December 2003

Dear Friends and praying partners,

It was Paul Tillich who once said,  "God does not order hungry birds to eat nor thirsty beasts to drink.  Hunger itself seeks food and thirst seeks water.  It is hunger for God that leads to ceaseless praying.  Believers lost in His presence are not aware of the storms of grace they are experiencing."

About mid-August this year Cyprian returned to our home in Ika to find a stranger waiting for him.  Apparently he heard about Cyprian from a medical doctor who had served at the Ika Christian hospital under the Nigerian government's Youth Service Corps.  This man came to consult Cyprian on how to grow leaders in a local congregation through the use of the Emmaus courses.  He has started three mega churches, two in the deep south and one in the Middle Belt in Bida.  After spending two days with Cyprian, who shared with him the manuscript he had written on the subject in 1999, he then invited Cyprian to speak to his top aides in a three-day Emmaus workshop.  Many have taken the courses and are now looking to expand the use of the courses in the entire congregations.  Cyprian spoke to two of the congregations and an encouraging report was sent in, testifying that these courses have aroused the spirit of evangelism among them.

In September Cyprian spoke to a Student Mission Forum at the Benue State University.  On the 17th he was called upon to speak at a funeral at which many from the Ika assemblies were in attendance.  Then on the 21st he fellowshipped with and spoke at the home church in Ankpa.  At Ika people continue to troop in for counseling; pray that all these will continue to be handled in the Spirit of Christ and under His leading.

From November 8th-16th Cyprian was privileged to host Janet Stafford on her trip to Nigeria with two fellow workers from the Blind Trust ministry in England.  Janet and her husband Mike are assembly commended missionaries who formerly worked with the Dibbles at Ika, and also served with us at Faith Bible College in Oganaji.  Cyprian was able to escort the team of three on a whirlwind ministry tour that took them from a thanksgiving and harvest service in the assembly at Makurdi, to the seminary that Cephas Okwori runs, then to a school for the blind and disabled at Otukpo, and on to Caroline Gross's house in Anyigba.  They then spent time at Ika with the other missionaries before Cyprian took them to Lokoja and sent them on their way home.

On the home front Joy has been enjoying God's presence and strength in seeking intentionally to be Christ-focused in every conversation and opportunity to serve, especially here at the apartment building. The Friday night Bible studies are encouraging and give a weekly opportunity to disciple several of the women that attend.  Joy's  cataract surgery went well, PTL, and she can now drive without glasses.  Your prayers have been heard!

Obedience is first an unfolding of ourselves before our heavenly Father.  May our lives be light and salt so others might become thirsty and hungry for the Christ Who lives in us.  Warmest and joyful greetings for the holiday season ahead of us.  We are forgiven by the Son of God Who died for us!

Trusting and obeying,

Joy and Cyprian Kia


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