Winter time equals conference time here in Canada, and in November, we got to take a group of young people to one of my favourite conferences here in Canada, put on by Missionary Pastor Phil Powless in London, Ontario. With a couple of exceptions, we had all of our core young people attend, three of whom were brand-new to any type of Youth Conference meeting. For an evening and a day, they gave up their phones (small miracle nowadays), dressed their best, and listened to powerful and impactful preaching. I was so proud of them for their cooperation and involvement. We sure do love our teens!
Discipleship has been going splendidly. Two of our young men, Tony and Paul, have fully completed the Foundations of My Faith course, and now I’m working with them on their personal walk with God. These guys have really stepped up and taken this challenge to read their Bibles and pray every day, and I’ve noticed God working in their lives each week. I’m currently trying to work with their older brother, who is working and in college, which makes it a little harder to be as regular as I’d like. Another young man named Jason has finished the first two levels of the same discipleship course, and within the next couple of months, he should be finished as well. Working with this young man has been a blessing. English is not his first language, so there are times when he attends services that things go a little too fast for him to pick everything up. On top of that, he is a new Christian, so some concepts are still unfamiliar to him. Meeting weekly one on one gives him time to ask questions and allows me the time to explain and even re-explain some things that he hasn’t been able to catch. My next goal is to go through these courses with some of our already well-grounded young men as a training time for them to be able to disciple someone themselves. The Lord has changed the direction of our next training program for the overall youth group at our teenIMPACT program from discussing the Bible to walking with God. I believe that this is what God would have me to teach them because this topic is something that is left out of the lives of many Christian young people, which makes for a weak faith that can’t stand up to the world’s pressure. We’ll cover the topic of the Bible itself later as a Sunday school series someday.
Please keep praying for Isa, the Iraqi Muslim man I’m witnessing to. We’re now just corresponding through email because he went back to Iraq for a family matter originally, and he’s now back there again for some studies. He has asked several questions and challenged my beliefs regarding the Bible, and through prayer and careful preparation, I’ve responded to his questions and given witness to Jesus’ love and wonderful grace. Please continue to pray that these correspondences will remain friendly, open, and evangelistic. Pray that Isa’s heart will be opened to our Isa, Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Also, pray for Mehjabeen (may-juh-bean) a Pakistani Muslim lady we met out soul winning months ago. I revisited her house recently and had a great conversation about Christ and religion in general. She’s open to hearing the Gospel but is a little on the ecumenical side of things, so I need wisdom and clarity from God to help her understand that Jesus is the only way to Heaven as described in our Bible. She has a teenage son and several other children she is raising on her own. Pray that they will get saved.
This year for Christmas, our church got to do something a little different than usual: we had a full Christmas program complete with actors, including my wife and several of our junior church kids and our adult and children’s choir singing songs to accompany each scene. It was a great blessing to everyone who heard it. My wife and the kids worked very hard to learn their parts, and the result was a fun, beautiful way to present the true reason for the season!
The New Year is upon us, and I’d like to ask you to pray for our upcoming opportunities to expand our role here in the ministry. This year, Pastor Johnston has asked me to help prepare the youth of our church to take on some new things to help them grow in the Lord. This year we will be having certain Sunday afternoons designated as Youth Service Involvement Days, where the youth will take responsibility for the singing, special music, giving testimonies, etc. I love the idea of training our youth to step up and go forward for Jesus. This year also, the youth and I will take the responsibility of running our Nursing Home Ministry. God is growing our youth group internally, as well as numerically. They are the future of Canada and the next ones to take the mantle of leadership in reaching their country for Christ, so please pray for us as we teach and train our young people. I believe in them and know that with God working through them, they will do great things for Him.
Pressing toward the mark,