May 15, 2006
Yesterday, the Truth Baptist Church at Nyanya-Abuja, Nigeria conducted its Grand Opening Service. Without electricity, restrooms, P.A. system, or even windows and doors, the attendance was 95, and there were 34 decisions for salvation! Special thanks goes to Pastor Simon Nyam (he's the founder of another independent Baptist church in town) for conducting our children’s church [pictured right], and to Pastor Ron Gensaw for sending all of his soul-winners to our area during a Saturday before the church opened. In the evening, 67 souls gathered, and over 20 were saved! We greatly appreciate your prayers concerning the repairs on our rented church property; the roof was completed two days before our first service, and much work will be continuing throughout this month.
Since our last letter, we’ve moved into a rented house in Gwarinpa-Abuja. Though we are still earnestly awaiting the arrival of our container, Sabrina and I are very grateful to have our own house for the first time in almost three years. Also, Joseph loves all the space God has given us where he can run and play.
Just last month, one of Bro. Gensaw’s church members named Emmanuel (who had received Christ while I was out soul-winning during my first trip to Nigeria) brought Abraham, a customer of his, to church. Emmanuel informed me that his friend was Muslim and would have some questions for me after the service. We prayed together that God would work on Abraham’s heart during his visit to Pilgrim’s Independent Baptist Church. Immediately following the message that Sunday morning, I went to this follower of Allah and began discussing with him about the Lord. Emmanuel’s friend began to tell me that he had been searching for the truth for some time and had actually visited several different churches. He’d already decided that he would “give his life to Jesus” if a church could ever be convincing with the message of Christ. Abraham then exclaimed, “This is the first church I’ve ever been to that didn’t preach about money; I’ve heard the truth. I’m convinced; I’m ready to trust Christ!” He simply had one doctrinal question that I was able to answer from the scriptures; then we bowed our heads together, and he prayed to receive Christ as his Saviour! Just like Emmanuel, Abraham has been faithful to the church services since his conversion.
What a unique experience it’s been to have Sabrina’s dad [pictured with Victoria at 6 months] visit three different times since we have returned to Africa. If you remember from a previous update, my father-in-law was able to get a contract to work in Nigeria with his employer, Exxon-Mobil. Last month, I was able to travel with Sabrina and the kids to visit him at the area where he’s been working since January. Of course, “Papa” has been excited about being able to see his grandkids during this time, but I believe the pinnacle of his trip was what occurred yesterday as he witnessed our church conducting its first service. You see, for years Bro. Brian has prayed that each of his four children would become missionaries; Sabrina is the oldest and the first one to go to a foreign field. So, not only has God specifically answered his prayer request, but He has also worked it out for Bro. Brian to see his daughter’s place of service while his company is paying him to do it! We serve a great God! Please pray for his continued safety as his work for this project continues through July.