Liz and I want to thank you for your prayers over the summer. Church services have almost completely opened back up. As of this writing, we are starting to have in-person services for two out of the three typical services (Sunday morning and midweek). Until recently, I have been doing my teen Sunday school class over Zoom. We’ve been back for in-person teen Sunday school for a couple of weeks now, and it’s such a joy to be able to teach flesh-and-blood people again and not a screen! We’re probably facing some of the same challenges you are in getting back to full numbers, not only in church but Sunday school as well; however, we are slowly climbing back as members return to the services. Most of our teenagers have returned to the services and Sunday school, but there are a few that we’re praying will return soon. The fear of COVID is still here, so please pray that its grip on people will lessen as we open up more and start to resume normal church functions. We’ve just recently started having organized church soul winning again, so please pray that God will be with us. It’s still pretty hit or miss when we try to hand out tracts, but tracts don’t save people. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Pray that people will open up and allow us to talk to them about Jesus. We are also nearly finished raising the money to mail out the Gospel postcards. Please continue to pray that this effort will work to the saving of souls.
Most events we had planned for the summer were cancelled. I’m sure this comes as no surprise, as you’ve probably had the same issues. One thing I praise God we were able to do, even if it operated differently than originally intended, was virtually participate in the First Baptist Church of Hammond’s Virtual Youth Conference. We were encouraged to host “watch parties” with our teenagers in attendance and to decorate for the event. I feel like we had the best watch room assembled and attended by the best teens in the world, but I may be slightly biased. It was a great few days of finally being able to assemble as a youth group. At the point of the Virtual Youth Conference, we were still several weeks away from being able to assemble in person for anything as a youth group, so it was particularly special to spend that time feeding, picking up and dropping off, playing games with, and hearing great preaching with them. We’ve also seen our youth group grow some with a new family whose twin teenage boys attend our Zoom Sunday school.
I’d like to ask you also to pray for my wife. I knew I hit the wife jackpot when I married her, and throughout the years, she’s proved it a hundred times over. However, one of my favourite attributes of hers is her heart for teaching kids. Recently, we discovered that the little girl of a refugee family my wife and her soul-winning partner reached last summer couldn’t read. This family has had a tough time settling in Canada as refugees; and, in the hustle and bustle of life, she had yet to learn to read English. God laid it on my wife’s heart to start teaching this girl to read over Zoom. It’s such a sweet thing to hear her teaching this little girl to read as she takes over my office to use our computer. One of my favourite sounds lately has been the sound of “A goes ă like apple.” Hearing her read simple sentences and words gives us hope that she will someday be able to read the Bible on her own, and that is something to get excited about. Pray not only for the success of this teaching endeavour but also for this little girl’s salvation and for her mom to get steady work.
Pressing toward the mark,