The month of March was full of activity for all our ministries. We were able to complete the 20th semester of our Providence Baptist College & Seminary and conclude our Temple Baptist Institute course on music and song leading, giving the exam on the last Saturday of the month. I preached a normal schedule of Sundays and Thursdays at Truth Baptist Church, alternating morning and evening services with Grace & Glory Baptist Church; and, on the last Sunday of the third month of this year, I was privileged to be the guest preacher for our graduate, Pastor Samson Adams, at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Tunga Maje. Plans were being worked out for our 12th Annual National Soul-Winning & Leadership Conference (SWLC) in Abuja, the 3rd Regional SWLC in Calabar, and a 3rd Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism in Kumasi, Ghana. Then, as in so many other places throughout the world, everything ground to a halt.
This letter is being written on Day 34 of a lockdown for the Federal Capital Territory (and three other states). Our family has remained healthy and safe; we are also glad that each of our children have stayed busy with homeschooling to finish up their semester by the end of April. A furlough for our family was to begin on April 28, but we are thankful for the ways God has opened for us to minister here. We are communicating well through WhatsApp groups for both churches, and I have been posting sermons on Facebook twice weekly. With the help of my cute one-year-old Aaron, I gave out fifty tracts and eighty bottles of water to exercisers along our street one morning. All conferences and camps were postponed or canceled, and our SMITEs in August will be dependent on the new school schedule once restrictions are lifted nationwide (some modifications of our particular lockdown will begin tomorrow). Our prayers are for those worldwide being affected by both the virus pandemic and the economic suppression, especially here where it has been reported that nearly half of our population, under normal conditions, live on less than a dollar per day.
Since 2001, two years before Sabrina and I started deputation, Patricia Hamburg has been faithfully serving in Nigeria. Affectionately called “Nana,” she now diligently teaches and tutors English courses in our seminary, devotedly cares for the single ladies’ class in our church, regularly participates in soul winning and visitation, and willingly conducts seminars and workshops for our families. With this ministry update through email, I wish to share a testimonial letter from Ms. Pat, which includes details of her great outreach ministry, Tree of Life Missions. You can find her letter and an article she wrote at missionaryholmes.blogspot.com on the “Tree of Life” page. We are highly recommending her to our ministry supporters and praying friends and asking you to consider supporting her personally through her sending church or helping with one of her outreach travels through us.
Mark Holmes, written 3 May 2020