January/February '19

Our family arrived in Nigeria on the 24th of January after postponing our original departure plans by two weeks because of a delay in receiving a visa for Aaron; thankfully, we already had a “buffer” in our schedule in case something like that happened. This crew of eight traveled from New Orleans with nineteen 35-gallon Sterilite bins, three boxes, six carry-ons, two instruments, and seven backpacks! On the first Sunday back to Grace & Glory, five families (including ours) were represented in a baby dedication [pictured]; this one was very special for me, because I had participated in the wedding of each couple on the platform (including mine ).

In early February, I had the privilege of conducting the first two of six pastors’ conferences that we have planned for 2019. The 2nd Annual Pastors & Workers Conference at Faith Baptist in Ogbomoso was a great success. It was an honor to preach with a personal friend and patriarch of our movement, veteran national missionary Dr. Solomon Owolabi, and another great friend and fellow-servant, Evangelist Yinka Fasinro. The next meeting was at Zion Independent Baptist in Jos, the church that always sends the most teenagers to our Abuja camp. My family [and most seminary students, pictured] joined me on the drive, and I preached on Friday through Sunday with the pastor of the church whom I had thrill of ordaining two years ago, Bro. Ayuba, and our assistant pastor, Justin Mathias. Our co-laborer, Ms. Pat Hamburg, skillfully taught also. There were nearly fifty churches represented over the seven days of preaching in two places due to the diligent work of Pastors Samuel Akande, Joseph Popoola, and Ayuba Agwom.

My biggest praise report this year is the Lord using our family and ministry to host four different couples on their survey trips throughout this year. Not all will be working directly with us in the future, but each is staying in our home and seeing our work. Bro. Seth Folkers, already a veteran of Cameroon, visited with us at the end of February after ministering in Ogoja (in the southeast part of Nigeria) to Cameroonian refugees; he should be returning with his wife and daughter at the end of this year. Arriving on the last two days of February, Garan and Anneliese Patrick stayed with us for two Sundays and visited both churches, one of our newer plants, Bible club and school ministries, an orphanage with which we partner, the City of Refuge, and Garan [pictured with chief] taught and preached in our college. The Patricks are planning to start deputation in the summer. Next month, we will be hosting the Christiansens, and the Langs have already begun deputation; check out their info at fbmi.org/missionary/lang.

Please take a look at our "Conference/Camp Schedule" page on this blog for our 2019 events. We would appreciate your prayers as this should be our fullest calendar ever, and I would also like to request help as, in some specific ways, it will be our most financially costly year of ministry. In our five S.M.I.T.E.’s, we will be spending about $1200 for each camp just to print materials that will be used in classes and Bible clubs. Also, there will be four churches that need help with feeding delegates/students who will be attending their conference/camp; in each of those churches, we will be spending around $1000. We look forward to sending good reports of these meetings!

November/December '18

At the beginning of November, my family embarked on the first big U.S. excursion with our newest member, Aaron Samuel, to meetings in Florida and South Carolina. We reported in two Tampa area churches and were grateful participants in a Jubilee along the Carolina Coast. In between, two nights were spent in Charleston [pictured at aquarium]. With the sightseeing in a historically beautiful city, meeting up with friends at each place, and a church providing a condo along the beach—it turned into a refreshing vacation for our crew.

Both Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were enjoyed with Sabrina’s family and included brief trips to the Mississippi coast for celebrations with my relatives. At the beginning of December, I had a very productive trip to the Midwest, highlighted by being the missions conference keynote speaker for a church pastored by a close friend of our family [Pastor Johnny Crane, center, picture with Curtis Hall and me]. In Nigeria, another semester of our seminary was concluded in the middle of December, but not before the students traveled three hours together to help a church led by one of our graduates; the “seminary outreach” week has become something to which all of our students look forward.

Just before the New Year, our family and ministry were shaken by the news of the untimely passing of a great friend, Pastor Jared Decker, from cardiac arrest before the age of 36. Bro. Jared [pictured with one of our graduates] visited our ministry on six different occasions and was fundamental in the growth and expansion of two youth camps; his church in Alabama was a faithful supporter of both our work and a couple of church plants. The Decker family has known Sabrina and I since we were teenagers, and we’re planning some time to see and hopefully encourage his wife, their children, and the church.

Overall, I believe this has been our most productive furlough ever. We were able to make some finishing arrangements on a container of scriptures that will be shipping in January. More money was raised and consequential work completed for the City of Refuge project [pictured]; the first families have already been moved into the housing quarters. Plans are underway for six Soul-Winning and Leadership Conferences and five Student Missions Institutes for Training in Evangelism with several visiting guest preachers. Also, we’ve met with potential new missionary families who’ve planned survey trips to our work for 2019. Sabrina and I are looking forward to sending you many good reports once we return to the field.

September/October '18

My busiest time of our furlough cranked up in the middle of October through the end of the month, as I was a part of three Missions Conferences and two other emphasis Sundays. The Lord has allowed us to report on our work in nearly 25 places and schedule several new churches [and meet with a Nigerian friend here and there--pictured] to present our work. We are looking forward to traveling together as a family [pictured with my immediate family] at the beginning of next month. Thank you for your prayers towards Sabrina’s recovery from her procedure and for baby Aaron, who is growing and developing well.

Our family and ministry are very grateful to our longtime friend and co-laborer, Missionary Evangelist James Belisle [pictured with our seminary students], the Americas Field Service Coordinator of Fundamental Baptist Missions International, the mission board with whom we’ve served for 16 years. Bro. Belisle completed a first in October: a guest preacher traveling to Nigeria in our absence and conducting conferences in two locations! On the 14th through the 17th, Missionary David Maskey hosted a Missions & Leadership Conference at Independent Baptist Church of Port Harcourt, with morning and evening sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Bro. Belisle was the keynote speaker. Our youth pastor at Grace & Glory Baptist Church, Bro. Adewale Adesina, was also invited to preach and teach Sunday through Wednesday. On the 21st, Pastor Adewale [pictured on the right with 2 of our deacons] accompanied Bro. Belisle to Ibadan to minister for a Sunday at Independent Baptist Church of Ijokodo, followed by a full-day Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference on Tuesday.  Without Bro. Belisle, we would have been forced to cancel these meetings; instead, because of the Lord’s blessing and our friend’s determination, we are able to continue and even expand the work of encouraging pastors with conferences in several locations throughout Nigeria.

There are many ways to keep in touch with our work and family. We have a new page with several videos (vimeo.com/missionaryholmes), including the update that we’ve been showing in churches during furlough. Our mission board’s website has a page for us (fbmi.org/holmes), with a newly improved online-giving feature. On Facebook, you can find our personal page (markandsabrina) and our ministry page (search Abuja’s Conferences and Colleges). Our sending church also has featured us in many different ways; go to missionsclub.wordpress.com, and search for us by the tag “holmes”

July/August '18

Our newest member of the Holmes family, Aaron Samuel, arrived on September 10 at 4:06 p.m.; he weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and was 19½ inches long. He was delivered at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; we brought Aaron home to my in-laws’ on Thursday. All of his initial checkups have gone well, though we did have to get his tongue-tie clipped to help with feeding. This is Noah and LaDonna’s first time to notice a baby sibling, so they [family pictured with my mother in post-delivery room] are overly excited to have him around.
Our time on furlough has started very well, with several invitations to minister in supporting churches, a chance to be a part of the first Missions Mastermind and Missions University with our mission board, the second opportunity for Joseph to go to Youth Conference in Hammond, Indiana, and the excitement of sending Brian and Victoria to a junior camp. In Nigeria, 3 Student Missions Institutes for Training in Evangelism [Port Harcourt camp pictured] and our first-ever Bible Club “Blitz” were conducted in my absence. The totals from the 3 SMITEs were 341 campers conducting 82 clubs, with 4,518 children enrolled and nearly 2,500 who raised their hand for salvation. Then 70 youths [pictured] from 2 churches in Calabar joined Evangelist Tunde Ajayi and 4 pastors to conduct 16 Bible Clubs throughout the last week of August after the Port Harcourt SMITE. We already have a second city planned for a Blitz after next year’s Ogbomoso Camp.
 
In February, our ministry was honored to be the focus of a nationwide Bible Day [advert pictured], sponsored by Bible Education And Missionary Service (we share the same sending church in Gulfport, Mississippi). The 5,000 whole, hardback Bibles, for which BEAMS raised money, will be included in a container that several other ministries helped us to fill. Missionary Evangelist Donald Wattenbarger, with Bibles Beyond Boundaries out of Liberty Baptist Church in Crossville, Tennessee, raised funds for shipping and sourced Bibles and testaments from Mt. Pisgah Scripture Printing Ministry in Oliver Springs, Tennessee; Bearing Precious Seed in Milford, Ohio; and Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation (Bro. Bobby Lemmon)  in Shelbyville, Tennessee. A new friend, Bro. Jon De Rusha, who has Back in the Battle Bibles, has provided hymnals and other materials; and Publish or Perish Printing Ministries, also in Gulfport, donated four pallets of boxes packed with Gospel tracts. Several churches and individuals have also sent Christian books for our library and funds for the distribution of materials. We are humbled by the efforts of those who have been joined together for this great effort to assist many Nigerian churches with needed resources.

May/June '18


On July 3rd, our family departed Nigeria, bound for Louisiana. We arrived safely, and all of Sabrina’s initial doctors’ appointments have gone well as we are anticipating the birth of our sixth child around the second week of September. During the two weeks before our flight, we had the pleasure of fellowshipping with two missionary families [Fasinro family pictured] as they visited Abuja, and special times were planned with the leadership of both churches [that of Truth BC pictured] in which our family is involved.

In May, all seven of us traveled to Port Harcourt to be a part of Independent Baptist Church’s Ladies’ Spectacular; we were pleased to be joined by Ms. Pat Hamburg, who has worked with our ministry for several years.  Though Sabrina experienced some health challenges, she was able to teach with Ms. Pat and Mrs. Maskey and several others, and I had the unique privilege of preaching on Thursday evening to all the delegates. It was my fifteenth occasion in twelve years to minister in this wonderful church!
At the beginning of May, the Providence Baptist College and Seminary completed its most active semester in our nine-year history. The ministers-in-training witnessed a graduation, pastors’ conference, and the first time to have five teachers together. All eighteen students [most pictured with one of our deacons] participated in a multi-day leadership seminar [some participants and teachers pictured], weekly driver training, and a week-long skills-acquisition time that taught them small business skills. Several had unique opportunities for village outreach, and all participated in the following various regular activities: Bible clubs for children, youth meetings, Sunday School classes for singles, Christian film showings both in the school and in the local area, government school ministry, and outreach Bible studies.
 
There are many ways you can intercede for our ministry over the next few months. Please pray for my family as we travel to report on our work and as we prepare in faith for the new addition. Truth and Grace & Glory will have over twenty different men preaching in my absence, and two pastors’ meetings will be held. Three teachers will continue the work of the seminary, beginning again in August. Finally, I know the McGuffees would be glad for your prayers as they prepare to conduct three youth camps starting at the end of July.

March/April '18

Sabrina and I wish to announce the good news that we are now expecting our 6th child! As we have with the birth of each of our children, my family [pictured on Easter Sunday] is planning a furlough to begin in July and last through the end of this year. If you would like for us to report on our ministry, please let me know by email or through Skype (U.S. # 225.910.6337), and I would be glad to add your church to our schedule. So far, her doctor’s appointments have gone well; nevertheless, we request prayer for Sabrina’s health and strength and for the baby to be delivered in September successfully and safely. 
S.M.I.T.E. Africa is now international! The Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism held its first youth camp outside of Nigeria in Ghana with Fundamental Baptist Church of Kumasi. We were thankful to work with missionaries from our mission board, Fundamental Baptist Missions International, in training their young people and seminary students to conduct children’s Bible clubs throughout their area. There were 76 campers [pictured] who attended classes each morning for five days; in the afternoons, they teamed together for 14 Bible clubs where a total of 946 children were enrolled, and over 500 responded to the salvation message. S.M.I.T.E. Louisiana will soon celebrate its 40th Anniversary, and we are thrilled to bring to other countries what Sabrina and I learned in the U.S.  
The same week that we returned from Ghana, I picked up from the airport our four guests (including the president of our mission board, Dr. Mark Bosje) for the 10th Annual Soul Winning & Leadership Conference. Now that we have four other venues for regional conferences, our Abuja meeting concentrates better on drawing pastors from the immediate areas around us. Over 35 churches were represented [pictured with Dr. Cox], and nearly all of them were from a five-hour radius around our capital city. On the Saturday after our conference, Dr. and Mrs. Mike Cox and Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle [pictured with Pastor Nicolas Wayih and Joseph] joined me to Calabar for their 2nd Annual regional conference. This meeting has the greatest response from the host church members at Independent Baptist Church of Calabar; there were also 11 pastors in attendance.  
The day following our Abuja conference, Dr. Cox and I (along with our assistant pastor, youth pastor, and an area pastor) [pictured with Ms. Pat in front of first building] met at Truth Baptist Church with several converted families of the Fulani tribe, a people group that is almost completely Muslim. We are partnering with Dr. Mike Cox and Global Outreach in Springboro, Ohio, to construct a City of Refuge where these families (who, normally, upon conversion, are rejected and threatened by extended family and expelled from their home areas) can safely live, fellowship in church, and be trained to go back to their people with the Gospel.  That afternoon, we visited the property that God has already provided through churches who have given as Dr. Cox travels and presents the need. The property has the potential to house 30 families with a church, and you can join us to help construct a second living quarters, a bathhouse, and an auditorium. For more information, please contact me, or see the City of Refuge page.  

January/February '18

At the beginning of January, we started a new semester of Providence Baptist College & Seminary with 17 students, two of them new. Our Saturday-only Temple Baptist Institute classes also resumed with 16 students after a holiday break. On the last weekend of January, we welcomed two dear friends and veteran national missionaries, Dr. David Jacobs and Pastor Paul Lawal, to preach our graduation services [gift calendar pictured] and also the Sunday services at both churches where our family is involved.

During the first week of February in Ogbomoso (in the southeast region of Nigeria), our ministry embarked upon its 5th venue for hosting Soul Winning & Leadership Conferences. A three-day Pastors and Workers Meeting was conducted at Faith Baptist Church (in conjunction with their 13th Anniversary Celebration) with Missionary Evangelist Donald Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries. I was privileged to preach alongside Bro. Don [pictured with our hosts] each evening, as well as have some time for teaching sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday with representatives from nearly 50 churches. Back in our area on Friday, Bro. Wattenbarger traveled with some of our men to see two areas where we are planting churches with our graduates.

Over a span of three years, Grace & Glory Baptist Church has grown from a small Sunday evening Bible study in the living room of one of our founding members, to a thriving congregation of 13 families and three staff members. For the last 30 months the church has paid to hold Sunday services in a nice meeting hall of a secure area hotel [recent service pictured]; this has been a blessing in one way and a challenge in another, as the location has been great, but the cost has kept us from being able to hold regular mid-week services and other meetings at the venue. Even with the restricted schedule, we have found ways to integrate youth activities, Lord’s Supper services, a discipleship series, men’s meetings, and “singspirations” (a service filled with song specials and a Bible study) into the regular Sunday program. Grace & Glory is now in the process of securing a 10-year lease for a place that would be more conducive to three weekly services and outreach meetings; please pray that we can reach an agreement with the owners soon. Likewise, continue to pray for Truth Baptist Church, as we’ve dedicated ourselves to also grow this first church plant that will celebrate its 12th Anniversary in May.

November/December '17

In early December, we rounded up our 15th semester of Providence Baptist College & Seminary and were pleased to have 5 teachers [pictured at a Christmas fellowship] working together for the first time since we started in 2009. Two missionaries (Bro. Sonny McGuffee and Ms. Pat Hamburg) have joined us, along with 2 national pastors who have taught since 2013. On January 27, our 5th commencement will be held, with 9 graduating the seminary and 4 earning certificates from our Temple Baptist Institute. With these 13 added, the total of those who’ve completed training in our schools is over 100, and 36 churches have been planted so far with the graduates!
The month of November was rewarding in several ways. For our 9th Annual Great Commission Meeting at Truth Baptist Church, we had the privilege of hosting our mission board’s Field Service Coordinator for Africa, Bro. Jeremy Snipes [village visit pictured left]; he taught in our seminary and also conducted the first-ever missions conference for Grace & Glory Baptist Church [flier pictured above]. Next up was an ordination service for a pastor and two of our graduates at the church that has regularly sent the most campers to our annual S.M.I.T.E., Zion Independent Baptist in Jos. According to my records, it is the 20th time that I’ve had the honor of participating in an ordination. The week following, Thanksgiving was celebrated at our house with three American friends and families. December gave us a nice break from our regular schedule and a fulfillment of a few holiday traditions that have been developed over the years: a big breakfast on the day that our kids opened gifts from grandparents, a Christmas morning service and gift giving for the children of Truth Baptist, and a brief family retreat to an area hotel.

The year 2018 could prove to be my busiest year ever for hosting conferences and camps. Truth Baptist Church will hold the 10th Annual National Soul-Winning and Leadership Conference (SWLC) in April and the 8th Annual Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism (S.M.I.T.E.) in August. In February, May, and October, four regional SWLCs will be conducted, along with three regional S.M.I.T.E. camps in April, July, and August (including our first-ever in Ghana!). Over the years, the Lord has always provided for my cost of traveling to these meetings, and this year I would like to help four of the host churches with the expense of feeding the visiting delegates for their multi-day events. The average total for each of the four churches will be about $1,500. Please consider joining me in this investment to encourage church leaders and youth groups in our ever-expanding ministry of pastors’ conferences and youth camps.

September/October '17

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 $4800 for packing and shipping, plus about $1500 for clearing and delivery; that BEAMS has success in gathering the funds toward their goal of sending 5000 whole, hardback Bible 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 for 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 that Sabrina and I would also call our “daughters” [pictured below] 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 [pictured above with our ministers] 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 7th, we arrived in Durban, South Africa, and spent the next 11 days relaxing, sight-seeing, playing, touring, and then viewing zebras, giraffes [pictured right], lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, and various other species of wildlife. Special thanks goes to our friends, the Nathan Owens family [pictured below with us], who setup many things beforehand, advised on the best places to go, and welcomed us to their young church.

July/August '17

June of next year will mark forty years since S.M.I.T.E. in Louisiana/Mississippi began its unique ministry of training independent Baptist young people in the reaching of children through Bible Clubs. Seven years ago, we carried that legacy to Nigeria, and now the movement has reached unprecedented new heights in West Africa. Starting on the last day of July, three youth camps were accomplished in four weeks, and the results were greater than we ever could have imagined, as the Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism welcomed 460 campers from 51 churches; they took part in 88 Bible Clubs and enrolled 4,760 children to hear the Gospel! I was humbled by all the work that Berean Baptist Church of Ogbomoso, Truth Baptist Church of Nyanya-Abuja, and Independent Baptist Church of Port Harcourt [pictured] put into hosting, along with an ever-growing and hardworking group of faithful staff and graduates. We are now looking forward to the prospects of expanding to Ghana next year. 

The middle of July brought an invitation to the U.S. for the unique opportunity to be the keynote at Fundamental Baptist Missions International’s Missionary Candidate School [pictured]. Fifteen years ago, Sabrina and I attended our first, and we credit much of our deputation successes to what we learned during the (at that time) two-week seminar. Joseph joined me this time around and attended his first-ever Youth Conference at First Baptist Church in Hammond, twenty-three years after my life was changed by the same meeting. We were treated superbly by FBMI and its staff, and I delighted in the chance to fellowship with veteran missionaries (as well as friends at the conference) and to teach the new candidates and those on deputation. Joseph and I took full advantage of our time by spending the two weekends (before and after our four days in Hammond) in our home areas, visiting family [pictured with my brother] and ministering in supporting churches. 

After more than fourteen years of writing to churches semi-monthly, I am finally developing a system to keep track of those who wish to only receive our updates electronically. If you would like to help me “trim down” our postal mailing list and expenses, please let me have an email address for your church or missions department so that you can receive our prayer letters by PDF attachment. In addition to email or postal mail, you can also view all our previous correspondence by way of our website (missionaryholmes.blogspot.com) or our mission board’s site (fbmi.org/holmes).  More frequent updates of our work can be accessed on our ministry Facebook page: Abuja’s Conferences & Colleges. 

[Video Clip of recent preaching......happy to be excited about salvation!]

May/June '17

Happy Independence Day! This update is being written as our family is preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July with another missionary couple and a family from our newer church plant; we’re thankful to have good fellowship with close friends on an American holiday. Almost three weeks of June were consumed with Soul Winning & Leadership Conferences in two places and a series of good meetings in a third region. The founder of our mission board, Dr. Mike Cox, made his eighth visit with his wife [pictured left] to our ministry for the purpose of pastors’ conferences, both at Truth Baptist Church of Nyanya [pictured above] and in Calabar (in the southeast). They were joined by one of our board’s field service coordinators, Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle [pictured below presenting Teaching All Nations], who was on his sixth visit to Nigeria. At the end of the month, I was accompanied by new full-time missionary to Nigeria, Bro. Sonny McGuffee, to preach in two churches and hold a pastors’ fellowship in Ibadan (in the southwest). 

Four other aspects of our ministry saw victories in the last two months. Grace & Glory Baptist Chruch of Garki conducted several baptisms and welcomed new members into the fellowship. Providence Baptist College & Seminary [reunion pictured of graduates with current students during our conference] completed another semester and has several students ready to graduate who have taken staff positions, many who are working at their home church during the break, and some who are serving as interns in various churches. Temple Baptist Institute grew in attendance for its Saturday classes over the last two courses, and another national pastor is teaching during this time that I am busy with conferences and camps. Lastly, one of our multiple church plants had a dedication service during Easter and is now meeting in a new auditorium after having services under a mango tree for more than a year!

We are anticipating the new advance in our conducting of youth camps starting on the last day of July. The Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism will hold for the first time in Ogbomoso (in the southwest), the 7th Annual in Nyanya, and another in Port Harcourt (in the southeast). For two of the three camps, we need to raise about $1200 each to feed over 150 campers for five days. We are grateful for the way that many responded to the widow’s need from our last letter, and we thank you in advance for any help toward expanding our ministry of training youth to reach children all throughout Nigeria. 

[Footage from Bro. Belisle on one of his previous visits, as he traveled to preach in a village church]

March/April '17


An enjoyable benefit to partnering with pastors in our ministry training schools or hosting multiple pastors annually in our conferences and camps is being invited to participate in ordinations and other special days for those on whom I’ve been privileged to have a small influence. Two such occasions took place on the third and fourth Sundays of March, as I had the honor of being on the council of two ordinations in Port Harcourt [pictured] and Kubwa-Abuja. It is thrilling to see pastor friends ordain their own preachers and to have any part in the training and sending of these men.
            
Our efforts to expand the reach of the Soul Winning and Leadership Conferences continued in March, when Missionary Evangelist Don Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries joined me to conduct a regional meeting hosted by Missionary David Maskey at Independent Baptist Church of Port Harcourt.  Once Bro. Don and I returned to Abuja, he left the next day on a three-hour drive with several of our students to visit the Liberty Baptist Church of Gidan-Waya, which Bro. Wattenbarger’s home church helped to start.  We then enjoyed having the guest evangelist preach in both Truth and Grace & Glory churches on Sunday.
            
The two churches I am overseeing continue to mature in unique ways. On Sunday evenings in April, I presented the Series One lessons of the Foundations of My Faith discipleship material at Truth Baptist Church. There was an average of over 90 adults and teenagers in attendance for each session [pictured is the last one], and 56 completed all four lessons. We are continuing the studies for another 16 weeks during our prayer meeting service on Thursday nights. Sabrina has started a Ladies Bible Study on Saturdays for Grace & Glory Baptist Church. She is planning through the lessons for this group to grow into an outreach and discipleship group.
            
One of the great heartaches of serving in a third world country is to witness the plight of widows, especially those who were once the wife of a pastor. Considering the immense challenges these women face once their husbands pass on, it is likewise extremely encouraging to see a widow survive and excel on her own while also rearing children. One such former pastor’s wife has succeeded in building a house for her and her two children, and I would like to help her establish a business to allow her to be more self-sufficient. $2000 would provide a borehole (mechanized well) that could supply clean water for her family and also be used for selling water to the entire village where she lives. Sabrina and I would greatly appreciate any help towards this!
[Family picture on Easter Sunday above and congregational singing following auditorium expansion at Truth Baptist Church below]