A newsletter of ‘Pens for Christ’, Nigeria
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18, NIV)
What We Are All About
‘Pens for Christ’ started out as a group of university students who shared a burden of helping others to know the Lord better. This vision was conceived on the 31st of August, 2002 by Babatunde, Adewole (an undergraduate of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria) and was shared with some Christian friends of like minds. The aim of the group is to meet together and attend to the spiritual needs of new converts/young Christians mainly via correspondence/writing.
The group’s motto is “….helping you to grow in your relationship with God” and our duties include:
• Writing of serial follow-up articles appropriate for the new converts/young Christians
• Writing of encouragement letters to the new converts/young Christians.
• Keeping in “personal” touch with the new converts/young Christians through mainly writing.
• Attending to questions or issues that trouble the hearts of the new converts/young Christians.
• Praying for the new converts/young Christians.
The vision was also shared with some Christian elders and the work gradually began.
A mission statement tagged “Our Mission’ as well as an introductory write-up - “Pens For Christ Is For You” were subsequently produced.
It is worthy of note that members of the group have had their own share of struggles that hindered their growth and thirst for God. Thus we hope to comfort others “with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NIV).
Our approach is both pro-active and reactive. On the one hand, we share with our “contacts” some vital truths we have come to learn through the Word of God which have helped us in our walk with Him in a form of systematic/serial follow-up guide through articles, Bible studies and personal letters. This we believe will help them also in their own walk with God. On the other hand, when challenges arise in their own walk with God or other areas of their lives, we offer counsel and possible solutions from what we have come to learn through God’s Word. Just as our Lord Jesus said, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, NIV).
We hope that by working together as a group, we will be able to follow-up, disciple ad offer counsel to more people than would have been possible with individual efforts combined.
Current Membership And Meetings
At present, however, some of our members have graduated (most still retaining their commitment). As such it is no longer a group of undergraduates; but suffice it to say that it is a group of Christian young adults seeking to help the younger generation in their own walk with God
We meet fortnightly on Saturdays between the hours of 7.00pm and 9:00pm at the Conference Room of the Ilorin District Church Council Office of ECWA; close to Challenge Bookshop. (We are grateful to the executives of this organization for their kind gesture in this regard).
We are still open to those willing to be involved in this work and desire that you please contact us through our addresses or phone numbers.
We like to recall that in our earlier editions of this newsletter, we had already sated our involvements with some ECWA youth camps (In Ilorin and Igbaja District Church Councils), St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Ilorin (Kwara State) and Federal Government Girls’ College, New Bussa (Niger State).
We make effort to ensure that we quickly respond to our ‘contacts’ as soon as possible. As a means of encouragement to keep the two way communication open, we have made it a matter of policy to supply duly stamped envelopes to those who have responded to any of our write ups. This is to enhance further responses.
We consider these responses important because not only do they enable us to assess the impact of our correspondences, but they also help us to develop a more personal relationship with our ‘contacts’ and know how best we can be of help. (Apart from the fact that we request to know about the welfare of our ‘contacts’, nearly all our write-ups has an interactive Bible study attached which is meant to be completed and sent back to us by our respondents for our objective assessment.)
At present we have the following articles with their accompanying Bible studies:
1) Welcome to His family
2) Assurance of Salvation
3) Having Your Quiet time
4) Understanding God as Your Father
5) Overcoming Sinful Habits - part I
6) Overcoming Sinful Habits - part II
7) Safe and Secure in Jesus Christ - part I
8) Safe and Secure in Jesus Christ - part II
All are available on request.
We still have some other topics to work on. We also respond to specific questions or areas of need (for example the article “Safe to Secure in Jesus Christ” was produced as a result of some responses received). It has always been our joy to know that we are positively meeting people at their point of needs as God enables us.
Needs and Expenses
Apart from the recurrent expenses on our annual post office bills, purchase of postage stamps, printing and photocopying of articles etc., we look forward to.
1. Acquiring an hp Laser jet printer (estimated cost of #50,000), We thank God for the provision of a computer.
2. Becoming registered with Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. The current estimate for this is at least # 80,000.00.
3. Obtaining relevant Bibles and study helps suitable for secondary and post secondary school age group.
4. The provision of other needs such as mass production of some of our materials.
We pray that the Lord will continue to use us for His kingdom and glory. We are grateful to all who have embraced the vision and shown their goodwill. Your prayers, counsel, moral, financial and other forms of support will be greatly appreciated.
We wish to state here that we have no denominational bias, but simply wish to serve the body of Christ by helping others grow in their walk with Him.
You Can Be A Part
We wish to reach out to as many as God would enable us to. The following are possible ways to enhance our work:
1. If you know anyone who may benefit from this ministry (new converts or anyone who simply wants to grow in his/her walk with God), please send us the name and contact address
2. Anyone willing to be involved as a member is free and encouraged to contact us (using any of the means given below)
3. You may want to support this work in any of the following ways:
(a) Commitment to Prayers
(b) Contribution of relevant materials
(c) Financial Contribution
In whatever way you wish to be a part, please do let us know. The following are possible means of reaching us:
Postal Address: Pens For Christ, P.O. Box 4992, Ilorin, 240001,
Kwara State, Nigeria.
Phone: 08060757105, 08038404261, 08055250101
Bank: Intercontinental Bank Plc, Unity Road, Ilorin
Account Name: Pens For Christ;
Account number: 0029001229718
(Nature of account: - current, thus cheques from any bank could be written in the group’s name and cashed by us)
Below are excerpts from some of our correspondences, with due permission from correspondents. Actual names have not been included:
Greetings to you in the name of God,
I received your message on 3rd Nov. 2006 and all the Bible passages were observed thoroughly. I was glad when I went through the words of encouragement in it. God bless you. I also went through the Pens For Christ’s “Assurance of Salvation” and “Pens For Christ Is For You.” The Bible study questions were answered according to my knowledge based on Bible passages of each questions. I pray that God in his infinite mercy will see you through in all your endeavours. I pray that God will uplift Pens For Christ.
However, I will want Pens For Christ to pray for me for spiritual growth and that I will never derail from the path of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I will be very happy to join Pens For Christ because I really enjoyed the Bible study and it serves as source of encouragement to my spiritual upbringing. Thanks.
We cannot express to you how happy and encouraged we were to receive your responses. More so we are thankful to God that He is using us to meet your needs through the truths of His word. To Him alone be all glory.
We must confess to you that some of us have in time past had our own struggles and doubts in our walk with God. We believe that it has pleased Him to comfort us in our troubles so that we can also comfort others with the same comfort that we ourselves have received from Him (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We trust that as you continue to feed on His word and rely on the Holy Spirit, God will indeed teach you more and more (please see John 8:32).
We at Pens for Christ will continue to pray for you and send articles that we believe will be of help to you in your walk with God. Please do continue to let us have your response as this will determine what next to do. If you have any question, areas of doubts, confusion or struggle in your walk with God, please fee free to share with us so that we care respond appropriately. Also if your address changes at any time, be sure to let us know. We believe that what you mean by joining Pens for Christ is that you wish to be among those who receive our correspondence and by God’s grace, we will gladly keep in touch.
We hope that all is well is well with you – your education, family and life in general. We also hope that whatever was troubling your mind has been dealt with by God’s Word. If you wish to share anything with us for prayers and encouragement, please feel free.
Finally, we wish to reassure you of God’s love for you. This is the love that the demonstrated by sending Jesus to die for us, even “while we were still sinners” (Rom 5:8). We hope and believe that you have accepted Jesus into your heart and trust that the article – “Assurance of Salvation” was of use in affirming your salvation. If you haven’t just talk to God in simple language (an example is on Assurance of Salvation article). And if you have, believe that God has accepted you, because this is His desire. And Jesus promised that the will never drive away anyone who comes to Him (John 6:37). Also take note of Jesus’ promise in John 10:27-29.
God loves you and desires to relate with you as a Father with His child (1 John 3:1). We hope that you will respond to this and continually grow in His love (2 Peter 3:18, Colossians 2:6-7). Try and spend time with God and commune with Him, tell your heart to Him and He will surely guide you.
We hope to hear from you soon and trust that the enclosed article will prove beneficial to you. Read through and complete the attached Bible study.
Dear Pens For Christ
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I really appreciate your writing me and for sending an envelope and a stamp.
You see the last study that was sent to me about SPENDING TIME WITH GOD was a very nice one that made me to see the importance and significance of having fellowship with God. Honestly, I must tell you that I cannot afford spending a day without praying at least a short prayer or read the Bible. It baffles me that instead of calming down to read the word of God, praise God and pray to Him which should be a lovely and cherished moment, I feel like it’s something I must do and once I finish, I feel like I’ve been freed from something that is obligatory. Is that the way it ought to be or it could probably be an act of laziness towards praying? Please, I need your advice.
Once again, I really appreciate every thing and your willingness to help. May God hold us all with His mighty hands so that we will not go back or fail Him.
Thank and God bless.
Special greetings to you in Christ’s precious name. May the Lord cause His face to shine on you and may He grant you grace and favour as you keep on abiding in Him (Amen). How are you doing? And how are your parents and all your loved ones? May His peace be yours now and ever more.
PENS FOR CHRIST received your response to the Bible study ‘A new creation’ and the letter you sent along with it. We were so impressed and encouraged and we sincerely desire more of this from you. We also hope you would apply the lessons to your daily living. The Lord shall increase you in Jesus name.
While reading through the letter you sent to us, we noted that you were having a little difficulty with your quiet time. As if you feel rather obliged to have your quiet time instead of experiencing the refreshing that comes form a fellowship with our Father (Psalm 16:11). I want you to know that though this happens to us (I inclusive) many times, it is not meant to be so. We should always get it clear in our minds that the ‘driving force’ should not be a matter of compulsion but a matter of necessity – a need (or a thirst) in our hearts that has to be met. (Psalms 42:1-2, Psalms 63:1-6).
Let us consider it again, why should we always commune with God, our Father? I will say because He is our Lord, our MAKER, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith. He is our rich source of joy, peace ad strength. And in Him alone are we fulfilled. Indeed, without Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). We do not live by ‘bread alone’ but by HIS WORD (Deut 8:3). We have no wisdom or power of our own. We are like sheep which depend on the shepherd for their needs (And He is the shepherd – Psalm 100:3, 23:1). When we commune with Him, we know Him better and we find peace, wisdom and strength to live a victorious life. It is this mentality of DEPENDENCE (knowing that we are powerless and incapable in ourselves) that drives us to our place of communion with Him. (Please read Matt 5:3, Psalm 44:1-8, Psalm 73:23-28, Psalm 84).
So Caroline, I want you to see God as your life. Have a thirst for Him because for you to make it in life – doing exploits for Him, you NEED HIM. Now, I know some times, we feel bored, we don’t jut enjoy praying or reading the Bible. At such times, it is simple, the Lord is always there with you irrespective of your feelings and praying to Him is by faith, not by feelings. You just tell Him how you feel and the NEED in your heart for Him. Ask Him to help you and instead of being subjected to your feelings, commune with Him by faith. Once this thirst for God is in you all day, even if for one reason or the other, you missed your quiet time in the morning, you can always commune with Him in your heart any time, any where. You have not SINNED.
I want to assure you again of God’s love for you. It is an unconditional love and it endures forever (Jeremiah 31:3). Even when we sin against Him, He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness when we confess to Him (1 John 1:7-2:1). With this is mind, we have confidence to approach Him and have a sweet fellowship with our loving Father. God always wants us to be with Him in fellowship and in this, we find our LIVES.
We sincerely hope that this idea (of DEPENDENCE) will help you so that together we will be built up into the ‘man’ God wants us to be through sound fellowship. Yet I together with the entire members of PENS FOR CHRIST anticipate a response from you soon and pray the Lord will meet all your needs in Jesus name. We love you and we are praying for you we are trusting God to open a door of admission for you into a higher institution of your choice in accordance with His will very soon. We hope you are also working hard on this. God will HELP you.
Extend our greetings to all your loved ones and stay ever connected to Him.
I greet you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. How are you and everything? I am doing fine and I really appreciate your writing me in answer to my previous short coming. I appreciate everything and your wanting me to reply by sending me an envelope with a stamp. Thanks and God bless (Amen).
You see, after writing you my last letter, I heard a sermon on the TV that says we should make sure we spend time with God each day and that it’s a matter of discipline and from then, I thank God, my prayer life has really changed and I’m enjoying it. I feel so good after spending time with God.