November/December 1997

Dear Friends,

"No man is an island unto himself." Everyone of us is dispensable, and, irrespective of our status in life, the other person is as important as we are. Nobody is insignificant and certainly nobody is too important. Our strength is being part of human collectivity not in cocky individualism. We all have a date with the Judge of all humanity (Onanseawo).

The year 1997 has witnessed Emmaus conduct a total of 67 (sixty-seven) workshops and seminars in the West, Middle Belt and Northern States of Nigeria. We regard Emmaus correctors as associates, self-directed team distributors. They have the day-to-day responsibility of managing themselves and the work they do with a minimum of direct supervision. To empower them, these workshops provide them with authority, information, resources, and accountability. Authority without necessary information and resources is simply permission. Besides, by not sharing accountability it is paternalistic and condescending. Only when all four elements are present do people feel responsible and act responsibly. The workshops teach the following skills: record-keeping, use of resources, godliness, techniques of grading, report-writing and financial management. Cyprian has now developed a better way of getting his point across to the attendees by using a step-by-step approach.

A second Lagos depot has now been set up, managed by the leaders of the exclusive Assembly in Surulere. Cyprian serves as their corrector, and several key leaders have emerged. A new corrector and coordinator has now asked Cyprian to accompany him to Abia, Rivers, Imo, and Akwa-Ibom states to open new centers. He is brother Abraham Ewetump, a senior electrical engineer with the Nigerian Electric Power Authority. We want to ensure that the Rivers Niger and Benue, along which the Assembly mission first started in Nigeria, will not be the only rivers available to the people. There is another river, the river of the water of life, flowing there; how gladly believing sinners drink from its stream.

Other events confirm the direction of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Early in September Cyprian was attempting to hire a motorcycle when a man approached him who said he had heard of him and asked Cyprian to help him get saved. This was gladly done, and he was then directed to a corrector whose center is close to the motorpark for a study of the Word.

While at Makurdi Cyprian was visiting the home of a coordinator when a new corrector came in for personal training. This corrector is a female graduate of Ahmadu Bello University and an employee of the Benue State government. Cyprian had the privilege of personally directing the training process since the coordinator was missing some vital information in the training scheme. By the Lord's leading he was at the right place at the right time.

Mission House, an indigenous mission organization, had a four-day conference on evangelization at the Benue State capital, Makurdi, to which Cyprian was invited as a consultant and resource person. While there he was invited to the Idoma-speaking Roman Catholic youth gathering, also in Makurdi metropolis. The gathering was very evangelical in outlook, and it was very refreshing to see many important persons whom one would have written off as unsaved now strongly devoted to the person of Christ. The Catholic Church had asked them not to use their premises if they are not willing to uphold the worship of Mary and many other Catholic traditions. Please pray for them as we have now introduced the Emmaus courses to this 200-member group.

The economic and political conditions in the country have helped, in recent times, to increase the nation's poor. This means that those who preach the gospel can no longer afford to close their eyes to their needs, particularly those of the household of faith. God has enabled us in past months to offer scholarships to a limited number of families, and business capitals to creative ones, to buy seedlings for farmers, and to pay rents of selected families literally about to lose their roofs from over their heads, thus making the gospel more relevant in Nigeria.

Christian mission should not wall itself in with comfortable illusions of past successes without constantly renewing its strategic direction in the light of present reality. This is why the current use of the Emmaus courses, utilizing a multi-level marketing approach aimed at evangelism and disciple-making, is introduced. The Church in Africa now produces more than she can care for, and the Emmaus courses, distributed in this way, are helping the Church to nurture her many converts seen daily.

As we share the news from Nigeria of God's wonderful ways and workings these past months, may we all enter the Christmas season and the new year reminded of our unchanging God and Savior. We thank each of you for sharing in these events and ministry through friendship, fellowship, and earnest prayers.

We look forward to the New Year because of Calvary,

Cyprian and Joy Kia

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