God has been so gracious to us as a family and as the ministry of Africa Outreach. 2009 came to an end in a grand style and 2010 took off in a wonderful way. We give God the glory for what He has done and what He will be doing in and through the ministry of Africa Outreach. As the name implies, it is our desire to reach Africa for Christ. He has blessed us with the various arms of the ministry.
AMF (Africa Ministerial Fellowship): God is using this ministry to set the pace and institute a new dimension of serving Him in the vineyard. This year AMF started with a very high level of expectation with respect to reaching out to other parts of Akwa Ibom State and beyond the territorial boundaries of Nigeria. We have accomplished this to some extent. God had provided for us many openings within West Africa and Africa at large. We made our first move to the Nation of Liberia in April for a pastors conference. I took four other pastors to this great history making event. It was well attended by the Liberian pastors. The material we left behind was also duplicated and taken to many other counties in Liberia. In short, AMF was well received in Liberia. We look forward to subsequent conferences in that war torn nation. This nation needs Christians to step in and help strengthen the movement of the gospel while the people are so hungry for it. As I am writing this, one of the AMF Pastors, Rev. Abundance Igwela, has concluded our arraignments to revisit the pastors early next month.
Ghana is our immediate neighboring country. Pastors have been waiting for some time for AMF to come and help them. The concept of forming a common front by uniting the pastors together was very well received among the various church founders and workers. In May I took to the road to see things for myself. The weekend I spent in Ghana will ever remain ingrained in my memory as long as the vineyard business is of concern. I went there based on an invitation to speak in two different cities that are about eight hours driving time from each other. I came back home and was more humbled to see what God is doing and can do if we are available to be used by Him. By His grace I have a young man on the ground that is following up from where I stopped. The AMF is also making plans to have a conference in Ghana early next year. By His grace, we also have a standing invitation to visit Abidjan and Togo sometimes next year.
FBC Fellowship Bible Church: “I will build my church . . .” The Master Builder and sole owner of the Church is doing what He said He would do. We started this year with our new resident pastor, Ubong Stanley, and his family, after a long, hard, and rough journey last year. The church is regrouping and more people are visiting. Some are joining the church as members. The joy of oneness and the sincere love for the Lord can once again be felt in the church, even after the mass exodus of those who left to join our founding resident pastor as he started a new church few blocks away from us.
We had many reasons to thank God for seeing us through the last year and early this year. The church has taken a new dimension and more mature people are making her their church home. Our program of events continues as scheduled, praise and worship is receiving good attention and it is complementing our sermons. God has also blessed us with a new worship leader and she is truly a worshipper of the most high God. During the second quarter of this year I spent some time training some the potential leaders who are now leading our House Care Fellowship ministry. We kick started the home cell groups on the first Sunday of July and it is doing very well. The members are very involved and it has become one of our most effective tools for soul winning. Our biggest obstacle today is accommodations. It has been frustrating looking for a new temporary place to relocate the church. We have had some promises, but so far, none have materialized. We are trusting God that He will make a way for us very soon.
FBC Itak is also moving on with their leader. They have been adding new souls to the church according to His divine plan. We are making plans to host a revival meeting in early November. We had a joint meeting in June at Ikot Ekpene. It was well attended and many souls were touched. Pastor Ubong Stanley has taken charge of the day-to-day running of both of the church campuses.
AFRICA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (ATS): The Seminary, since her inception, has been enjoying God’s leadership in all her activities. The student population is growing, as is the teaching staff. We have also added new courses in subjects like the Hebrew language.
On the 31st of July we had our 3rd matriculation with over 30 new committed students. This matriculation was witnessed by our VBS missionaries who themselves helped to grace the occasion. The guest speaker was a professor from the University of Nigeria Uyo. He challenged the students to look unto Jesus who has called them to service and they will be faithfully rewarded by Him. Rev. Innocent Otuk, who is currently serving as the dean of academics, is taking charge of the day-to-day running of the seminary. We are proud to share with you that 99% of past students are actively serving God in respective capacities somewhere in Nigeria or beyond. One has just left for the mission field in Northern Ghana, thanks be to God. We are trusting God that, in time, this will be the best evangelical seminary affecting the lives of those in and around Akwa Ibom State for eternity. Pray with us as we are planning to relocate and for the completion of our library project. Join us in prayers as we seriously look for affiliate institutions within and outside Nigeria.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL (VBS): VBS has come to stay. Each year the number of children attending has increased. This year we had an average of about 2000 each day of the week long program. The theme this year was the “Fruit of the Spirit”. Thanks to Fellowship Nashville for sending us a team of eight. Also thanks to Richard Scott who came to us for the first time in 2004. He returned this year for VBS and brought his son Levi. The teams visit was a blessing to the children of our community and the state at large. They worked very hard under the leadership of Pastor Jonathan and Leah.
For the first time we were able to use both the premises of Monika kindergarten and St Paul secondary school. We had ample space. We are thankful to all of you for coming directly or indirectly. Thanks for all your prayers and support. A special thanks goes to Mark McLaughlin for taking time to travel to Nashville for a special coaching of the team, making sure that they dot all the “I’s” and cross all the “T’s”.
We are looking forward to 2011 with the hope of a minimum of 21 missionaries coming to help the VBS. Yes, I mean twenty-one. We will need that many to keep the VBS running. Thanks for all who have come in the past. The ripple effect of the VBS is going around in the city and the state. Children are gathering in groups singing and rehearsing what they learned during the VBS. To me, it is an investment of time that will help change the community, the state, and the country at large. Thanks for your involvement.