Preaching Opportunities in Nigeria

December 10, 2018 3:08 pm

As my prayer letter is limited to a page that can easily be printed and posted to a church wall, I decided to include more details of my 2018 trip to Nigeria in a few different blog posts. If you would like to know more about my trip than what the December 2018 Prayer Letter contains, then read on.

Hearing Church Lagos

I was privileged to preach in the Independent Baptist Church of Festac in Lagos. This was their Thanksgiving Sunday. Testimonies and thanksgiving were given by each family that day. Particularly of how they had seen God work in their family over the course of the last year.

One of the encouraging testimonies for me was something that started nine years ago. One of the assistant pastors in the church talked about prayer and how he was thankful for 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 and how it teaches us to pray for the work of God. He said that he is regularly reminded of those verses when he prays for missionaries and other people in the ministry. The reason this testimony was particularly encouraging to me is that he said I preached on those two verses when I was in their church nine years ago. It is always surprising and humbling to me when people remember something I taught on. Even more so when it has been almost a decade and the person thanks you for teaching them how to pray.

Deaf School Lokoja

One of my joys on this trip was to see a friend named Shola. When we met in 2009 Bro. Shola was a hired sign language interpreter for Bro. Wale. At the time Bro. Wale did not know signs and was just starting to help the deaf churches. Bro. Shola was a school teacher and the son of deaf parents. He knew signs well, but seemed to not be so sure about working with the missionary.

Shola and His Wife

Fast forward nine years and Bro. Shola is now the director of a new Christian deaf school. He is treating his 32 young students as his flock to pour his life and ministry into. Shola is fully surrendered to pastor the people God has given him. While they are primarily young school students, he also is reaching out to start a church among the Deaf in their town.

Lokoja Deaf School

We heard testimonies of students who have been saved. One has been used by God to lead his hearing Muslim mother and other family members to the Lord. Another pair of siblings who have been saved and are asking questions on how to tell their Muslim parents of the need for salvation. After that I was asked to preach and one young lady (maybe 16 years old) accepted the Lord after I gave a simple salvation message.

Ogun State Deaf Churches

There are five deaf churches in Ogun state that were started by the late Pastor Peter Ashade. Bro. Ashade was Deaf and used by God to see many Deaf saved and churches started. I was privileged to preach in all five of these churches.

Akeem and Me

The first of these churches that I preached in was in Abeokuta. There were 40 or so Deaf there and Samuel, a 20 something deaf man, came to be saved. I look forward to hearing from Pastor Adelu about the growth of Samuel.

I got a day off to rest at home before preaching at two deaf churches on a Saturday. The church in the morning was in Ilaro. About 20 attended the service and we had another young man saved, Akeem. He seemed to be very new to the church. I trust he will become faithful and grow in the Lord.

We moved to the church in Ota in the afternoon. Again we had about 20 Deaf who came to church. We did not see anyone saved during that service. This church has bought property and are building the church a block at a time as the Lord provides the funds.

Again on Sunday I preached at two different churches. The first church was in Sagamu. This is a church that does not have their own property, but it was the largest congregation by far. There were at least 80 people there that morning. They have graciously been granted space to hold their church services at a government school for the Deaf. Many of those in attendance were children from the school. There were three deaf ladies saved that morning.

Deaf Ladies Saved in Sagamu Church

In the afternoon we went to the deaf church in Ijebu Ode. Another smaller group of about 20. Two deaf ladies were saved in this service.

One thing that encouraged me about this church is that they are holding Bible studies in another town in hopes to start another church. Their Bible study has 35 to 40 regular attendees. The new town they are going to has an estimated 1,000 Deaf in the town. That is a larger deaf population than in Ijebu Ode. Pray for the church in Ijebu Ode that they will follow the Lord’s leading in this new work.

Fruit

Those are the six deaf services and one hearing service that I was privileged to preach in during my trip. I’m certainly not an eloquent speaker, but I thank God for the privilege of sharing His Word as I travel. I pray that He will continue to show me how to present the Gospel in a simple way that is accurate and understandable.

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