Good news has been relayed to us that the Bible Education And Missionary Service (BEAMS) wants to partner with us to send a container full of Bibles and “religious materials” to Nigeria. We share the same sending church with BEAMS and are happy they’ve chosen to help us; we’re also thankful for good contacts and co-laborers here in Nigeria that have already worked to make it possible on this end. We are asking prayer for three things: that we can raise the over $4,800 for packing and shipping, plus about $1,500 for clearing and delivery; that BEAMS has success in gathering the funds toward their goal of sending 5,000 whole, hardback Bibles for us (during the first few months of next year); and that you would consider sending any Christian books (for our seminary library in Nigeria) and songbooks (for national pastors) to include in the container. BEAMS requests a detailed list of what is shipped to help with inventory; all such books can be sent to:
*Mark Holmes; c/o BEAMS; 15444 Duckworth Road; Gulfport, MS 39503 (Phone: 228.832.1096)*
A special occasion in September allowed us to reflect on the unique ways that God has blessed our family with good relationships over these twelve-plus years in Nigeria. On the 2nd, I had the privilege of conducting a wedding for my longtime secretary Christiana, someone who has also worked in our house on numerous occasions. Because she is very close to my wife and children and counts me as a spiritual “father,” I was asked to be the one to walk her down the aisle to begin the ceremony. Interestingly, the three ladies Sabrina and I would also call our “daughters” were a part of the occasion in different ways. Mercy, who currently helps my wife in many ways, baked the official wedding cake; Joy, who will get married in December, was one of the bridesmaids; and Victoria, who was the first to “show my wife around” in Nigeria, is the wife of the preacher who delivered the wedding sermon.
When visiting churches in the U.S., a question constantly asked is, “What kind of animals do you have there?” The assumption is that one can easily go on a safari in every African nation. Although there is a game park about six hours from us, tourism is not one of Nigeria’s strengths. For the first time during a term on the field, we took the opportunity to travel out of the country so that my family could see some aspects of Africa that many people believe we experience daily. On Tuesday, October 7, we arrived in Durban, South Africa, and spent the next 11 days relaxing, sightseeing, playing, touring, and then viewing zebras, giraffes, lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, and various other species of wildlife. Special thanks goes to our friends, the Nathan Owens family, who set up many things beforehand, advised on the best places to go, and welcomed us to their young church.
Mark Holmes, written 13 November 2017