After eight years of hosting pastors’ conferences in Abuja, we have broken new ground, as Dr. Mike Cox, the founder of our mission board, became our first American preacher to visit twice in the same year. He came in April for the national Soul-Winning and Leadership Conference and in September for the purpose of partnering with me to start two regional conferences in Port Harcourt and Ogbomoso. The combination of three meetings has allowed us to reach 75% of the national pastors in the estimated 130 independent Baptist churches in Nigeria. With the overall goal to see more churches planted, we have a three-fold cause being promoted in these meetings: each congregation to start missions giving, every church to involve their youth in ministry, and all pastors to train their people for the Lord’s work. Ultimately, several pastors committed themselves at the end of each conference to start a new church within the next year.
I have often commented to anyone interested that the absence of malaria in our family for all these years has been a “Red Sea miracle.” Only Brian and Noah had mild cases as infants. These two months ended that “streak,” as everyone except Noah and Victoria came down with the fever carried by mosquitoes (I had it twice). Sabrina experienced some lingering effects for weeks, but we are all well again and appreciative of your prayers for continued health and strength.
The increase in our two churches these two months has been significant. Grace and Glory had its first visitors’ campaign in October, Days of Great Harvest, that saw 23 adult visitors in 3 Sundays, culminating on October 18 with the first baptism service for 3 adults. A first-ever Police Appreciation Day was held on October 25 at Nyanya; Truth Baptist had 317 total (all-time high Sunday morning attendance), welcoming over 30 law enforcement officers and nearly 80 total visitors.
Our church-planting efforts are persisting, as two more new works should be started by the end of the year. With more than thirty churches founded by our graduates, there are recurring needs where you may be able to help. Five of our pastors could be greatly assisted with a means of transportation, especially with three of them each overseeing two or more churches; $600 is the price of a new motorcycle, the most common means of transportation, especially in villages. Please pray about helping these men to further their work.