The Lord has been good to us, and much better than we deserve. I know how much I have failed Him, yet He continues to give me unexpected blessings. I pray that this letter will be a blessing and encouragement to you as well. We were recently studying III John 7-8, where the Apostle John is praising Gaius for his hospitality and help toward travelling ministry workers and how his actions made him a “fellowhelper of the truth.” When we give to a missionary or an evangelist, we are “fellowhelpers of the truth” and enter into their labors. The Bible says that “. . . every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” Our heavenly rewards are based on the work itself, not the visual results, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” It also tells us that God’s Word “shall not return . . . void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper . . . .” We are rewarded for the work that we do when we are involved in our local church (soul winning, teaching, preaching, nursery, etc.), whether the results are immediate or not; it is the work itself that is rewarded. Also, when we are “fellowhelpers of the truth” and give toward others’ labors, we benefit. The rewards for their work are also rewards on our account as well.
This month began with Level 5 lockdowns. They were slowly eased as the month progressed, and our church people were more than elated just to have the opportunity not only to be allowed to drive farther than five miles from home but to be allowed to meet again for church. The official reopening of churches was on May 16. On that Sunday, one of our church people, Ger, let me know that he wanted to be baptized. He was supposed to be baptized last year, but the lockdowns happened. We also lost our baptistery, so it got cancelled. When our eldest son found out, he asked to be baptized as well. With the loss of our church items last year, we no longer have a hot tub in which to baptise, so I needed to figure out a place—more about that later. When we began meeting again, I was pleased to see that Caleb, the German man who visited in December, had come back to the church, even though he lives in Ennis, 30 minutes away, and takes the bus. Caleb had been attending an evangelical church but found it very liberal, so he’s been thrilled to come to our little church in the woods. I discovered that he has developed his own plan to evangelise County Clare and to get Gospel tracts into every single home. He has been ordering his own Gospel tracts and then camping in a tent in different towns so he can put the tracts into all the doors. Unfortunately, I found it amazing and rare to find a Christian who has such a burden for souls that he’s taking the initiative, inconveniencing himself, and getting the Gospel to others. I was absolutely delighted. Although I had never heard of the author of the tracts, a businessman from Switzerland, they were doctrinally sound and gave a detailed and clear presentation of the Gospel.
June began with us taking advantage of “the opening” by taking Kelly down to Dingle Peninsula for her birthday. I want to thank you all for your prayers for Kelly’s health because during June, she had a miracle in this area. Her MdDS condition suddenly and significantly abated. She is now 95% back to normal and has been buzzing around like a bee doing things that she has been hindered from doing for the last year because of this condition. Back to the topic of baptisms, June came, and I needed to find a place to baptize, so I searched the internet for a new inflatable hot tub. There were none to be found that were €200, like we had initially paid. Most companies were sold out, and the couple I did find wanted €1,000. I decided we could wait, save money, and just use our own pool. Last year, our kids put their gift money from family together during the lockdowns to purchase a small, above-ground pool for our house. All I needed to do was clean up the pool and area from the winter, patch a hole, and fill it up. After a lot of cleaning in the pool, power spraying, and shovelling out waterways, I finally filled the pool. It took three days with our slow water hose, but it was finally ready to be used. Then on June 20, I baptized Ger and our oldest son. The Lord gave us a beautiful, sunny baptism day, and we finished it off with cake and tea. Ger even brought along his kids and his wife Shauna, who had never been to one of our church services before. Everyone had a great time. Please pray for Edward, one of our members who owns a restaurant. Ireland’s still not completely open, so the restaurants are still closed, except for takeout. The government keeps moving the opening date for restaurants further and further back. This family is at the end of their rope trying to make ends meet, and they need your prayers.
Aside from our regular Saturday evangelism, I took a Monday to go out with Caleb to a small coastal town called Kilrush. I wanted to see what he had been doing with the tracts. It was a bank holiday, and we went out for seven hours nonstop, delivering hundreds of tracts to the post boxes of homes and businesses. We finished half the town; we had a few conversations, a man who tore up the tracts, and a kind Christian family who invited us in for tea. Caleb went back a few days later by bus on his own, finished the town, and has moved on to others since then. His enthusiasm is very encouraging.
Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. Visitors in the countryside
Last, thank you for all of the birthday cards, emails, financial gifts toward our church’s losses, and for your faithful prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you for your sacrifices to hold the ropes with rewards on your account.
In the campaign for Irish souls,
Giving Ger his baptismal certificate
Ger getting baptized