Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our supporting churches! By the time this letter reaches you, we will have had a Christmas Cantata, which was done by the students and staff of The Baptist College International, which is located in Romania. It is scheduled for November 29, and we are putting all of our resources into promoting it to the community. Those who receive our letter by email were notified ahead of time. I will tell you about what happened in the next letter.
Kelly had just returned from Virginia the week before September began, and we had plans for many visitors to come to church. We ended up having a surprise visit from Pastor Callaghan, who happened to be hiking through Ireland. He supported our ministry for years until he handed the ministry to his son David, who happens to have been my roommate in Bible college. Pastor Callaghan contacted me to have dinner together, and it was a blessing to hear of his adventures since retiring. We were then able to help him get back home to California. The next week, Pastor & Mrs. Carlson, from our sending church in New Hampshire, flew out to Ireland and planned to pay us a visit on the 10th. On the same day, we also had Pastor Andrew Canavan’s family planning to visit with his wife’s parents (whom we stayed with several times on deputation). I saw that the Lord was leading to have a special meeting on that day, so after both pastors agreed to preach, I planned a Friend Day, with morning and afternoon services and a barbecue in between. We gave away picture frames with Bible verses on them to all who brought visitors. The day turned out perfectly, with a bit of rain in the morning, but it all cleared up by the end of the service. All of our church people pitched in, bringing food and cooking on the grill. Each pastor did a great job preaching messages that our people needed. One family even brought visitors. They spoke Romanian, but we were able to use Microsoft translate to translate the preaching for them in real time. It was a spectacular day. Everyone got to meet people from different stages of our lives. The Carsons knew me when I got saved, grew in the Lord, and went off to Bible college. Pastor Caravan’s wife and in-laws knew us as missionaries raising support. Pastor Canavan knew us as fellow missionaries who filled in for his dad in Dublin. And our people know us as their pastor and wife. I wore many hats that day, and it was wonderful for all these dear friends to get to meet each other together. We were planning to help Bro. Canavan get fliers out for the new church he was starting in Galway, so this was also an opportunity for him to invite our people personally to come and help the next week. When that day did come, we had several people who drive 45 minutes to come to church drive another hour to come and help in Galway. It was a great blessing to Bro. Canavan. At the end of the month, we celebrated Kendrick’s 12th birthday, and I took the boys out for a day of mountain biking. We also had a party and made him a homemade ice cream cake.
Many of our people went on holidays at the beginning of October. Many of our people are facing spiritual battles in their lives, and I am not able to cover all the topics they need help with. Counselling meetings would also be longer than many have time for, so I purchased a set of sound, independent Baptist Biblical counselling videos. I was able to create a password-protected website for our church people, with many of these counselling videos that they can access from any device. I am also in the process of consolidating specific areas and orders of videos for specific issues. Please pray that this will be a blessing to them and help them grow. We were able to be in Galway for Pastor Andrew Canavan’s meetings, and he had a great turnout. We have been attending weekly meetings with them in Galway and with the Day family in Ennis to be an encouragement to these new churches and pastors. Until now, we were the only fundamental independent Baptist church in the west of Ireland, so please pray that these works will grow and flourish. In the middle of the month, Kelly and Jenifer Day also held a Ladies’ Meeting, with the theme “Thankful, Grateful, & Blessed.” They had many ladies turn out for the meeting and got to be an encouragement to all of them.
We continued getting out the Gospel to people all over Limerick every Saturday, as well as heading up to Galway to help Bro. Canavan get out John and Romans in the community. Although we do not always see direct fruit from this ministry, the Lord sees our faithfulness and brings visitors into our church and into our lives whom we are really able to share the Gospel with. One of these opportunities came when some of our church members brought some friends with them, a lady and her daughter from Romania, for the Friend Day Barbecue. They had only been in Ireland a few weeks, so their English was not great. After eating lunch, Kelly was able to sit down with the lady, and, with a translation app and help from our Romanian church members, she was able to tell the lady about why the Lord died on the Cross and about the free gift of salvation, that it is by grace through faith alone and not through our works. She had never heard this before and did not respond right away, but it was something she had never heard before. Please pray that this seed that was sown will take root and that she will be saved.
Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. More visitors in the countryside
4. Guidance and wisdom as we move forward
Last, I thank everyone who sent encouraging emails, letters, and for your faithful prayers and support. Also, you can see links.hamiltonsinireland.com/pics for more pictures.
For the souls in Ireland,
Friend Day Barbecue with two guest preachers
Gifts for the ladies who attended the Ladies’ Meeting held by Kelly and Mrs. Jennifer Day
Celebrating Kendrick’s 12th birthday with a homemade ice cream cake!