At 11:00 PM on July 20, brother Yaw Boateng and I left the Atlanta airport on an eleven hour flight to Accra, Ghana, West Africa. Once we arrived in Accra, we stayed overnight in Tema and at 5:30 AM we were on our way to Central Ghana by bus. This last 200 miles took us longer than crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and 16 ½ hours later we reached Nkoranza. Our mission was to edify the churches in the districts of Nkoranza and Busunya in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana.
Each day, our time was spent preaching and teaching on topics that were of great concern to the brethren. The lessons included The Difference in the Word ‘Silence’ in I Corinthian 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:12, Reconciling Matthew 19:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 7:1-15, and The Symbolism in the Book of Revelation. We also spent a great deal of time in Questions and Answers sessions. These sessions are of the utmost importance because this is where you get down to “the nuts and bolts” in teaching the Gospel of Christ. Giving specific answers to specific questions truly helps in understanding the full import of the Scriptures. Including holding four Gospel meetings, brother Boateng and I spoke 28 times in 21 different venues in 10 days. Many were edified, 12 repented of sins, and eight were baptized into Christ.
It was during this hectic schedule while riding down a rough, washboard, bumpy, and dusty road in Ghana that something hit me like it never did before. I was hot and I was covered in dust and sweat and the van was clinking and clattering while on our way to our next speaking engagement when it hit me, “This is what I want to do with the rest of my life.” Brethren, you can see the pictures and hear the reports but until you smell the smells and feel the air and see the eyes of your brethren light up when they finally understand what the Lord meant in a certain passage, well, you just have to be there. Please help me to do this work for our Lord as long as I can. I currently need an additional $2,000 per month and an additional $10,000 per year to make these missions trips. Will you help me?
We met with the brand new congregation in the village of Fakwasi. This was quite a distance from where we were staying but a good and needed visit. The church building there was nicely roofed but had no walls, just some 4x4s and 2x4s making up the frame of the building. The brethren did not ask us for anything. They were quite content with what they had and very busy bringing souls to Christ. We met the chief of the village of Fakwasi and had a pleasant visit. He was impressed with the church of Christ in his village and graciously and generously donated a conveniently placed piece of ground to the church. He did ask us for something but it was not for himself. He asked us if we could drill a well, a borehole in his village so his people could have good, clean drinking water. They are now getting their water from a river some miles away and the water is dirty and a detriment to the health of the villagers. The cost of the borehole is $3,500. I am making an appeal for good and clean drinking water for the folks of Fakwasi. Will you help me in this? As much as I need monthly support, I believe this to be of the utmost importance.
I left Ghana on August 03 and flew to Livingstone, Zambia where I met Ronald Gilbert, Earl Alverson, and Rusty and Laura Stark on August 04. In Zambia, we held three Gospel meetings in which about 30 sermons each were preached and Questions and Answers Sessions were held. We also taught classes at the Zambia School of Biblical Studies and at the International College of the Bible.
Before we arrived in Zambia, International Bible Teaching Ministries shipped almost 10,000 KJV Bibles and New Testaments, 100,000 biblical tracts and booklets, and 5,000 Tonga songbooks. While there, we were able to purchase 18 cases (368) of Bibles in the Bemba, Lozi, Chewa, and Tongan languages. We also purchased several bicycles for the preachers to use in evangelizing Zambia.
We had eight to graduate with a BA in Bible from the International College of the Bible. So far, we have graduated 30 from ICOTB. We had about 80 current students and gained another 20 on this trip for a total of 100 students enrolled and taking classes. Please pray for these brethren as they study, learn, live, and teach God’s Word to others.
The Gospel meetings we held while in Zambia proved to be fruitful for the Lord and His church. At Misika, 1,326 were present from 73 congregations. 109 repented and 18 were baptized into Christ. At Siamafumba, with 1,857 present from 78 congregations, 260 confessed sins and 54 were baptized. And at Livingstone, with 229 present from 27 congregations, 4 were baptized into Christ and 7 repented of sins.
Many exciting things happened during this missionary effort but this one thing is significant. We had several sermons dealing with Sabbatarianism. On the last day of the Gospel meeting at Siamafumba, a lady came forward. She was probably in her 40’s and had a small child on her back. When she was asked what we could do for her she made this profound statement. She said, “I am tired of living in the shadows and I am ready to move into the house.” She had understood the teaching in Hebrews 10:1-10 and realized she was living in the shadow of God’s House. She was baptized into Christ.
I pray to God daily and thank Him for each of you as you have allowed me to take from you and use it for the Lord’s work. I am thankful to each of you for continuing with me in our work together for Him (Philippians 4:16-19). May our God bless each of you.
In Christ Who Saves,
Jimmie B. Hill