December 2018 Prayer Letter

December 12, 2018 1:20 pm

Dear Praying Friends,
It would be very difficult to tell of all the blessings and answers to prayer that the Lord showered on our ministry this last month. But I will summarize as much as I can by telling a couple of stories from my recent trip to Africa. [You can read about the preaching opportunities I had and my safe arrival home.]

Thanksgiving
I visited some friends for Thanksgiving who live in a closed country. While there, I met a man who has recently been saved out of Islam. To hear him tell of the joys of answered prayer made me cry. As a Muslim he prayed 5 times a day for as long as he could remember. Never once did he experience an answer to his prayers. Yet in the first few weeks of knowing Christ as Savior, he has prayed specifically for opportunities to share his faith with others and has seen God answer those prayers within the same day.

First, I cry tears of thankfulness because I am thrilled to see his joy and simple faith. But I also weep because his story makes me realize how casually I take prayer and sometimes think God isn’t listening.

I had not expected to meet any Deaf while I was there but my friend scheduled a meeting for me with a Muslim deaf man. Though our communication was limited—four deaf men and I played charades for three hours—there is now an opportunity for a return visit and a plan to share Christ with them more directly.

Bro. Wale praying with two deaf ladies for salvation.

Nigeria
My trip to Nigeria was phenomenal! I went there to be a help and blessing to the deaf churches. But, as is often the case, I think I was the one more blessed. Eight Deaf were saved in six preaching services. But there is so much more to the story than just the numbers.

I was in Nigeria nine years ago. At that time I met a hearing missionary, Wale Orekan, who was new to helping the deaf churches. He did not know sign language. He was doing what he could to encourage the deaf believers in the Lord since the recent passing of the founder of their churches. I also met five deaf church congregations who were struggling to keep things running without a clear leader. Most of these congregations had no permanent place to meet. I even met a young skeptical interpreter who had been hired to help the hearing missionary train new church leaders.

What I found this trip wast he same hearing missionary who now knows sign language and preaches to the Deaf without an interpreter. I saw the same five deaf churches that now have strong leadership and a permanent church location for their meetings (with the exception of one church that is still looking for land). And the young interpreter that I met nine years ago is now in full-time ministry and has started a new deaf school this year as the basis for the church congregation that he is assembling to lead as pastor.

God is doing a great work in the world!

I thank you for allowing me to be your eyes and ears to see what is going on and reporting back to you. It is a privilege to serve you in this way as I serve the missionaries on their respective fields.

MerryChristmas!

You can download a PDF version of the letter for printing.

NOTE: I have been intentionally vague about where my Thanksgiving trip took me. That does not mean I don’t want to talk about it, but I can’t put some things in print for the sake of the family I visited.

I am very eager to talk about my trip and would love to answer any questions you have. Please feel free to call me so that I can fill you in on how God is working in this spiritually difficult place.

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