Mar 2007

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Charting a New Course

seems to be the theme of our lives at this present moment. As we shared in our last letter, we believe God has directed us into a new season of life.

For at least the last 18 months we have sought Godís direction for the future. With Nathanael graduating from high school and soon to join his two brothers in the U.S., we felt prompted to ask God if we were to continue ministry in Nigeria. Honestly, being very far away from our children and their happenings is challenging. In addition, as we evaluated the past 19 years of ministry in Nigeria, we saw clearly how God used us and moved us.

Beginning in 1988, Tomís work at the cottage hospital in Nassarawa-Eggon and the Community Health Evangelism project we piloted was rewarding and faith-stretching. When we left 3 years later, community health evangelists were trained and working in their villages. Ten years later we took the newly translated Eggon Jesus film to the remote mountainous village where the Eggon tribe originated, and found the local church pastor was one of our community health evangelists.

But the time came to move, and Jos became our home in 1992. Tom was challenged and yet excited to launch a new department of Family Medicine at the Jos University Teaching Hospital. The department of Family Medicine was inaugurated with just Tom and four residents to train. Today the department has six consultants and 24 residents. One of the consultants that Tom mentored is now chairman over all of the clinical departments of the university hospital.

During 16 years of personal ministry in Jos, we employed various ministry strategies. We conducted New Life Training seminars for churches and hospital personnel, teaching the basics of the Christian life and equipping individuals to confidently share their faith with the Four Spiritual Laws.

In addition to raising our three sons, Rosieís ministry has included at various times:

bulletconducting prayer seminars on praying for your children
bulletorganizing and speaking at evangelistic events
bulletspeaking for retreats and conferences and leading womenís Bible studies
bulletbeing involved in member care for missionaries as a peer responder to crisis events
bulletserving 9 years on the Board of the Christian school our children attended
bulletworking with students with learning disabilities

We found our greatest joy ministering together to married couples. Speaking for Family Life "Weekend to Remember" conferences was out of our comfort zone, but was a delight to be used in such a manner.

Home Builders groups have multiplied throughout Jos and beyond its borders. In the past two weeks we were invited to visit two new groups. Interestingly, one is led by Godwin and Esther, a couple from our very first group 9 years ago. Both work at the teaching hospital and have led six groups. Godwin is a dynamic speaker and has frequent opportunities to speak at marriage conferences and in churches.

The second group is led by Nuhu and Esther, who were in our group that concluded in December. Nuhu is a lawyer for the teaching hospital, and they are leading a group of 9 couples, including their pastor.

Used us and moved us Ö Campus Crusade for Christís international philosophy of ministry has been to raise up national staff and lay people and work yourself out of a job. We believe we have accomplished this task, and it is time to pass the baton to those we have trained.

As we close the door of our lives in Nigeria, God is opening the door for our son Aaron, who will graduate from Utah State University in May. He believes God is calling him back to West Africa in a missionary capacity, and this brings us great joy. Details are still uncertain, but should soon unfold.

Retracing the path of the last 19 years, we are witnesses to Godís faithfulness and hand of blessing. Nothing has been accomplished through our own doing, but His. He has worked through all of us!

Us includes You, our faithful team. The two words "Thank You" sound inadequate to express our gratitude for your loving partnership. We trust God has blessed and encouraged you throughout this journey together.

We will keep you posted as we conclude our last 4 months on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, which will officially end July 16.

Ever grateful for you,

Tom & Rosie