Dear Friends and Family,
Christian missions should never be a cover for fleecing the believers or perfecting the act of taking. Missions is God's continuous act of giving. We need to remind ourselves that it is easier for a giver to learn to take than for a taker to learn to give. Hence, it is written: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Luke 29:7). It stands to reason that missionaries should be in the forefront of encouraging believers to walk with God through giving rather than teaching them to take.
Between January and May the Nigerian political situation was marked by uncertainty and hatred, overshadowed with the possibility of civil war. Traveling to certain places in the country was life-threatening. The death of two major players and the distancing of the current head of State from the posture of the past have greatly calmed things down. Pray for lasting political peace in Nigeria.
In spite of the unstable political atmosphere, two workshops were held in Surulere on the 6th and 13th of June. As a result, we now have added twenty-five to the steadily growing number of active correctors. At Otukpo, fifteen completed their courses, graduated, and were fully trained as correctors in June as well. Among the new correctors are the Anglican bishop of the Otukpo diocese and his leading priest, a doctoral candidate at Ahmadu Bello University. They are both being discipled by one of their lay members, Dr. George Ukwunam, an eye specialist.
Dr. George Ukwunam is also the Emmaus Bible Center coordinating secretary. Consequently, when the bishop requested that the twelve course module be used in training all his priests, it was granted. George was asked to lead the training program which kicked off August 1, 1998 The bishop said that this will be a continues education requirement for all his priests in good standing. He also said that from what he has gained by studying the courses himself, they will help ground his priests in the faith and steady their feet on the person of Christ and His Word. Free literature was thereafter donated to the bishop for all his priests; each received a Bible, tracts, and a copy of Biblical Eldership. Pray that the messages in all these will be transformed into thoughts and actions in them.
Mrs. Susan Tom Aba, the librarian at the University of Agriculture in Makurdi, who was among the correctors trained at Otukpo, now coordinates the center at the north bank of Makurdi. It is at this school that 15 boxes of Bibles, each containing 24, were donated to the Christian Fellowship on the campus. The Emmaus courses are truly making a difference in the life and spiritual growth of the believers in Nigeria and Ghana. It is not the method of operation that is effecting them; it is the Word of God, which the courses rightly emphasize.
Testimonies from correctors abound, and we include these : "Many are being grounded in the faith than (ever) before" Lankine-Lante, Accra. "Yes, several have been saved. Many have come to realize that salvation is not through works and have put their faith in Christ alone to save them" Elaine Bowron, Kumasi. "My vision is to expand the courses ... so that I might win more souls to Christ" Ofori Agyemen, Kumasi.
The Emmaus road experience placed an emphasis on the Word and understanding of the Scriptures (Luke 24:13-45). The Bible courses are written with the above emphasis; therefore, any other is simply a distraction. Pray that everyone involved in directing the current Emmaus project in Nigeria and Ghana will be faithful and true to the objectives of evangelism and discipleship and allow people to walk with God.
Our love to you all,
Cyprian and Joy
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