Report from Nigeria – July 2020
July Report from NIGERIA
Udotong News and Prayer Letter – July 2020
THE MISSION CONTINUES
None of us would have ever imagined the impact of COVID-19. We sincerely sympathize with those who have lost friends and love ones during this period. We continue to pray for you and for those who have lost jobs or experienced economic downturn in their businesses or jobs. Together, we shall come out this pandemic, victorious. We continue to focus on our mission—focusing vision, honing skills, developing leaders, directing community outreach, teaching, involvement in church planting, and seminary administration.
Before the Shut-down
Before the shutdown, I was engaged with teaching a Doctor of Ministry course and a Master’s degree level course involving a combination of 30 church leaders representing 10 denominations. These leaders oversee 142 pastors with about 7,000 members in their church congregations. I was also involved with personal mentoring of two (2) mature leader-students.
Emmanuel Nwoye, a seminary graduate, and his wife have been missionaries to a remote village in northern Nigeria ministering there. They had to flee for their lives when a terrorist organization destroyed their village. They returned to southeast Nigeria to focus on local church planting in the local communities, evangelism, and discipleship. Emmanuel is now one of my Master of Divinity students. He is very passionate about church planting. Pray for his family and the ministry they are involved in.
Theoophile Kponou is a Senior Pastor from Benin Republic in West Africa. He is also one of my doctoral students. Theophile supervises 47 pastors serving 3,420 congregants. Even so, he is a dedicated and humble servant of God who is committed to church planting and discipleship. Working with him is a delight. Theophile and his wife, Evelyn, have three children. A fourth child, a six-year-old, died a few months ago. Their lives, since after the incident, have been sorrowful and agonizing. They are praying for the joy of the Lord to return to their home. Please join me in praying for his wife and children. Pray for his travels and ministry in an animistic culture in Benin Republic.
During the Shut-down
To varying degrees, government, churches and other organizations provided aid to the neediest. Even so, with a relatively fragile economy even in the best of times, rife with corruption and rising inflation, Victoria and I were fearful that six weeks into the economic shut-down, more people would die from lack of food, than from the virus.
It was a great blessing when we received additional help from the International Fellowship of Bible Churches (IFBC) and Cornerstone Foundation in the United States. International Fellowship of Bible Churches provided funds to assist some of her elders in Nigeria while Cornerstone provided funds that served many in our community.
We were touched by the love and generosity our US friends showed in reaching out to the Nigerian constituency. Both the IFBC and Cornerstone Foundation have done ministries in Nigeria spanning several decades.
I personally coordinated the distribution of gifts and food items provided by our friends to ensure that they got to those who really needed it the most. The first distribution was done in April and the second in May. Sixty (60) individuals in twenty (20) homes were helped through this giving to the “least of these” (Mather 25:45) in their time of need.
A Special ‘Thank You’ from Victoria
In addition to your faithful support of the whole Udotong family, Victoria wanted to once again express her gratitude to those of you who contributed prayer and pledged scholarships to students of Cedrela High School in Lagos which she directs. May God richly bless you according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Thank you for Praying
- Pray for God to heal our world and that a cure be found for coronavirus soon
- Pray for healing to those who are hurting due to the loss of jobs, loss of family members and those infected with the virus
- Pray against increased attack against Christians and churches in Nigeria, particularly in Northeast and Middle Belt regions of the country
- Pray for God’s wisdom as we plan on ways to do ministry and deliver classes to students in remote locations during this time
- Pray for Emmanuel and Theophile
- Pray for my family for safety and protection.
Thank you, my Friends,
Your Missionary in Nigeria
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs,
Africa Center for Theological Studies (ACTS)
How to Give Securely
Mail: Send a check made out to IFBC. On the “for” line write Udotong Family. Send to:
IFBC, 3511 North Geraldine, Oklahoma City, OK 73112, USA.
Email: [email protected]