Dear family and friends,
I just received some more pictures of the two-story Central Church we are building in Monrovia, Liberia. As this structure is now being used daily for a primary school and church, we recently sent funds to install the doors, windows, and plaster the walls. We rejoice over this accomplishment and that the brethren there are finishing the building very well. I have been amazed over the development of the leadership in Liberia in the past two years, as they continue to work with their official board members and conduct the business of the Church within their own constituency.
Since we have virtually been the only long-term missionaries in West Africa for the past thirty years, we understood that it was imperative to train National Leaders to take care of the work when the day of our departure arrives. From the beginning, we developed this strategy for developing indigenous churches: this is their country, these are their people, the churches belong to them, the schools are for their children, the people are local residents, and so the ministry is their responsibility. The local Pastors were appointed as the leaders, which allowed us to labor side by side with them and help develop the work. This model has paid off greatly. It was our goal for West Africa, as most of our countries are, to be indigenous and autonomous.
Rev. Luke Nnadi, rector of West Africa Bible College (WABC) in Lagos, Nigeria, just sent an update of the status of the college, and they recently matriculated 56 new students. This will bring our present student body to nearly 300 this year, for which we thank the Lord. Usually, around 100 students graduate each year from our three-year curriculum and, from these, 80% go full time into the ministry. God is doing a mighty work among WABC, for which we rejoice. We thank the Lord for the brilliant and capable leadership whom so effectively take care of our college in Nigeria.
The Lord has given us health and strength to still remain as missionaries to West Africa for a few more years and, perhaps, through this quadrennium. We welcome Rev. and Mrs. Ernest Turner to West Africa. World Missions Ministries of the IPHC has appointed Ernest as the new regional director of West Africa and has honored me with the position of emeritus regional director. Together, we will help to solidify some of our ministries in the eight countries of our region, as well as plant new churches in West Africa where IPHC has no presence.
We look forward to being in Liberia for the church dedication in September, and in Nigeria during November for the WABC graduation. The IPHC has some very significant plans for Togo and other Francophone Countries early next year, of which we will be there and be very much involved. Please pray for a mighty revival among all our churches, and for the Turners to have a smooth transition and position themselves to better serve West Africa.
As always, we appreciate your prayers and support.
Be assured of our love and prayers,
Willard & Yvonne Wagner