New Beginnings....LIVE from Nigeria!

Back in our hotel room and preparing for another day of ministry tomorrow. This trip is steady prep, teach and start over again. But oh the fun that’s woven into each day!

Yesterday Robin and I were driven over flooded, pot-hole-filled dirt roads in the rain to two PFN (Pentecostal Fellowship Network) District Meetings. I love watching the pastors faces as they shift from that “not-so-sure-about-this-gal” look to “halleluiah!” smile. :) We had a wonderful time at both meetings and God is stirring a new level of favor for HCI in this crowded country. I’m so excited!

Today we both taught at HCI’s Awaken the Shepherd Conference at Christlight Family Worship Center where HCI’s Children’s Ministry Training Institute pioneered so many years ago. It was so wonderful to back “home” in a place filled with so many memories! Due to the muddy road leading to the church, our attendance was less than expected but still impacting - over 68 pastors braved the mud to join us. It was so worth it!!!

There were several familiar faces today and the friendships were rekindled with joy in just minutes. We laughed and joked and had fun together. The new saying on this trip (that I’ve started to say myself too!) is that “Pastor Carla is Nigerian!” I do think of this place as my second home. Nigeria has a part of my heart forever.

In the midst of the laughter were tears. I taught the first session on the topic off multi-generational ministry and the need to let go of our old “wineskins” if we want to connect with the rising generation. We had rich discussion and afterward they wanted notes and prayed in a way that revealed how much they had received from the session. It was incredible to me. Robin came next with an outstanding teaching on the pastor’s family that challenged new perspectives. One pastor had to exit quickly to weep in the road outside of the church as he realized the reason his marriage was destroyed was HIM and not his family. Repentance is a beautiful thing that allows real change to come into all of our lives. I followed up Robin with several thoughts and we ended with a question-and-answer time that stretched our brains. :)

They ended the seminar with impromptu praise and celebration. To see the excitement over the teachings was deeply touching. Afterward Robin, I and the HCI Africa Director met with a struggling couple. I’m not sure how that will end but the three of us poured into their lives all we could.

It’s been a time of new beginnings for many here and especially for HCI. The ministry vision is ever unfolding and becoming clearer each day. THIS is what I have longed to see happen - this life-changing discipleship training duplicated and spreading as we make disciples who make disciples. THIS is what I want to give my life to here in Nigeria, at home in the USA and anywhere else God leaves. So thankful for new beginnings!

Tomorrow we will meet with the HCI Board for a special day training. Every minute counts here. Enjoying each day and trusting God to meet every need. We have two more seminars this week - the Parenting Seminar and the Children’s Ministry Teacher’s Fellowship. Your financial support has been a huge blessing. Thank you for making this journey with us! :) If God lays it upon your heart to make any further donations toward this fruitful trip to Nigeria, please don’t hesitate to give. We’ve already determined that any money left-over after expenses are paid will go to send the HCI Africa Board to do the HCI training and seminars in old and new locations in Nigeria next year. Greater days are coming! :)

Carla Ives