Going into our fourth month at Truth Baptist Church, God has already given us some miraculous victories. Our attendance has eclipsed 100 during the morning service in four out of the last six Sundays. This trend was initiated by our first baptism service on July 12, where we had our highest turnout of 113 people. We've since conducted another such service in August and have immersed 23 people total. With the help of a fellow independent Baptist pastor in the area, a children's program has been started in conjunction with our Thursday Evening Prayer Meeting. Not only was it responsible for our church breaking the century mark in attendance for the first time (117 total people on July 8), but the mid-week activity has witnessed the salvation of almost 200 kids. That pastor is now training some of our members to run this evangelistic tool successfully. The end of August was exam week at Temple Baptist Institute, and our Bible classes saw very noticeable growth during the recent twelve-week session. Where we had averaged less than 25 on Tuesday nights before, there were several instances during our Baptist Distinctives course that we observed an audience of over 40 students. Excitingly, almost 50 pupils at times attended the Saturday sessions taught by Missionary Ron Gensaw (New Testament Survey I). Also, key members from our new church visited TBI and have shown interest in the teachings. Please pray for continued spiritual growth among our people.
When I mentioned “miraculous” in the first sentence, I was leading up to this announcement: we have been able to sign an agreement for the purchase of our church property! After setting up our home for my family’s comfort and then starting the church and Bible institute, my main priority became the obtaining of land for our church and eventual Bible college. The land with unfinished buildings that we have been leasing was originally designed to be a hotel, and it would be perfect for a full-time college to train pastors; if we complete the buildings according to plan, there would be ideal dormitory accommodations (40 total rooms on two floors) and additional rooms for offices, classes, and a chapel. Plus, there is another foundation already laid [pictured below] that we could use to build a large auditorium for Truth Baptist Church.
With money that we saved from deputation, we have already used over $10,000 for a down payment, and our home church immediately sent us $3,000. The purchase agreement gives us until the beginning of next year to raise the remaining $50,000 needed for purchase. To me, that is a lot more money in a small amount of time; yet if each church that receives this prayer letter could give $250, then the need would be filled. Would you consider sending an amount designated for “land purchase” to our mission agency so that Truth Baptist church may have a permanent site for its ministry?
Over four years ago, Sabrina and I announced to our home church that we were going to Nigeria, and then we were approved as missionaries with FBMI. We have directly asked for money only one other time, and that was during the preparation to ship our container. As you have been so gracious to us during our enjoyable and rewarding tenure as missionaries, please allow us to make this request of you during such an important time in the life of our ministry