This letter is being written as I am wrapping up our 10th missions conference in as many weeks. My family has traveled north to Michigan twice, flown west to California, and driven east to Durham, North Carolina. I am now in Brownsville, Texas, the site of our southernmost church and last multi-day meeting for our furlough. When we arrived in August, one supporting church and three dear friends in different states found out that my only suits were ruined when my mother-in-law’s house flooded; and, before the end of September, I had four new suits!
Our greatest encouragements in our considering Nigeria as a mission field and our biggest cheerleaders through our deputation were Robert and Rhoda Smith, who spent nine years laboring in Ibadan. For over a decade now, they have served as missionaries in Barbados and have continually invited us to see their work. It finally worked out for us to spend a week in the Caribbean nation in September; I had the privilege of preaching in two churches, and Sabrina and I enjoyed a vacation with a beach house, plenty of sightseeing, and wonderful fellowship with close friends.
For the last several years, the three constant sources of insecurity in Nigeria have been the Boko Haram terrorist group in the northeast, various militant groups in the oil-producing southeast Niger Delta region, and sporadic skirmishes between Christian farmers and nomadic Muslim Fulani herdsmen. Recently our assistant pastor, Bro. Justin Mathias, became acquainted with a group of Fulani converts who were desirous of discipleship and in need of resources to reach more of their own people. On a Sunday morning service in October, several of these converts were welcomed to Truth Baptist Church; they gave testimonies, sang specials, were fed by our ministry, and received an offering and promise of future support from our members.
I’m glad to share several avenues on how you can receive further updates and more easily invest in our work. Our ministry website, www.missionaryholmes.blogspot.com, has been revised with recent prayer letters, scores of pictures, and a testimony video. Also, you can message me at email@example.com if you want an email attachment of the video that we are showing to churches during our furlough or if you would like to receive our prayer letters electronically. Finally, our mission board has been working diligently to make it possible to give through the internet to each individual missionary. Please visit www.fbmi.org/give if you would like to learn more about this; find our page at www.fbmi.org/holmes. We want to take every advantage to stay in touch and partner with you in reaching the people of Nigeria.
Mark Holmes, written 17 November 2016