As we closed out 2020, I spent the final month preaching about the birth of Christ and the events leading up to His birth. We finished the year with a Christmas service, as I preached on “The Gift That God Gave to Us in Jesus Christ.” Elizabeth had the idea of giving some small gifts to each family that came to the service. We bought items like spaghetti, carrots, spices, sauce, flours, tea, popcorn, butter, and milk. We did a random drawing for each item, and each family left with a small blessing. We also gave each child a stick of sugarcane.
The church attendance had been steadily growing at the end of the year, and we were averaging in the mid-30s. It was exciting to see this growth! Recently, we have seen our numbers slowly diminish into the 20s after a high day of 41. However, this smaller group is very faithful, and they are growing in the Lord!
At the start of 2021, I felt led to start doing the Foundations of Our Faith Bible study during our church services. I’ve been going through this Bible study very slowly, giving each person an opportunity to ask questions. Normally, it takes about one hour to go through one of these Bible studies, but with all the false teaching that we have to refute, the first lesson alone took five weeks to complete. On the final week, it was exciting to see each person answering questions and asking questions. I could see on their faces that they were starting to understand what salvation is and how God provided it.
We’ve had a number of visitors since our last letter. Some of those visitors come for just one week to see what we’re all about, and others come to visit and then stay. One Saturday, I went into a barbershop to invite a barber and his client. The client was very excited to receive the invitation, and he said he would be there the next day. Most people respond this way, but Eric actually came! In fact, since that day, he has only missed one service because he was required to be at work. The second week, he brought his wife Florence, and she has also been very faithful. Florence is expecting their first child in a few months, and my wife has been able to encourage her in that. I have also been able to meet with them for some needed marriage counseling. It was encouraging that they would come to me for help and not let anger and bitterness creep into their relationship. Please join us in praying for Eric and Florence. Eric has been inviting his friends to church but has been discouraged because they have yet to join us. I have reminded him that he’s doing a great job and that his part is just to encourage them to come and let the Lord do the rest.
I’ve been encouraged recently by the attendance of other men at church. Henry has attended faithfully for about a month. David has recently started attending with his wife and two children. We also have a number of boys who attend without their parents. I’m praying that God will use me to help them get to know God and serve Him.
In February, our family was able to take some time away for vacation. This was very helpful for us, as we got a chance to relax and take a mental break. As we are expecting our sixth child within a few days, it won’t be possible for us to do that in the coming months, so the timing was perfect. God provided another missionary to help with the ministry while we were away for a few days, and we are grateful to Him for that.
Please join us in prayer for the birth of our child due March 2. Continue praying for our vehicle. Pray for our children and their schooling, especially with the added distraction of a newborn. Pray for God to provide a permanent location for the church to grow and thrive.
In His service,