Greetings Friends! I trust that you have enjoyed this holiday season with family and friends. By the time you receive this letter, both Christmas and New Year’s day will have passed but, as I write it, we are wrapping up the end of the first term and preparing for Christmas festivities.
What an exciting month December has been so far. As I mentioned last month, I joined Evangelist Daniel Kolenda as a guest at Christ For all Nations outreach in Owerri, south eastern Nigeria. The trip itself challenged my courage, as I was wary of negotiating local flights and changing both airlines and airports on my own, but I am so glad that I pushed through my apprehension! Not only was the atmosphere of worship and the skillfully delivered Word of God wonderfully refreshing. Not only was it a time of reflection and renewed vision for the year ahead. That would have been enough. God did more. On the second night, Daniel Kolenda turned to me and said “Would you like to take five minutes and greet the people tomorrow?” Friends, I love the practical work and relationship building we are engaged in, and certainly have seen individual salvations and even miracles of healing in Jebba. Still I have longed to simply share the grace and power of the Gospel with people and, on night three of the outreach, I was given the gift of preaching to 35,000 people. It was a privilege I will not soon forget. I am so thankful to both God and Evangelist Kolenda.
Back on the home from, we have good news to share. Bimbo, whose school session started and ended earlier than our own, returned from Akwanga proudly bearing a report card that stated that she holds first position in her class! I did have to chide her a bit on her score in handwriting, as I suffered through her chicken scratch for several years myself, lol!
Elisha, a young man who taught our two year old class and endeared himself to our little ones through his gentleness, love and playful spirit, gained admission to the university of his choice. Rejoice that we were privileged to step in and sponsor his first year, as he would have lost his spot due to his parents’ inability to help him until his older brother completes his own course later next year. Can you imagine paying only $300 for both housing and tuition for a full year? We added a couple hundred for food and transportation and will likely help again when his cupboard runs bare, but it is still a great deal! Another life elevated. God is great!
We have made initial contact with the governmental authorities concerning volunteering with the kids in public school in Fangun. They are a bit wary to allow a Christian missionary to serve in their Muslim institution, but are positive over all. Still waiting on the date for our official meeting.
Thanks again for your love, encouragement, prayers and support. We do have one significant need, and that is the construction of two new classrooms at the school. Due to our growing reputation as the school where children learn to read, our population is expanding and, despite partitioning our larger classrooms into two, we have run out of space. A conservative estimate is $6,000, which includes student seating and ceiling fans. If you desire to contribute to that project, please mark your gift as “School Building.” Thank you!
God Bless You as We Reach Nigeria Together!
About Joanne Chinkers
Joanne is a certified Special Education teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. In 2010, she accepted a challenge to spend a year in the interior region of Nigeria with the stated goal of improving the level of education in one of the first Christian schools built in that area. Through teacher training, coaching in the classroom, and direct contact with students, she saw dramatic changes in both teachers and students.