Sovereign Grace Bible Church Lagos Nigeria May 2024 Report

Greetings from Lagos Nigeria

Blessed be the name of our God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, for His loving kindness and tender mercies to His church in the world and particularly to us in Sovereign Grace Bible Church (SGBC), Lagos.
Great is His faithfulness. Great is His keeping mercies to us all, facing the predicted and now -being-fulfilled shakings of both the heavens and the earth.
In Lagos, Nigeria, we have our own share of upheavals and difficulties: – Political, social economic, and even the weather. Migration of people groups within Nigeria continues, because of banditry and violent insurgency, and terrorism. Corruption in high places is publicly discussed. The cost- of – living difficulties continue to increase. Inflation is high and, in the double digits (28%), pushed up by the food inflation of about 34%. Health care, particularly children care, is almost nonexistent. Some clinics in some teaching hospitals are being shut down because medical experts have relocated overseas. The rain is late coming, and the temperature is surprisingly high in the 30Cs (90’s F) .
We, indeed, have our own share of the shakings, predicted by our God and Saviour JESUS CHRIST in these last days. But we have received tokens of HIS love and mercies. The following is a summary of some aspects of the work of the gospel ministry in Lagos, since our last report.

In April, we voted and received into membership 15 new members including 1 East African who works in Lagos. The 15 members attended the pre- membership classes. They had been interviewed by the elders, and 9 of them baptized, before being presented to the church during the quarterly business meeting and were voted into membership. They read aloud the church covenant with the church members at the meeting. Each received a copy of “The London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689”, and 2 other books on church life and policy. They signed the church roll and received a welcome handshake from some church officers.

Candidates receiving instructions before being dipped into water.

Some candidates signing the church roll.

The average age of the new members is about 28 years. This is the age range of two thirds of the membership of the church currently. This is a reflection of the age distribution in the population of Nigeria. Over 67% are below 25 years. We find that there is the need to teach the Reformed Baptist Distinctives from scratch, because many come to us with little or no knowledge of the core doctrines of the church. These doctrines are taught on Sundays before the morning worship services.

We have 6 centers currently in Lagos and in Mowe. The center in Mowe started outside Lagos because church members reside there. The Mowe center has over 100 children attending on Saturdays. The total number of children in all the centers currently stands at one thousand and five (1005). To strive at uniformity in the content of what is taught the children in the over 15 clusters in the 6 centers, a Teachers Kit is given to each Teacher. Each Kit contains :
Teaching manual for the appropriate age-“ Lessons for Life” – for the infant, junior, and teenage class. A photocopy of the entire book 4 is in the Kit (for now). For the pre school class, a photocopy of “Leading Little Ones to God” is in the Kit . The Kit has administrative worksheets consisting of a two- year Register to capture the essential data for each child (name, parent’s phone number, date of birth, and address) and each child’s attendance record and participation progress report . The Kit also has a Bible reading plan, a photocopy of the booklet “Catechism for Boys and Girls”. It also has a photocopy of the compilation of the B.C.M songs to be taught the children. All these are in a large file jacket. Every teacher has one, and comes with it, during the review meeting that takes place every week.

BCM Teachers with the Teacher’s Kit.

We have started receiving dozens of “Lessons for Life” (books 1-4) donated to us by the MetTab Church officers. These will be distributed to the Church plants to help prepare them for Sunday school ministry. And we plan to have copies placed in the library of each Church plant and in the S.G.B.C.

Lessons for Life Books.

The cost-of-living crisis in Nigeria has affected many families. Most families of the children of the Sunday School ministry (B.C.M) turn to us for help with food, school fees, and rent payment. We feel the burden. Our inability to help many increases the weight of the burden. Please join us as we strive to help the many families who, voluntarily, send their children to be taught God’s Word weekly. We plan to set up a store to stock basic food items and open the store to the families hoping to provide them with a meal a day for one month.

God our Saviour has encouraged us in the work of the ministry to children. A teacher in one of the centers sent the following report:
“We give thanks for observable signs of grace in the heart and life of one of our B.C.M students. He is now 14 years old, but started with us when he was 5 years old. His parents had put him in Boarding House, for his Secondary school (High School) last year. After one term, away from home and B.C.M classes, he requested his parents to take him out of the boarding house. He complained that he is vexed by the ungodly behavior of his dormitory mates: – they gamble, they use dirty language, and do other detestable things. Now he buses to and from school every day and says that he is particularly happy to be able to return to the B.C.M.” Also, we noticed a trend, and we rejoice that new children are being brought to us by their parents, at the word of other parents whose children attend the weekly classes. Praise be to our God who encourages us, particularly the teachers in observing this trend. Please remember these things as you join us in thanking our Saviour, the LORD Jesus Christ, for all His blessings to us in the work of the ministry.

We are in the process of setting apart new office- bearers in S.G.B.C – Elders and Deacons. Of our six deacons, two have resigned, for personal reasons, and have left Lagos. One is on study leave overseas. The nomination exercise has been concluded. Interviews by the Elders of those who had over two thirds of the members of the church nominating them are going on. At the end of the interviews the Elders will present to the church those they unanimously agreed on. The Church hopefully will vote them in. An ordination service will be planned subsequently to set them apart into the offices.
Please remember this crucial matter in your prayers.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support.

Pastor Tony Okoroh
Sovereign Grace Bible Church
Lagos, Nigeria

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