Phillip Powless Jun-Aug 2020 Prayer LetterIt is late into the night on August 9, 2020, as I pen this newsletter. It was exactly 36 years ago today, as a 14-year-old boy, that I surrendered my life to be a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a youth camp at Victory Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois. Soon after that night of answering God’s call to preach, I asked my pastor, as well as my pastor’s wife, to sign my Bible. I have never forgotten the verse that my pastor’s wife signed in my Bible that day. It was I Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” Once again, on this 36th anniversary of the night I surrendered to preach, I rejoice in the faithfulness of my God, Who gives me the opportunity to serve Him. I also rejoice in the faithfulness of the people of God, such as yourselves, who enable us and co-labour with us here in London, Ontario, Canada, through your prayers, encouragements, and missions giving!
As with all of you, I am sure, these have been challenging times and a different atmosphere throughout this COVID-pandemic situation, yet HE IS FAITHFUL! For 12 weeks we were under a state of emergency, where we could only have a maximum of 5 people gather together for a church service. We continued conducting our Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services with only 5 in attendance and also livestreamed on Facebook in order to try to minister to those who could not or would not come during that time. In mid-June, the official announcement came that churches could gather together at 30% of their seating capacity. Our church auditorium seats about 75, so for the next 3 weeks, we were able to have approximately 22 or so people attend! That was a great improvement over the previous 5!! Now for the last 3 weeks, including today, we have been able to assemble in groups of 50 or less. We pulled some seating out of our auditorium to accommodate “social distancing” as much as possible and have been having approximately 35-40 folks coming back out to church on Sunday mornings, 25-30 on Sunday evenings, and 15-20 on Wednesday evenings. Any time I think the attendance isn’t as strong as I wish it were, I just quickly remember not long ago when we could only have 5 in a service, and I am soon rejoicing for each one who is in church, rather than moping about those who are not!!
We enjoyed a sweet Sunday of services today, and we are rejoicing in the work of the Lord. We had 5 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 who obeyed the Lord in believer’s baptism. The 10-year-old is a daughter of one of our faithful families that began attending our church upon their arrival in Canada just before Christmas at the end of 2019. She was saved at one of our Friday evening TEENS ALIVE opportunities before the COVID closure of the gym we use. The other 4 were all siblings (3 sisters and 1 brother), who were all saved in their home with their mother back in early March before the COVID situation. The mother and her 4 children have now attended church with us on 3 occasions, and today all 4 of the young people obeyed the Lord in believer’s baptism. The mother also brought a friend of hers from out of town to see the young people be baptized. The friend’s name was Lerma, a Filipina lady who had been raised Catholic all her life! My wife shared the Gospel with her after the service, and sweetly through tears, Lerma accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour!
God has allowed us to see others saved in these recent months, one of them being a newer neighbour to our home, whom we have been praying for and reaching out to minister to him and his young wife. He volunteered to help with some small construction and repair projects at the church. This gave me the opportunity to sit with him and share the Gospel with him, and he accepted Christ. Each soul saved and each life touched here in London, Ontario, Canada, is fruit to your account. Thank you for co-labouring here with us. God bless you and keep you!
Pointing people to Jesus,
The Phil Powless Family