It is time for me to make a trip to Benin. Lord willing, I will fly out of Houston on June 28, arriving in Cotonou, Benin, on the 29th, and will return to Pearland on July 21 after a productive set of meetings and preaching opportunities. I will spend some time on the campus of the Benin Bible Training Center (BTC), meeting with the staff and the students. This congregation supports one student full-time at the school. I will also be examining the Frankie Smith Ag project (named in honor of Frankie Smith who was very instrumental in re-establishing the Pearland church in 1952 and was the wife of one of our original elders, David Smith). The project is located on the BTC campus and is currently being restocked with poultry, swine, and rabbits. New structures for the swine have been completed since my last visit, and other improvements have also taken place.
Two other members of the FACE board, Todd Kempton and Paul Montandon of the Whitehouse congregation near Tyler, will be there as well. We will be meeting with George and staff members at BTC and outlining some goals and visions FACE has for that good work.
After the graduation ceremonies for this year’s graduating seniors has been completed, Todd and Paul will fly to India to meet with missionaries their congregation supports. I will remain in Benin to prepare for what has become my favorite part of the Benin experience – meeting with those we support in the field. Currently we support a dozen men in Benin, 11 of which are doing full-time work as evangelists. They labor in challenging and difficult-to-reach places (anything north of Cotonou is a difficult place to travel to). Jonas Sambieni, a young family man that I met for the first time in 2004 when he established the work in Kaboua, works in Glazoue (Glaz-way) and is nearest the school. Gaston Nda and another graduate work with two congregations in Natitingou (Nat-i-ting-goo), which is the northernmost city in Benin where the Lord’s church has been established. The rest are scattered throughout the bush in towns and villages between those two points. Men like Paul, our first missionary from the first graduating class of BTC as well as Pascal and Jonas, have been very productive and done great work over the years. It will be good to see them and speak to the congregations they serve.
The Lord has used Pearland for effectual work in a small country that had the door opened for the gospel for the first time just over 25 years ago. No other congregation in the US has done anything close to what you are doing at the present. You’ve always supported this work enthusiastically and have been generous in your financial gifts that you send by me when I go. I ask you to begin praying for the success of this upcoming mission tour and that you plan to give financially to meet what I know will be many and essential needs when I get there.
As in the past, please give your cash or check to Bob Williams or to Gretchen. Because of their distrust of old currency, I always have to exchange monies donated for fresh 100 dollar bills. So the sooner we can begin collecting donations, the more lead time we can give the bank so they can order the new bills.
Keep studying and serving! DC Brown ©2014