September/October '07

[My navigator, Joseph, pictured] Our journey to the U.S. proved successful in more ways than the most important, the healthy birth of our third child, Brian Michael, on August 20th [pictured at 2 months]. Another great blessing was the privilege I had of representing our ministry to 39 churches from July through October. I traveled to California twice [pictured with Pastor A.D. Hampton], along with a trip to the Midwest and East Coast, and six weeks of “local” meetings around the time of Brian’s due date. The biggest objective that I presented during our short furlough was the plans for our main strategy of starting churches—a Bible college. Our goal is to complete the existing buildings (we are currently roofing now) on our property for the purpose of a Bible college while our church members are already contributing to a building fund for a new auditorium on the second half of the property. We are so grateful that the leader of our mission board, Dr. Jack Schaap, has pledged to match whatever contributions we get towards the development of our Bible college! Please prayerfully consider sending donations designated “college building fund” to FBMI on our behalf.

During the many times that our family has boarded a plane in our travels between the United States and Nigeria (three flights each way), we’ve never been forced to delay or cancel a flight. At the end of October, that almost changed. I mailed the Nigerian visa application for Brian just before our family traveled to California for two weeks of meetings. When we returned home to Louisiana on the 26th, five days before we were to fly out, everything was okay until I opened the postal envelope that Friday evening: the Consulate of Nigeria had returned our application and refused to give the visa due to a new policy. Their offices were already closed for the day, so there was only one thing to do. I preached in my home church in Gulfport, Mississippi on Sunday night, and at five the next morning, I was off to the Consulate office in Atlanta. Once I knew their office was opened, I called to let them know I was on my way. The receptionist then informed me that they no longer take “walk-in” applications, but after some pleading, she said I could “show my face.” When I arrived at the office, one of the directors, after seeing my flight itinerary, kindly told me that I could return for the visa in the morning. I drove away feeling relieved that we would get the necessary paperwork, but still stressed by the fact that we would be flying out in two days. Before I could even stop for lunch, the same director called me to come and pickup Brian’s passport with the visa inside! What normally requires a five day waiting period was granted in less than one hour! I then prepared for our flight with a renewed confidence that God hears my prayer!


Anonymous said...

Dearest Mark and Sabrina, with Joseph, Victoria and Brian,
Congratulations!! You are all a blessing to Nigeria and the magnificent Nigerian people.
I miss Nigeria and the wonderful people I spent half of my life with.
Huge hugs to you all and a kiss on the nose to my darlings they look so content and that makes me happy.

My best regards,


Anonymous said...

Dr. Mark, I just read a lot of your story, and looked at all the pictures. Hey we are proud of you. Blessings on you, your love for our Lord Jesus, and blessings on your family also. You are blessed with a wonderful family, cute kids etc. I remember so well you staying in our home.
bob Pearson fbc Hammond