November/December '12

Much work was sown in the last two months of 2012 that we are praying will bear abundant fruit in 2013.  Our 5th Annual Great Commission Meeting was held in mid-November, as Truth Baptist Church renewed its commitment to give towards church planting in Nigeria and beyond.  We were doubly blessed with two visiting preachers [pictured]; Bro. Gerald Heard (one of our supporting pastors) closed out the meeting for us and encouraged the church on Sunday.  Our guest evangelist during the week, Bro. Jim Belisle (a representative of our mission board), was a great help as he preached each evening, held a 2-day marriage seminar in the mornings, and joined me to welcome several prospective students for our college (which will begin classes again on January 8th).  Bro. Belisle and I have since discussed several plans to work together again soon in the area of church planting.  Please allow me to recommend the ministry of this missionary evangelist ( / 319.461.3321) to every pastor reading this letter, for any support given to him is not only an assistance to his work, but also to ours and every other missionary with whom he labors.  

The holidays during both months were refreshing and relaxing times for our whole family, though work continued on our new house throughout.  Towards the end of November, we invited a new missionary couple (the Hulls) that is working in another part of the country to celebrate Thanksgiving with us.  On the American holiday, Bro. Hull and I visited yet another missionary couple that is about a three-hour drive from us.  Then the next day, we enjoyed a filling meal with some other expatriate friends who live in Abuja.  Our Christmas was made extra-special by the generous gift from one of our church families to stay in a luxury hotel in town for four nights [family pictured there].  This is our second time to spend Christmas in such a way, and our kids thrilled when they heard we could go again.
Speaking of the children [pictured], it seems that I’ve not given much of a family update in a while.  Sabrina has stayed very busy with the home schooling of three kids, taking care of a toddler, teaching music once weekly at a local school as well as private piano lessons, and participating in church ministries (playing piano for church and choir, teaching ladies Sunday school, and conducting children’s choir and recorder class). Joseph (9) is excelling in piano and recorder, while also beginning to learn the clarinet. He is in 3rd grade and loves basketball, soccer, and throwing the baseball with Dad.  Victoria (7) is in 1st grade and does her best to keep up with the activities of the boys, but in the end seems to retreat to her dolls and playing with Noah more and more.  The Sunday before writing this prayer letter (January 13th), I had the privilege of baptizing “Daddy’s girl.”  Brian (5) is “all-boy,” always dirty and getting hurt, and is doing kindergarten work.  All three are involved in their Sunday school classes, children’s church, children’s choir, recorder class, and piano lessons with Mama.  Noah (1 year on February 3rd) has been a joy as his first response to anything is usually to smile.  He seems to celebrate whenever I get home, which is an evidence of Sabrina, among a myriad of other wonderful things she does, always encouraging the kids towards me for any time that we can spend together.  

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