The Lord helped me get out and finish the last of the village of Bilston this morning. Please pray that people will look up the journey videos on our church webpage or our facebook page and be impacted by the Gospel. It was very cold and icy this morning and I only had one brief conversation. My fingers were numb and perhaps my brain was as well as I said, "I am a Baptist Church (instead of Baptist minister.)" I don't think the man noticed. (Whew!)
Tomorrow we have a Scottish missionary prayer time at 11 and we would appreciate your prayers. God's blessed me with some good friends who are faithful to join these prayer times. I look forward to what God is going to do tomorrow in that time.
This week we actually gave our kids a snow day and watched the inauguration. We were blessed with heavy snow on two nights this week and so my outreach was limited by inclement weather.
God gave us a good Sunday. This morning I really enjoyed sharing with our church the "time principle" and the "put off/ put on" principle from the end of Romans 13. This evening I preached a message on Epaphras. This message has impacted me with the need church plants have for intercessory prayer. I entitled the message, "Essential Intercession." I encourage you to listen to it, not because I preached it. But, because this message is vital to the success of all church plants (and established ones.)
God put it on my heart after I again scheduled weekly zoom prayer times with missionary men in Scotland. Please pray for these prayer times beginning this Tuesday at 11 AM. (6AM EST) I'm going to host them until the end of this lockdown.
Thank you for praying for us and our ministry. God is working and we know that it is in answer to your prayers.
The Lord gave me a descent morning for outreach. I was out for just over an hour and put out around 150 flyers. The older part of Bilston is nearly done and just the new housing schemes remain. The area around Loanhead is really building up and there are about 6 housing schemes (subdivisions) being built. Lord willing, I'll finish this village in a couple more outings and move on to the next village, Roslin.
This morning I was able to share the Gospel briefly with a man and woman who were loading their car. I also had a brief opportunity to speak with a man who was chopping fire wood. Thank you for praying for our outreach.
God's giving us grace to be content with our only means of worshipping together. Praise God for platforms like Zoom that still allow congregating although in cyberspace. What would we do if we didn't have that capability? Even if the government allowed churches to meet, we would likely still be unable to meet because our rental facilities are closed. So - praise God for zoom. :)
God allowed us to get another covid-19 project completed this week. We've tried to utilize our time during lockdown to get house projects completed. This week my boys helped me rip out the laminate floor in my office/guest bedroom. We were able to put down a new floor and God helped it turn out very nice. I'll put a picture below.
God gave us a very encouraging week and we praise His name! Thank you for praying for our ministry in Scotland.
The weather has been pretty, but not good flyer distribution weather. I tried to get out again this morning and only lasted a short while. I don't mind being cold, it's the numb fingers which have to open the mail slots. :) Please pray for God's blessing despite my feeble attempts.
We are enjoying seeing more snowfall this year than normal. It's not been large amounts, but it has been beautiful. God's creation is glorious!
Scotland and the UK are back in a lockdown. I think I'm right in saying that it is a bit like going through culture shock. I'd summarize it with - "Life as you knew it is changed and there is a sense of apprehension about doing something wrong." Non essential shops are closed and there are stay at home orders. Please pray for grace for our church family to adapt with God's super abundant grace.
One other thing regarding how this is affecting our country, it is normal to struggle with depression during the heart of the winter in Scotland. At the shortest point our day light hours are 7 hours. For my amusement, I looked up where my parents are in Des Moines and it was 9 hours on the same day. My sister in North Carolina had 10 hours of day light. Obviously lockdown on top of dark winter has definitely affected people. Please pray for people to seek God during these difficult times.
God gave us a good day. We had really good attendance in all of our services and there is a great spirit among our church family. This evening I enjoyed preaching on Psalm 23, My Shepherd. Thank you for praying for our ministry.
The cold here in Scotland is like the Southern USA. It is packaged with very high humidity. I grew up in Wisconsin and am used to very dry cold temperatures. However, this wet cold (95 percent humidity just now) is painful. I was out for less than an hour and couldn't feel some of my fingers when I stopped. No sympathy needed.... it just limited my outreach a wee bit today. I'm probably getting soft in my old age.... :)
Please pray for God to bless and use the Gospel flyers. I was glad to get out with the GOOD NEWS!
I enjoyed getting out this morning with Gospel flyers in a village next door to Loanhead. It attaches to Loanhead on one side as our area is really growing.
God gave me two divine appointments. I've prayed recently that God would give us a builder in our church. Lord willing in the future, we will be able to get a building and need wisdom how make it everything that God would have it be. A builder would be a great assett. I witnessed to two men this morning and both are builders. :) I'd obviously loved to see them saved for other reasons. But, I'd also like to see God answer my prayer and give us a builder in our church family.
You may have seen in the news that England and Scotland have gone into a full lockdown. Our schools will not open until at least February. Churches are forbidden to meet together. People are told that they are to stay at home accept for work, essential shopping, health needs, etc. Please pray for grace for our church family as we seek God's leading through this. We're already only online as our centre closed before New Years. Thank you for praying with us.
God gave us us some fun ministry this past Thursday night and yesterday. We could not show our film on New Year's Eve (Thursday night) and so instead we had a Zoom praise service. It was a blessing to have everyone join together to speak about what God has done in our lives this past year.
On Friday (1 January) our church began a 1 year Bible reading program. Again it was fun to share what God revealed to us in our devotions. I'm looking forward to seeing how God uses this in our church. It's already a blessing.
I hesitate to speak about Covid as we are all worn out with the topic. However, in case you are wondering how it is currently affecting our area. All of Scotland is in the highest Tier and most restrictive. Non essential shops are all closed. Non essential travel is restricted. Schools are delayed in re-opening after the holiday. They are also talking about a new national lockdown.
Katie's children's Sunday School by Zoom went well again yesterday. Please especially pray that we don't lose children because our church can't physically meet. Thank you for praying for our ministry.
Scotland has been put in lockdown again as the government has closed all non essential shops. They have a tier system with different requirements - tier 4 is the highest. All of mainland Scotland has been put in tier-4 because of the new strain of the virus. In tier 4 churches can still meet with a limitation of 20 people.
We were praying about what to do with that limitation when the center we rent notifiied us that they were canceling all rentals. They will open again after we are taken out of tier 4. They kindly allowed our Carol Sing Service to take place.
Thank you for praying for our Carol Sing. We had a great evening. Here is a link if you'd like to see for yourself. Kay Lee played a violin solo and Benson sang a solo. We praise the Lord for our children and their participation in our ministry.
Our services for the next few weeks will be on zoom. We have had several children attending and want to keep them engaged. To that end, Katie is going to do a Zoom Sunday School class during our 5:00 PM Sunday School time.
God's good and we trust that the impact on the church during these covid "limitations" will be good. Thank you for praying.