2018 Nigeria Field Report #2
Sunday’s group photo of SGBC, Lagos, with Pastor Joe and Pastor Austin.
On the first Lord’s Day of the mission we celebrated the 16th Anniversary of Sovereign Grace Bible Church, Lagos. Pastor Joe gave the message on “Enduring in Ministry”. It was well received as the brethren were encouraged to endure afflictions and persevere in the work of spreading the gospel and church planting. Pastor Choolwe ministered the word at the Lekki Church plant earlier that day. Other important meetings were held with the leadership of SGBC after which the day’s events were concluded and the team returned home to catch up on some much needed rest.
Students gathered at West African Theological Seminary (WATS) to hear preaching from the FirstLove Missions Team
Monday was a big day for our mission work in Nigeria. A second college, West African Theological Seminary (WATS), invited the team to come and teach. Each of the three speakers delivered one message related to proper Bible interpretation (hermeneutics). The importance of accurate bible interpretation cannot be overstated. The purity of Christian Theology, doctrine, and all biblical disciplines rests on the accuracy of our interpretation of scripture. There is very little teaching on hermeneutics, if any, in Nigeria, and the result has been disastrous. Pastor Joe spoke first on the “Principles of Interpretation”. Austin spoke second on the nature of “The Body of Christ”, and Choolwe brought the last message on “Christ The Head of the Church”. After a Q&A session, it was evident that the crowd of 250 students and faculty were greatly encouraged, challenged and thankful for the ministry of the word. There were immediate requests for us to return soon as they were very hungry for more teaching. Afterwards, valuable books and literature were freely distributed to the students and faculty to provide clear truth and further education to the attendees.
Pastor Joe preaching on the principles of Bible interpretation at WATS.
The way home that night was treacherous and physically demanding. Traffic jams in Lagos are massive and turbulent with vehicles pushing their way through miles of dense chaos. It took the team three and a half hours to travel a distance that otherwise could have been traversed in 45 minutes. This is apparently normal for Lagos.
A quick picture of a commuter train zooming by the car (note the men on top).
Pastor Austin Preaching at LASU
The momentum continued into the next day as Pastors Joe and Austin arrived at Lagos State University (LASU) campus. However, the teamed was informed by LASU Chaplains that they would only have one hour in which to minister to twenty students. As the meeting began the crowd grew unexpectedly as Joe and Austin preached Christ and The Word for over an hour and a half to an audience that grew to one hundred and fifty thirsty students for God’s word. There was a tremendous response from the students as the concluding question and answer period prompted many questions on various topics from God’s word. This set the stage for a gracious invitation for FLM to hold a full conference next year with the school’s support.
A look inside the Chapel at Lagos State University where FLM ministered.
Pastor Choolwe teaching three modules on Bible interpretation at Christ Pastor’s Seminary (CPS) at Sovereign Grace Bible Church, Lagos.
Pastor Choolwe held a seminar for the students of Christ Pastor’s Seminary. He led them through three modules covering specific aspects of proper Biblical interpretation.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Austin Huggins
Pastor Joe’s Summary
1. Literature Distribution. Four hundred pounds of literature (over 1,200 books and booklets) were distributed to attendees at four events: the Lagos Bible Conference, West African Theological Seminary, University of Lagos, and Lagos State University. The vast majority of the people have no literature but their bible, and have no access to buy Christian publications. Three thousand tracts were given to the church for distribution. Unfortunately, our supplies of literature were exhausted before holding the last conference in Abuja. There was not sufficient materials to satisfy the demand.
- Preaching and Teaching. About seventeen teaching and preaching messages were delivered by Pastors Joe, Austin, Choolwe and Nick at three conferences in the city of Lagos. The attendees of these gatherings were eager to hear the word, very attentive during the preaching, and seemed to be moved by what they heard. They were like sponges. Their response was to plead with us to come back. There was immediate fruit from the preaching, and we agreed that we needed to return soon and provide much needed watering to the seed that was sown.
Pastor Joe preaching at Lagos State University
3. Another Church Plant. The dean of the West African Theological Seminary (WATS) invited the leaders of Sovereign Grace Bible Church to establish a church near the campus. We were all excited about this major step forward in expanding the work of church planting. This church plant is in addition to the church plant under way in Lekki that began about five months ago. This is a watershed year for FirstLove Ministries as we are beginning to see much fruit from our efforts after 25 years of laboring with just a trickle of fruit as a result. But now we seem to be making major strides in the work of church planting. So, what began with one church in 2002 (SGBC, Lagos) is now looking at four churches in the making.
4. Campus Outreach. The work of reaching out to one college campus at the University of Lagos has now expanded to three colleges. Several leading brothers at Sovereign Grace Bible Church, who are capable teachers, lead bible studies on campus. The bible study at Lagos State University has thirty students in attendance. In the past several months many of these students began attending the worship services of SGBC and twelve of them have requested membership. The results are very encouraging.
Pastor Joe & Pastor Austin meet with the Chaplains and leadership of LASU.
- Finances to print 100,000 tracts for distribution in Lagos and bible study courses for University students.
- Missionaries to be raised up to help with the expanding work of FirstLove Missions in Nigeria.
- Finances to help with the support of two missionaries in Nigeria.
- Prayer for the gospel to go forth in power unto the saving of souls in Lagos and beyond in Nigeria.
We are grateful to God for the encouraging progress we have seen this year in the work of the gospel and church planting in Nigeria. Please continue to pray that we will bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit for the glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joe Jacowitz