I am sitting to write this letter in mid-January, and as we approach our eldest son’s 18th birthday, we are encouraged by the blessings that the Lord has given us in the past year. Although we were in a stringent lockdown for five months and are now meeting in a hard-to-find spot in the countryside, still the Lord blessed us with 25 new visitors, baptisms, 3 new families coming, new church members, and 12,000 Gospel tracts given out by our church to homes in the area.
Another busy season began as we invited all of our church people and friends around the country for a Thanksgiving feast. Due to work schedules and school, many of our church people were not able to come, but we did end up having 25 people. With the help of our boys, Kelly was able to prepare food for the meal in the weeks prior. Since her neurological condition, which she acquired in March of 2020, finally went away this past June, it has enabled her to take on many projects and activities that she had not been able to do, like having a large Thanksgiving feast at our home. Please continue to pray, because it does come back occasionally. On the second week, we welcomed the return of the Day family to Ireland. They were working in Co. Cork with the Ledbetter family but are now venturing off to begin their own church in a town called Ennis. We were able to help them get acclimated again to the culture and area. They found a home in a nearby town called Sixmilebridge. My family and I, along with the McKinley family, were able to help them move in, and they have been getting settled since. The Days will be attending our services as they begin reaching out to people in the area and having meetings. We had one unfortunate event at the end of November when Ger stopped coming to church with his family. He explained his reasons on social media, and it seems the Devil has convinced him of several false narratives, but he has been unwilling to meet with me in person to discuss his issues. Please pray for Ger and Victor, who stopped coming as well.
The Lord blessed the Christmas season, as the children began practicing for a Christmas Eve puppet show. The electricity in our church meeting place has been unstable and dangerous, but the church was able to put some money toward getting it upgraded and having a proper breaker switch box installed, as well as some extra outlets. Our building has also been very cold and hard to heat. Since we only have boards in the ceiling, all of the air escapes through the ceiling, so the church voted to insulate the building loft. I took two full days to research and watch videos on how to insulate properly, come up with a plan, and order the materials. I have begun the process of insulating the building. It has been a slow process, but each week I am making some progress. Our Christmas Eve Carol Service went well. We did not have a large turnout, but with all the food, singing, and the puppet show, it was a tremendous blessing to those who came. During the carol service, we received a message during our live broadcast from someone in the Limerick area who was wanting to visit. I sent them some information, and on the next Sunday morning, I received a text from someone saying they were waiting at the bus stop. I was already preparing to collect Caleb at the bus stop, but this time there were two more men waiting there. When I pulled up, the two men who were waiting asked me if I was from the church. They got in the car and have been faithfully attending ever since that day. I discovered that this father and son came from an independent Baptist church in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and were excited to find one here in Ireland as well. They were also pleased that we use the same old-fashioned hymns as they are used to. They came to Ireland to learn English and are planning to be here for two years.
I was able to redesign some Christmas tracts, and we were able to get most of them out during the month of December. Over the last two months, we have been concentrating on the town of Sixmilebridge, which is just down the hill from our house. This town has a little over 2,500 people, and we were able to get the Gospel into every home in town, as well as on the countryside. Although we have not seen much direct fruit from our outreach, we are getting the Gospel out, and God has been blessing by sending people to our church in other ways.
Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry.
3. More visitors in the countryside.
Last, I thank everyone who sent emails, Christmas gifts, faithful prayers, and support. May the Lord bless your giving as we reach out to those in this spiritually needy area of the world.
In the campaign for Irish souls,