We have had some exciting things happen recently at Island Baptist Church. A family who had been out of church for a couple of years returned. We prayed for them the entire time they were gone, and it was exciting and such a blessing to see them walk through the church doors again. They are close relatives to one of our most faithful families; and they, too, were just as surprised as the church. It was a special day for our church.
Since my last update, the Lord has used me personally to lead 29 people to Christ. For the year 2022, the Lord used me to lead 139 people to Christ through personal soul winning.
On New Year’s Eve, my wife and I went to a place of business near the ocean where a security guard was on duty. He greeted us, wished us well, and hoped we were enjoying the island. I replied, “Yes, and I know we look ‘fresh’ like we just walked off the plane.” He agreed with a chuckle. I continued, “But we have lived here for 22 years.” He looked shocked. “How old are you?” I asked him. “Twenty,” he replied. “I have lived on Guam longer than you have been alive,” I told him. He laughed again, looking amazed. I introduced myself as Pastor Dan, the “Haolie” pastor. It took him by surprise that I knew what that meant and was calling myself that. I then asked him if he knew he would go to Heaven. He responded in a roundabout way, saying he was not worried about it. As I began to explain how he could know, a female employee approached and joined us. I asked her the same question. She gave a local-cultural answer about ancestral spirits and circumvented the topic, not really believing what she was saying. Undeterred, I began explaining the Gospel again, trusting it would have its effect—and what an effect it had. The more I explained, the more serious they became, listening ever so intently. When I finished the Gospel presentation, both acknowledged that they understood and believed, and both wanted to pray with me to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal Saviour. After praying, they thanked me, with fist bumps, and seemed different in a good way. In parting, I looked around and said, “I don’t come this way often.” She quipped, “You’ll have to come more often, Father.” (Next time we can change that “Father” into “Pastor.”) What a way to close out 2022!
Another exciting event happened at Island Baptist Church. One of our young ladies, who has grown up in our church and whom we have been praying for all these years, followed in believer’s baptism. She asked her grandmother if she could be baptized since her grandmother had led her to Christ. Everyone was excited and felt so close-knit after her baptism because we all felt the Lord do a special thing with that beautiful experience. I am excited to see what the Lord will do next.
It takes time to see “the fruit of our labors,” whether it be by prayer, personal soul winning, or through the ministry of church. Yet we know the Lord is working and blessing, and in time, we will see things come to pass. It reminds me of I Timothy 5:25, “Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” We might not see them now, but we see them eventually.
Thank you for praying for us and for supporting our ministry. Please continue to pray for our health and safety, Island Baptist Church, Guam, and Micronesia.
In His harvest field,
Dan Rothwell and Family