2011 Nigeria UBF Mission Report by M. Peter
Passed Through the Red Sea by Faith
“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned” (Heb 11:29).
Praise be to God and our Lord Jesus Christ who have given me a living hope in the heavenly kingdom. Thank God who blesses and sustains the Nigerian ministry to raise his chosen Bible students. Thank God who enables me to serve his will and teach the word of God throughout the year. Help me remember what Jesus has done through me and find vision for the new year. I pray in Jesus Christ’s name Amen.
I. 2010 Annual Review
1. God’s work through our New Year’s key verse
The key verse we chose was Acts 2:17-18, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” I struggled to have the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and meditation on the word of God and acknowledgement of God through Bible study. As Christians, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit worked greatly to bring many Bible students and raise a remnant. Our Sunday worship service attendees ranged in the 50s. The participants for morning devotion reached 30 a few times, even in December. The number of Luke team members was about 10-15. They wrote their testimonies and had regular Bible studies and team meetings. They wrote Daily Bread and shared it. This new generation’s attitude in Bible study and testimony sharing is very genuine. It is the Holy Spirit’s work among us.
Benedicts and Sabastine took care of Bible students, keeping Bible studies faithfully over the years. They are like Paul and Barnabas who co-worked together. Babatunde raised Franklin and Oladayo before doing his national service. Their heart soil for the gospel is so astonishing. I pray that they will grow into prominent leaders of God in Africa like Moses. Babatunde returned from his national service. He is receiving humbleness training through writing Daily Bread every day and sharing it, keeping 1:1 Bible studies with students, and working as an intern in the church to learn management.
James’ family and 8 other co-workers pioneered a medical school in April. We finally fulfilled our prayer topic to establish a chapter among medical students. Strangely, when we sent our co-workers to pioneer the medical school, we experienced the blessings of God. He filled our empty seats with well prepared new Bible students. We understood that God wants us to submit our five loaves and two fish continuously. This pioneering work increased our vision to raise pioneers and missionaries to Nigeria and West Africa.
2. Bible study
We studied the book of Acts and Hebrews. Four Nigerian leaders and two missionaries took turns delivering the SWS messages. The word of God worked impressively to plant the vision of Paul and his mission-minded lifestyle among us. Many of the brothers have great vision to be missionaries and Bible teachers. The leaders gave their hearts to prepare and deliver messages throughout the year.
Jesus taught his disciples to live a life of mission and preach the kingdom of God and raise Bible teachers. My work is to teach the word of God and raise disciples of Jesus whether they like it or not. It is against the pattern of the world and desires of human nature. I must overcome human sympathy and train leaders to dig out the word of God, so they can study and handle the word of God for their true joy, happiness, and fruitfulness. Bible study directs us how to sustain our spiritual desires and strengthens us to live against the pattern of the world.
3. 1:1 battle effort to bring new students
Abraham, James, Seun, Fato, Gbenga, Ben, Babs, Sabastine, Olumide, Tunde, Olumide David, Michael, Gabriel, Ibukun, Elizabeth, Kemi, Aderonke, Chiaka, Ronke, Oninye, and Ann are 21 potential and practical Bible teachers in our ministry. Also, M. Peter, Truman, Monica, Ruth, Maria, and Rajesh give their hearts for Bible studies. Abraham’s family, James’ family, Seun’s family, and Fato’s family are so faithful in serving God’s flocks with prayer and Bible studies. All the missionaries are so sacrificial and co-work together with us to advance the gospel of Jesus in the Nigerian ministry.
Our new team members this year are very sincere in Bible study. It was new to us that our student leaders gave their hearts to study the Bible and serve Bible students according to Jesus’ command. We have a great remnant this year through persistent Bible studies. Their heart soils are so prepared to hear the word and they respect the authority of the word of God. Junior leaders go to school to bring students to Bible study. They are so eager to make friends with students. We also had a Bible academy at the school. Babatunde, Benedict, Sabastine are growing leaders who are teaching the Bible fruitfully while they are students, and they raised many remnant people. But Donald, one of our junior leaders, passed away due to tuberculosis. In my mind, I had cut my relationship with him when I saw his disobedient attitude. I repented of my lack of love that did not serve him to the end in order to restore him to be an obedient Bible teacher.
a) May Conference
Our conference title was “Bring God's salvation" based on Isaiah 49:1-7. About 80 students participated in this conference. God called Isaiah in his time to bring his salvation. God called each one of us to bring his salvation in our generation, especially to campus young souls. Nigerian brothers and sisters know the gospel well. They believe Jesus, but they do not accept God's call and his sacrifice. Without practical obedience to mission, they live only as cultural Christians and prosperity seekers. However, many brothers and sisters could come to know that God has a purpose for their lives. They accepted God's mission through this conference. This year our ministry's target was to double in number through raising Bible teachers. We have 30 Bible teachers who can keep regular 1:1 Bible studies. This conference focused on planting faith and motivation and raising sacrificial Bible teachers in our generation. God sent many candidates for disciples of Jesus. The new students positively participated in the conference programs. The LUTH (Medical school) chapter, which we pioneered on April 4, joined this conference. The total number of LUTH members was 10. A total of 19 participated in this conference.
Nine messengers (Ben, Truman, James, Gbenga, Fatoinbo, Abraham, Seun, Peter Ko, and Peter Park) served this conference. Most of them work. They had to struggle to work and prepare their messages. God blessed their spiritual struggle abundantly and used them to deliver messages that were full of grace and power. I could confirm that Nigerians are talented people for gospel work. They have gifts in delivering messages, teaching the word of God, and enduring any situation. I pray that God may use them to bring God's salvation to Nigeria, West Africa, and the entire world.
Also, about 20 brothers and sisters shared their testimonies. Junior leaders accepted God's call and decided to be practical Bible teachers. Some new brothers and sisters shared sincere and touching testimonies. Ben became very faithful in writing testimonies, leading morning devotion, writing Daily Bread, and teaching the Bible. Because of his good influence, many of the brothers grew in faithful Bible Study, writing testimonies, coming to prayer meetings, morning devotion, and teaching the Bible. Ben went to law school in October after raising many remnant people. They even rebuilt the fence around the center. They have a strong sense of ownership and responsibility for the ministry. I thank God for Ben and our junior leaders’ spiritual growth. Our ministry problem is that workers are few. There are a lot of students who are waiting for shepherds and Bible teachers. We could raise shepherds and Bible teachers who have a desire to bring salvation in their generation through obedience to Jesus.
b) October conference
We thank God who blessed our October conference with his Spirit and living words. We held the conference at Youth Camp from Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Initially, some complained about the incompatible venue. This revealed their resistant nature that does not want to come out of their comfort zones. But we really enjoyed the venue because of the spiritual revival of our leaders and brothers and sisters. The number of participants was 68, close to our SWS average (Peter fellowship-12, Young Lion Fellowship-10, Vision Fellowship-17, Disciples Fellowship-5, Faith Fellowship-12, Potter Fellowship-7, Mustard Seed Fellowship-5).
The title of the conference was “Jesus calls his disciples.” We were so successful in teaching them Jesus’ call to be his disciples as the basic teaching of the gospel. Throughout this past year, we had new brothers and sisters who studied the Bible 1:1 faithfully and participated in the team meetings to share their testimonies. It was the first time in our ministry to see many brothers and sisters coming for testimony sharing, even to the end of the year. For this conference, they wrote 10-20 pages of testimonies and gathered together for drama and dance practice.
Sabastine, Pekins, Michael, Moses, and Tolu shared their testimonies on the night of the first day. Sabastine lived a wayward lifestyle. When he met Jesus through Bible study, he came to love writing testimonies and Daily Bread and keeping Bible studies with his own students. I have never seen this kind of student. Most students did their best to make excuses and complain about writing testimonies and Bible studies. They justified their own way of singing and dancing. They said that testimony writing was not the only way to live a Christian life. But his attitude created an absolute environment for testimony writing and sharing among us. He was completely different from the others. I am so thankful to God who sent him to bring a new spirit into our ministry.
Pekins came back from his pride and failure. He was one among the faithful growing disciples of Jesus. But his Law department sent him away during his junior year from the university. He tried to hide and escape from this reality. But nothing changed his life direction and instead, he lived a tortured life. Finally, he came back with a humble heart and acknowledged his problem. Every young man has his pride that prevents him from accepting his shame. They go away for destruction. But he came back and submitted to the will of Jesus in his life to be a Bible teacher in the Law department at RSST University.
Through her testimony, Chiaka restored her relationship with Monica. She even decided to marry by faith again. There were 15 testimonies shared throughout the conference. Many opened their hearts and have vision to live as disciples of Jesus and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Through this conference, I learned the simple truth again that I have to lead people to be disciples of Jesus, who set them free from the power of sin and death. This is the true way of friendship and the meaning of my life’s existence on earth. Through wrestling to write sincere testimonies, our students were blessed to meet their Savior Jesus personally. I must fight the good fight to prepare students’ hearts to repent of their sins and accept the call of Jesus. I have to overcome my sympathy and speak the gospel truth so that their hearts may be open for Jesus’ invitation during conferences.
This conference compelled me to train leaders to take up responsibilities instead of just holding on to their reputation as leaders. We did not acknowledge them as leaders if they were not taking up their roles as leaders. We ordained Sabastine, Oninye, and Ann. It was a blessed conference to plant Jesus’ disciple making ministry in Nigerian students. I see that God is working to raise many Bible teachers and pioneers and missionaries step by step.
c) Christmas Service
We studied 5 Christmas messages to plant gospel faith in Jesus in our new growing brothers and sisters. We gathered in the morning and night to prepare for the Christmas service. We practiced the chorus, special songs, drama, and dance for over 4 weeks. Having a Christmas service is the best way to prepare students’ hearts for Jesus at the end of the year. We invited members in the medical chapter, and James delivered the message.
I also went here and there this year to meet many people with the hope of having a successful business. I encountered governors and ministers of government, senators and first-ladies of the nation. But nothing materialized. It was like seeking the optical illusion of an oasis. What do I do now then? I must continue to seek success in my business. I call on God for his mercy for this new year and I believe he will answer me. He will show the wonder of his great success in my life after many years of various trainings.
6. Regional co-workers and visitors
We held the 20th year anniversary for our Nigerian chapter. We worked together with Yaba-Tech, LUTH, and Unilag chapters. Being together restored friendships among us. God blessed us to be used for many Nigerian students. We saw the work of God through the pioneering of Yaba-Tech in 2000 and Ghana in 2005 and the medical school in 2010. God raised house churches who accepted campus mission in their families. Dr. John Jun visited and helped us with wisdom to prepare a fruitful ceremony. We just wanted to hold it in a school as a worship service, but he guided us to hold it at our center for two days. He delivered the message, “Signs of the end of the age,” and taught the spiritual meaning and blessing of a house church. His presence with us was a great encouragement. We wanted him to lodge at a hotel, but he desired to stay with us in our humble situation. He strengthened and restored M. Timothy. He used to strengthen me also whenever I was earnestly in need of spiritual guidance to sustain my mission life.
In addition, M. Moses visited us and baptized some brothers and sisters. His continuous visit is an encouragement to us. Mark Choi Jr. from France came to stay with us as a short-term missionary. We pray that he can teach us French and build up his faith to obey the word of God. God granted me favor to share my testimony during the 10th annual Founder’s Day. This visit reminded me to go back to Bible study and Bible reading faithfully until I go to the kingdom of God. I was favored to meet many great servants of God and received love from Dr. Paul, M. Grace, and others.
II. Vision and Strategy for 2011
1. New Year’s key verse
“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.” The Israelites were freed from slavery by the will of God. They reached the Red Sea, enjoying the fresh air of true freedom. But they soon faced danger with the Egyptians behind them with a fully armed troop ready to take their lives and the Red Sea before them to devour them. They lost hope and were discouraged again. With their human effort, they could do nothing. But one man, Moses, had faith in God. He raised his staff by faith. Then God worked and performed his miracle. They passed through the Red Sea as on dry land by his faith.
God led me to feel him and see his mighty work during my mission life. My life in God’s discipline taught me to endure continuous challenges and to respond to problems that came up. I have to have definite faith to pass through the Red Sea this year. I need to build up a successful business by the power and grace of my God. With my own effort, I have failed up to this day. The Nigerian ministry aged 20 years. I must have a young man’s spirit and vision to open my eyes to see the souls of West Africa ripe for harvest. My financial instability held back the ministry, preventing it from growing further. In order to achieve success, I must pray fervently and sincerely. Dependence on the word of God commands me to believe and shows me how to overcome fear in my heart. God kept me away from his favor to be self-supporting over many years in my mission field. This year, God will show his miraculous power to increase my faith for victory. Great conviction and faith to pass through the Red Sea was planted in my heart. God is with me and revealed his good will to build up our ministry to a new level this year with success in financial stability.
2. Bible academy and agendas for conferences
We will hold a Bible academy at the school in order that the growing leaders may increase their shepherd hearts to invite Bible students and grow as practical Bible teachers. The Easter and October Bible conferences will be our main activities to plant gospel faith intensively. The hearts of the remnant of new brothers and sisters are very much good soil. We must focus on building their hearts’ foundation to meet Jesus personally through various trainings. Like the Israelites and their temple-oriented life, I pray for all of our leaders’ families to have God-oriented and center-oriented lives by gathering together for prayer meetings and Bible studies. For the fulfillment of this prayer, my family will move to another house in order that the center may be used fully as a center.
One word: I have seen victory by the power of God
1. Send missionaries to one country in West Africa within 3 years
2. See the success of my business
3. Invite two more families as missionary co-workers
4. My family’s move from the center this year