This New Year of 2016 has been one full of blessings. We have seen several folks trust Christ while out doing door-to-door evangelism, as well as many trust Christ at one of our public services in the last three months. We have also seen the LORD move upon the hearts of several of our church members to get involved in soul winning and in the discipleship of new converts. God has given them a mind to work. Our regular Sunday morning attendances have been hovering just over/under 100, as the Lord has added a few new families to our church in the last few months as well. We also enjoyed a wonderful Resurrection Sunday, with over 150 in attendance and 7 people trusting Christ as their Saviour that day. I have no doubt that the LORD has blessed Cornerstone Baptist Church! I also have not doubt that God has used YOU to make those blessings a reality! Just as the Lord commands us to pray for rain during the latter rain, I would ask you to pray for God to continue to bless our ministry here during this time of blessing.
For those of you who support us financially, I want to share with you our NEW financial situation. Our church is in the position to and has voted to give me a salary as their pastor! Praise the Lord! God has always met our needs, but we have literally had to find an extra $2,000 a month for the last year or so just to pay our personal bills beyond the sacrificial financial support that many of you have been giving to our family. It is a very large burden lifted off of my shoulders, and it frees up much time that was being spent trying to make ends meet. I am excited about many new plans and programs that I will be able to implement in the year and years to come because of this.
We are still renting a house now, almost 11 years after we moved to Canada. Our current monthly rent is $2,000 a month, and we would love to be able to stop throwing that much money away every month by investing it in a home of our own. We are hopeful that we may be able to start saving some money for a down payment that we may be able to buy a home in a year or two if it be the Lord’s will. The average single-family-home price in Edmonton currently is $440,000.
We greatly appreciate the FAITHFUL financial support that many of you have given to make it possible for us to stay serving here for these many years. I wanted you, our financial supporters, to know of our new financial situation that you may be informed as you look at your missions budgets for the year to come. If you would like to continue supporting our family financially, know that we will continue to greatly appreciate your love gifts to our family and that it will be used toward the eventual purchase of a home of our own here in Edmonton, where we will continue to serve until Jesus comes! If you and your church feel that you would no longer be able to support our ministry through your missions program, know that we are ever grateful for the opportunity we had to represent you and your church in the city of Edmonton. Also know that there is a growing, thriving church here in Canada’s northerly most city BECAUSE OF YOU!!!
Please pray for wisdom and direction for our church in the year to come. One major problem that we are facing is that we are running out of room in our building. We are in the same facility that we have been in since our first service in 2005, and we are desperately out of space. It is a wonderful problem to have, but still a problem. We know that the Lord has a plan; we just desire to know His plan. As you can imagine, from the average home price I listed above, commercial space is astronomically expensive here in Edmonton. We are out of space for Sunday school classes now, and the auditorium is almost overflowing most Sundays. We do not have a Bus or Van Ministry as of yet and will not be able to start one until we are in a LARGER facility. That is one of my dreams for the near future. Pray that God would give our church wisdom, that He would direct our path, and that we would trust Him going forward to whatever HE has for us.
Please pray for a family in our church that got saved about two years ago. They have three beautiful children, with one more on the way. The one on the way will be stillborn barring a miracle from God. We are praying that the God Who is able would choose to do that miracle. If not, we would also ask you to pray for grace for this dear family. As their pastor, I am so proud of them for not accepting the abortion that the doctors tried so hard to push on them, choosing rather to let God decide if He chooses to allow them to raise this baby in their home here on this earth or whether He decides to take the baby Home with Him.
Also please pray for us as we seek to disciple many new converts. One such new convert is a man from India who grew up Hindu and got saved a few weeks ago. He is hungry to learn. We are praying that he will be baptized soon.
Carrie and the girls are very busy with the girls’ schooling. They are excited that the snow is finally gone and that we are getting some warm days. We are hoping to visit family in the U.S. this summer, as well as looking forward to maybe going camping as a family in a month or so. It is hard to believe that Carrie and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this summer. We have been serving here for over half of our married life now. Our oldest Rebekah will be taking her Motor Vehicle Learners’ Test soon. I have a feeling I might need to go to the doctor and get some blood pressure medication beforehand. HAHA! Elisabeth turns 14 in just a few weeks. Our youngest Hannah will be 11 this fall. Truly our family is growing up. It is a blessing that we have been able to rear them in the ministry. Thank you for making that possible for our family.
We have a new prayer card and would be glad to mail out a packet of them to you or your church if you would provide us with the address and the number of cards you would like. Many, if not most, of you have prayer cards that are very outdated. I might even have HAIR on some of them. I still have hair, but it has turned white and migrated to my chin since we started deputation almost 15 years ago! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a packet of prayer cards. This is also the best email for correspondence with our family. Our church website is cornerstonebaptistchurchedmonton.ca, where you will find our church information and a few pictures.
The ministry on the Paul Band Reserve is going on wonderfully, with Pastor Dan Crumbaugh leading there. Dan and his wife Sherri are doing a great job and are seeing souls saved and even one baptized a few weeks ago. It was the first convert to be baptized in the building there, as they just got a baptistery. Please pray for Brother Dan as he continues to minister there. Pray that God would continue to bless that very needful ministry that God allowed to be a part of our church for over six years.
We are praying for you, your families, and your churches. We are also much in prayer for the election in the U.S. We are praying that TRUE REVIVAL might happen in our homeland!
May God bless you as YOU continue to serve Him. We still seek fruit that may abound to your account here in the city of Edmonton. Thank you again for your faithful prayers, friendships, and support over the years. I pray that we have been and will continue to be a good investment.
Yours for souls,
The Rice Family
Your Missionaries to Edmonton Alberta Canada
Serving with Fundamental Baptist Missions International
Church Mailing Address: Cornerstone Baptist Church. PO BOX 34180 RPO Kingsway Mall. Edmonton, AB T5G 3G4
++NEW++ Home Mailing Address: 15912 38th St., Edmonton AB, T5Y 3E9
Phone Number: 780-887-7620 Email: email@example.com