Nigeria Mission Trip – Bro. Tom Melot

Bro. Tom Melot Flies to Nigeria

(Faith & Victory : Jan. 1975)

For some unknown reason, Bro. George Hammond was denied a tourist visa to Nigeria, so Bro. Tom Melot, a young minister of Guthrie, applied for and obtained a tourist visa for six weeks in that country. The native gospel workers in Nigeria have been pleading for someone to come from the U.S. According to plan, Bro. Melot left by plane from Oklahoma City on January 3, 1975, for Port Harcourt, Nigeria. In that area, Lord willing, he will labor with the native gospel workers and believers of the twenty mission stations for about six weeks. Pray earnestly that God will grant Bro. Melot a profitable and safe round trip on this urgent mission to that needy foreign field. God’s work must go forward until our Lord and Master comes again.

-Lawrence Pruitt

Bro. Tom Melot in Nigerian Mission Work

(Faith & Victory: Feb. 1975)

Bro. Tom Melot arrived safely by plane Port Harcourt, Nigeria, W. Africa, on Jan. 5, which was Sunday. On that day he spoke to a congregation in that city. The same day he wrote us a letter stating that the Lord had been abundantly helping him, and had brought many precious Scriptures and comforting thoughts to his heart, adding: “I know the Lord has sent me here.” Then he requested prayer for success in his contacts with the twenty mission stations in that country. The next day he arrived at the main mission station at Asana in the interior. The Nigerian mission letters on another page of this issue will give a further report of his welcome arrival.

Bro. Melot’s six-weeks’ visa will soon expire, and he will return, Lord willing, to Oklahoma about the middle of February. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless his gospel work in that needy foreign field, and return him safely to us at the appointed time.

-Lawrence Pruitt

Letters From the Field

(Faith & Victory : Feb. 1975)

Southeast State, Nigeria (Dec. 31)-Dear Bro. Pruitt and saints everywhere: Greetings to you and all in the name of our Lord and Saviour.

We received yours of Dec. 9, together with the enclosures, and acknowledge thanks to God and the saints for the kind gesture because of Christ. These will be used as directed and in the interest of saving souls. We all join to send much thanks to you for your care, spiritually and temporally, for us and the gospel work throughout the year ending, and pray the Master to repay you a hundred fold.

We held the 13th annual campmeeting on Dec. 12 to 15, 1974. It was a wonderful meeting, and attendants came from all the mission stations. Two brethren came from Midwestern State, and we all joined together to sing glory to God. The Bible truths were preached, the sick were healed, and the Church was edified. On the last day 79 converts followed Christ in water baptism with Bro. J. U. Etuk officiating. The Lord’s Supper was also observed. . . .

Later Letter After Bro. Melot Had Arrived. . .

(Jan. 11)-Dear Bro. Pruitt, co-workers and saints everywhere: We are real happy this week that, after our long desire for brethren from there to visit us and the field at large, God in His own way safely brought Bro. Tommy Melot to us. It was a very surprising mo­ment when he arrived on the evening of Jan. 6, 1975. We went down on our knees to give thanks to God for granting our desire.

Today we held a welcoming service in his honor and a number of brothers and sisters from every mission station attended this occasion. Bro. Melot is loved by all,. and even the village chiefs here attended the welcoming service.

From now onward, Bro. Melot will be engaged in visiting all the mission stations in this State, and finally he will go to Rivers State to visit the Church there and then board the airplane homeward. We are sorry that this country’s visa will not permit a longer stay. Anyway, a return visit is expected in no distant future.

He is taking every precaution to keep free from any disease attack. We are handing him over to the Owner of the vineyard to protect him. Under His blood he remains, and nothing can touch him, we believe. He feels fine and well. Praise God! We have found him to be of much help to the work here, and the saints appreciate the good tidings which he brings to us. However, transportation is a great problem here.

We covet your prayers for him, his gospel work here and ourselves. We wish you God’s untold blessings.

Yours in the Master’s service, -Nse B. Umanah
Letter From Bro. Tom Melot in Nigeria:

(Jan. 10)-Dear Brother Lawrence and co-workers: Greetings in Jesus’ dear name. I am happy to report victory over all sin, disease and the devil. I have been here in Nigeria about six days, and already I am seeing the great needs of these people. According to Brother Umanah, about one-third of the people of this village of Asana are suffering starvation. I see much evidence of bloated bellies and thin bodies. Most of the sick come to be prayed for early in the morning. Yesterday the Lord touched two, I heard later. This morning a woman came with pain in her back and stomach. We feel as Jesus must have felt-great compassion. She said she was starving. I gave her milk to drink, and a quart and a box of rice to take home. I explain Scriptures and pray for them.

Yesterday many gospel workers came and visited me, and also to get the schedule of our visits. The Lord provided a motorcycle for me to rent. .…. I am thankful for how the Lord is helping me. . .. After today I will be busy every day until Feb. 8, visiting every congregation and meeting with the leaders. Pray for the success of these meetings. I am teaching more about the operations of the New Testament Church. . . .

I am planning, Lord willing, to go to Spain about Feb. 10 and look for possibilities for the gospel there.

Pray for me. –Tom Melot

Melot Missionary Report

(Faith & Victory : March 1975)

Okla. (Feb. 11)

To all the saints of God scattered abroad: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus. The Church of God in Nigeria sends you greetings.

I thank God that through Jesus Christ I have been washed in His blood, have been sanctified by His power, and am wholly His. Praise God!

The last few weeks have been a fulfilling of my long desire and burden of going to Nigeria. God wonderfully opened the way, gave me courage and assurance, and I report to you that I have been perfectly well the whole trip. All praises to God! Notwithstanding, Satan tried various means to discourage me, but we are more than conquerors thru Jesus. I felt the prayers of the saints holding me up before God. I was free from worry and disease. I appreciate very much every prayer and letter of encouragement.

We visited about 24 congregations in three States, and needless to say, not everyone is hungry for the truth. We visited every congregation in S. E. State, and they were very happy. I received offerings of live chickens (no refrigeration), fruit and miscellaneous gifts. Their love to me was very warm and I love them so much. They never ceased to make me comfortable, and many would walk or ride a bicycle up to 50 miles round trip to see us.

One instance of healing I will relate. A mother with an afflicted girl of about 12 years of age came to stay until God healed her. She was becoming paralyzed on one side, and was mumbling and hitting and rubbing her head. We prayed earnestly and felt God heard us; however, she didn’t show signs of relief. They weren’t going home until God healed the child, so I had no one to call on but God. Many times, we want to rely on someone else, and never actually have to stand alone and get a hold on God ourselves. The Lord showed me the problem and I corrected it, and received assurance, that she was healed. In fact, in four days she was completely back to normal.

I saw such simple faith in Nigeria. I asked them if they believed Jesus would heal them, and they stated flatly, “I believe.” Many were the healings I witnessed, and God alone gets the glory.

I read old “Faith and Victory” papers of our dear Bro. David Madden who died after being in Nigeria, of Sis. Opal Wilson’s work and death, of Bro. Ostis Wilson’s return and his Bible lessons, and of Bro. and Sis. Cecil Carver’s trip. I thought of all the ones who have gone on since 1962, and how the mantle has fallen on younger workers. Are the young workers going to carry on the same truth, faith, and teachings of those that have died in the faith? Then you had better put your whole heart and life into it as they did. You had better be willing to step out by faith and leave all if God calls you.

I see a real lack of dedicated gospel workers, and I speak this with love in my heart for your soul. I have been wanting to say these things for a long time and I asked God to help me write this. I say we have had it too easy, and may God stir up our hearts to a greater burden for His work. It may be that a depression is good for us. That job, car, and home you are putting your life into may disappear. Where are your affections?

Do you bemoan and belittle the ministers of today, and wonder why we don’t see more healings and miracles? If so, why aren’t you doing more about it? Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Are you? Verse 17 says, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Are you? Luke 9:62, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” How many have started out with zeal and enthusiasm, and put the hand to the plow and then looked back? Oh, dear young people, this is a solemn warning. Have you vowed a vow and not kept it? Read Luke 10:2, ‘The harvest truly is great.” Read of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:40. Martha was cumbered about much serving; however, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. This is the needful part. Sit at Jesus’ feet. Let His Word live in you. Humble yourself; listen quietly and attentively for that still small voice. Leave the rush of this mad world to be alone with God. It is your responsibility to learn of His will for you, to seek after Him, to yield fully unto Him. Will you do it? Is sanctification just a word to you? Are you really filled with the Holy Ghost? I challenge you, “I beseech you, dearly beloved, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”

Now, back to Nigeria. From S. E. State, we traveled by car to Midwest State, where Bro. Titus Enu is pastoring. The day before we left, the refinery shut down and gasoline virtually disappeared in our section of the country. But glory to God who knows the future, He had an officer in the army from Asana, who was only visiting three days, to stay an extra four days, to carry us the 280 miles to Midwest State. We couldn’t get gas and he only had three gallon when we started out. To make a long story short, we were able to purchase gas and arrive ahead of time. He wouldn’t take any payment. Gas was selling for up to $3.25, and more, a gallon until the Government cracked down.

I met some wonderful saints in Midwest State. There are three congregations there. We held open air meetings, which proved a real blessing. We would have hundreds around, listening to the gospel. The saints there showed us every kindness and it was with regret that I only had three days there. Bro. Titus Enu is resigning his position next year to work full time in evangelistic work. We rode seven miles one way on bicycles to see one small congregation. Transportation is a real problem.

From there we went by taxi 280 miles to Tombia, an island offshore from Port Harcourt. We traveled the last seven miles by dugout canoe or boat. The saints there were leaping and shouting at our arrival. Oh, the joy they had at seeing the first American missionary to ever come to them. They saw to it that I had every comfort. We had not had personal contact with these people until Oct., 1974, when some native workers visited them from S. E. State. We had open air services here with some new converts, some sanctified, and eight were baptized. We started meetings at 5:30 a. m., and they were so eager for the truth that we would be busy from early morning until late at night.

There is a small congregation in Port Harcourt of dedicated, young believers-about 20 in number. They are spiritual, and go out in open air meetings. I hated to leave Nigeria by this time. However, on Sat., Feb. 8, 1975, I boarded the plane to return home.

Bro. Umanah left his wife and children to spend every day with me. He was very careful for my health and safety. I found him to love and accept more truth. I feel it is needful for one or two from there to come over here, as Bro. John Varghese did. They also expect us to come back soon and stay longer. Lord willing, I would like to apply for a longer visa and return as God leads. I hated to leave, as God had put such a burden on me for that ripe field, and I felt like my job wasn’t finished. I wasn’t able to go to Spain, but will wait until I have more time. I feel like that country is ready for the gospel. I earnestly request your prayers in behalf of these needy fields.

I will be glad to send on request the most pressing needs of the saints in Nigeria and more details if you so desire.

Yours in His service,

-Tom Melot

Letter from Nigeria

(Faith & Victory : March 1975)

Southeast State, Nigeria (Feb. 7)-Bro. Pruitt, co­workers in the Print Shop, ministers and saints in the Church of God in America: Greetings in the wonderful name of our Lord and King. We acknowledge thanks to God and you that Bro. Tom Melot came to labor with us in the Nigerian mission field from Jan. 6, 1975, to this date of Feb. 7th, in response to our request for a missionary after the visit of Bro. and Sister Cecil Carver in 1965. His presence with us for this period has been felt by all the brethren in Nigeria. He visited every congregation (25) in the Southeastern, Midwestern and Rivers States, respectively. We are pleased that he was privileged to meet every congregation and delivered the good tidings as well. The preached Word was inspiring and will be long remembered. All the congregations visited demanded him to come again in the nearest future. Amen! He was loved by all. Many of our problems were solved, and the truths preached were wholeheartedly accepted. There is light shining in our hearts which are filled with joy and peace.

I had the privilege to see to his need and care throughout his stay, and took him around to the congregations in the three States mentioned above. We successfully completed the visitation yesterday, and tomorrow he will leave Port Harcourt on his way back to the U.S.A.

It is hoped that most of the reports will be furnished best by him in person. We really appreciated his counsel and fellowship.

You are daily remembered in prayer for your burden for our salvation and the rest of the souls in our country and the continent of Africa at large. Thank you, and may God bless you until we meet either here on earth or in heaven where we will never part. Amen!

Your young Brother, -Nse B. Umanah

(Editor’s note: Bro. Umanah was Bro. Melot’s interpreter and constant companion while he was in Nigeria. May God bless Bro. Umanah abundantly for his special care and concern for Bro. Melot, as well as all the Nigerian Church for their kind reception.)

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