Child: Joseph Holmes
Child: Victoria Holmes
Child: Brian Holmes
Child: Noah Holmes
Child: LaDonna Holmes
Mission Field: Nigeria
Years of Service: 14
Home Church: Faith Baptist Church
Missions Agency: Fundamental Baptist Missions International
March / April 2016
Dear Praying Friends,
An eventful period in our ministry included the 8th Annual Soul-Winning and Leadership Conference during the last few days of March. We rejoiced in the return of both Dr. Mike Cox of Victory Baptist Missions and Evangelist Don Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries for the fourth year in a row, and we were thrilled to welcome for the first time the pastor of our mission board, Bro. John Wilkerson of First Baptist Church in Hammond. Leading up to Easter Sunday, both of our Abuja churches had special programs that boosted the attendances, including two appreciation days for teachers and Road Safety Corps (our version of the highway patrol). In April, I joined Evangelist Jim Belisle to conduct a revival meeting at Victory Independent Baptist in Ibadan, a church in which I preached during the first month that we were on the field.
Whenever local, state, or federal elections are held, for security reasons no one is allowed on the roads from morning until about 4 p.m., unless the person is walking to his nearby polling station. Such a time arrived on the first Saturday in April, the week after our pastors’ conference. So, on Friday we took advantage of a half-off weekend rate at our favorite hotel, requested a late Saturday checkout, and spent the “limited movement” day enjoying some family time.
As our update is being written in the month of May, this time period is always special for me personally, for within just a few upcoming weeks of each other, I get to celebrate the following milestones: 27 years since the day of my salvation, 22 years for preaching, 14 years being approved to serve as a missionary with FBMI, 11 years on the field, 10 years at Truth Baptist, and one year in Grace and Glory Baptist (the two churches in which our family is involved). My desire is to say that all of this is “to be continued”!
One of the most impressive works started by our graduates is the Salvation Baptist Church of Luvu (pronounced “loo-voo”). This is actually a third-generation church and has become a great example to our current ministry students; though the pastor, Timothy Gideon, was trained in our institute, his sending pastor is one of our earlier graduates. While still a student, Timothy held Bible studies in various homes for several months, until someone in the area allowed those attending to use his land for the starting of a church. The members banded together to raise a temporary structure; in just two years, they have had several Sundays of over 100 in attendance, and Pastor Timothy has started a Bible institute, a Christian day school, and a needed ministry to Muslim Fulani (pronounced “foo-lah-nee”) people. The membership now would like to build a more permanent auditorium, and I would love to assist them by helping them purchase a plot of land for $2,000. Would you prayerfully consider sending an offering to be a blessing to this growing congregation?
Written 13 May 2016
Dear Praying Friends,
As a result of being on furlough last year, we cancelled our 2014 youth camp, and there was concern that it would affect the momentum that had been built over four years of our Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism. Well, during the second week of August, Truth Baptist Church witnessed our biggest SMITE ever, with over 150 campers gathering to receive teaching on how to reach children and conduct Bible Clubs. The youth enrolled more than 1,750 in the Bible Clubs, and nearly 1,000 were saved. For the fourth time, Pastors Sonny McGuffee and Jared Decker led the camp together, and this year we were happy to welcome youth evangelist Bobby Decker to the team. The week ended with 14 graduating from the 4-year program.
During our travels to Bible-believing churches throughout America on deputation and furloughs, my family has been excited to meet many Nigerians, several of whom have relatives and friends in Abuja. Please help us to spread the word that we now have a growing church inside the capital city of Nigeria. Grace & Glory Baptist Church (started on May 31) has grown to 13 families; Missionary Israel Thompsons and I would be glad to follow up on any contact information that we receive from Nigerians in the U.S.
Overseeing two churches has certainly been taxing to my schedule, but it is rewarding to see both works continuing to grow. For the first time in its nine-year history, Truth Baptist Church had three morning services in two months, with over 250 in attendance. After a successful Family Day in June, the church responded by inviting many to a Baby Dedication on July 12, and the month was capped off successfully by our first-ever Father’s Day celebration, where the "papas" gave testimonies and cooked for the whole church.
A big "thank you" to several churches and individuals who contributed to make it possible for us to put a roof on the widow's house, the need that was included in our last prayer letter. We are grateful for the way that our supporters allow us to present requests in order to help others. One reason we are able to focus on various projects that arise from time to time is because many of our church-planting graduates now receive a monthly support for their basic needs from helpful American ministries; the latest of these for us has been GOWIN (Global Outreach Worldwide Involving Nationals: harborbaptistchurch.org). It would directly assist us for you to visit their website and contribute to the national pastors they support.
Dear Praying Friends,
On the last Sunday of May, almost exactly ten years after our family arrived in Nigeria, Grace and Glory Baptist Church celebrated its Grand Opening service with 80 in attendance. This is the second church in which our family is personally involved. For six months we held Bible studies in a home until 11 families were ready to start the new work. We are meeting in the banquet hall of a hotel inside the city of Abuja and have begun evening services immediately.
On the last Sunday of June, Truth Baptist Church celebrated its first-ever Family Day. This was a rescheduling of our anniversary service (usually held in May) and also a celebration of the completed work for our auditorium expansion. We had plenty of special music, refreshments after the services, and two photographers ready to take family photos of all in attendance. Putting the enlarged auditorium to good use, it was the first time Truth Baptist Church had over 300 in a regular Sunday morning service!
For weeks my wife and kids had been counting down the days until my mother-in-law arrived in the middle of June. This was her third visit to Nigeria and her longest stay, more than three weeks. My children's "Nana" witnessed TBC's Family Day, two Sunday services at our new church, and spoke for the ladies' fellowship as they gathered one afternoon in our home. It was a sweet, fun-filled, and refreshing time for our family; and we made a new friend, as a young lady from one of our supporting churches accompanied Sabrina's mom on her trip.
On our survey trip almost 10½ years ago, an assistant pastor (to the veteran missionary with whom we would be working) named David Amos conducted in his native tongue an outdoor service beside a stream for a village chapel, and then I had the memorable experience of baptizing several new converts as the village elders looked on. In 2011, not long after Bro. David became the pastor of that chapel, he went to Heaven and left behind his wife and two wonderful boys. The life of a widow is unimaginable in third-world countries, but I have watched with amazement at how Mrs. Amos has provided for herself and her children, has saved to buy land, and has worked and sacrificed to get a house to the level of roofing, which is the most expensive part of the home. She needs help, and I wish to ask our supporting churches and praying friends to give through us the $2000 needed to put a quality roof on this widow's house. Anything raised above the required amount will be used to add windows, doors, ceilings, and electrical work for the Amos family.
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