Report From Nigeria - No. 12
Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria
On June 30, the Lord willing, we plan to sail from Nigeria, and hope to arrive in New York July 31. It will have been two years and one month since we waved farewell to the Statue of Liberty, and we look forward with keen anticipation to our re-entry into the land of the free (America does have many faults, but if you don't appreciate your freedom there, then you only need to live in another land for a few months). This should be our last report from Nigeria. I shall send one more final financial report after we have had time to get settled in America. We hope to secure living quarters in Chicago's suburbs but cannot now give a permanent address there. Temporarily, we may be addressed, c/o Miss Hilda Pogue, 642 N. Marion, Oak Park, Illinois (Sister Pogue has kept our furniture for us and now graciously offers to let us use her home as "headquarters" until we can secure a place for ourselves.) My work will be altogether in meetings, and more than twenty are already scheduled, mostly in the north, though I am willing to go anywhere. Twelve of those meetings will be in seven different large cities or their suburbs, with four in or near Chicago. I am very, very grateful for all of the invitations that have been received regarding meetings, as well as for the several inquiries regarding local work.
Since we left America, seven relatives have died. Some of them were near and dear to us and they will be missed much. Three grandchildren have been born (now there are eight, altogether) and we joyfully anticipate meeting them all. Our first four months in Nigeria were spent in the Eastern Region where so much gospel work has been done before us. They were fruitful, pleasant months. The remainder of our time has been in the Western Region, where almost no gospel work has been done until we came. Several native preachers have been brought in here to help, and brother Sewell Hall came also in September, 1960. The visible results of all this work while we are in Nigeria will be about 1300 (one thousand three hundred) baptisms and about fourteen congregations established. Gospel work like this is indeed as a net cast into the sea, and it surely gathers in of every kind. Many do not prove sincere, but we are gratified to know that perhaps between six hundred and eight hundred people assemble each Lord's Day who were untouched by the pure gospel two years ago. We hope others will become more and more faithful. Almost all our work here in the West has been in the large cities and only lack of time and physical ability has prevented much more fruitfulness. Through the cooperation of American brethren who sent money, I have printed two hundred and twenty thousand tracts (220,000), most of which have been distributed. Many others were sent from America and recently brother Hall has also printed some.
The following is an account of finances since last report nearly two months ago: Received from: Antioch church, Charlotte, Tenn., $90.00; Miss Myrtle Rice, Milwaukee, Wis., $20.00; Mrs. H. R. Mast, Nacogdoches, Tex., $40.00; Clear Lake church, Springfield, Ill., $34.75; Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bowen, San Diego, Calif., $10.00; Mrs. E. G. Parker, Hendersonville, N. C., $30.00; Mr. and Mrs. Erick Clark, Dixon, Mo., $10.00; Mrs. Carrie Martin, Madison, Ill., $15.00; Mrs. Alma Spencer, Salem, Mo., $5.00; Total-$254.75. Expenditures for gospel work: Bank charges on this fund, $6.18; Tire for truck, $29.40; Expenses for preachers and interpreters, April and May $122.01; Total- $157.59. Balance for this period - $97.16. Balance from last report -$174.48. Total balance today - $271.64. In addition, our regular support and rent are supplied by the Thomas Blvd. church, Port Arthur, Texas. I give sincere thanks to all of you.
Brother Aude McKee is to replace me in gospel work here and is scheduled to arrive here with his family soon. We urge friends to continue to send help to him so that he will have something with which to work. He may be addressed at P. M. B. 1080, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. (Note: Some ask what P. M. B. means. It means Private Mail Bag, which is a substitute for unavailable P. O. Box.) Besides several pieces of furniture, I am leaving a radio, a typewriter, the 1957 Chevrolet Pick-Up truck, and the public address system. I have advised brother McKee not to -try to use the truck for another two years (he will need a new car) but the other items will serve for a long time. Since other workers are expected, the truck may be used by any of them temporarily and will be very useful in anything except long-distance work. Its tires are excellent and its condition is good for such age and use. This is the truck which I bought second-hand, and which will soon have 60,000 Nigerian miles on its speedometer.
So far our health has been very good, for which we are thankful. We have had only those few afflictions which are necessarily expected here (some colds, a little dysentery and a number of minor infections). The climate has drained our strength, especially in these later months, but it seems we have done as well as others do, for even the young suffer the same fatigue.
Our work for Christ here has been made more pleasant because of the many encouraging letters received from friends and relatives in America, and the assurance that you prayed for us has been a source of strength also. What we have done here has caused no religious revolution and has not been sensational. Our name and faces will soon be forgotten here, but we trust the name of Christ and the word of God will be highly esteemed by many now, and by multitudes in future generations. I have enjoyed giving these written reports every two months, and I hope they may have stimulated those who received them to greater appreciation of this kind of work and to greater activity in service to God and men. I thank brother Bryan Vinson Jr. for printing the reports in TRUTH magazine, though I had no idea at the beginning that he would do so, and did not actually prepare them for such publication. I also thank brethren Emmons and Warner who have taken care of the detail work of printing and mailing the reports from Port Arthur.
Brother Hall, supported by No. Birmingham Church, Birmingham, Ala. (Hall's rent is supplied by Tenth & Francis church, Oklahoma City, Okla.), and brother McKee, supported by Thomas Blvd. church, Port Arthur, Texas; will certainly continue to do great work here. They will receive the cooperation of brethren Raphael Williams, supported by Lamar Ave. church, Paris, Texas, D. D. Isong Uyo, supported by the Aurora, Illinois church, E. J. Ebong, supported by the Plainfield, Indiana, church, Solomon Etuk, supported by Robert Phillips, Grand Prairie, Texas, E.O. Abimbola, supported by Orange Highway Church, Port Arthur, Texas, E: Ekanem, supported. by the Kenosha, Wisconsin church and Edet Inyang, supported by the Midland Blvd: church, Fort Smith, Arkansas. All of these men work in various parts of this vast Western Region of Nigeria now, and they (the natives) and we (the Americans) work together in every way possible to reach more and more people. Besides those men named, Geo. Oganni goes each week-end to Abeokuta, preaching and interpreting, and Samuel Odewumi teaches and interprets in Lagos. These latter two receive expenses and some wages from me from funds already mentioned in this report. Two years ago not more than one man was preaching the pure gospel in this region. Pray earnestly for all of these men, that peace and purity may prevail, that their work may be fruitful, and that God may be truly glorified in every day and in every way in this fertile and productive field.
Truth Magazine, V:10, pp. 16-18