January/February '10

Our sixth year in Nigeria will begin in June, and, as mentioned in our last letter, I would like to give a summary of our time on the field. Any company in which you invest will usually mail an annual report of how your contributions are faring; they tend to be very detailed, full of numbers, and quite boring. I hope that you will see our details as a depiction of our efforts to be accountable, the numbers as representations of souls and churches, and the report as an encouraging description of the return on your investments in our ministry:
* Mark and Sabrina, both graduates of Hyles-Anderson College, were married in 2001 and now have three children; as newlyweds, they served for two years in their sending church, Faith Baptist Church, in the bus ministry, Sunday Schools, junior churches, youth and music departments, and prison ministry. In 2002, they were appointed to serve with Fundamental Baptist Missions International; a 24-month deputation followed with 211 meetings in 193 churches to raise financial support. June of 2005 began their first term on the field; and the first several months were spent with a veteran missionary.

* Truth Baptist Church, with an opening attendance of 95, will soon celebrate its 4th Anniversary and is currently averaging about 200 in attendance, composed of more than 30 families. The Sunday evening Bible study (including children’s choir) and the Thursday prayer meeting (counting children’s Bible club) each average about 70 people.

* Over 20,000 people have professed faith in Christ through the outreach ministries, including 7,000 during an 11-day Bible Club crusade. Over 100,000 tracts have been printed and distributed, and more than 300 converts have been baptized. At least 20 members have been called into the ministry.

* Their 15 Sunday Schools consist of 2 assemblies each for married adults, singles, teens, local languages, discipleship (new member and soul-winners’ training), and 5 classes for children who then gather for a children’s church during the time that the adults have the morning service in the auditorium. Virtually every class has a teacher, assistant, and secretary.

* Other ministries include soul-winning times for men, ladies, and church-wide; choirs for adult [pictured], youth, and children; fellowship groups for men, ladies, singles, and youth; male ushers and female greeters; a library with books, music, and sermons; a bus ministry running one church-owned van and two rental vans weekly; and a youth drama group.

* The church officers consist of an assistant pastor, a treasurer, 2 ordained deacons, and 2 trustees, along with 2 other men, considered junior staff, who go out for soul-winning and visitation every day.

* The ministry owns 1 ½ acres of land in a suburb of the capital city; already on the property were 2 buildings designed to be a hotel that are now used for the church, institute, and college. A foundation on the other part of the property will be used for a future auditorium, and other space could hold a future Christian day school building and a house for the missionary family.

* Temple Baptist Institute meets twice weekly in 3 churches and has enrolled more than 80 students. Last July, the 1st graduation was held for 9 who completed the 3-year curriculum. So far, the graduates have started 5 churches.

* Providence Baptist College & Seminary opened last August with 15 full-time students from 9 churches who live on the church property and attend daily classes and chapel. 1-year certificates, 2-year diplomas, and 4-year degrees are being offered. 2 national pastors are teaching alongside the missionary, and 2 new American missionaries are expected within the next year.

* The Holmes family has hosted 32 American visitors; many have taken part in the annual special church meetings.

* As a result of 2 missions conferences, Truth Baptist Church is now helping 9 Nigerian ministries, including a Nigerian missionary in Ghana and 4 new church plants, by giving a total of more than $300 per month.

* More than 50 of the 80 total independent Baptist pastors in Nigeria have attended the annual Soul-Winning & Leadership Conference in 2 years. Mark has preached in 26 of those churches thus far, and currently travels out to preach every month.


ene said...

beautifull kids aint they. and the one with all of u is also lovely


Mark Holmes said...

Thank you Ene.....God is good!