It truly feels like only a few months ago that we were looking at 2020 with hope that “our” plans would go forward without a hitch and that we could go on as normal. That’s obviously not what happened. We found ourselves in a new world we didn’t recognize, and that new world made us adjust the method—not the message—of the Gospel. In fact, more people than ever have had nothing but death and the desire to escape it on their minds for the majority of the year.
We started our November with renewed focus on teaching and training the young people here in our church. It’s been a burden on my heart for each of them to have the know-how and the confidence to be able to share the Gospel before they move out of the house and go off to college. As the Lord gave us opportunity each week, my wife and I were able to take most of our teens out personally for soul-winning training time as we knocked doors. We focused on helping them make the next step in their duty to share the Gospel. For some, it was being confident enough to speak at the door and invite someone to church; for others, it was learning how to transition from inviting someone to church to bringing up the Gospel. We’ve not arrived yet, but that’s why I’m asking you all to pray. Pray that I am the leader I should be to teach them what they need to know. Pray that I am the encourager I need to be so that, with the Spirit’s leading, I can instill confidence in them. Pray that their hearts are receptive to stepping up and sharing Christ. We continued this until cold weather and COVID hit us again.
We also spent November and December working with the teens on their Christmas Program. Each week, and sometimes daily, I tried to be the annoying “Jiminy Cricket,” making sure that they were reading and practicing their parts. At first, they were shocked and a little trepidatious that we were doing this, and I heard more than one plea to make it easier. But as time went on, I could see confidence starting to grow in them. We kept encouraging, and they kept working. God’s goodness was with us in a very unique way though, as just the week before the program was to be performed and recorded before a live audience, it was announced that we would be put on full lockdown AGAIN! This could have been a spirit-killer, but God was so good to give Pastor Johnston the idea to record it the Sunday beforehand at church. This also gave our teens the opportunity to record their lines without the pressure to get it right the first try because we could just edit out the mistakes . . . which were relatively few, truth be told. The teens really surprised me in that, for the most part, their lines were memorized and their delivery of their parts was well thought out. This is in no small part due to the excellent parents they have guiding them from home. They did a phenomenal job. I pray it is a confidence booster that shows them when they work hard and depend on God, He can use them for great things. If you watch them do their parts, you’d think they’ve been doing this for years. The Gospel was clearly presented through their ministry. Please pray that those touched by their work will be saved and added to the church.
We are fully online again and in full lockdown. We are limited in some ways, but God has been using the online presence at Gospel Light Baptist Church of Richmond Hill to lead people to Christ and share God’s message of hope to many in our area. Without COVID, we might not have done any of this as fast as we did. Please pray as we finish our Gospel Mailing Project (mailing Gospel tracts to homes in our area) and for the continued work of the Gospel Film we had personalized by Evangelist Caleb Garraway. Please pray again for our neighbours as we gave some Christmas cookies and Gospel booklets to those we’ve connected with on a personal level over this past year. Pray for spiritual strength; this has been a difficult year that has revealed many areas in which I personally need God to grow me. I personally hate this COVID thing, but I love the God Who sent it and knew it was for our good and His glory. We want to do more for Jesus in 2021. Hope you’ll join us.
Pressing toward the mark,