Friday, 19 December 2008

Annual Report

Dear members and friends of Sovereign Grace Bible Church.

As we end 2008, join me in thanking God for His faithfulness and loving kindness.
He has kept us, in our journey to heaven, drinking from Ephesians 3: 14-21, especially from the words in verses 16 to 19. “That He would grant (each of us) according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in (each of our hearts) by faith that (we), being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that (we) might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

The need to know the love of Christ and be filled with all the fullness of God was our main theme and desire in our sermons in 2008.
The 2008 Bible Conference in Lagos and Port Harcourt in the providential disposition of God re-emphasized this need, that we stay in the gift of the love of Christ and wait for the fulfillment, in each of us, of His promise, to fill us with all the fullness of God.

In the New Year, 2009, we shall endeavour to continue to remind us all of the need to maintain the love of Christ, as God wills and directs. Please pray that faith may arise in us all, as God is gracious to us, that we may show in whatever sphere of work we are engaged in, that Christ Jesus lives in each of us by faith. May we disperse in our surroundings the fragrance of Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Amen.


Blessed Children Ministry: Sister Ori and Pastor Tony came back from the 2008 School of Theology at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in the UK with the conviction that collecting children is key in the ministry to children in Ikeja. Members have recently begun to go out to register the children to be gathered. On the first going out to register children, 18 names (between ages 4 and 12) were registered. And this from just 4 streets in the Anifowoshe, Ikeja urban area. How the Lord had gone before us in this, is manifest.

We hope to register more in 2009 and gather them. We do face a peculiar problem, which is that many of the children aged 5-9 or more, cannot read or write; some of them are not attending school due to poverty. Please pray for patience and diligence for our teachers who have to combine teaching Bible Knowledge with teaching reading and writing skills, to see these children read the Bible by themselves. Please pray that the Lord would send our way, committed members to help the 3 teachers, who do the gathering and teaching for now. Thank the Lord for the resources of schemes of work, curricular and other teaching aids received from the London Metropolitan Tabernacle and Mount Zion Bible Church Pensacola, USA and gifts for children from Pastor Stan Murrell of Redeeming Grace Ministry, USA.

Christ Pastor’s Seminary: 20 students have been taking courses since 2007. They have all gone through Church History (from AD33 to AD1517), Methods of Bible Study (1 and 2) using materials from Mount Zion Bible Institute. The seminary launched in Nov 2006, was to be a CD configured seminary with on-line responses. But due to the state of public electricity and poverty in Nigeria, many do not have access to PCs. Courses continue to be given out in books/booklets, from Mount Zion.

In 2009, courses would continue to be given out using materials from Mount Zion. In the first quarter, it is planned that students would do “New Testament Survey” and a course on “The Great Tribulation”. In addition to private studies each student would be expected to read and summarize 2 books from Metropolitan Tabernacle. Peter Masters “Do we have a policy” and “Unlocking the Ten commandments”. Also, each month, during the meeting time, class lectures would be given on Pastoral Theology for the first half of the year (4 Lectures).

Please pray that God would give the gift of repentance to these many Pastors whose base is the Bible plus other unbiblical ideas. May God grant that they remain teachable and be given ability to drop erroneous practices. Pray that the mentors would be sensitive to what the Lord has begun doing in the lives and ministries of these students and that there would be the compassion and resources to dish out requisite “messes” as God would direct, to as many as have received our witness. Genesis 43:34.

Eldership: Please join us in thanking the Lord for guiding the membership of Sovereign Grace Bible Church to nominate Femi Sonuga-Oye, to the eldership of the Church, which, since we were organized in 2002, has yet, only 1 Elder. Brother Femi is at this time, away studying at the London Theological Seminary, and God willing, will begin ministry work among us after his graduation in June 2009. Brother Femi joined the church in 2004/2005 and has ministered among us before going to the UK for further studies. God willing, Femi’s ordination to full-time gospel ministry would be in November 2009. Please pray for Bro. Femi and for his ministry in the church, to be approved of God with much fruitfulness.

Community Evangelism: In 2008 we knocked on as many doors as were in the houses visited in our evangelistic efforts, most Saturdays, from Anifowoshe Community is a typical urban slum of an underdeveloped country. Most houses have shops and ware kiosks lining the streets, but housing families inside. Most rooms have on the average 6 persons per family made up of 70% children.

Please pray, that we be faithful in our witness to this community, to the sufficiency we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that the Lord would be gracious to us, in granting that many would see Him, as sovereign Lord to be revered and depended upon. We minister among many trapped in the teaching of salvation by own works; many who believe that Pastors can get, on their behalf, solutions, to problems of poverty, disease, unemployment, etc.

Ministry to the brethren: Please pray that God may restrain Satan from using Lagos urbanization difficulties to hinder our brethren in SGBC, from the constant use of the means of grace. Pray that, in it all, the Lord’s longsuffering grace and patience would abound to us for repentance and steadfastness in the faith.
Personal: I look forward to having my wife join me fully from January in the ministry especially to children and to women in Anifowoshe Ikeja. She is resigning from a teaching job she has kept these many years. She had kept the job to help with the payment of bills. As she resigns, we look to God to meet all our needs.

I also look forward to having Bro. Femi join fully in the work after his graduation in June 2009.
Please pray for me, for fruitfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit. Much self shows up in the work especially in the lack of patience with the brethren.

I desire the mind that was in Christ Jesus in ministry, the one that was also in Joseph the son of Jacob; while in Potiphar’s house. Please pray.

And may God hear you and answer you and bless you in 2009.

In His matchless grace ,
Tony Okoroh