Evangelist Jim Belisle, a Field Service Coordinator for our mission board who has quickly become a dear friend to our family and work, allowed me to take advantage of his experience in ministry and flexibility of schedule to use him in November, his fourth visit to our ministry, to be a blessing to four churches. His trip began with a revival meeting at a church in Ibadan that Missionary Mark Sigstad originally started. Our members at Truth Baptist Church were glad to have Bro. Jim here to conduct our 8th Great Commission Meeting on the first Thursday and Friday of the month. On November 8, Grace and Glory Baptist Church welcomed staff members and deacons from Truth Baptist for an enjoyable combined service, where Evangelist Belisle introduced missions giving to the new church and then became the first speaker to preach a multi-day meeting for GGBC on Monday and Tuesday. He concluded his journey by preaching for Missionary Israel Thompsons, the national pastor who teaches in our seminary.
In five Saturdays spanning the middle of November through the middle of December, I stayed very busy with two weddings, two ordinations, and an institute exam. Around the same time, the ending of a semester at Providence Baptist College and Seminary signaled the beginning of preparations for an end-of-January commencement for almost 20 graduates of the seminary, institute, and correspondence college. Church planting has continued successfully, with one new ministry starting the building of an auditorium and one of our graduates conducting a survey trip to a nearby city, making plans for what will be the 32nd new church started with those who have been trained and/or ordained by our ministry.
My family always enjoys the holidays here for it truly is a break time. Our seminary and institute have several weeks off, and even our church activities become lighter as many families travel from our city to their villages for Christmas. Traffic lessens, electricity is better, and the expectations upon me as pastor and director lighten for a while. This year was extra special as a church member family here paid for Sabrina and me with our five to stay in a hotel for five full nights!
Scheduling for our next furlough is under way; our family plans to be in the U.S., if the Lord will, from mid-August 2016 through mid-January 2017. We are already slated to be in several missions conferences throughout October and November. If you would like for us to report at your church, please contact me; the easiest way is by email or Facebook messenger.
Mark Holmes, written 12 January 2016