Every Saturday at 10 a.m., we have a group of about 8-12 people going into our community sharing the Gospel. Each week we see people making professions of faith. Our people work at following up with their converts to get them in church and are seeing success. Almost every week we have a visitor/visitors in our service.
On the other hand, the fastest-growing religion in our area is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are saturating our community to the point that a lot of homes have some form of their influence in them. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly doing house visits and home Bible studies (putting Bible believers to shame), thus leaving their mark on our community.
Coupled with that fact and the fact that Jamaica is heavily “Christianized” (primarily by Charismatic movements), a lot of people have become confused and weary of “religious movements” and even bona fide attempts of someone presenting them with the Gospel. We find that, while soul winning works, the employment of home Bible studies gives folks more opportunities to get their “religious questions” answered. This also gives us the opportunity to help them to become more grounded in the truth. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been using this technique for a long time and have been successful in gaining and retaining people in their faith. This, however, is not a technique invented by them. In fact, Paul used it in his ministry where he taught not only publicly but also from “house to house” (Acts 20:20).
We will not stop soul winning, by any means, but we are employing house-to-house Bible studies to complement our soul winning and, hopefully, increase our chances of effectively reaching the people of our community.
Men’s Prayer Breakfast
I have mentioned the need of prayer in a few of our previous prayer letters for more godly men. I believe we are losing our next generation of men to so many devices controlled by the Devil. It is not uncommon to see the young men, ranging from early teens to upper twenties, spending their days on the streets and wasting their lives. Some of the common epidemics among our young men are weed smoking, skin bleaching, and scamming (AKA “419 Scams”).
The results of this are causing a changing face to Jamaican society and culture as a whole. This is bleeding over to the home structure, causing family breakdowns and eventually in the church. Churches today are struggling with male attendance and, therefore, the general lacking of masculine leadership.
We recently started a weekly men’s prayer breakfast at the church in an effort to reach the men of our community. The men really seem to enjoying our meetings. The time is geared towards dealing with our lives (specifically men) from a biblical standpoint, prayer, and then a breakfast afterwards. The purpose, however, is for me to spend time with these men, mentoring and discipling them. Please pray for our men.
Thank you for expressing your love toward us over the past few weeks with showers of birthday and anniversary wishes. Those small gestures remind us that we are loved by folks back home. Thank you for serving together with us.
We recently visited the Indian High Commission for our visas. Needless to say, we are no closer to getting long-term visas for India. We don’t understand why we are running into these roadblocks, but we are resting in the fact that God is sovereign.
I was able to ascertain a short-term visa, and I’m now planning a trip to India in the next few weeks. Since there are no direct flights, I will have to connect in at least two other countries and will need transit visas for those. Please pray that I might be able to get those soon.
As it gets closer to the summer months again, the heat, humidity, and everything that goes with it are back with a vengeance! It is that time again when Florida’s state bird—the mosquito—comes here for vacation! Though we’ve employed many different methods of getting rid of the mosquitoes, they are still getting us here in the hills where we are staying. Our toddler is covered with mosquito bites. Hopefully, our landlord will have the house screened soon.
The kids are done with the 2014-2015 school year and are excited about their summer break. We have quite a bit planned at church for the next several weeks, which, hopefully, will keep them quite busy.
For the most part, we feel like we have gotten into the groove of things here in Jamaica and are planning for the days ahead, as long as God keeps us here.
• Stability and growth of the church
• Major building repairs for the church
• New pastor for the church
• Indian Immigration
• More godly men in our church