Acts 23:11 “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
First of all, I want to thank God for the grace to be at this year’s director’s conference. It is the grace of God that I am here today.
I thank God who blessed Nigeria UBF ministries to stand firm despite the many challenges encountered by the chapter leaders.
I thank God who gave my family healing even though we had many health challenges. I thank God for my wife (my co-worker). Despite her busy work schedule, she struggled to serve the children and I, and also struggled to study the Bible with the new brothers.
I thank God for providing all the necessary needs for our chapter to maintain spiritual environment for the church and for the brothers living in common life in the tent.
I thank God who sent 3 new medical Bible students to our chapters to study the word of God with. This yea,r we studied the book of Acts and 1 Corinthians. Through Acts of the Apostles as it is called, we learned how the gospel worked mightily through the early disciples, especially through Apostle Paul’s ministry. Through Apostle Paul’s strong determination and courage to reach in Rome, I personally could find encouragement to continue in my determination to serve the University of Lagos medical school.
I thank God who granted us a graceful Easter and end-of-the-year Bible conference with other chapters. This conference focused on the growing leaders to be Bible teachers. These days, many students are afraid about their future and are more concerned about survival. They spend their time on the Internet and play games. They have no desire for the work of God. We prayed that the Holy Spirit could open the hearts of many Nigerian students to receive the vision for God’s work.
I thank God who helped me prepare the Sunday worship service message every week.
Since 2012, God has been blessing our self-supporting ministry among the medical students. God blessed me to be promoted in my work place by the grace of God. But with the promotion came more demands on my job. Although I do not work on Saturdays, I was always tired and just wanted to sleep. But then I also felt very restless because I must prepare the message for Sunday. And often times I get distracted during the day time. So I have to wake up in the middle of the night to prepare the Sunday service message. This made me want to just hand over the message to one of our growing leaders so that I could rest. But I had to rescind the idea because preparing the message is not just for the attendees of the SWS, but it is also for my personal struggle to remind myself of my commitment to serve God and to keep my faith. Message preparation and Bible study with my Bible students was not just to help them grow spiritually, but it was also to help myself.
This year I held on to the Lord’s words to Paul at the Barrack prison when he was arrested in Jerusalem: “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome”’ (Acts 23:11). The Lord’s word encouraged my heart to keep testifying of the gospel of our Lord Jesus to the medical students. Though some are proud and many of them seem too busy to study the Bible, God gave us a few remnants to serve continuously. Through co-working with Lagos chapter I & II, we were able to get 3 freshmen who are currently studying the Bible faithfully. Also this year, God granted two of our Bible students, whom we have served from their first year, to graduate with honours. Brother Bidemi & Brother Akeko are currently doing their house job and hope to get jobs afterwards. I pray for them to keep their faith and give their heart to God’s work.
Right now we are faced with another challenge: we do not have sisters in my chapter. The only sisters are my wife and two daughters. So I prayed earnestly for our brothers to establish house churches with sisters from other chapters or that God may give us sisters quickly.
My New Year’s key verse is 1 Corinthians 13:11 which reads, “When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
I kind of wondered why this particular passage would come to me as a New Year’s key verse. I said to myself “I am not a child.” I am supposed to be an adult in age and as a chapter leader. But then I realized that I could be hanging between being a child and a man. For instance, if I do the work of the ministry out of a sense of obligation rather than out of genuine love for the Bible students and to Jesus, who first loves them and me and gave his life for us all, then I am only a child. My relationship with God could be like a child who loves his parents because they are his parents not because he understands their love for him. God wants me to move from preparing messages out of obligation to being moved by the love of Jesus for his disciples. God wants me to mature in my thinking process, in my attitude, and in my relationships with others. In the coming year, I can become mature in the word of God through diligent study of the word of God morning and night.
- I pray to God to understand my New Year’s key verse all the more
- To own our present Bible center within two years by the grace of God
- For Brother Ibukun to remain a faithful co-worker and to establish a house church in 2016
- I pray to give myself to diligent study of the Bible and pray without ceasing
- I pray for Shp. Chiaka to be fruitful at Ebonyin State University and to be able to continue her Ph.D study in the Arts.