November/December '05

January 11, 2006

The significance of the date on this letter is to let you know that yesterday we sent a twenty-foot sea container with all of our household items to Nigeria. Something for which we had planned during the last eleven months has finally come to pass! A special thanks to my sending church who made sure that I had plenty of manpower for the loading of our belongings and to many of our supporting churches who donated things which we requested at various times.

It's a girl! Victoria Noel Holmes was born at 9:20 pm CST on Wednesday, December 14th, in Women's Hospital of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was quite healthy at seven pounds and twenty inches in length, and, of course, very beautiful! Our girl arrived by C-Section, so Sabrina is recovering slowly, but better than the first time. Both sides of the family are very excited to have their first granddaughter!

During our stay in the U.S., the Lord has allowed me to accomplish several things for our return to the field. We now have purchased a three year lease on land with unfinished buildings [pictured] for our ministry and two years on a home for our family; both are in the Abuja Federal Capital Territory, where we’ve been working for the past five months. With God’s help, Sabrina and I plan to begin a church as soon as we arrive again in Nigeria, and I will continue to work with Bro. Gensaw on the Bible Institutes that have been started. Eventually we want to purchase the church property and complete the structures (originally designed to be a hotel) in order to start a full-time day college for the training of pastors.

This week, my father-in-law, an Exxon Mobil employee, is returning to the U.S. from his second two-week trip for orientation that is preparing him to work in a foreign country.......Nigeria! He will be starting his six-month contract in Africa within the next couple of weeks. It has been a privilege for Sabrina and I to already have her brother, Ricky, and now her dad, Brian Hopkins, visit us on the field. Also, my pastor has discussed with me about possibly being with us in September, and there is another pastor that wants to bring seven young men with him for a trip in November. I know for a fact that we will not get tired of having guests in our part of the world; so, pastors, make plans to come and stay awhile sometime!

Sabrina and I are trying to return to Nigeria with the kids on February 22nd; I am currently working on all of our visas. Please pray that this paperwork is easily obtained and that our container will be cleared with no trouble once we arrive in Africa.

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