I apologise for being a couple of weeks late getting this letter out, but I was finally able to sit down and just get it written. The following is much of what happened during the last two months of 2022.
Keith II finally got his citizenship documents sorted, so since they were not able to go in August, he and Kelly made their own trip to the U.S. After Kelly attended a Ladies’ Meeting, they left for Arizona. The last time Kelly returned from the USA, she developed a neurological condition called MdDS, which severely affected her balance. It finally subsided after a year and a half, but upon her arrival in Arizona on this trip, the condition returned due to the flights. She visited her parents in Arizona, my parents in Florida, helped her mom move things across the USA, helped her mom in Virginia, and then returned home after Thanksgiving. While she was gone, Caleb happened to be between jobs and came to the house to help paint the church building. First, we had to put several layers of undercoat to cover a black part at the bottom of the wall. The next week, a Ukrainian joiner came and did work on our floor, which has been caving in and getting worse. He got the job done in the auditorium, and during the next two weeks, we continued the painting, having to run the electric heaters so the paint would dry on the cement walls. All the while, I was managing homeschooling, preparing sermons, soul winning, and managing the house. It was a very busy month, and by the end of it, my office showed it. At the end of the month, the Tharp family in Drogheda invited several families to their home for Thanksgiving. Our two youngest boys were excited, so we made the three-hour drive and stayed late so they could play with their friends. There ended up being over 40 people who came, and most of those were children. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and delicious food.
Kelly and Keith arrived back on December 2, and the next week, Caleb came again to paint some more. This time, Keith II helped, and we were able to completely finish the painting of the walls and shelves by the third week of December. We experienced several deaths. First was the passing of Dr. Robert Zemeski, who had faithfully served the Lord here since the 1970s and was the first independent Baptist missionary to come. He and Kathi were a picture of faithfulness and dedication through many trials and hardships, but they stayed. I am thankful for his example and friendship over the years. Another family we know from Cork lost their newborn daughter the morning of Bro. Zemeski’s funeral. It was a sad week; but, thankfully, we have the hope of Heaven and know that the moment they passed, they saw the Lord Jesus Christ. The Day family began having services in Ennis, and they needed a new piano and a new printer as well. We also needed a piano, so I brought these needs before our church to see which one they wanted to fill to be a blessing and to help this new work; the church voted to buy ourselves a new piano and to also help with both of the Days’ needs. I was surprised and delighted at how giving our people are. That night when I was ordering, I contacted Bro. Day to let him know, and he told me that their keyboard was wonky during their service and that he and his wife had just prayed for the Lord to provide a new piano for them. It reminded me of Matthew 6:8, which says, “. . . your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” We received our piano, and Frank was able to play on Christmas Day and has been playing in the services since. Then on Christmas Day, we had a service, three baptisms, and a Christmas dinner for all of our church people. The three baptisms were Lance, Lynn, and Lana. They had been saved and needed to be baptised, and when I offered to baptise them on Christmas Day, they were delighted. We used an inflatable hot tub outside. We also had the blessing of an overflowing septic system on Christmas Day, but other than that, the rest of the day went smoothly.
While out soul winning while Kelly was away, the boys and I met an Iranian refugee who was outside watching his daughter. He asked me what I was handing out, and when I told him they were papers about Jesus’ birth and how it had changed the world, he told me he didn’t want one. He then proceeded to tell me that he hated religion, how it was religion that had ruined his country, and that women were beaten in his country because of religion. I tried to explain to him that I hated religion as well, that Baptists are different from religious organisations, and that we are against state-run religions; but he could not understand what I said to him.
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 Christmas; thank you also for your faithful prayers and support. To see more pictures, visit links.hamiltonsinireland.com/pics for more pictures.
In the battle for the souls of Ireland,