David declared in the Psalms, “. . . in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge . . . .” (Psalm 57:1). We have certainly experienced this truth in the last two months.
In the middle of December, Typhoon Odette, a Category 5 super typhoon, headed straight for us. Reports are that 51 lives were lost in our province in the high winds and heavy rains. Thankfully, our immediate area escaped the worst of the damage, with only downed trees and about three days without power. During this time, Bro. & Mrs. Ubas on our staff had their second child, Nathan, who had to be admitted to the hospital with respiratory probems during the typhoon. Praise the Lord, he is doing fine now.
Meanwhile, in the USA, the family of my son Caleb became ill from the Wuhan Virus just before their planned trip to the mission field of Nigeria. They recovered well, and I am happy to report their safe arrival in Nigeria as they begin their missionary work.
On January 4, our Bible college began classes again following Christmas Break. I enjoyed getting back to “normal,” as I taught a class on the doctrines of God and angels. The restrictions lifted some, and we had Thursday night soul winning for our adults and teens for the first time in almost two years. The rain held off, and we saw about 74 saved that night.
However, in mid-January our church was hit hard with the Omicron variant (as far as we can tell by symptoms). We had to go back temporarily to online-only services because everyone had to quarantine. I came down with a light case of the virus and have recovered very well with only some lingering fatigue. We are counting this as a blessing in disguise since no one in our church needed to be hospitalized, and we are trusting that we are all now immune. We are praying that the government will soon pull back on the restrictions, especially for the children in the public schools, since they have not been in classes for two years. What a blessing that IBC’s homeschooled children have not fallen behind in their studies.
The province increased the restrictions again, and we are back to having a 30% capacity for church services. On Sunday, January 30, we celebrated our church’s 11th anniversary with an all-day meeting. We even had roast pig and organized for everyone to bring food for a potluck dinner. It was a joyful day, with a lot of food, fellowship, preaching, and sharing of testimonies of God’s goodness over the years.
We are looking forward in 2022 with the theme “Singing, Shouting, and Soul Winning.” The spirit of our people is very good regardless of the challenges. It has encouraged us to see new converts winning souls on a weekly basis. Our college students continue to mature and serve with a great spirit.
Thank you for your faithful support in prayers and finances. A special thank you to those who sent an extra gift for Christmas. Those came at the right time to help meet the needs of others.
Have a great 2022 as you serve the Lord Jesus,