City of Refuge

Our Mission Board Founder, Dr. Mike Cox, describes the City of Refuge

On 25 May 2017 Brenda and I left the US for Nigeria where Missionary Mark Holmes and I would be hosting two church planting conferences. This year God led us to add a new area of teaching to our schedule, a seminar for pastors and laymen on how to effectively witness to and win Muslims to Christ. The basis for my teaching was the Questions book written by an Australian Pastor, Keith Piper. Pastor Piper has successfully led several thousand Iranian Muslims to Christ, baptizing over 1,000. He has put his approach in writing in this little book.

One of the challenges we faced was getting this book into Nigeria. We could not import them as the customs fees would be prohibitive, so we decided to print them in Nigeria. Pastor Piper graciously gave us permission to print them and a man in Bro. Holmes church, who has a printing ministry, agreed to print them. In the two weeks prior to our leaving we raised enough money to print 1,000 copies of this 48-page booklet, 1,000 Tracts, and hundreds of instructional CD’s on how to present the Gospel to a Muslim in such a manner as to gain a hearing. I took an hour in each conference to review this material with those who attended, and challenge the pastors to teach the material to his church members. Nigeria has close to 100 million Muslims. We have now begun to equip God’s people with the means to accomplish this great task of getting the Gospel to Muslims, and by His grace and with his power the task will be accomplished. Before the conference began I asked God for a token for good that would encourage us that we were indeed on the right path. He gave us this token during the Sunday morning service as I preached at Truth Baptist Church. A visiting Muslim man responded to the invitation for salvation and received Christ as his Savior.

Some may wonder if it is possible to win many Muslim’s to Christ. I believe that the Great Commission extends to all men including Muslims. The fact is; Muslims are just like members of other belief systems. Most are Muslim because they were born Muslim. With the free flow of information and the many Christian visitors around the world, many Muslims are curious as to what Christianity is really all about. For the first time in years they are open and beginning to question their belief system. I am thrilled to report that this great harvest has already begun and should only increase in the days ahead. 

In Nigeria the Fulani tribe seems to be the most difficult to reach. They are nomadic, traveling anywhere they can find grass for their herds; many are uneducated, and if a Fulani leaves the Muslim religion, he faces many challenges. Often he is left with no money, no personal possessions, and no education whereby he can earn a living and support his family, if they have escaped with him.  His public stand for Christ costs him everything. As of this writing 9 Fulani families have received Christ, 4 have made their decision public and fled to Abuja where they live in desperate conditions, cared for by members of Truth Baptist church.  The other 5 families have not made their decision known as they have no place to go.

Your investment in Nigeria is paying great dividends.  We are beginning to see an impact throughout the country, and the pace is quickening.  Often, when a Muslim family receives Christ, they want other family members to hear what they have heard.  They naturally recruit new prospects for the Gospel.  I believe that what we are seeing is the first fruits of one of the greatest harvests of souls that we have ever witnessed.  For this harvest to continue to grow, we need your prayers and financial support. There are 3 things that Bro. Holmes and I believe that we must do immediately.
1.   We need to print 10,000 more Question books so that we can place one in the hands of every independent Baptist Christian in Nigeria, thereby giving them the tools to win their Muslim acquaintances to Christ.
2.  We need to print the Answers Book and give it to every independent Baptist Pastor and Preacher.  This is a 1300-page book that is an entire pastor’s library.  It contains everything from doctrine to current issues of the day.  We are currently negotiating a cost to print these books.
3.  If we are serious about winning Muslims to Christ then we must be prepared to help them face the challenges which come with such a decision.  Brother Holmes and I believe that if the harvest of souls that is just now beginning among the Fulani people is to continue and grow then it is imperative that we provide them with a safe place to live while they transition into a new life.  It is our goal to provide them with a City of Refuge.  To make this goal a reality we need to purchase approximately 2 acres of land where we will build five 2-room dwellings, a bathhouse, and a church.  In addition, we need to drill a well to provide safe water.  This will allow us to house 5 families for a year.  While they are there we will instruct them in the Scriptures, teach them a trade, and provide a place for a garden so they can feed their family.
We have all expressed concern for the problem of Muslim extremism. We have said that something must be done. We are doing something that will work, will turn the tide, but we can’t do it without your help.   We estimate that the cost for this entire project, including giving them a means of support will be $36,500.  We already have a pastor who has started a church in the resettlement area.  Now like Cornelius, they wait.  They wait for us to do what they cannot do.  They will win the Muslims but they need us to partner with them.  What will you do?  My wife and I go, twice a year to help and train.  Will you pray for God’s power and leading?  Will you share this project with others so we can accomplish more?  Will you give sacrificially to make this City of Refuge a reality?  If you are a pastor will you lead your church to have a major part in this project?
In 44 years of full time ministry I have never seen an opportunity like this, an opportunity to influence an entire nation of nearly 200 million people.  I love you and want to thank you in advance for partnering with Brother Holmes, me, and our Nigerian brothers and sisters.  Thank you for your faithful monthly support that makes this all possible.

Nigerian Muslim Outreach Update

The Nigerian effort to win Muslims to Christ is bearing fruit.  A total of nine families from the Fulani tribe have received Christ as of this writing.  Five families have made their decision known and have fled to Abuja the only city in Nigeria where they can live in safety, as the Fulani tribesmen will not attempt to harm them there.  These five families are staying in an abandoned chicken farm.  Some twenty people, including ten babies and children, live in an open- air building, and two 10X10 rooms. They cook on open fires and drink from a polluted 20” deep well, fed by the members of Truth Baptist Church. This past week, I was informed that another family is ready to make their decision to receive Christ public, but once they do, they must flee to Abuja.  My friend, these dear brothers and sisters in Christ have nothing once they leave.  No personal belongings, no home, no money, no usable trade with which to support their families, but they have Christ and they have us.
We complain about the Muslim extremists.  We say something must be done.  Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.  The extremists are determined to take over every country in the world by violence if necessary.  This war against terror will never be won by military intervention for it is a spiritual battle between followers of Allah and Jehovah.  Muslims are being saved but we must help those who will take a stand for Christ.  Brother Holmes, I, and the Nigerian Christians are doing our part. Will you help us to take the next step and build a transition center for the Fulani refuges, a City of Refuge.  This will be 2 acre plot of ground where we can build 5 homes, a bath house, a church, and drill a well to provide good water. For this to become a reality we must raise the following funds.

City of Refuge Cost Estimate
     Construction Costs:
Land Purchase:  2 Acres                                          $5,000  PAID
Houses (5):  $3,000 each                                        $15,000
Bath House:                                                            $4,000                                                       Well:                                                                         $2,500  PAID
Church Building:                                                     $5,000
            Job Training: 1 Year                                                $5,000 ($1000 raised so far)
                                              Total  $36,500 ($28,000 remaining)

For the cost of a new car we can help Fulani Christian families transition to a new life in Christ where they can become active, winning other Muslims to Christ.  Something is being done and it is working.  Will you join with Brother Holmes and me to make the City of Refuge a reality?  We need your help today.  Please send whatever you can to Global Outreach, P.O. Box 906, Springboro, Ohio 45066.  On the memo line put “City of Refuge”.                
Are we going to be like the Priest and the Levite in the parable of the good Samaritan, we see the problem but do nothing to help?  Let us step up and be like the Good Samaritan and help those in dire need.  Thank you in advance for your support of these wonderful people. 

1 comment:

Robert and Rhoda Smith said...

Wonderful, exciting possibilities for Christ!