Miraculously, we are well on our way to pulling off six Pastors’ Conferences, three youth camps, and two seminary semesters in 2021. The fourth of our scheduled Soul-Winning & Leadership Conferences was successfully held during the second weekend of July. Our assistant pastor, a deacon, and Ms. Pat Hamburg joined my whole family and Missionary Evangelist Don Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries for the second-ever SWLC in Jos. Multiple pastors and staff members came together for the preaching services, teaching sessions, and an introductory meeting to plan a full-time institute for Hausa-speaking pastors and their members in the region.
Many of our supporters continue to ask about how the worldwide talk of vaccines and restrictions is affecting Nigeria. Thankfully, there have not been any new protocols, and the only major challenges to our ministry are some lingering effects of the changes to the school schedules from last year, which impacted the attendance at our three S.M.I.T.E.s this year. We were thrilled to resume the Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism in Ogbomoso, and I was honored to preach their first graduation during the first week of August. There were 86 students registered, and 14 young people received four-year completion certificates on the last evening of the five-day camp. It was our privilege to host Missionary Evangelist Denton Bell of International World Wide Evangelism to preach at both of our Abuja churches on the weekends before and after the 7th Port Harcourt S.M.I.T.E. Bro. Bell and I traveled together to Port Harcourt, where we both preached multiple times to the 58 young people who enrolled. Evangelist Tunde Ajayi conducted a Bible Club Blitz in Ibadan with several S.M.I.T.E. graduates during the week between the two camps. I will share the totals of the camps and the blitz after the conclusion of our Abuja institute in September, which we delayed because of our building project.
Also in August, we celebrated the arrival of the first of four new missionaries, all coming fully in the next twelve months, who will work with us in some way as they get set up in Nigeria. Garan and Anneliese Patrick, serving with Baptist International Missions Incorporated, will be ministering alongside Pastor Adewale Adesina at Grace & Glory Baptist Church, while working with our college students and getting experience in various other ministries. Already, they’ve secured an apartment, purchased a vehicle, and processed necessary documents for becoming residents of Abuja.
The Truth Baptist Church property has taken on a new look, as pillars were added and a foundation was poured for the second floor of the Providence Baptist College & Seminary dormitory. Information about the project can be found at fbmi.org/mpg/holmes, and we covet your prayers, as more funds are needed for the walls and roofing. Simultaneous to that, we are continuing the development of our City of Refuge project, working towards the completion of the property fencing and a kitchen and toilet building.
Mark Holmes, written 13 September 2021