I love the colourful Christmas lights and decorations in the months before Christmas. The lengthening darkness causes our window video screen and the Christmas lights in the city to shine through the night with such a brilliant beauty. You would never see the tree at night were it not for the beautiful lights strung across its branches. Many churches and Christians today are making the mistake of fitting in with the darkness of the world through their music and behaviour. They let the darkness around them dim the bright, holy Christian life they are supposed to live. They should be sticking out and shining like the beautiful colours of lights during the Christmas season. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” (I Peter 1:15) We spent these last two months shining the light of Christ more brightly in Limerick city.
We began the month attending a Creation Conference in a town called Athlone and were able to leave with several homeschooling and church materials. Then I sent Kelly off to a ladies’ retreat while I watched the boys for a few days. We also began a second round of new-members’ meetings and had a new man named Eddie join the church during November. At the end of the month, we had a missionary couple (who are Brethren, not Baptist) return from furlough. When I preached on unity in the church and mentioned some of our beliefs as Baptists, they decided no longer to attend. I had a feeling this would eventually happen because there are areas we didn’t agree on. Several people who come are linked with them, so please pray it will not have a large impact on our small group. During this time, I worked diligently to find a new meeting place, a Nigerian lady gave birth to a baby girl while her husband was back in Nigeria, and we celebrated Thanksgiving. This month we had 5 visitors who came to our services.
At the beginning of the month, the Lord led us to a new meeting place in a more residential area, but close to a main road. The church members voted on the new building, and I paid the deposit just before Christmas. We should be moving in around mid-January. During the month of December, to make it special, we raffled off books from our small bookstore, wrapping them as Christmas gifts. Kelly also made cookie mixes in jars to give to people. We helped a church in Cork with caroling in a shopping centre and handing out tracts. Then we had a surprise visit from Kelly’s dad during Christmas and into January—well, WE were not surprised, but we kept it from the boys. They were very surprised and excited to find Grandpa sitting in the living room when they awoke. Christmas was a busy time, as we had a Christmas service, and then we invited an older single man to come over and enjoy Christmas dinner with us. That next Friday we had a fellowship at a restaurant. Eleven people ended up coming out, and we had a brilliant time together. We were also blessed to have 4 visitors during the month and a total of 50 who came through our doors during the year—some who stayed and others who just passed through.
The last two months, we have concentrated on trying to get out the large number of tracts that we have with our current address on them. There is a young lady I have been discipling, and she brought a friend with her who had told her he was saved. From other things she said, I suspected he had told her that because he wanted to win her over. When he came to the Wednesday Bible study, there was absolutely no interest in what I was talking about, but I did get to present the Gospel to him several times during the night. It seems he was under conviction, because she told me when they left, he was very angry and wanted to get home quickly.
Please pray for these needs:
1. The church to grow together
2. Co-laborers in Limerick
3. Protection over the ministry
Last, I would like to thank all of you for your continued prayers, faithful support, and all the churches and individuals who sent cards and boxes filled with Christmas gifts. Also, I want to thank our sending church for the wonderful and needed love offering they took for us and the two churches who voted to increase our support. With the coming move, there will be an increase in expenses.
In the campaign for Irish souls,