Classes, Preaching, and Blessings!

0

Posted by gpbcadmin | Posted in Nigeria Trip | Posted on August 10, 2016

I apologize that I have to cover so much ground with this post, but the internet was giving me problems here at the house yesterday and would not upload my pictures. So…I’m going to try again.

Monday night’s service was a big blessing. There were several great music specials from a couple different churches that are here this week, and Bro. Ajang also gave a testimony about the Bible clubs they have been doing throughout the year. I had the privilege to once again preach with Bro. Adewale, and Bro. Tunde was gracious enough to find me some sticks and a wheelbarrow to use as visual aids to the sermon I preached. Praise the Lord for a full altar and decisions made on the first night of camp!
100_2382 100_2386 100_2393 100_2395
100_2400 100_2405 100_2406 100_2408
100_2412 100_2416

 

 

Tuesday always begins the first full day of classroom instruction. There have been a few changes in teachers for particular subjects here in Abuja than there were in Port Harcourt, but on this first day most classes remained the same. Bro. Tunde is teaching most of 1st Level, Bro. McGuffee is teaching all but a class or two of 2nd Level, I am teaching all of 3rd Level, and my brother, Bobby, is teaching all of 4th Level. The classes are pretty full with the 127 we have registered this week, but we are managing. I will say, Bro. Tunde’s voice carries pretty far in this open area situation.
100_2426 100_2427 100_2430 100_2439

 

Even though the rain was creating a river down the NyaNya streets, Tuesday night opened with more of the wonderful congregational singing that we have grown to love here in Nigeria. Everyone just sings loud and strong, and it is a wonderful experience to be in a building full of people singing for the Lord. We always have some special music each night and a testimony of Bible clubs done through the year. This night, we learned that another church has been started because of a Bible club, and it is already growing. Bro. Bobby preached the first sermon followed by Bro. Tunde, and the altar again was filled. We are really praying, and ask you to pray with us, that each one of these decisions will be brought to fruition in these young people’s lives.
100_2451 100_2455 100_2458 100_2465
100_2467 100_2470 100_2474

 

 

The middle of the week is always a packed day. Mrs. McGuffee and Mrs. Holmes both taught classes today and did a great job. After our classes and demo time, we headed to the house of Mrs. Ene, one of the church ladies who is heading up the feeding for the camp this week. It was a delicious meal, and she was a very gracious and loving host. She really has a sweet heart for serving the Lord.
100_2479 100_2483 100_2485

 

 

Tonight was just as powerful as the rest of the week has been. Even though we are hitting the middle of the week, we are only gaining momentum in the services. Bro. John Oko preached the first sermon followed by Bro. Holmes, and the students are responding very openly about what God is doing in their hearts. It is great to have them coming to us and asking for us to pray with them about their decisions.
100_2486 100_2488 100_2491 100_2492 100_2493 100_2496

 

We are having 27 Bible Clubs and going into 3 different schools this week. In those locations, so far, we have seen 1,362 enrolled and 576 make a decision to receive Christ as their personal Saviour. Please continue to pray that God will keep the rain from hindering the clubs. As of today, not one club has been hampered by the rain in two weeks!

…Stay tuned for more!
In the service of the KING,

Pastor Jared Decker

Sunday and Beyond…

0

Posted by gpbcadmin | Posted in Nigeria Trip | Posted on August 8, 2016

Before I start talking about things going on here in Abuja, I realized that I forgot to give the week totals for the Bible clubs in Port Harcourt. He had a total of 1,990 children enrolled in the clubs for the week, 838 said they received Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and an additional 6 young people were saved at SMITE itself. There were a multitude of decisions made about the will of God this week. Please pray for all of those who made decisions, that they will hold fast to the leading of the Spirit and make sure to do what God has called them to do.

Now…on to Abuja…

We had a great start in Abuja on Sunday. For the morning service, I was in NyaNya at Truth Baptist, Bobby was in Kubwa at Spring Valley Baptist, and Bro. and Mrs. McGuffee were in the village of Gasaki. We all had great services and were blessed by the growth that there has been in each of these churches over the last year. Bro. McGuffee had the unique privilege to baptize for the first time as a Missionary to Nigeria…and it was in the creek a small hike away from the church! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures from my time at Truth yesterday morning. I didn’t realize my camera battery was drained until I started to take a picture.

100_2326a

 

Sunday evening, Bobby and I swapped locations to preach. It was such a blessing to see the new facility that Spring Valley Baptist Church has been able to secure. Both our church and Bobby’s church came together last year to provide the funding to lease this new property, and it is already allowing for new growth in the church. It is such an honor to be so far away and yet be such an active part of ministries here in Nigeria.

100_2326 100_2330 100_2332 100_2351 100_2358 100_2379 100_2381

 

We started our new week of SMITE today with around 120 students. I will have an exact number by tomorrow, because we usually have more students show up during Monday from a long trip. I did not go into classes today because of the condition of my voice. With the week of teaching, Bible clubs, and preaching every night, along with preaching all day yesterday, my voice was absolutely strained. Bro. Mark suggested yesterday that I take the day to recuperate my voice, since I am preaching tonight as well. With some extra rest and care, my voice is feeling much better today. Please pray that it will hold out for the week ahead. This was a first for me, so today has seemed a little strange here at the house. I am so excited about this week and looking forward to seeing God move in and work here in Abuja as He did in Port Harcourt last week. Please pray for safety, rainless days, and God’s power for preaching each night.

I want to end with once again bragging on my church family back home. You are all such a blessing to your Pastor. It is so refreshing to see the wonderful, servant spirit of each of you as you fill in the gaps left by my absence. I love you all and thank God for you daily. I can’t wait to get back and continue in the exciting work God is doing at our church.

…Stay tuned for more!

 

In the service of the KING,

Pastor Jared Decker

One SMITE down…one to go!

0

Posted by gpbcadmin | Posted in Nigeria Trip | Posted on August 6, 2016

I hate that this update is having to span this much, but these last couple of days have been absolutely slammed packed. Thursday is always the last day of teaching with the course materials, and it ended well.

The 27 Bible clubs went very well again, and we saw some of the clubs double in size. All week long, the rain came during the day, stopped during clubs, and started back again after clubs were over. That is just the power of God because of prayer!

100_2236 100_2238
Along with a lot of special music provided by the many church groups at SMITE this week, I had the privilege to preach on Thursday night with Bro. Maskey. It was such an honor to preach again to this group of young people, but especially along side Bro. Maskey. The Maskey family have been faithful missionaries here in Nigeria for over 22 years. The Spirit of God has truly been present and working in all of the services. The altar was filled after the messages and many stayed around after church to ask more questions of how to put the principles in their lives with their current situations.

100_2242 100_2243 100_2246 100_2248

100_2251 100_2255 100_2257 100_2258
Friday is always a very busy day. After breakfast time, we start the day with reviews of the pertinent information from the various subjects that we have covered through the week. The students are then given a little time to study before, as Bro. Mark calls it, “Judgment Day”. We had 127 students take the tests and only 12 students didn’t hit the mark.

100_2260 100_2263 100_2265 100_2268
The rain came pouring down as soon as Bible clubs ended on Friday, which cause many teams to be late for the evening service. This included the team of the last of 3 young men who graduated SMITE, which is why he isn’t in the picture below. He walked in as the others were going down, and I didn’t get a picture of him…sorry Miracle.

100_2279 100_2280 100_2281
During the final service, each church represented had one of their young people come up and give a testimony from the week. Probably the one that struck me the most was how one of the students led a young muslim girl to Christ, walked her back home, and actually received permission from her parents to bring her to Sunday School this weekend!

Bro. McGuffee preached a great message for the closing ceremonies about how each and every one of those who attended this week CAN make a difference for Jesus Christ. Again, many came to the altar and finalized decisions that God had been working on them about all week long. As the service came to a close, the Maskey’s, Bro. McGuffee, and I were honored by the youth leader of PHIBC and given beautiful posters representing the goal of SMITE for Africa to reach the entire continent for Christ.

100_2294 100_2296 100_2300 100_2301 100_2302
After wrapping everything up, taking what seemed like a million pictures with everyone there, and getting a bite to eat, we packed up and did our best to get in bed before 1am again. This morning, after Mrs. Maskey made us another wonderful breakfast, we loaded everything up in the church van and headed to the airport. We did see one of the things that is sad but all too common here in Nigeria as we were driving to the airport. A man, evidently driving a small motorcycle, had just been hit by another vehicle and left for dead in the street on the other side of the highway from us. I could not help but wonder if anyone had given this man the Gospel, or was he caught up in the vain and empty religions that we see scattered all over this land.

100_2306 100_2307 100_2309 100_2311 100_2318
It took a while to get through the very poorly managed ticket counter at the PHC Airport, but we managed to get through just in time to sit and wait on our late plane for an hour. Thankfully it stopped pouring rain before we had to walk across the airfield to board the plane. We got out of the Abuja airport around 5:30 and arrived at the Holmes house a little after 6:30. So, all in all, it wasn’t a bad trip. We walked into the house here to find a surprise birthday party that had been planned for Bro. Mark’s birthday last week.

100_2320 100_2321 100_2323 100_2325
As I finish typing this post, my eyes are very heavy. Please pray that we can get some good rest tonight. Tomorrow will be another long day before the start of another SMITE week. I will be preaching at Truth Baptist Church of NyaNya in the morning and Spring Valley Baptist Church of Kubwa in the evening. Thank you all for your prayers…we can definitely tell that you are lifting us up every day to the Lord.

…Stay tuned for more.
In the service of the KING,

Pastor Jared Decker

God is Moving in the Middle of the Week

1

Posted by gpbcadmin | Posted in Nigeria Trip | Posted on August 3, 2016

It has been a long half week, to say the least, but it has been worth every ounce of energy. We had great classes today, and the students were in tune with the lessons every step of the way. Bro. McGuffee’s class is very packed…so much so that we are calling it the sardine room! My students are being so receptive to the instruction and asking great questions on how they can improve their teaching skills. The rigid schedule and long days is starting to get to everyone. Most of my students elect to take naps during break times.

100_2187 100_2190 100_2192 100_2185
One of the most exciting things personally has been to see my team members applying the lessons and techniques that we have been teaching every day. They did an outstanding job today at the Bible Club. I have included a few more pictures of the way to our club, so you can see how easy it would be to get lost in the twists and turns of these narrow passage ways.

100_2205 100_2211 100_2214 100_2215
100_2193 100_2194 100_2195 100_2196 100_2197 100_2198 100_2200 100_2202 100_2203 100_2204
An additional blessing at our Bible Club today was a mother who pulled me aside after club. She and her mother had been having questions from certain Bible passages, and I was able to walk through the Scriptures with them and explain God’s eternal security of salvation in Christ. As of this evening, we have seen a total of 1568 enrolled and 533 saved. I also have a sweet little girl that has been clinging to me and playing with me all week. I am embarrased to say that I don’t know her name yet, because her father and mother are both deaf. She reminds me a lot of Micah…so I’m happy.

100_2219 100_2220
This evening’s service was wonderful. Bro. Tunde Ajayi preached first, and the altar was full of young people surrendering to do God’s specific will for their life. Bro. Holmes preached after some special music and rounded off the night with a great message. Bro. McGuffee and I both spent time after the service answering questions from young people wanting counsel on the next step to take in doing God’s will.

100_2226 100_2228 100_2229 100_2233

Just continue to pray that the rain stays away during the clubs. We still have not had any clubs rained out, even though the skies are staying fairly grey during the club time. Thank you all for your prayers, and thank you to my church family for taking care of my wife and kids for me. Love you all.

Stay tuned for more…
In the service of the KING,

Pastor Jared Decker