The biggest family activity of our year actually began at the end of October, as Sabrina and all six of our kids had the chance to join me for our first Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism (S.M.I.T.E.) in Kenya, hosted by Heritage Baptist Church of Lang’ata at Nairobi. The week before the S.M.I.T.E., our family toured Nairobi for a couple of days, stayed in a wildlife park for two nights, received spectacular hospitality from our mission board’s Team East Africa over the weekend, and had some great fellowship with the Cormiers, close family friends and missionaries to the deaf. Our inaugural S.M.I.T.E. during the first week of November was very successful, with 53 campers conducting 11 Bible Clubs and enrolling a total of 1,113 children to hear the Gospel through Bible stories, missionary stories, Scripture songs, and the Wordless Book. There is a great video of our Abuja S.M.I.T.E. on YouTube at youtu.be/bt3Shczefug.
Also in November, a missions seminar with our board afforded me the opportunity to finally visit our good friend, Missionary David Orus, in Kasoa, Ghana, to preach their church anniversary and have some long-awaited fellowship. There were 24 saved in the morning service! Pastor Orus is a Nigerian man our church has helped support at various times in the past. On Monday and Tuesday, FBMI held a Missions Mastermind with our board staff, team leaders, and several individual missionaries, hosted by the staff and leaders of Fundamental Baptist Church International (FBCI), the same work that invites us for S.M.I.T.E. each April. The Mastermind sessions were refreshing, informative, and challenging. I was able to bring Brian along, and he had a wonderful time with Team Ghana’s children. On Wednesday, my trip was concluded by having the privilege of preaching to the great people at FBCI during their midweek service.
December highlights included our first wedding for Grace & Glory Baptist, and a special marriage ceremony at Truth for my “daughter” Mercy, who had worked with our family for nearly seven years; this occasion was the second time that I have walked a bride down the aisle as her “father.” Two of our graduates also had their weddings during these months; deacons and staff represented our ministry at both events. Our seminary concluded its 19th semester, the building project for Grace & Glory was basically completed, and our family had its December tradition of Christmas Eve gift opening, a Christmas service at Truth, a staff dinner on Boxing Day, and a few days at an area hotel for a break. A special thanks goes out to five churches that responded to our previous prayer letter’s request for an offering towards land at three different church plants; if you would like a specific update on those purchases, please let me know!
Written 30 January 2020