
January 22 was a highlight for our ministry, as the second floor of our dormitory was dedicated with prayer and a special service, where my missionary mentor, Ron Gensaw, gave a testimony. Humanly speaking, we would not have the property or the church without the guidance of the one who first welcomed my family to Nigeria in 2005, and it was a privilege to host him for the first time in 14 years.
As has been the case over the last several years, any two-month period is filled with travels and conferences. I was able to take Brian with me on a trip to Enugu in January to visit three different ministries and intervene in a church that needed help. A special Missions Sunday and Stewardship Banquet was held at Grace & Glory Baptist Church on the last Sunday of January. Next, Missionary Evangelists Jim Belisle from FBMI and Don Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries joined with me to conduct a Pastors’ & Workers’ Conference in Ogbomoso and a Soul Winning & Leadership Conference in Jos during the first two weeks of February. Other visitors included an intern from Vision Baptist Missions and the parents and sisters of Mrs. Olivia Young, who has been serving here with her husband since August of last year.
A final high point for the first two months of 2023 was the start of a new ministry inspired by the co-pastor of Grace & Glory Baptist Church, Adewale Adesina. Three missions-themed Youth Conferences, under the tagline of “Who Will Go?,” have been planned in different regions of Nigeria. Special features of each youth meeting are mission-themed sermons and lessons from our new missionaries, forums with those interested in missions, and follow-up to guide potential future missionaries through the process of training and launching. Please pray for the long-term effects of these conferences and also for our country, as we are entering a potentially tense election season.
Mark Holmes, written 12 March 2023