In the Christian life, every person, every couple, every family, every pastor, every missionary, and every evangelist is on their own journey with the Lord. I find it amazing that with the variety of experiences, circumstances, and personalities, there are solid Biblical principles that do not change. God also leaves room for a variety of cultural and personality differences. He has a place to use the extrovert as well as the introvert, the street preacher as well as the Sunday school teacher, the musician as well as the infirm, the African as well as the European. He has given all of us abilities and spiritual gifts that can be used for His glory and purpose to exalt His name. All are important in the eyes of God. Over the years, we have had the privilege of meeting friends of all kinds, from every walk of life, who have helped us and been a blessing along the way.
We begin with a lovely 4th of July celebration with many of our independent Baptist missionary colleagues and their families who are serving with us in Ireland. It was a wonderful day of fellowship and praising the Lord together. In church this month, we ended up with 12 visitors who made their way out to our countryside church: a couple from Texas, a pastor and his family from Virginia, a missionary couple from England, and a family who came to our church for a month four years ago. It has been an opportunity for our people to see that Christians attend church when they are on holiday, as well as to see that there are other Bible-believing Christians around the world who believe the same as we do. We saw an answer to prayer—our Brazilian friend Frank was planning to return, and his son Tim was wanting to stay in Ireland. A few days before leaving, and after weeks of searching, Tim ended up finding accommodations. Frank wrote a lovely note that you can read on the photo link below, expressing what a great experience he had during his stay in Ireland. At the end of the month, we had a business meeting, and the church people are ready to move back into the city. Then Kendrick and I went to a beekeeper convention, Kelly and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary, and Kelly and Keenan left to help her mom for three weeks. The rest of the family planned to follow them over to the U.S. in August. During July, my computer also died. I took it in for repairs, and they quoted me €1,700, so I decided it would be a better option to purchase a faster computer for the same cost or less. I ordered one in America, where it was cheaper, so I could bring it back with me.
In the beginning, I was alone with Keith II and Kendrick. Then Bro. Day flew in from his short furlough. On the second week, a lady from the Philippines visited and brought some traditional Philippine food. Keith II then flew to Virginia by himself. Kendrick and I got to go mountain biking together and then flew to Virginia afterward. While in Virginia, several church members from Central Baptist Church in Yorktown, Virginia, helped us move furniture. We had a great visit with friends and with Kelly’s mom. The weekend before heading back to Ireland, Centerville Baptist Church in South Boston, Virginia, wanted us to report back, so we made our way there and stopped at Faith Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, Virginia, for Sunday morning services. We had a great time of fellowship, and they had me give an update. Then in the evening, Kelly sang, and I got to preach and report back to Centerville Baptist Church in South Boston, Virginia. Both churches have faithfully supported us for many years now and were a great blessing to return to once again. While gone, Bro. Day filled in for me on Wednesday, and Bro. Tom Baker, who is a Biblical archaeologist, filled in for me on Sunday. After Kelly returned, one of our church families had a fire in the restaurant they have owned for eight years now. Please pray as they try to pick up the pieces and get reestablished again. Thankfully, they were renting and can move to another building just down the road from them.
Summer is a great time to get out to the doors. The difficult thing is we still have to deal with all the rain and wet tracts. Even the glossy ones end up succumbing to the wet weather, not to mention the soggy clothes. Despite the wet summer and our international travel, we continue getting out the Gospel. Even when we are travelling, people often ask where we are from and are delighted and intrigued that we are Americans living in Ireland. This presents many opportunities to give the Gospel to people. In August, Kendrick and I got to travel up to Galway to help Bro. Andrew Canavan get out thousands of fliers for Grace Baptist Church, the new church he is starting. It was a great day. One lady marched out of her house to hand the tract back to me, but we mostly had good responses from people in Galway.
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
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who sent encouraging emails and letters and everyone who continues with their faithful prayers and support. Also, you can see more pictures at links.hamiltonsinireland.com/pics.
For the souls in Ireland,