The dateline on this update is significant to our family for it is the day we moved into our new house! The ten-month process of building a home that we could own in Abuja has been trying, yet we have been aided along the way with skilled men within our membership, generous offerings of supporting churches, and invaluable help from our sending church. Our seminary students and some volunteer church members helped us to get all our belongings from the rental house in a single day, and several from Truth Baptist Church have blessed us with housewarming gifts.
The first two months of this year were also momentous as on the 8th of January we welcomed thirteen new students to our seminary, including the first four female students. Two of the ladies are members of our church, and the two from other cities are living in a separate quarters on our property and helping my wife in the house when they are not in classes. The seminary also has the following new teachers: Missionary Pastor Israel Thompsons, a dear friend who has preached with me in our pastors’ conference and has the only monthly publication amongst our independent Baptists in Nigeria, and Bro. Adewale Adesina, who is interning with us upon recommendation of his pastor and is a graduate of the only other full-time college in our movement.
In the middle of February, we welcomed back a young evangelist from the U.S. who, in late 2011, had helped one of our graduates to start a church in a neighboring state. This time he returned to purchase land for the church and lay down plans for an auditorium. The weekend before moving into our house, I traveled down to meet our visitor in Ugba, Benue State, to conduct the ordination for Pastor Victor Acka at New Hope Baptist Church [with me in the video above]. I had the adventure of baptizing several in the Benue River after the service, and we also took some time to conduct an outreach service in Bro. Acka’s home village near Ugba, where he hopes to start a church in the near future. Please join with us to continue praying for our church plants all throughout Nigeria and also for the school that is helping to equip another group of men for further church planting.
Below is a video that was used by Bro. Pete Cavanaugh, the "young evangelist" referenced above, to raise the funds for the property and future building in Ugba. (Note: we do realize there are other New Testament churches throughout Nigeria and in Benue State; however, it is significant that New Hope was the first independent Baptist church, that we know of, which was started in the state.)