Dear Friends of the Ministry,
Before I left Canada, I had prepared a four-project plan. This plan was to clear and distribute the medical, educational and humanitarian shipment we had sent from Canada prior to my leaving; to oversee the Community Agro Farming Project; to institute Operation Placing Vernacular Bibles in Every Home; and to hold a 3-day Leadership Summit with Pastors and Christian Workers.
The following are reports of the various projects:
1. Clearing and Distribution of the Medical, Educational & Humanitarian Shipment:
Our container shipment did not get to Nigeria at the estimated time of arrival, but arrived 9 weeks late. Nevertheless, I was able to distribute the medical equipment and supplies to two hospitals in Imo State; to three medical clinics and one federal medical centre in Abia State; and to one hospital and one clinic in Kaduna State. All the used clothing, shoes, baby bonnets and booties that we distributed will continue to be a delight to the mums, orphans and motherless babies. We delivered the bed fittings and sheets to churches and villages in the communities were we work. It was very thrilling for me to give twelve bags of clothes, shoes, pencils and writing books to HIV/AIDS orphans living with their foster parents. To see the tears of joy on their faces and the faces of their foster parents was beyond description. Pencils, crayons, erasers, pens, writing books and refills and other school supplies were also given out to primary schools within our constituent communities. A Canadian missionary family, who recently moved to Nigeria, was very happy to receive their goods, which were also among this shipment.
One of the major significant things that we accomplished during this outreach was donating to and equipping the Physiotherapy Department of the Federal Medical Centre in Umuahia. I truly thank God for the privilege of being used by God to affect those that I was able to affect and to be able to make such a tremendous impact. To Him alone is the glory. I also thank Him for the four sisters that accompanied me on the team to Nigeria last year. They organized and co-ordinated this container shipment sent from the ladies of Victoria BC, on behalf of the less privileged ones that we work with in Nigeria. Thank you!
2. The Community Agro Farming (Sweet Corn) Initiative:
Before I left Vancouver, a local church in White Rock, BC donated a bag of sweet corn seeds for this project, which was conceived with the over 3,000 widows in Ohafia in mind. While in Nigeria, I was able to establish a partnership with the National Root Crop Research Institute, who appointed a trained agriculturist to co-ordinate the project. A one-and-a-half hectare of land was donated for this project. The first thing the co-ordinator did was to train the ADS (Agric Development Staff.) research staff. Before the project could begin, tests had to be carried out on the seeds and the soil to ascertain the right time for planting, soil temperature, etc. I am glad to announce that we have had a 100% success rate! We have had our first yield, and the second phase of the project is to preserve the seeds. The third phase is for the ADS officers to go to the widows and teach them how to cultivate the seeds and at the same time, work with them to ascertain a successful yield. We intend to saturate the country with sweet corn! Would you please pray for the continuing progress of this very important project?
3. Operation Placing Vernacular Bibles in Every Home:
Before I left Vancouver, I was able to order Bibles in Hausa, Yoruba and the Ibo languages from The Bible Society of Nigeria. Upon arriving there, I collected them from the Bible Society. We used most of the Yoruba Bibles in the book-pack distributed to the pastors and Christian workers during the Leadership Summit in Ibadan. Here is the following testimony of a pastor who had queried the wisdom of being given a Yoruba Bible instead of an English Bible. He chose to believe that God must have had a purpose, despite what he thought about it. Now, upon getting home that evening, he heard that his father-in-law, had just been saved. Before going to church the next morning, he was able to present his father-in-law with a brand new Yoruba Bible!
Most of the Ibo Bibles were given out to various churches in the states of Imo and Abia. We have observed that most Ibo speaking parents do not favour the use of their language among their children even in the rural villages. Therefore, in consultation with the staff of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA), we designed a one-month program targeting the children. Any child that could correctly answer a Biblical question in Ibo would receive a free Bible. I was in my office one morning, when I was informed that an old man in his eighties had come to see me. When I met with him, I discovered he had travelled over 500 kilometres just to see me to express his joy for what we were doing with the Ibo Bibles.
4. The Leadership Summit:
The Leadership Summit 2003 was designed to close up loopholes in various ministries, especially in the area of management expertise and leadership development. Our goal was to have 120 leaders attend from the seven major cities of Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Osogbo, Abeokuta, Offa and Ife. Our objectives included developing a sense of mission that would produce mission-minded churches helping the trainees to discover their skills and effectively implement them in their places of service. There were sixty-one attendees at these summits, and each was given a small library of books together with a Yoruba Bible for their personal study. George Verwer generously donated all these.
In an intensive three days of teaching, my host and I shared essential leadership topics such as, Impossibilities becoming realities, no identity crisis, Servant – leadership, Effective Human Resources Management, Team Building, Time Management, Goals for Growth, Conflict management, The five Essentials for a leader, Mission and the Process of Change, and Critical Life Issue, etc. All the pastors’ spoke of being challenged strengthened and renewed.
A number of testimonies have been received from some of the participants. Among them is a report from one of the ministers who said that he had been “stripped and his leadership faults exposed.” He indicated that he had now discovered his gifts and proper place in the ministry. Another said that he had now begun to implement those things he had been taught among his workers in their church. Would you pray that the seed sown among these leaders would produce a healthy numerical growth in the various local churches that they pastor.
An overview of this report will reveal to you that my summer outreach focused on the objectives of our ministry. These being to extend the Kingdom of God; to execute God’s purpose by equipping believers; to establish new converts into a local church and to evangelize the unreached.
Education/Medical Outreach in Nigeria:
Ministry to the sick has always been an integral part of opening doors for sharing the gospel in our constituent communities. Working for us we have some very dedicated medical doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, some working as full-time personnel, but most as volunteers. One other effective means of making contact with the less privileged families is through skill development. These outreaches are in most cases foundational to the creation of new churches.
Ministry to HIV/AIDS “Secondary Parties” – Orphans Children in Kenya & Nigeria:
We cannot over emphasis the fact that there are more than 10 million AIDS orphans in Africa at this point. Every day 6,500 of them die of AIDS, and another 9,500 are infected, including 1,400 infants. Our recent survey in Nigeria indicates that many adults in the country avoid being tested. They are afraid to name the illness that is slowly killing them. Those already infected keep their result secret for fear of rejection and shame. The survey also revealed that many with HIV/AIDS “die” even before they are actually certified dead, not necessarily from infections associated with the illness, but because of poverty and lack.
Our programs among these children are two tiers – prevention and compassion. We work with other agencies, with government agencies, public and private schools teaching on the value of sexual abstinence for singles and the need to remain pure even in marriage. We on the other hand demonstrate our Christian compassion by raising sponsors that would sponsor a child by helping provide food, clothing and schooling. Should you be interested in being a part of this venture, please contact us through any of our offices in either Africa or Canada.
Meanwhile, please pray: That many more people will participate in the sponsorship program for the ministry to the many HIV/AIDS orphan children and families that we are currently working with, especially for Mama Helena’s Children Feeding/Youth Drop-in Centre in the Kayole slum in Nairobi, Kenya, and the “Foster Parents” ministry to over 50 children in Nigeria.
Caribbean Focus: Trinidad & Tobago
About a year ago, we were challenged to consider developing our work in the Caribbean. We have a couple – Ugochukwu John and Rose Emulo now preparing in Nigeria to lead the work. They are planning to move to Trinidad & Tobago by the summer of 2004 after the delivery of their expected baby. John is a Pharmacist by profession, but presently serving with our Nigerian head office as the “Office Administrator”.
Paul Ndukwe (Rev.)
Executive Director – Link International Ministries