I'm smiling as I write this; But, we have had the most unbelievably "bad" weather this summer. We briefly saw the sun this past Wednesday. Other than that, it was out briefly last Sunday night. You probably picture Scotland as cloudy and rainy - and it is. But, usually you get some sunshine at some point every day. This had not been the case lately. Our visibility has been 1-3 miles the last 3 days. Thankfully that has changed this afternoon! (No the sun isn't out, but you can see a good ways.) The river we cross on our way to church flooded yesterday and there has been a lot of flooding in the UK. Now you'll understand my excitement when in the future you read that we are having a beautiful day. God is good to encourage us through the "gloom." And praise the Lord we live on high ground!
God gave us a good morning. The Hikins and Adelle were with us for Sunday School. Alec and Connie joined us for the morning service. I preached on "Absolute Surrender" from Esther 4:10-16. Esther's surrender was complete as she said, "If I perish, I perish."
Tonight we are looking briefly at 3 topics in God's Word as we continue our topical study.
Late yesterday morning we picked up Pam Nelson, a pastor's wife from a supporting church in Alabama. She arrived by train and we enjoyed showing her Edinburgh. Thankfully the Lord held off the rain.
I had a couple divine appointments as we were walking around. I had run to our van and was waiting for the others when I met two men. Nicholas and Heinrich (late 20's) are brothers from Finland. They are atheists but stood and talked to me for about 20 minutes about God and His Word. As we waited at another place a lady took shelter from the wind in a doorway by us. She was from Vienna. She and her husband were vacationing in Scotland. I was able to give her at tract.
Our Thursday night service went well. We had the Hikins, Sky, Ellie, Christine and her two boys. God is good. Thanks for praying for our ministry.
We enjoyed a family picnic at a park with a huge playground in Edinburgh. The Lord brought me a witnessing opportunity. Katie (not my wife) asked me to do a survey on "air pollution." Afterwards I was able to speak to her about the Lord and His Word for 15-20 minutes. She is a great thinker and listened intently to what I shared. Please pray that God will protect the seed that was sown. Another neat opportunity was with an American. He just moved to Westerville Ohio. My sister-in-law and her family used to attend a good church in Westerville which I told him about. I also invited him to our church. He is hoping to move over here in the future.
Thanks for praying for these opportunities. God is good to give them and guide in them.
PS. We were BOTH approved for our new debit card account. Yippee! We have a bit more freedom and don't have to share my card! (Please read yesterday's post if you don't know what I am talking about. :)
This is an unusual schedule this week. I got one year older - so, we took Monday as a holiday. And, we have the 4th of July this week. Like many of you - we are enjoying a down week. But, that also limits my outreach opportunities. The Lord did give me a good witnessing opportunity on Sunday night. Please pray that God will awaken Robert's heart. He told me that he will visit the church when he wins the lottery. The Lord gave me grace to sincerely share with him that what I was offering him (through the tract and church) was far better than winning the lottery. (Is it wrong to hope he wins the lottery so that he will visit the church? :)
Here is a note to make you aware of what it is like moving to another country. We have yet to get a debit card for Katie. Why? Because you have no credit when you move over here. By the way, you can't get credit without debit or credit cards. We've applied with another bank and Lord willing, we will be beyond this soon and on our way to excellent credit. (We hope!) Thanks for praying for us. Enjoy your barbecues!
PS. Please pray for Dr. Ron Brooks. He was our field representative for BWM until this past year. He is having surgery on Wednesday 11 July to remove tumors from his bladder. I know that he and his wife, Barbara, would appreciate your prayers.
Today was an exciting day for us as we celebrated 2 years since the start of our church plant. The Lord gave us a great day. We had good attendance this morning and this evening. Evans returned on vacation from England and we enjoyed seeing him at both services. This morning we also had the Hikin family, Adele, Timothy, and Alec. This evening we had 8 adults and 19 children present.
This included the following additions from our morning service; 6 neighbor kids, Christine with her two boys, and Connie. (The number of children gives us encouraging potential for our HBT.)
We watched a cartoon (Torchlite Production) biography of Amy Carmichael. It is very good and all enjoyed it. I ended with a short challenge from God's Word. Below are some pics. Thanks so much for your prayers.
Katie planned a birthday party for all of the kids tonight. They each got a small gift and enjoyed cup cakes. The kids were really excited. The Hikin's van is fixed and they were all able to be there tonight. Skye and Ellie were also present.
The Lord gave us a good Bible study as well. We looked at Psalm 26, "Standing on Solid Ground."
Kay Lee, Benson and I just put out the first flyers for our Holiday Bible Time. We are less than a month away and have been preparing for this outreach ministry. Katie is doing the Bible lessons with power point and I am working on the puppet scripts. We'd appreciate your prayers for that week, 23-27 July.
The Lord allowed me to open my Bible with several people today as I went into Edinburgh. The Lord guided in each opportunity. Billy and Kenneth (40's) are brothers whose lives have been battered by sin. They grew up in a lawless gypsy camp. I spoke to them for about 45 minutes. Kenneth showed me his battered hands from a life of fighting. Their bodies carry the scars from abuse. It is the first time I've read Revelation 21:8 with someone who believed they had committed each of the sins that were listed. Please pray that God would open their eyes to the Gospel. Billy has "sought" God for the last many years but has no heart knowledge. They could be transformed by the Gospel. Please pray that they would be.
Kirin (21) was a fantastic divine appointment. He was agnostic until a year ago when he started to seek after God. He has been going to a community church. He believed good people go to Heaven. He was drinking in the truth of the Word of God that salvation is by faith not by works. You could see the light bulbs going on. He had to leave to catch a train but said, "You came along at just the right time. Thank you so much." Please pray for this young man's salvation.
Ellen (20's) is studying english in Scotland. She is from Switzerland. I witnessed to her for a half hour. She said that she is an unbeliever. When we were finished she said, "Well you haven't convinced me." I said, "I can't convince you or anyone. But God can. Why not ask Him to open your eyes? It's no accident that we are having this conversation. That is Him reaching out to you."
Afterwards I met Timothy and visited his brother in the hospital. Their mum brought lunch in while I was there and I enjoyed sharing a meal with them. I was able to share a bit about Christianity with them. Please pray that we can be a blessing to this family. Thanks for your prayers.
The Lord gave us a good day. Katie has enjoyed having Adele's help in Sunday School this year. Mark and 3 of his children were also with us. Alec and Connie joined us for the morning service. Everyone but Alec and Connie were back this evening.
This morning I preached on "God's Woodshed" from II Chronicles 33; How Manasseh went from Rebellion to Revival. Tonight we looked topically at the subject of fear. It was a good study. We also observed the Lord's Supper.
There was a really sweet spirit in our services today for which we thank the Lord.
We got to see all that and more today as we went to Loanhead Gala days. This is a big community event. The weather really hampered them this week but the show went on. We enjoyed a parade with many pipe and wind bands. There was a stunt show which lit a person on fire. Another man did a free fall from a cherry picker onto a blow up landing pad. Two other guys ran around in a huge double hamster wheel that went about thirty feet up in the air.
The dog show was really fun. The finale was all of them running and jumping through 4 separate flaming rings. We also enjoyed candy floss (cotton candy) and chips (fries.) No we didn't eat them at the same time. Loanhead does a great Gala days. It was good fun for our family despite the 30 mph wind and temperatures in the low fifties.
The Lord gave us some encouragement through divine appointments the last two days. Yesterday morning I bumped into a young man who I led to the Lord about 8 months ago. He was with his mum whom I have chatted with as well. Dawn's father just passed away. Please pray that God will work in Ben and Dawn's hearts and that they will find His comfort.
Last night we saw the Adam's family. We've enjoyed getting to know them. Lord willing, their kids will attend some of our HBT. We also saw Jordan's dad, Graeme, just as I was saying I hadn't seen him in a while. (God's timing was perfect.)
We saw Michael at the parade. He said that he has been very busy lately. Please pray for God to continue to work in his heart. We also saw Gordon (Connie's husband) at the parade.
God is faithful. He is working. Thanks for praying.
(Here are some pics from the parade.)