I start our newsletter this time with the same verse that I have signed off with for the past 26-plus years, since the beginning of our deputation and now the last 24 years since we have been here on the field of London, Ontario, Canada! Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” As of yesterday, April 19, 2021, we enter a third time of being put in lockdown status with a Stay-at-Home Order here in Ontario, Canada.
Though we have not faced a decree that we cannot meet at church at all, we have been faced now with numerous times of restrictions of how many can meet together. In the first lockdown of 13 weeks, we could only have 5 in attendance per service; hence, we conducted services just like usual but with only 5 in attendance. We rotated people who could come and held Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services. We also began livestreaming these services on our church Facebook page for those who could not be in attendance.
The second lockdown hit the day after Christmas and lasted throughout January and into February. This time we were restricted to a maximum of 10. To accommodate more coming to in-person services, we began holding 2 morning services, as well as Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services.
March opened up to allow us 30% capacity, which then got cut to 15% capacity just days before Easter Sunday. Now we have again been cut back to the lockdown allowance of no more than 10 per service. To best accommodate allowing as many as possible to attend in-person services, we started holding 3 back-to-back Sunday morning services, as well as continuing our Wednesday evening Bible study. Without a doubt, these limitations are most definitely frustrating and a hindrance; yet, praise God, we serve a FAITHFUL God and are seeking to faithfully serve God! These current restrictions are set to last to May 20.
Though restrictions have brought hindrances, we are still blessed of the Lord to see fruit unto the glory of God! Souls have been saved! Just this past Sunday, 2 precious young girls of a family who occasionally attend our church were saved. Madison (8) and Olivia (6) are pictured here. Please pray with us for 2 other young children who attend our church with their parents. Their names are Franco and Liam. Though they are both between 4 and 5 years of age, God has really been working in their hearts about salvation and their need to accept Jesus as their Saviour! We are praying they will soon come to full understanding and acceptance of Jesus!
Several others have been saved. Pictured below are Salvador and Rizzy Garcia, who accepted Christ in February and were baptized on Easter Sunday. I was also able to lead a 29-year-old young man named Nico to the Lord on a Saturday in March, and he came to church and obeyed the Lord in baptism the next Sunday morning! Last Wednesday evening, Nancy obeyed the Lord in baptism. She is the sister of one of our faithful men. She got saved a couple years back but has hesitated about baptism because of her immobility. She decided she wanted to wait no longer! In order to help her be baptized, I had to physically pick her up, set her in the baptistery, and then take her out! I think her step of faith was even sweeter to the Lord!
It’s not quitting time; it’s pressing-on time! The best is yet to come! Let us not be weary in well doing, but be found faithful! God bless you all!
The Phil Powless Family