But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you
out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 1:9 NIV
Kano, a predominately Muslim city about 4 hours north of Jos suffered serious attacks on government facilities this past Friday. More than 200 people are reported dead. We must ask why? Boko Haram, an Islamic sect, believes that we are made right with God by keeping the law. Because of this, it is their goal to implement sharia law throughout northern Nigeria. But in doing so, they are bringing only death, deception, destruction and despair. The Bible tells usthat no one can be made righteous by keeping the law—it only shows our sinfulness (Romans 3:20)!
What—who—is the answer? Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus and his sacrificial death on the cross that we are made right with God (Romans 5:9). The Living Word, Jesus, as revealed through God’s Written Word, is the answer. Through Christ, the Prince of Peace, come life, light, liberty and love. What a contrast—who said theology doesn’t matter?
That is why Beth and I are serving in Nigeria with Oasis, to bring this Good New of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. Beth does this daily as she teaches fifth graders at Hillcrest. Her ministry goes even farther. As she teaches students from missionary families, their parents are able to focus on their assignments which also bring the Gospel to Nigeria—Bible translation, theological education, evangelism and church planting.
Daily, I serve along with our 30 colleagues at Oasis through Bibles and Christian literature. It is as the Church gets its theology right and comes to know the Living Word that Nigerians will experience the peace of God in their hearts and lives.
How is Oasis doing that, and how can you pray with us? Let me share three ways:
1. The Preacher’s Outline and Study Bible-New Testament is a beautiful and helpful three volume set that helps Bible teachers and preachers to “get the Gospel right” and give well balanced spiritual meals to their listeners. We are able to distribute this in partnership with Leadership Ministries Worldwide because you have given generously. We have 1400 sets currently in the port and a few in stock. Please pray that these will quickly be cleared and released.
2. We also distribute affordable Bibles that are even more afforable. Many of these are used by students who are taught the Bible in government and private schools; others are used by the people in the pew. Last year, 2011, we distributed record numbers of Bibles. But at the present, we have none, and we are unaware of any basic Bibles that are currently available anywhere in Nigeria. We expect to receive 45,000 pocket Bibles around May. Please pray with us for the quick availability of basic Bibles in Nigeria.
3. We distribute The Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers. These are made available to Christian workers—Pastors, those teaching Bible in schools, theological students—for less than $10. Another 5280 are also on the way. These are tremendous resources to help these Christian leaders to communicate the Gospel clearly. There are documentation problems that need to be resolved. Please pray for quick clearing and release of these Bibles.
Please also pray for the peace of Nigeria, coming through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Thank you for continuing to pray for us and our ministry.
Serving together with you,
Craig and Beth Ewoldt