This journey also reminded me that each of our church planters has unique needs. As the sending agency for these preachers, we have taken the role of advising with counsel, assisting with resources, and attempting with prayer to meet challenges as they arise, believing that eventually each church should be able to care for its own needs and those of its pastor. We have tried to avoid making our graduates dependent solely upon us through a permanent monthly salary. Yet, we wish to make some initial requests of these young churches known to our friends and especially our supporting churches. As you read through the following list, I ask you to pray with us specifically for each of the scenarios, and also consider giving towards one of these church plants; any of the contributions can be sent through our mission board (FBMI address below), and you can specify to which church you wish for the money to go:
· The members of Salvation Baptist Church of Chafuyi need materials so that they themselves can do the work of plastering the auditorium ($400).
· The pastor of Christ Baptist Church of Karshi has an annual house rent for his family ($640).
· Our graduate Isaac Samson [pictured] is being sent to start a Bible institute in one of our church plants. $1300 could rent him a home, provide materials for the institute, and start a small business to help support him.
· Mission Baptist Church of Langtang wishes for their pastor to have a motorbike for visitation and soul-winning ($500); his house rent is also due ($130 for the year).
· The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of Ugba hopes to improve his housing and has medical needs ($1000).
· Grace Baptist Church of Mangu desires to put a roof on the auditorium the members have been building ($2000).
· The pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Masaka has experience in starting Christian schools; a school for their church would be a great ministry and would eventually help support the church ($2000 to begin).
Many of you reading this made contributions recently toward the building of our house [pictured]; we want to take this chance to thank you. As I write this, we have completed the roofing and are now doing the plastering, windows, and ceilings in hopes that we’ll be able to move in during the first week of February. Please keep the continuing work on our house in your prayers and know that your gifts are being used to make it more conducive for our family to stay in Nigeria for years to come. We pray that you all will enjoy the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Below is a letter from Missionary Evangelist James Belisle [pictured right]; Bro. Belisle and I serve together with Fundamental Baptist Missions International mission board:
From November 7 through November 16, 2012, I had the privilege to be with Missionary Mark Holmes and his family. Brother Holmes asked me to come to Nigeria to preach for his annual missions conference, as well as have a marriage and family conference. I also preached in his church services and was able to minister in a couple of local public schools.
Brother Holmes has a remarkable ministry when you consider he has been in Nigeria for only eight years. Since arriving in Nigeria, he has not only started a church that is already self- sufficient, but he has a Bible institute, a Bible seminary and is about to start a Bible correspondence school. His church has also had a part in establishing 15 churches that have national pastors who have had good solid training. His church is involved in giving above the tithe to missions so more churches can be started in Nigeria. We had a wonderful time of fellowshipping as we discussed some of his plans for the future.
I started my time with Brother Holmes by preaching in his midweek service. Friday I was able to preach in two secondary schools. Brother Holmes was able to get into the schools because the Truth Baptist Church staff presented an organized program to the authorities, showing them they had a plan to follow up on these students so they can become assets to society. He told me that if he had the manpower, he could keep a man busy full-time just in this ministry. I preached all day on Sunday, using the Sunday school hour and Sunday night service to emphasize missions. Monday through Thursday nights I preached the missions conference. The services were very well attended, and we had a great response during each invitation. Having preached in many churches in over 17 countries, I can tell when a congregation has a desire to respond to the Holy Spirit. It is obvious his people have been well trained by Brother Holmes to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit.
On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I preached on marriage and the family. Brother Holmes stated it was the best turnout he had ever had for day sessions. Each day I set aside some time to answer questions on the subject matter. What a blessing to give these fine people Bible answers to their culturally related questions. We believe the Lord helped many people realize they needed to have a Christian marriage.
By the end of my stay with Brother Holmes, I came away very impressed not only with what has already transpired here in Abuja but also with the plans he has for the future. You can rest assured that any support given to this missionary is a good investment in the kingdom of God. Please pray for the Holmes family as they continue to serve our Lord in this very needy country of Nigeria.