Thanks for taking the time to read this letter about what the Lord has been doing and what has happened during the last two months of 2023. I hope and pray that it will be an encouragement and blessing to you.
The smiles on their faces as they were handed their baptism certificates lit up the church and encouraged the congregation. It was a delightful way of ringing in the New Year. We had just had a lovely dinner and baptism on Christmas Day, but this was the icing on the cake. Lance, Lynn, and Lana were so excited to receive their certificates and be voted into the church. They continue in their discipleship courses faithfully on Sundays and are really growing in the Lord, and they are excited and willing to serve in the church. The Day family began having midweek Bible studies, so they have been coming to our Wednesday study, and then on Thursday, Kelly has been trying to go to theirs. Keith II and I are not able to attend on Thursday at the moment because Keith started a ten-week German Longsword fighting class. When it is over, we will go to be an encouragement to them by filling some seats. We were also able to use money that the Lord provided through churches at Christmas to hire the Ukrainian man to come again and finish working on the church floors. He has been such a blessing because it is so difficult to find a tradesman in Ireland—and he cleans up after himself! It is common here for the tradesman just to leave a big mess behind for you to clean up. Even at the fast food restaurants, people leave their trash on the table. We already have the sanctuary floor finished, but there was still much work to be done in the back, as well as on an outside building where the roof was falling apart. This outside building is where the church bathroom, garden shed, and boiler are all located. Kelly also began getting treatment for the health problems that she has been facing since 2020. We are thankful to say that from the first visit, she has experienced a dramatic change. After much prayer, it seems that the Lord led us in the right direction. We celebrated Keith’s 19th birthday and had loads of pizza.
February was uneventful early on, aside from the regular schedule of events, with church services, Saturday soul winning, shopping, sword-fighting class, four hours a week of exercise training for the kids with one of our members from Brazil, weekly shopping, Kelly’s doctor appointments, cleaning the church, etc. Now that we have been able to get the floor fixed, I have been going forward with upgrading and fixing things all over the church building and preparing for a push to get visitors to come to the property. We were able to upgrade our audio equipment in the church, so we would have better sound on our streaming services. I researched what we needed and got to have a go at setting it up and getting it to work with our computer. Lance told Keith II that the quality now sounds top-notch and professional on the video stream. The Ukrainian man was able to come again at the end of the month to finish the soffit on the outside of the church building, along with several other projects. After five months, Keith II finally received notification from Immigration that his citizenship application was received. This was a blessing and not so great as well. First, it means that when his registration date comes in April, they should allow him to stay until he receives a reply. That is a blessing. The not-so-good part is that it may take up to 19-plus months to receive a response as to whether or not he is approved to be a citizen. All in all, we praise the Lord for the opportunity. There were also several things that we were lacking in his application, but please pray that they overlook this and that the Lord opens this door and opportunity for him. I also had a birthday in February, turning 45, and we had loads of pizza again. Our sending church sent a heap-load of birthday cards in the post, and it was a great blessing.
Our German church member Caleb continues to comb the area, giving out thousands and thousands of Gospel tracts, and he started going into the city of Limerick. He has a great burden to be a street preacher, and perhaps I can go out with him in the summer. In the meantime, my family and I have continued to go out faithfully on Saturday afternoons, getting the Gospel out to hundreds a month, as well as looking for opportunities to talk to people during the week. I was astonished recently when I realised that, after two years of being locked down from COVID, our boys have grown, and the neighbourhoods that took me two hours to finish in the past, now only take 20 minutes with their help. We are able to get so much more covered in so little time. Please pray as we get the Gospel out; pray that we have a great response.
Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. More visitors in the countryside
4. Guidance and wisdom as we move forward
Last, I thank everyone who sent encouraging emails, gifts, special offerings, and cards for my birthday and Keith II’s and for your faithful prayers and support. Also, you can see more pictures here.
For the souls of Ireland,