Sabrina and I wish to announce the good news that we are now expecting our 6th child! As we have with the birth of each of our children, my family is planning a furlough to begin in July and last through the end of this year. If you would like for us to report on our ministry, please let me know by email or through Skype (U.S. # 225.910.6337), and I would be glad to add your church to our schedule. So far, her doctor’s appointments have gone well; nevertheless, we request prayer for Sabrina’s health and strength and for the baby to be delivered in September successfully and safely.
S.M.I.T.E. Africa is now international! The Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism held its first youth camp outside of Nigeria in Ghana with Fundamental Baptist Church of Kumasi. We were thankful to work with missionaries from our mission board, Fundamental Baptist Missions International, in training their young people and seminary students to conduct children’s Bible clubs throughout their area. There were 76 campers who attended classes each morning for five days; in the afternoons, they teamed together for 14 Bible Clubs, where a total of 946 children were enrolled, and over 500 responded to the salvation message. S.M.I.T.E. Louisiana will soon celebrate its 40th Anniversary, and we are thrilled to bring to other countries what Sabrina and I learned in the U.S.
The same week that we returned from Ghana, I picked up from the airport our four guests (including the president of our mission board, Dr. Mark Bosje) for the 10th Annual Soul Winning & Leadership Conference. Now that we have four other venues for regional conferences, our Abuja meeting concentrates better on drawing pastors from the immediate areas around us. Over 35 churches were represented, and nearly all of them were from a five-hour radius around our capital city. On the Saturday after our conference, Dr. and Mrs. Mike Cox and Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle joined me in Calabar for their 2nd Annual Regional Conference. This meeting has the greatest response from the host church members at Independent Baptist Church of Calabar; there were also 11 pastors in attendance.
The day following our Abuja conference, Dr. Cox and I (along with our assistant pastor, youth pastor, and an area pastor) met at Truth Baptist Church with several converted families of the Fulani tribe, a people group that is almost completely Muslim. We are partnering with Dr. Mike Cox and Global Outreach in Springboro, Ohio, to construct a City of Refuge where these families (who, normally, upon conversion, are rejected and threatened by extended family and expelled from their home areas) can safely live, fellowship in church, and be trained to go back to their people with the Gospel. That afternoon we visited the property that God has already provided through churches who have given as Dr. Cox travels and presents the need. The property has the potential to house 30 families with a church, and you can join us to help construct a second living quarters, a bathhouse, and an auditorium. For more information, please contact me, or see the City of Refuge page at missionaryholmes.blogspot.com.
Mark Holmes, written 3 May 2018