Dear Prayer Team,
Report on Nigeria Trip
O Sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things,
His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.
The LORD has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (Psalms 98:1-9).
One never knows what can happen on a short term mission trip. I am still awed by it all.
I never expected such great things to happen on this first trip to Nigeria. In short, God answered our prayers! The Lord went beyond giving the pastors knowledge about what godly men are. He was actually making godly men during the seminar.
Because God so moved the pastors, we saw a special outworking of His grace. One example: God moved an anonymous person to professionally video the seminar and broadcast the last several messages on the best television station in the area. The broadcast included a special interview with prominent pastors that heard of the seminar and started attending. Several hold positions in the government or university. God was thrusting His message throughout the nation of Nigeria.
The place for the seminar was small. The red dirt road at the front entrance was impassable. It was hot. However, these things did not stop God from doing mighty things. The Godly Man, because of its length, was made into five volumes. The first hundred went quickly. Rev. Godstime had more printed. As word got around about the powerful effect the messages were having on different individuals, more people came requiring more books.
Again, I under budgeted. We thank the Lord, however, for providing more money and things for this conference. People in Nigeria donated electricity for the home I stayed in, the television recording, generators, lights, even robes for graduation!
Although Nigeria is shunned by the world, half of the 120 million population are Christians. God can do a lot through this country with half of its people claiming the Name of the Lord. May God raise up a nation of godly men and women!
You might be wondering what brought this surge of interest. I still wonder about it too. God was certainly working in the hearts of those present. Your prayers made a great difference here. These pastors were changed.
One thing that Pastor Godstime said rang a bell, "You probably do not know how much these messages are helping us." This is true. I was in survival mode, focusing on the four messages a day and traveling several hours each day on a hot and bumpy road. What makes this so interesting is that the bishop in Malawi said the exact same thing. There has been a shallowness of belief in these pastors' lives. Only now is this veil being torn down.
They are discovering how exciting the Christian life can be when lived out. I taught The Godly Man to a large class of city pastors in the morning and a small class at night in the village where I stayed. Praise God for allowing the ends of the earth to see the salvation of our God!
Rev. Godstime wanted to make the most of my time there! I spoke 25 times, twelve times to pastors, the rest at public and private schools, as well as at churches. The freedom to preach the Gospel to the children in schools reminded me again how depraved and hostile my own culture has become.
Although Nigeria is an oil rich country, the average person has very little money (US $20-30/month salary). They cannot afford books. Many do not have Bibles. They cannot afford them. Early in the morning (8 am) we visited public and private schools. After my short message to a mix of grades, Rev. Godstime would distribute Bibles that were sent from the West. Although these side trips were not my major purpose for going, it was refreshing to see so many children learning about Jesus Christ.
I enjoyed the opportunity to share my testimony to a village chief and others gathered on the porch. 3,000 belong to that yet unchurched village. (See picture of the preaching point there on the left).
I have been asked to return next May and hold a pastor's seminar on marriage. Many pastors struggle in this area. Since getting back, there have been two different emails asking that I go to Kenya. Meanwhile I am supposed to go once more to Malawi. Plans have not yet been set for visiting several places in northern India this fall. Please pray for guidance and help.
We are excited to see the response in Nigeria. Since arriving home, I was able to finish up a Library of the audio recordings of the six main messages and send it to Nigeria. This Godly Man Library, the BFF Library and our other BFF manuals that we left there are with Rev. Godstime so others can make their own copies of them.
May we see God's hand work even more mightily now that HIs seed is sown.
"'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6).
God is great and mighty. We might rely our own resources and schemes, but the real work that matters is dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Please pray daily.
Thanks to God
Seeing God's power at work! He actually changed men into godly men.
For how God moved people all over the globe to provide for this ministry.
Some measure of good health. I had a cold or bad dust sneeze until Friday when someone prayed.
Safety there and at home.
Being able to partner with men who labor so hard.
Good sleep. Not bothered by time zone changes.
Strength and stamina for the heavy load.
The federal government gave final 501(C)3 approval for Biblical Foundations for Freedom without requiring any further paperwork. Yippee!!!
Requests to God
Lak will have a heart operation Friday (May 16).
Please pray that God would continue to work in these next months in Nigeria.
This Friday (May 16-18) Paul joins the NextStep retreat and does follow-up counseling. Early next week (May 19-20) he joins some meetings for a large mission conference. He is excited from his trip but needs insight to think of things from this side of things (those here going there).
Protection for those at home (typical many things go wrong - car-door knobs-gates falling off hinges, etc).
Several children still have colds.
Paul needs endurance to get these messages into full written form for the Advanced Training section of the web.
He wants to rework The Godly Man manual into a book so it can be more easily passed on. This will require some real focus.
Rev. Godstime of Spread the Word ministry needs a used laptop to help minimize the expenses on using a business center for all his email and correspondence.
Serving Together for the Glory of God,
Paul and Linda Bucknell
Biblical Foundation for Freedom
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Write to Paul with your comments:
Have your church link to our website! Or even better, use your blog to link to us. People will be glad you did. The BFF logo is below if you would like to use it!