Pastor Umoh continues to go out and meet many, many refugees who are coming into the area, inviting them to our English Classes, to Bible Studies, to worship services and helping them with many other needs that they encounter as refugees to America. He leads weekly Bible studies at Campau Commons and weekly worship services at Strong Tower Ministries. New people continue to attend these Bible studies and worship services.
English classes continue to be well attended every week. The relationships continue to grow and we are learning to appreciate the cultural differences and embrace them. The weekly Bible studies at Campau Commons are encouraging not only in the fact that people are attending, but also we were encouraged that the City of Grand Rapids received us with open arms to hold a Bible Study at Campau Commons.
To our friends and partners in ministry,
God has once again been showing us His grace and mercy in the work at Strong Tower Ministries.
We would ask all of our friends to praise God with us as He has brought us through a difficult time for Pastor Umoh’s family. Umoh and Emme’s son, Ud, underwent serious brain surgery to remove a cyst on the frontal lobe of his brain which was also attached to his sinuses in his nose. This past Tuesday, April 10, Ud had a five and a half hour surgery to remove this cyst and the tissue in his nose. He was in critical care for a couple of days, but since Saturday he is recovering at home. Thanks be to God who supervised the surgeons and medical staff and for the love and care that has been shown to Ud and his family.
Pastor Umoh has started a Bible Study at Campau Commons in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids Housing Commission has been very generous in allowing us to use a room in the Community Center there. There have been 20 to 25 people, both children and adults, coming twice a week to this Bible Study. We are getting a study book on the Grace of God ready for our future studies. There is great interest in studying about the Gospel among secular people as well as Muslims. Please pray that this study will have a great impact on the people who are coming.
We are continuing to have our English class on Saturday evenings. We have learned a lot about teaching English with our volunteers this year. Our style of teaching is using language helpers to help non-English speakers learn to speak English fluently. When we explain our teaching method to potential volunteers and students alike we ask them what language they like to speak best. Some of our non-English speakers already speak two or three languages. But when answering the question everybody says they like to speak their “mother tongue.” So we ask them where they learned to speak their favorite language and who were their teachers? Everybody responds that they learned to speak their favorite language in a home or community and their parents and family were their teachers. We then ask them if they had to go to school to learn this language and they always say no. This gives us the opportunity to say that we want them to learn English like they learned their native language so that they could learn to enjoy speaking English. This really makes sense to people and they begin to understand what we are doing in our English class. We could still use more volunteer language helpers, so if you would like to help, please contact Pastor Gerry at Trinity CRC.
Recently, we wrote a grant asking for $25,000 to a local foundation through Resonate Global Missions. It has been a few months and we have not yet heard if we are going to receive this grant. So we ask that you all pray that we would indeed get this grant as it would be a tremendous boost to the needs that we have at Strong Tower Ministries.
Finally, we want to thank you for your prayers for the funeral for Pastor Umoh’s mother in Nigeria. Pastor Umoh was unable to travel to Nigeria at this time due to complications with an expired Green Card. So instead we are planning a mission trip to Nigeria in January 2019 to visit Umoh and Emme’s families and to visit the Trinity Christian Reformed Church that has been planted in Nigeria by Umoh and Emme’s family.
Thanks so much for your kind and generous support.
In the Strong Name of Christ, Pastor Ernest Umoh, Pastor Gerry Koning