It has become a tradition at our church to have a big day on the first Sunday of December each year. It is a day of thanksgiving, where everything is centered around reflecting on and giving God thanks for what He has done over the past years. (This is not to be confused with the Thanksgiving holiday, since that holiday is not recognized here.) This month was no exception. We had our biggest day ever! We had more people on the property than we could fit in our auditorium. While 150 people might not seem like a lot to some, for us, that is almost twice the capacity of our building. It was such a blessing to see our folks giving themselves to serve and provide in cash or kind for this event.
RECOGNITION FOR THE CHURCH
In previous years, churches in Jamaica could legally operate as an entity without government recognition, but in recent years, that has changed. In order for a church to operate as a legal entity, the church has to be officially recognized and approved by the government. While a church does not have to seek government recognition, they would be at a disadvantage when trying to conduct business matters. For example, the church could not open a bank account, purchase property, own a church bus, conduct legal transactions, etc.
Currently, if our church needs to do any business, we would have to do it in someone else’s name and not the church’s. In some cases, operating under someone else’s name is not an issue; however, for the sake of transparency, a good testimony, and doing things decently and in order, we need to change our modus operandi. Please pray for us, as we are seeking wisdom on whether or not to seek the governmental recognition, since there can be negative implications.
We are thankful that the hurricane season has finally passed. This season was a very active one, with Jamaica having eight hurricane watches. Thankfully, we saw God divert all of them from our direction. Not many of our neighboring islands shared the same providence. While we did not have the brute force of the hurricanes, we had a lot of rain that caused flooding in many parts of the island. In fact, we are still experiencing heavy rains and flooding.
SUNDAY-SCHOOL-FACILITY EXPANSION PROJECT AKA “PAVILION PROJECT”
I mentioned in our last prayer letter that we were working on a project to expand our Sunday school facility. We want to report that we were able to get the base done and set up the infrastructure to put on the roof. The project is currently incomplete and has to be placed on hold until we have the finances to put the roof on. Please pray with us, as we are trying to raise another $3,200 to complete this project.
LADIES’ CHRISTMAS DINNER
My wife has been meeting twice per month with the ladies at church. This meeting is an opportunity for ladies to fellowship and a chance for my wife to invest in their lives. God has been working through this ministry; the ladies are growing and are becoming increasingly active in church. December 7, they had a Christmas dinner at a nice restaurant. This was a special blessing for them.
MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST
Every Tuesday morning, some of the men from our church and community meet for breakfast, fellowship, Bible study, and prayer before they head to work. We call it the Men’s Prayer Breakfast (really subtle, huh?). God has been allowing me to invest His Word in some of these men. Each week we have about eight men who regularly attend. These past few weeks, some of these men have been bringing their friends and even their older sons/nephews to the meetings.
In January, we started studying the Pastoral Epistles (I & II Timothy and Titus), with the intention of going through them in detail in 52 weeks. The study has been interesting and captivating. Needless to say, after 50 weeks, we haven’t made it past II Timothy 2. We are hoping to accomplish what II Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
THANK YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!
As we are rapidly coming to the close of 2017, we want to remind you that you are a vital part of our ministry and want to thank you for being a part of our lives and ministry, whether you support us morally, financially, prayerfully, or any other way. May God bless you greatly this Christmas season.
- Direction for our church getting governmental recognition
- Finances to complete the Sunday-school-expansion project
- Spiritual and physical health of our people
- Purchase of church property we are currently leasing
- Ministry growth
- Church bus/van
- More men in the church
- Directions for India
- Indian Ministry in Montego Bay