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June 2022 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family, We thank God for the Mercy which has made it possible for us to share this brief moment in time with you. May each moment we share together be an encouragement as we strive to serve God together. May the Lord continue to guide, protect and strengthen us all. We pray for you all as you face summer heat, rapid inflation, political unrest, aches and pains, etc., etc., etc. We face similar trials, so we pray with empathy from our own experiences. Our trust remains firmly in the Lord who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. May we all continue to rest in Him, as He leads us through these perilous days. June remains a month for brides. We were blessed in our family as our nephew Walker Jarrell and his June bride Audrey Thompson joined their lives at her family home in Colorado, in the presence of many family and friends. I regret that we could not be there in person, but we were there in spirit, praying for God to bless them in their new life together. We know there were other June brides and our prayers are with them as well. There are so many dangers and pitfalls for couples today. May the Lord protect each of our marriages, and may they be testimonies of His Grace working into our lives. We are thankful to report that two precious souls put their Lord on in baptism in the month of June. Both had been attending for some time. There is a lifelong process to grow and mature. But for two more souls, the journey has started. There has been growth in several areas with the congregation that meets at our house. Attendance has been increasing, making it necessary for us to hire a canopy and chairs every Sunday to accommodate the spill over crowd. Soon we will have to find another location to meet. Because of the potential for growth, and the urgent need to mature to a higher level as a congregation, I thought that having someone who could work full time would be helpful. Thankfully, brethren in San Antonio agreed to furnish the additional monthly funds needed to support Br. Edem Etim Ekpo, who courageously agreed to leave serving a congregation of 300 in Lagos to come to serve the small flock here. We appreciate and his family being willing to take this leap of faith, and for the brethren willing to sacrifice funds necessary for this worthy cause. So much of the month of June has been spent locating and furnishing a two bedroom apartment for Br. Edem and his wife and three children. We found a quiet place within walking distance to us, and have been working on the plumbing, electrical, painting, etc. Chidibem, our son in law, myself and others, have built a bed for the parents, bunk beds for the three kids, a dining table, a coffee table with still more to do. We have to make dining chairs, kitchen cabinets, and a desk and bookshelf for Br. Edem to work from. I am glad to have been able to pass on a limited knowledge to Chidubem, and believe he could support himself and his family with the skills he has gained. Nkiru has added her special touches in decorating the home. Br. Edem has arrived this week to help prepare things for his family. We look forward to working together. Our kids are doing ok in school. This school year will end by late July. Boma, Divine, Isaac, and Naphtalie have all finished their final exams for high school. These exams are required for students to pass out of high school and to enter whatever further education they may desire. This is a stressful process for both students and parents, lasting several weeks. The external examiners demand money for each test, another measure of corruption in the system. If you refuse to pay, they simply refuse to mark your paper, or give you a failing grade. We still have 3 students in medical school, 2 in nursing school, and two in a Christian college in Ghana. We pray for the strength to finish what we have started, and they all return Glory to God. We have special need for prayers for Kingdom Jarrell, who has gained admission to Lubbock Christian University, a school I attended many years ago. We thank Dr. Rodney Blackwood and others who worked to see that Kingdom has a full scholarship. He still has the hurdle of getting a student visa, travel expenses, etc. I have said all along that only God can do such miracles. We will keep you updated on this process. We know that with the war in Ukraine, recent mass shootings, etc., that security has become an anxious concern for many. I never thought I would see a time when armed guards would be posted at church buildings, both in America and elsewhere. Recently a mass killing took place here at a Catholic Church. Among those killed were a couple who had been married only the day before, and had returned to thank God. Also two catholic priests were killed in other cities, all thought to be the handwork of Muslim radicals. We have long lived stressed by the security situation around us. We know that God is our ultimate Protector, and unless He watches over us, our efforts are in vain. We pray for peace in a world that seems more and more insecure. We rejoiced with our daughter Joy and her husband Chidubem as they welcomed a second daughter into their family on the 8th of June. Ellen Successful Samuel joins her older brother Marvelous and sister Oluchi. Having lost two babies at or near birth, we are thankful this delivery went quickly and easily, hence the name “Successful”. We ask you to join us in prayer for Br. Fred Massey and his wife. Well into his 80’s, and with various health challenges, he embarks today on a medical mission to Guatemala. I am thankful for his determination and dedication to using his God-given talents to continue to bless the life of others. May the Lord bless his efforts, bring him back safely to his waiting wife, and may many others follow his example of service. Thank you once again for all you do as you follow in the footsteps of Jesus. May He continue to give us the will and strength to follow closely. With love, Cliff, Nkiru and family

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