Since our last report early in 2023, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has been gracious and merciful to us in the Gospel Ministry in Lagos, Nigeria. The following are brief remarks on some aspects of the work in Lagos.
We continue to receive and welcome visitors to our Sunday morning and evening worship services. On the average, four new people visit each week. We give thanks to God for bringing them to us. We pray that the Lord would use our follow-up visits with them to glorify His name, and add to the church those who are being saved. Sunday morning worship services fill all six rooms in our current facility. About 140 adults and over 50 children are present each week.
The architectural drawings have been completed. The structural engineering drawings, as well as other documents required by the state government, are now being prepared. We hope to obtain government approvals by the end of April, so that we can begin construction work on the first phase of the building plan, in the second quarter of this year.
We require approximately 80 million Naira for the first phase of the construction project so that we can move into the new facility early next year, God willing.
Early in February, we held a conference for the many young members of the local church, as well as other invited young people, who were able to attend from outside Lagos State. Over 60% of Nigeria’s population is made up of young people (18 to 25 years). There is a felt need to reach out to them as regularly as possible with the gospel. Grace Campus Outreach is the name given to the outreaches to colleges in Lagos and other colleges outside of Lagos.
Please keep this ministry in your prayers. We look to the Lord to bring up from among us many who will labour and reach out to the various colleges in Lagos and in other states of Nigeria.
Blessed Children Ministry (BCM)
In February, parents of the children who attend the Sunday School were invited to meet the teachers, minders, and church officers in the BCM. We invite them to this event a week before resuming teaching their children whom we gather in clusters over five centres around Lagos.
During the event, we share with the parents some of the things that we teach the children and remind them of their responsibility in assisting their children in completing the homework on their take-home sheets. Please keep this ministry in your prayers. We look to the Lord for early conversions in these children.
Please join us in praying for more labourers in this ministry, as well as for the finances to help many households who find it difficult to provide for their children whom they let us gather to teach. Our country Nigeria, has a high unemployment rate (over 33%). The food inflation rate is equally high (over 24%). Every week, many of these households approach us for assistance. Please remember this in your prayers and support.
We left Inspiration 92.3 FM and now will begin airing our radio program: TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD on Eko 89.7 FM. The advantage is that we offer two programs (morning and evening) for the same price, (1.7 million Naira per quarter). We were unable to air the radio programs during the first quarter of 2023, due to lack of funds. In God’s providence, we have been enabled to put together the funds for the quarter, beginning April 2nd . We look to the Lord to provide for us, financially, in order to continue airing THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD over Lagos and nearby states. The second program on Sunday evenings (18.30hrs WAT) is based on the Baptist Catechism by Dr. D. Downing, and the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. The morning program (09.05 WAT), is devotional with gospel appeal, which we have aired on Inspiration 92.3FM. Please remember this radio ministry in your prayers for the finances to continue the ministry.
Grace and Truth Theological Seminary (GTS)
We did a review of our program and suspended the Bachelor degree programs. The difficulties with getting materials promised, low student participation, and our experiences from the previous two years were the reasons for taking this step. We now offer a 2-year Associate Degree course. The courses would cover, God willing: Exegetical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Historical Theology. One of the advantages of this new program is that we can accept students, at any time of the year, because we use a modular format (that means courses are repeated after a complete cycle). We believe that having lectures every two weeks, between 6 and 9 p.m. will increase student participation.
The lectures began at the present church facility on March 7th. This new program already has four returning students and eight new students. We have received books donated to us for building up a Seminary Library. Pastor Joe Jacowitz has donated to us part of his present library through FirstLove Ministry. We have received the shipment of some of these books. And we thank God for this gift. Also we have received some books donated to GTS Library by LIT in the USA. A Nigerian brother who was with us and now in the USA founded LIT which is focused on helping the Gospel work in Nigeria.
We continue to receive from Chapel Library, Mt. Zion Bible Church, Pensacola, USA, printed materials for free distribution in Lagos and outside Lagos.. We thank God for these materials which we display on literature tables in different parts of Lagos during seminars and conferences. In the first quarter of 2023, we gave out over 1200 books and booklets. Some were sent to Abuja (800 km from Lagos), to Abeokuta, and to other parts of Southern Nigeria.
We have printed for sale, 1000 copies each,of 2 books ( Fuller’s The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation and John James’ Christian Progress), we received from Counted Faithful – a ministry of friends from MetTab. UK. They sent ready-to-print artwork of the books, and the seed – money to enable us print. Please remember this ministry. We desire to be a resource centre for Christ-centred materials in Lagos and in Nigeria.
Two members of the church were ordained in January and sent as Missionary Pastors to the church planting work at Christ Bible Church, Ipaja Lagos and Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Abeokuta (capital of Ogun State). We thank God for providing support for them through friends at LIT and from April through Heart Cry Missions.
Also, Osagie Azeta and Joel Uzamere, members of SGBC Missions board led a mission trip to Benin City over 300 kms from Lagos to schools and colleges accompanied by sister Omoze Ojo, sent for the trip by Chorlton Evangelical Church, Manchester UK.
They reported that God had prepared the hearts of many young people in the schools they visited, to receive the gospel and the gifts of Bibles and literature distributed during the trip. The Bibles were donated by sister Omoze Ojo.Chapel Library had sent over 200 booklets of John Bunyan Pilgrim’s Progress in pictures which were given out during the trip. We desire to have a church plant work started in Benin City in the future. Please remember this in your prayers.
Please pray that SGBC might remain steadfastly faithful and unmoveable maintaining the Biblical distinctives of a faithful gospel church in Lagos, in the face of the many ministry opportunities and challenges.
Please pray that Nigeria will experience a non-violent change in government in the second quarter after a tension-filled election held in the first quarter of 2023.
In this quarter, because of a failed implementation of a monetary policy to phase out direct cash transactions, many families are unable to meet their daily needs. The government did not take into account that over 70% of the population need cash daily to survive. The banks are overwhelmed with unending queues waiting to collect cash that is not available.
Please pray that the situation will ease soon. It is even affecting the finances of the Church.
I continue to take medication for the Ischaemic heart problem that I have. I plan to have cataracts taken out this May. I trust God to see me through the surgery.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support.