God is so good! It is so hard to believe that it is already November/December! Where did 2019 go? We finished October with our fourth anniversary service. It was wonderful to see a husband and wife come to church from a small town 35 kilometers (22 miles) away.
We jumped right into November with several things happening. We had the fires start throughout Australia, our immigration test was scheduled, and we were able to spend time with all three of our kids for Thanksgiving dinner. We were also surprised by Mary and Caleb (our son-in-law), letting us know we are going to be grandparents again in May 2020. My wife is so excited because she missed the birth of our first grandson, which took place after we reached the field. Please pray for Mary as she carries this baby. We have been approved for citizenship and are just awaiting a day to swear in as Aussies. Once this is finished, we will be able to start planning our furlough. Please keep praying that our swear-in date will be soon.
December was an absolute whirlwind with Christmas caroling, which is a highlight for so many of the folks in our church. They love being able to go to the nursing homes, and I appreciate that the aged-care facilities see a need for churches to come in and minister to the people spiritually. When we go to the nursing homes, we not only sing traditional carols—no, we do not sing songs like “Jingle Bells,” but we also get to read most of the account of the birth of Christ from our King James Bible and then preach the Gospel message. The people in these facilities have so many different expressions. The saved ones are so excited and happy to hear the true Christmas message. The lost ones don’t know what to think because they are excited that we are there for them and concerned about their eternal home. We generally spend about two hours in each facility, and we personally speak with each resident.
Also in December, the fires started burning stronger and hotter. At one point, there was a wall of flames over 70 meters tall, which is almost 130 feet, in the bush country. A lot of people have lost their homes and businesses, and a lot have lost their lives. These fires are in areas on the east side of our state, in the northern part of Australia, and to the west of us. We are basically circled by the fires; but, praise the Lord, we have been safe this whole time. Last year when the fires were burning, they came within 10 kilometers of us, which was only 6 miles from our house. We haven’t had any threats that close this year. Please continue to pray, because the fire season will go throughout March (our summer). Trying to witness and go soul winning during these times is extremely challenging.
Thank you all so much for the support and the extra Christmas love offerings that you have given us this year. Thank you for partnering with us to win the lost in Australia. Please pray for more to be saved and for the church to continue to grow in 2020. We love and appreciate every one of you.
Missionary in Australia