September/October '05

This update is being written by me from the U.S., having just arrived the Friday before Thanksgiving from a two month stay in Nigeria. The primary purpose of this trip was for me to get several things accomplished in preparation for us returning to the field as a family (with two children, Lord willing) after the New Year. The journey certainly was successful as plans have been put in place for us to purchase a vehicle, rent a home, and lease property for a church building in the Abuja area. Sabrina’s brother Ricky [pictured] was able to accompany me on the trip; he was able to learn much during his visit to Nigeria.

I’ve been informed that a resident visa was required for me to be able to clear a sea container through customs in Nigeria. Bro. Ross Ligon, veteran missionary in Lokoja, helped me to obtain this paperwork by showing me all the steps through which I needed to go at several different offices in the immigration department. Prior to this, I was only able to come to Nigeria on ninety-day tourist visas. We are now making definite plans for January to ship a twenty-foot container through Port Harcourt. Thank you to the several churches and individuals who met some of the needs that were addressed in one of our previous prayer letters from the spring.

Shortly after arriving in September, I had the privilege of starting a Bible Institute [pictured left] for the Pilgrim's Independent Baptist Church with Missionary Ron Gensaw. The pastor had taught six courses in five years before this time; however, now we have a curriculum and schedule in place to be able to graduate men with an associate's degree in about three years. Classes have been faithfully attended twice weekly by almost thirty of the members! In addition to that, Pastor Ron and I are holding a Bible institute (one class apiece) in another town and using it as an outreach to area pastors and some of their members. This ministry [pictured right] has attracted a steady attendance of close to seventy people, and a few of the pastors have expressed interest in training at our church institute. My eight-week stay definitely turned into a busy time as I was preaching twice weekly and teaching between three and four times a week! Sabrina and I were able to keep in touch almost every day through telephone and e-mail. While I was gone, it was encouraging to hear accounts of Joseph pointing to my picture and saying, “That’s Daddy!” When I arrived at the airport, the big smile on Joseph’s face when he recognized his father was enough to welcome me home and make my day! He will be two years old on December 4th, and I’m sure he will enjoy having a sibling soon.

Please allow me to make a prayer request concerning one of the church projects. As we well know, various Christian films from America have been used by thousands to see probably millions of people saved. Bro. Gensaw and his ministry have created an African version called “Delivered from Hell” using Nigerian actors. The film will be shown on public television, circulated free throughout Nigeria, and will also be translated into some of the Nigerian dialects to be used as an evangelistic tool in village ministries. The shooting of the film was in September, and now we’re in the process of editing. Any contributions that could be made for the production, editing (some editing tools are needed), and distribution would certainly be an investment in eternity. Thank you for praying and for your consideration of each facet in our work.

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