Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 23, 1964

Nigeria---Who Will Go? Who Will Send?

Jim Sasser

In Matthew's gospel we have recorded what is referred to as "the great commission." (28:18-20) In this commission, given by Christ while upon the earth, we have instructions to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Seeing that the United States, with less than ten per cent of the total world population, has more than ninety per cent of the gospel preachers of the world, I cannot but feel that the rest of the world is being sorely neglected by the church of our Lord and individual Christians in the United States.

With this in mind, and with the help of the Lord and my brethren in the Lord, I have made up my mind to go into the western region of Nigeria (Lagos, Ibadan, etc.) to preach to the people of that good country the unsearchable riches of Christ.

I have no intentions of going into that country to establish secular schools, hospitals, or any organization other than the church of my Lord. My sole aim will be to preach the gospel of Christ and establish congregations of the Lord's people.

Nigeria is a very fruitful field for the gospel of Christ. In fact, I would say it is one of the most fruitful fields in the world today. When I refer to its being a fruitful field for the gospel, I am referring to the ready reception of the truth and the great unmolested opportunities to preach it. I am in immediate contact with two men already on the ground and they along with those that have previously been there have given me this wonderful information. Truly the Nigerian field is exceeding white unto the harvest but the laborers are pitifully few. Won't you pray that the Lord of harvest will send forth reapers into this great harvest? Won't you go further than that and help to send?

There are millions of precious souls living in the western region of Nigeria. These souls need the saving gospel of Christ. The first white man to take the gospel of Christ to this region is a man whom I have learned to love dearly by close association. This man is brother Leslie Diestelkamp of Aurora, Ill. He went to the western region of Nigeria in the latter part of 1959. In the latter part of 1960, brother Sewell Hall of Birmingham, Ala., joined him there. During the four years of work that have now been done in that area, the net results have been thousands of baptisms and the establishing of more than twenty congregations; native preachers have been taught and developed by the white preachers. Many sessions of preaching and teaching are engaged in each and every week. Wherever a brother stopped to preach he would always have a hearing. Two white men have been there continuously since brother Hall joined brother Diestelkamp there in 1960. Because of health conditions, brethren have come and gone to and from there, one at a time, since 1961.

There are two brethren at this time, brother Paul Earnhart, who will possibly come back next summer, and brother George Pennock. We cannot afford to diminish the number of sound gospel preachers in that fruitful field, but rather, we should increase it every year. My intentions along with my family consisting of my wife and three children, are to sail for Nigeria the first of July in 1964. All of my financial assistance will have to be met before that time. I will here include a list of definite needs for this work. This list is supplied from information from those that have been there and know what it takes to work and live.

Support for me and my family — $500.00 per month.

Rent — $100.00 per month. Must have at least 6 months in advance, $600.00.

Travel fund to and from Nigeria — $4000.00. All must be had before sailing.

Car for transportation in the work — $2000.00.

Furniture, if brother Earnhart decides to stay another year — $500.00.

Working fund, tracts printed, literature, etc. — $50.00 to $100.00 per month.

I need urgently to hear from congregations or/and individuals that will help to raise this support by sending money to me or by talking to others about it. This great work of preaching the gospel in this fertile field is the responsibility of us all. Won't you start right now to help in this matter? All gifts will be properly recorded and acknowledgments made. Monthly reports will be sent to each one that has a part in this work.

This will not be a vacation trip in the lap of luxury. The hardships for me and my family in health and living conditions will be many. Loved ones will be left behind and loneliness will surely come. But God being with us will be a great source of comfort. My present work is one of the best that I have ever been in, it will be hard to leave. References can be obtained from the elders of this congregation, whose names and addresses are: Luther Brown, 818 Madison, Lockport, Ill., Elmer Gunchin, 115 Washington, Lockport, Ill.

Other references concerning my stand for the truth and continuous fight against innovations entering into the church of the Lord can be obtained from such men as: Leslie Diestelkamp, 1833 Ivy Lane, Aurora, Ill., Sewell Hall, 1801 N. 27th St., Birmingham, Ala., Cecil Willis, Box 7245, Akron 6, Ohio, Roy Cogdill, 7054 Winnetka Ave., Canoga Park, Calif., Homer Hailey, Florida College, Temple Terrace, Fla. Others can be supplied. Won't you let me hear from you soon? Send all help and correspondence to: Jim Sasser, 103 Margaret St., Joliet, Illinois.