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William: September 11 Update

Brother Simeon has been thrown out of the school he was teaching in there in Lunsar because (1) the school is a Catholic built and administered school (2) He has persistently taught the pupils about our Lord Jesus Christ and (3) time and again he used to carry his Bible to the school which is deemed illegal by them even if you’re a Christian.
 
As well, a group of pupils who were affected by Simeon’s teachings and testimonies took up the decision to follow Christ and began to hold meetings among themselves in school. Persecution broke out and they were invited to respond to the accusation of whether they are Christians, that is, born again or not. They actually publicly confessed   their faith. Therefore some of them have been driven [Editor: expelled from the school] and others served warning letters.

We are going to hold a retreat with some students from the fellowship starting from 15 to 19 September 2009 at the chapel in Murray Town.  Also we will have our annual Orientation Missions for freshmen coming to campus starting from the 21 September 2009.  We are counting on your prayers for this venture that the Lord will reach His own on campus so that as He has kept me thus far, so shall He for them also.

 Love, William.

Yinnkah: 3rd Benue Trip

THIRD BENUE MISSION TRIP   17TH JUNE – 1ST JULY 2009

Brother Amos has already briefly shared with you about the ministry at Otukpo and for that reason I won’t dwell much on it again. However, I wish to add that during the said prayer and fasting meeting, I was privileged to share the Word of God with the participants.  A number of church leaders were present as issues about the church of Jesus Christ and the true Christian worship were addressed. Prof. Hight wished to read some of bro. Steve’s publications which are currently out of print here in Nigeria. The time was indeed refreshing and edifying.

My ministry at Iga [Editor: This is brother Solomon’s village] on the 18th was very brief. It was to deliver the contributed funds for the sinking of the well for bro. Solomon and his neighbors. [Editor: This was mentioned in one of Yinnkah’s previous updates. Each year there is an outbreak of Cholera in this area due to unsanitary stream water]. The following morning bro Solomon led me to a blind elderly brother whom I encouraged in the Word of God before heading for Otukpo that same day.

Preaching Of The Gospel At Ugbobi Villiage   24th – 29th June, 2009

Ugbobi villiage is about 30km from Iga-Okpaya. The long trip on motor bike was a reflective one for me with vast farm lands [Editor: These are non-mechanized hand-tilled plots] on both sides of our narrow unsmooth path full of gallops [large potholes]. It amazed me how large the earth is and how populated even our part of the world is.

The love and compassion of God for humanity was impressed on me. Black and white, young or old, male or female, rich or poor; the Lord sees in us souls with the common and most important need of salvation through the foolishness of preaching. The gospel of Christ must be preached, and how readily the poor and the poor in spirit receive the glad tidings.

My first day and evening at the village was met with an oppressed brother who affirmed his faith in Christ when I asked him. Though he had just completed his mud house, Joseph was an unhappy man.  His wife and four children had deserted him for fear of the witches and wizards troubling the village. Even bro Amos’ daughter, Oiodu, confirmed this dread in the heart of the villagers. Many of their infants and children die and their strong belief is that the witches are responsible.

This young man wanted me to pray for him for protection but, without denying the power of believing prayer, I encouraged him with the truth that all power in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Matt.28:18). I knew in my heart that the truth of the gospel could set these people free (Jn.8:32); and to the power of this truth I directed his heart.

The Lord also helped me to remember that whatever problems and fears may exist, they are only symptoms of SIN. Sin is the real problem, not the witches, he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him (1 Jn.5:18). For the believer, Our Lord Jesus Christgave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age (Gal. 1:4).

With the countless problems and ordeals we all struggle with, Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary was that She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). Sin is at the root of man’s problems and for these villagers I knew the gospel must be preached for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom.1:16).

My first public preaching session was on the following night. The meeting had to be scheduled from 8pm to 10pm because of the business of the villagers’ planting season. Everyone, male and female, young and old, has a farm. Some men among them don’t even provide for their family from their farm profit. Wives, mothers, and their grown up children have to take care of themselves! Bro Amos had gone round the village to inform them of the meeting as soon as we arrived on the 24th. Ugbobi is his home village and he is well known and honored among them.

The Lord laid on my heart the burden of “The Outcry Against Ugbobi”.  And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth” (Gen. 4:10-12). From this text I pointed out to the people the judgment of God coming upon them, their land and the works of their hands because of their sins and hatred against one another. For every act of sin against our neighbor, there is an outcry to the Lord and He is always a witness (Mal.2:14).

Both the wicked acts and the thoughts and intentions of man’s heart in the days of Noah the Lord saw … He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth (Gen.6:16-7). And when man was building himself Babel to make himself a name in defiance of the purpose of God, the Lord came down to see the rebellious work of his hands (Gen.11:5). And what was the end? The Lord inflicted them with confusion and division (vv.7,8).

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit (Ezek. 16:49,50). But before the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens (Gen.19:24), He had said: the outcry against it … has come to Me… I will go down now and see… (Gen. 18:21).

There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account (Heb.4:13). His eyes are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Prov.15:3). It’s only a matter of time before His judgment falls for the iniquity of the Amorites (‘Ugbobites’) is not yet complete (Gen.15:16). But before His unbearable judgment, you had better be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God. Yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? (Jonah 3:8-9).

This was my introductory message to the villagers for the first two nights. About fifty people gathered in the Methodist auditorium the first day. The promptness and attendance on the second day was poor as the village started to mourn the death of an elderly woman at the early hours of the day. Some may have thought: “Has God come to destroy us?!” But I was not discouraged, nor did I fail to declare the whole counsel of God to those that turned up; how He relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon ( Nineveh ) when HE saw their works, that they turned from their evil way (Jonah 3:10).

The third night of the meeting witnessed a better turn out than the previous. This time Fabian, a new disciple (whom I met during the Otukpo meeting) had joined us on his own accord. He willingly took over the interpretation from ‘old’ bro Amos. It was a blessing to have him with us and for the rest of the sessions and interpret for me.

This night, I commenced a thorough teaching on the Gospel in its four aspects – The problem, solution, response and the result. The night was spent briefly teaching on the problem: God is holy, man is sinful & the reality of hell. I laid much emphasis on man’s sinfulness that all may be aware of their depravity; and with the call to repentance, the meeting was closed.

The teaching in the Gospel would be continued on the next day from 3-6pm and 9-12pm. The pastor of the Methodist Church was present this time, and after the message he requested that I come to preach the Word of God the next morning during their Sunday service. He would have to be officiating in another village parish by then but he assured me his associate would be present to receive me and officially introduce me to the people.

[Editor: The Methodists along with other “Orthodox” denominations in West Africa regularly accomodate idolatry, immorality, drunkenness, and polygamy within their ranks while demanding money and providing little or any biblical teaching]

Sunday Service At Methodist Church Ugbogi (28th June ’09)

The service started at 9am. It was a typical Sunday with everyone in his/her best. About a hundred people congregated in the hall this beautiful morning. The associate pastor was seated on the elevated ‘altar’ while the ‘laity’ occupied the opposite wooden pews. Everyone knew I was a stranger, and that I couldn’t deny by my obvious inability to participate in the Idoma singing and back-breaking dances.

The pastor invited me to the ‘high table’ but I gently turned down the offer, assuring him I was comfortable on the front right pew before him. After all the Sunday routine he introduced me as a missionary all the way from Ibadan. (He interpreted his introduction in English for my sake). I stood up to greet the people ‘Mmochi. Ochebe?’ (Good morning. How was the night?). The chuckles that followed told me I needed to brush up my accent. It was a pleasant introduction, but my heart couldn’t wait to preach the gospel to these “sinners in Zion.”

It was “offering time”, and the pastor exhorted the people to give. This was mainly in Idoma, but at a point he interpreted a statement wherein he exclaimed, “God is not pleased with your N5 offerings!” [Editor: N5 is five Naira, about 4 cents]. He was rebuking the people for dropping such a small denomination at all! My heart was grieved. I believe that for many of these folks, N5 could be their widows’ mite.

Right at that point I knew where I was to start my sermon; and as soon as I was called upon to preach I directed the congregation to the teaching of our Lord Jesus in Mark 12:41-44. In the spiritual economy, though the widow put in two mites compared to the big bills of the rich, Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she has, her whole livelihood.

That was Christ’s evaluation. I made it clear to those poor folks that God is after the quality or attitude of their hearts towards Him when they give and not just after the quantity. “A man’s N5 may be his best” I preached to the congregation; so let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).

The gladdened congregation nodded in approval, and the pastor himself gave a loud convicted “Yes!” to the brief teaching. This atmosphere launched me into the main message entitled:  Jesus: the Resurrection and the Life (Jn. 11:25-26), interpreted by a brother and member of the church. Bro Amos and Fabian visited other church meetings as we had previously agreed upon.

The village was still in a mourning mood for the death of the elderly woman who was buried the previous day. The reality of death was still looming. Against this backdrop the Lord inspired me to present Christ to them as the only bridge between death and life. For all who believe in Him, physical death is only a passage to life; they have the hope of resurrection (Jn. 2:21; 6:39,40,44 cf. I Thess. 4:16,17; I Cor. 15:50-57) to then ever be with the Lord while the sinners will be raised to condemnation (Jn.5:29 cf. Rom.8:1) and eternal destruction in the lake of fire(Rev.20:11-15;21:8, Ps.9:17).

However, every man has the  privilege of avoiding the latter, the Lord  says, He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live (Jn.11:25); but how can one believe, turning to Christ by faith, without first repenting from sin? Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted and so that the time of refreshing may come from the presence of the LORD (Acts 3:19; 17:30; 2:38; Lk. 13:3,5). We must repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance (Acts 26:20).

True faith or conversion is known only in a repentant life. God forbids that we continue in sin that grace may abound (Rom.6:1). Outward identification with the church does not guarantee salvation. Let sinners In Zion be afraid for the Lord our God is a consuming fire. It’s only the righteous that can dwell with Him in His beauty (Read Isa. 33:14-17; Deut. 4:24).

Therefore, in conclusion, having set before them Life and death, (Read Deut.30:15, 19-20) resurrection of life and resurrection of condemnation, I couldn’t withhold the tears in persuading them to choose Christ Who alone is the Resurrection and the Life. The repentant prayer session that followed assured my spirit some indeed believed. The Sunday meeting was ended about 1pm, shortly after the congregation was notified of the two sessions of teaching on the Gospel at 3-6pm & 9am.

An elderly gray-haired man approached me and thanked me for the teachings, especially, that on giving as he complained that all their pastors are after is their pockets. “We don’t hear this kind of message” was his lament in English. Please brethren pray that the Lord will raise true shepherds for His flock. We are four months behind! Look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest (Jn..4:35).

The same day would be my last with them before returning to Otukpo. So, after about an hour of rest, brother Amos, Fabian and I left our base of bro Amos’ family compound, to attend to the ministry of the Gospel. It was in the same Methodist hall. The ‘lay leader’ was highly influential in allowing us its use. The meeting started at the scheduled hour (3pm) with prayers and spiritual songs led by bro. Amos.

I started to teach some thirty minutes later with Fabian by my side to interpret with his youthful zeal. The auditorium was almost full as I continued my teaching on the Gospel. Having reviewed man’s sinfulness, I proceeded to expound on God’s holiness, the reality of hell, Christ as God’s solution to man’s sin-problem, and the expected response to the gospel call.

The call to repentance was again laid as the foundation before they could turn to Christ in simple faith. The demons believe but lack repentance (Jas.2:1 cf. Jn.2:23-25) and even Judas followed the Lord but he never had a repentant life (Jn.6:70;12:4-6;13:18;17:12; Mt.27:3-5). Repentance must lead to believing in and receiving Christ, confessing Him, following Him, loving Him and our submission to baptism. The meeting was closed with prayers and a favorite Idoma song:

W’ebe gi Jesus, W’ebe gi Jesus    [Come to Jesus, come to Jesus]

W’ebe gi Jesus,  anana! (Anana) [Come to Jesus, now now]

Anana, W’ebe gi Jesus.                 [Now now, come to Jesus]

W’ebe bi Jesus, anana!                  [Come to Jesus, now now]

Anu w’Onyoche…              [He’s your Saviour…]

It was few minutes past 6pm. We had three hours to retire before the next teaching session.

The last session of our Gospel meeting commenced as planned. By 9pm bro Amos opened with prayer and led the excited congregation in indigenous spiritual songs. As perceived by the villagers, a spectacular thing happened during the afternoon session. Inspired of the Lord to read Acts 13:4-12, I publicly warned the witches of the village to repent and believe in Christ lest they be stricken with blindness by the Lord!

The congregation was alarmed by the bold declaration. Some even interjected with “Ha!” A few minutes after this pronouncement as I continued to preach, suddenly a black small object crawled out of the pew on my right and started heading towards Fabian and me! I ignored it, concentrating on the message. But the object then wiggled towards Fabian! The congregation saw it but waited to see the reaction of the preachers!

Nearing Fabian, the thing almost crawled into his trousers without his knowledge then suddenly from the congregation, a brother jumped up and out ran a few others towards Fabian and smashed the small bat under his right foot! My heart ached for the brutality, but bro Amos joined the “hunters” by picking it up to be later burnt after the meeting. According to him and others, “it was victory over the manifestation of the power of darkness!”

As the people gathered to hear the Word of God, the last night, I preached on the results of receiving the gospel: salvation, forgiveness, eternal life, cleansing, no condemnation, and power! Without deemphasizing the others, I encouraged the hearts of those who may have been saved among them that as Christians, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim.1:7).

They need no longer fear the witches and wizards because these evil ones now rather fear them! I reechoed to them the promise of our Lord Jesus who says, Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Read Lk.10:19f). I assured every believer of how the Lord God of heaven has made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side (Job 1:10); and that living a life of purity is a defense itself against the enemy (1 Jn. 5:18). However, as every believer should know, I also pointed out that we can trust and rest in the Lord’s sufficient grace when He permits a messenger of Satan to buffet us. Even in our infirmities, the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:7:9).

I can still see the brightened countenance on the smiling face of Joseph who first ushered me into Ugbobi village with all of its fears. The truth had set him free, I believe! Before our departure, two of his kids, a boy and a girl, were returned to him by the wife. She was still away though, still seeking ‘divine protection’ under a ‘prophet’ who promised to deliver their demon possessed grown daughter.

To my readers, please don’t just read this but find time to regularly pray for this family and the villagers; that the seed of God’s Word sown into the land will be blessed and caused to grow by the Lord to bring forth fruits of transformed lives. I hope to revisit them during the next non-planting dry season if the Lord wills.

I rounded off my ministry trip to Ugbobi as I returned to Otukpo in the morning hours of the 29th of June. In the evening time I fellowshipped with the brethren at Sabongiri and led them in a Bible study on self examination (2 Cor. 13:5) after which a troubled brother inquired about the Eternal Security of believers.

His question formed the basis of our three-hour Bible study the following evening. The church rejoiced at God’s marvelous grace that is greater than all our sins (Rom. 5:20). I was prayerfully sent forth as I was to return to Ibadan the next day. They hope I will be back with them to speak more on this last subject and to be a blessing in their youth conference.

Having heard the report of the Lord’s work in Ugbobi, bro Simeon would also have me visit his village on my next visit. May these things please our Lord Jesus the Head of the body, the church, who is the Beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence (Col.1:18). Amen.

P.S. Please pray for bro Titus’ visit to Benue and Enugu-Ezike. He’s presently being hindered. I’m also raising some funds to get bro Amos a new bike for the gospel work at Otukpo. The present one he’s using is as old as he is. This is without his knowledge though. It will cost some N65,ooo [about $465].

William: Mission Trip to Provinces

I’m grateful to God that His hand is still upon me even in my distress. Actually, I’m walking after Him by his unfailing grace each day. I came just today from the provinces where I visited Lunsar, Kabala, Tendatha, and Bendugu.

Moving about reaching the unreached really cheers my heart and brings me fulfillment. In Lunsar, for instance, I had the chance to tell a group of young people about the Lord’s love for them, and believe that lives were touched through that testimony.

In Kabala we went with some brethren from the Chapel [Editor: This is the fellowship in Freetown that brothers William and Foday serve the saints] to a village about 5 miles from the township. We had a wonderful time such as sleeping on the floor in one class room, teaching the village youths and children about Jesus and school work, and sharing some used clothing that we took along. We trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Love, William.

Yinnkah: Alakia update

This is the third time I’ve tried to send you an update on the new work at Alakia but unfortunately the internet server has been bad.  The meeting held last week as scheduled in the house of brother Ayelaagbe. Nine of us gathered along with bros Samson and Busayo. The brother summoned his wife and two children with a neighbor to join the meeting.

I taught on God’s pattern for His house, clarifying how all things must be according to divine pattern and not ours, no matter how great they may be. Christ is the foundation of the church and He alone determines the structure laid on it. I continued this teaching yesterday with more emphasis on Christ as the center of all things in His Church.

Bro Ayelaagbe was eager to join us at Ore Meji as well where I still worship with the brethren on Sundays. Sorry for this brief update, but I am having a bout with malaria. Bro David Adasho sends his greetings, Tobi too.

Love,

Yinnkah

Yinnkah: Tola Bewaji’s Retreat Report

Brother Titus began our meeting on Friday around 8 pm with an exposition of John 13:1-17. Christ is our true One, a loving Lord and holy Steward; the perfect pattern to emulate and follow.  He exemplifies true devotion, humility, reconciliation, and love for His disciples – even today.  The meeting ended around 11:30 pm.

The next morning at 6am, bro Yinnkah ministered on the subject, “Are we like Jesus Christ?” from Matthew10:24-25. It was a call to walk in holiness, truth, and love, just as He walked; to preach the word, speaking the truth in love to win lost souls to the kingdom of heaven.  

Jesus accepts sinners while he lovingly corrects their lives rather than despising or condemning them, unlike the religious leaders of His day in Palestine. Christ rather leads them to repentance and the knowledge of the truth.

The following practical scriptural truths for evangelism today were taught: [1] Jesus Christ mixed with sinners yet without personal contamination -Lk.15:1; 1Cor.5:11-13; Rom.12:19,21; Isa.6:5f; Lk.5:8; Heb.9:14. [2] God Himself will keep and guide us in this venture – Jn.17:14-17; I Jn.5:18; I Cor.10:32; I Cor. 9:21-27;  [3] Like Jesus, keeping company with sinners must be for evangelistic reasons rather than mere social purposes.

Later that same day, the brothers and sisters divided into separate meetings. The brothers’ meeting entailed prayers, hymn singing, and Bible reading with an exhortation by bro Kunle from Titus 2:1-2 to hold to sound doctrine, maintaining a good quality of life, and showing discernment which is an indication of spiritual maturity (Heb.5:14).

The session was ended with a tense discussion about men’s responsibility of providing for their families even in the midst of poverty. Bro Israel shared with us some of his experiences in this matter and the concluding prayer was heartfelt.

In the sisters’ meeting, they discussed their responsibilities at home towards their husbands and children from Tit. 2:3-5; Ex. 2:9; Heb:13:4; I Pet.3:1-6. Their meeting was led by sis Dorcas, bro Titus’ wife.

At the last day of the meeting we broke bread [communion, Lord’s Supper] as bros. Tobi and Yinnkah taught on its uniqueness and significance for Christians. This was preceded by prayers, supplications and intercession for all men and for the body of Christ at large.

We thank the Lord for His protection of bro Israel Jimoh who had an accident on his motorbike as he left for his home in Alabata. He sustained an injury to his left leg and some of the brethren who heard of the accident promptly left to take him to the hospital [Editor: There is not ambulance and emergency medical response in Nigeria as there is in the USA].

Though now discharged, it will yet take some time before he can regain the use of the leg. For the meantime, so that he may be able to take care of his family, the brethren agreed to be sending him some support on a weekly basis. The collection is to be made every Lord’s day. The following day after the accident we were able to send him some food stuff coupled with the sum of 2000 Naira [about $14]. Please keep him in your prayers.

Hopefully, tomorrow bro Tobi will mail you some scanned photographs of the retreat.

May the love of Christ reign in our hearts. Amen.  Love, Tola Bewaji for the brethren in Ibadan.

Yinnkah: New Work at Alakia

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m glad to inform you that the Lord has opened up a new door of ministry that we pray and hope He will bless.

Several members of a denomination ruled by a woman General Overseer [G.O.] were recently excommunicated.  Their offence? They failed to acknowledge her as G.O. in a handbill they produced to publicize a church program.

Some years back, bro Samson [Editor: one of brother Titus and Yinnkah’s disciples] had taught among them the error of having a lady G.O. from the biblical point of view which resulted in his eviction from that system. However, the seed of the Word sown among them stuck in the minds of some, including one of the male elders. 

So now that virtually the whole membership of that branch was excluded, they turned to bro Samson from whom they had once learned some Bible truth.  Though the woman G.O. afterwards attempted to lure the people back, she went too far and the flock wishes to seek true pasture far from her empire! She may have flushed them out of her auditorium, but not out of the kingdom of God!

 Therefore, it seemed fitting to the brethren for me to start a weekly Bible study with them beginning next Wednesday at the house of one of their former leading elders. Bro Busayo and bro Samson will accompany me to meet with these people, Lord willing.

The Ore Meji brethren were so glad about this development, especially the outgoing bro David. While we attend to these new brethren, Tobi and bro Kunle will be meeting with those at Ore Meji in my absence. Do pray that the light of the gospel may be further reflected in all of our lives. May more of God’s people be set free from the chains of the false shepherds of our generation. I hope to update you after my first meeting with them.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  Love, Yinnkah

Foday: July Update

With joy and thanksgiving we are joyful in the Lord because His mercies endure forever.

The Lord has been so good to us as ever and in His love and mercy we are going forward in His service. Though much was not done in the past month, but we are ever happy for what ever little He permits us to do in His vineyard. The exams are over and all the brethren are on holiday and we are all praising God together in our fellowship for what He has taken us through in our different institutions.

We thank our God every time we remember you. In all our prayers for all of you, we always pray with joy because of your support from the first day until today. We are sure that you have not forgotten us a day in your prayers for the work of the Lord in Sierra Leone.

We are happy to inform you all that most of the brothers and sisters in the fellowship (about 18 in number) will be traveling to Kabala from the 10—15 of August for children and youth Bible studies.  We also will be sharing with the people there what the Lord has blessed us with, such as used clothing, since this is the most terrible time for most of them there.  The rains here are very heavy [Editor: and Kabala is much colder than other places in SL] and a good number of the people there are without clothes to use when they come from their farms [Editor: Many in the villages have but their ragged pants and T-shirt].

We think we have more than one set each in the fellowship, so we have decided to give whatever the Lord has laid in our hearts to give.  I am proud to say a good number of our members have responded to this call. This is the gift we are taking to them along with the gospel.

Though many more want to go on this trip, we are financially constrained and we cannot afford transportation for all. Whatever happens, we want to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ which we have received from Him through the help of the Holy Spirit and His servant.

Though we are been opposed about what we preach and believe, we are not frightened in any way by those who think we are lacking in the truth; what we received from God is what we pass on to others.

Joins us in prayer in the following prayer points:

* That the Lord will give us boldness to speak the truth without fear in this land that is dominated by Muslims and traditional idolatrous religion.

* That the Lord will bring to us faithful brothers and sisters so that during our stay in that place, we may able to affect lives.

* That the Lord will make provisions for us so as to enable all our brothers and sisters that have the desire to preach the Gospel there to take part in this trip.

Greet all the brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Let no man cause us trouble for we bear the mark of Christ on our backs.

Yinnkah: June Ministry in Otukpo

The following report was submitted by brother Amos Agbochenu, giving the highlights of brother Yinnkah’s recent trip to Benue State.

We began with three days of teaching accompanied by prayer and fasting from the 19th to the 22nd of June, meeting in one of the primary schools here in Otukpo. Professor H.C. Inyiama from the Federal University of Technology in Awka, Anambra State joined brother Yinnkah in the teaching.

More that one hundred people attended the meetings and prayer points included evangelization of Idoma land and the entire nation of Nigeria, as well as some of the most pressing problems of our country such as revival of God’s church, corruption 419 [Editor: 419 is a designation in Nigeria for fraud, embezzlement, and corruption in general], political assassination, occult practices, and armed robbery. 

Yinnkah spoke on the prayer life of Jesus Christ at the Mount of Olives from Lk.22:39-46 with many references from the Scriptures. The brethren were enlightened as people listened with radiant faces and testified of the truths they received. Professor Inyiama also rejoiced as he heard brother Yinnkah ministering “all the word of this life” (Acts 5:20).

On the following two days, Dr. Daniel of Saint Daniel’s Hospital in Otukpo, brother Simon Egwu, and I arranged for the meetings that were held there with twenty one in attendance. Brother Yinnkah spoke on types and shadows in the Bible with Rom.15:4 and I Cor.10:1-6 as the key texts introducing that topic.  Although rain was about prevent the meeting of the second day [Editor: This is the tropical rainy season and there are no taxis in Otukpo, the chief means of transport being on the back of for-hire motorbikes], but Dr. Daniel in his zeal for the studies took his own car through heavy rain to pick up brother Yinnkah, Amos, and others to that gathering.

On the twenty fourth of June, we left Otukpo to the village of Ugbobi accompanied by Amos’ daughter, Oyiwodu. The ministry of the Word started on the 25th and continued to Sunday, June 28 with brother Yinnkah ministering assisted by a young man named Fatian as interpreter. The meetings were held in the evenings from 8 to 10pm. The messages centered on the topic of sin, its consequences, remedy, and especially the need of repentance before faith in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit held people together and one man confessed that they had never heard this type of message before, only that of demands of money by their denomination. Lives were saved by hearing the message of salvation. Several women came for counseling and were prayed with. A young man was ministered to privately and he confessed to stealing his father’s hand set [cell phone].

The father was invited and together they were ministered to.  Kneeling down and asking for forgiveness, the son returned his father’s hand set and the father blessed God for ministry. One of the great joys that Christians in the village had was the reconciliation of two brothers who are Christians and of the same parents [Editor: Polygamy, divorce and remarriage are very common and such alienation is expected among those siblings, but not those of the same parentage]. They were reconciled and re-united after a long time of hatred and bitterness that no other Christians from the area could settle.

Finally, the last day of the meetings was quite busy with three successive meetings apart from Sunday’s worship. The meeting closed by 10pm, the brethren having thanked God and prayed that Yinnkah might make a return visit to them in February next year, God willing. The following day in the evening we went to the local church at Sabongeri in Otukpo for Bible study where Yinnkah instructed the brethren from the Scriptures.

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Emmanuel: Christian Maturity Series

 

STUDY 3  THE MINISTRY OF JESUS           

 1. Scriptures

 Look up and read the following Scripture passages. They will help you understand what Jesus has done. Think and pray about the passages and note down any thoughts and/or questions you want to share with the Group.

 Matthew 4: 12-25                   Matthew 5: 17-20                   Mark 10: 42-45

Luke 9: 18-27                          Luke 22: 24-28                        John 13: 1-11             

John 14: 1-14

2. The Ministry of Jesus

The Jews expected the Messiah to be a warrior king. Jesus rejected this role. But how did He see His ministry and what did He think that He had come to do? The readings in this section are chosen from His life and work to illustrate the various ways in which Jesus understood what He was doing.

(a) The Preacher

Jesus began where John the Baptist left off. He was a preacher. His message gradually unfolded from the time He began preaching in Galilee (Matt. 4: 23f) until the end of His earthly life on the Cross: though this world is at present in the hands of the power of evil, the rightful kingship of God is to be restored through Him.

 (b) The Lawgiver

 To those who responded to His proclamation of God’s kingship, Jesus gave a new law which is summarized by Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, the Sermon on the Mount is not so much a new law (for almost all of its teaching is found elsewhere in the Old Testament), but the demand that the old law, based on the principles given by Moses, should be looked at in a new way. Those who saw the old law as a line not to be crossed had already crossed it. Jesus taught His disciples to see beyond this and to the guiding principles of Christian love.

 (c) The Ruler

 Jesus was not only the herald of God’s Kingdom and its lawgiver, but He is also its King. The words put on the top of His cross by Pilate, “The King of the Jews”, intended as mockery, were very true. Jesus, however, avoided for most of His life the title of “Messiah”, preferring to call Himself, the “Son of Man”. This phrase was taken from the Book of Daniel (Daniel 7: 13). In Revelation 1: 13 it describes the representative of God’s people as the great High Priest. 

 (d) The Servant

 Jesus understood His work as the Son of Man in the light of another Old Testament figure, the Suffering Servant described in Isaiah 52:13—53: 12.  Jesus and the New Testament writers saw Him as fulfilling in His ministry the role of the servant of God (see Isa.53:3 and Mk.10:33,34;  Isa.53:5 and I Pet.2:24,25;  Isa.53:9 and Mt.27:57-60; I Pet.2:22).

 (e) The Deliverer

 Jesus understood His task as God’s servant was that of releasing men from the prison of sin. At His baptism, He identified himself with those whom He had come to save, and on the cross He finally defeated the powers of evil by which they were bound. But in His ministry, seen as a conflict with sin and evil in every form, were anticipation and an illustration of this final victory.

 (f) The Revealer of God

 In His ministry, Jesus is seen as fulfilling various roles: He is at once the herald, the lawgiver, and the king of the Kingdom of God. He is God’s chosen, whose task is to rescue sinful men from the power of evil. But He is more than God’s agent. He claims to reveal God in such a way that anyone who has seen Him has seen God Himself (see Jn.1:1-3; 5:19-23; 14:6-11).

 3. Memorisation

 It often helps us to understand what Scripture is saying by memorising key verses. The following verses are taken from The Good News translation.

 1.   For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life (John 3: 16).

 2. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

 3.  We were God’s enemies, but He made us His friends through the death of His Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! (Romans 5: 10).

 4. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away, see, everything has become new! (2 Corinthians 5: 17).

 4. Questions

 1. Washing guests’ feet was a job for a household servant to carry out whenever guests arrived. Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and washed and dried the disciple’s feet (John 13: 1-7). If even Jesus, God in human form, was willing to serve in this way, then we as His followers must also be willing to serve in any way that glorifies God. There is a special blessing for those who not only agree that humble service is Christ’s way, but for those who also follow it through. Are you willing to follow Christ’s example of serving? Who, and in what way, can you serve today?

 2. Jesus told Peter and Andrew to follow Him and become “fishers of men” to help others to find God (Matt. 4: 18-20). We need to fish for souls. How can we practice Christ’s teachings and share the gospel with others so that we are able to draw those around us to Christ, like a fisherman who pulls the fish into his boat in the nets?

 3. In John chapter 14 Jesus is not saying that his disciples would do more amazing miracles—after all, raising the dead is about as amazing as you can get. Rather, that the disciples, working with the power of the Holy Spirit, would carry the Gospel of God’s Kingdom out of Palestine and into the whole world. In what ways can we fulfil what Jesus has asked us to do—preaching the Gospel to Freetown, Sierra Leone and then to the rest of the world?

 5. Further Reading

 If you want to undertake further study on this topic, please look up the following passages:

 Isaiah 42: 1-4                          Isaiah 52:13–53: 12                Ephesians 1: 15-23

Philippians 2:5-11

Solomon January to June 2009 Report

I first of all give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved me through his eternal love. He has also appointed me to be a heavenly citizen, and also to care for sinners in order to bring them to Christ as their Lord and savior. He has established the love for the brethren in my heart.

The Lord has appointed me to serve Him with all of my heart. O how I must first love Him and obey Him in my daily life. The Holy Spirit is the one to lead me in the service to the Lord. Nothing should be done with my own thoughts as God says in Isa.55: “My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.”

The work of the gospel is going on in my place and other areas, places like Iga-okpaya and other villages in Benue State. In Kogi State, places Loke Igaliwo, Bagana, Abajikolo, Icheke and Ika are being reached with the gospel message, teaching how Christians should love one another, how Christ is to be recognized as the only one Head in the church. The trade language [Igala] is used in the midst of the brethren.

In Abuja, the federal capital territory where I visited the brethren, I met with different tribes and the trade language [Hausa.  Brother Solomon is fluent in four languages] was used for the glory of God and many people benefited as they heard the Word of God.

I need more prayer for the work of God to be carried to other parts of Nigeria where I have never touched and the ability of reaching there with the fear of God.

I also thank God for how bro Steve Phillips influenced me. God has used him greatly to be a spiritual blessing in my life. May God use him more in the lives of others to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in this life as we wait for the coming of the Lord.

Bro. Solomon Ogbochenu

19th June,’ 09

PS-Thanks to you and the brethren in Ibadan for the financial support of N25,700 [about $170] for the well [This was mentioned by Yinnkah in his Benue report. There is no well in brother Solomon’s village and this will be a great help to him and to many]. I hope to embark on it after the rainy season [in Benue the rainy season is from April to October].  May the Lord reward your love.