Our family enjoyed a break as we got away on a holiday to England and then a week in Germany. The first week was spent on the Isle of Sheppey. God gave us some fun experiences. A highlight was our day in London... where we got to see King Charles as he left his palace.
In Germany, we attended Baptist World Mission family camp. The preaching, teaching and fellowship was refreshing. This week is always a spiritual highlight of our year.
It's good to be home. We look forward to getting back at it. Thank you for your prayers and there should now be more frequent updates. :)
PS. I did a video of Prince Charles' departure. Although we could see into the car well, the windows reflected. So, this image is a screen shot after he had driven past. You may spot Benson sitting on the fence in the second picture, Katie is to the right of him. :)
God gave us a fabulous week. Although our daily attendance at times was not what we desired, God gave us token blessings every day. One stat from the week is the surprising number of first time visitors who heard the Gospel. This tally includes children, parents and teens. The total was 45 - praise the Lord. We had an adult visitor in church today because of our week and we hope to see others in the near future.
I repreached a message this morning, "Go and Achieve" of Jonathan and his armour bearer who fought so valiently against the Philistines. Please pray for our church to recognise the great power of God to work through us no matter our number.
There are some special events on our calendar which need your prayers. Next Sunday, Brother Layton Kelly, will be preaching at our church. Layton is one of our church missionaries. He runs New Hope Residential, men's home, in Ireland. Also, the 24th-28th is BWM family camp in Germany. Please pray for God to greatly use that week to refresh his servants who are labouring in Europe.
With regard to our church property, we will soo be installing new doors. We are also poised to move forward on the sanctuary. A Christian Conractor (and his men) from our community is going to help us at cost to move the project forward. This is tremendous news as we should be able to move forward quickly with professional help and our resources will go further. Please pray for God's blessing on our work and on this man's business as he uses his time and talents for the Lord.
Our week of NBC (Neighbourhood Bible Time) has been a great blessing. We've had 19 children so far and about 12 teens. Although they haven't all been present every day, we have had visitors every day. Tonight a 15 year old young man trusted in Jesus Christ as His Saviour. Hallelujah! That is the 4th person to trust Christ in our new church property and we PRAISE GOD for His amazing grace!
Please pray for God's power as we finish up the week. We have 2 more mornings of children's ministry, 1 more evening teen activity and then an awards ceremony where families are invited on Friday night.
These are really special days and we are seeing God's hand at work each and every day. Please continue to pray for God's blessing upon our events. Thanks for praying!
picture: The NBT guys (Luke and Tyler) and 4 of the Shore boys.
God blessed us with a tremendous morning with many visitors who attended for our baptismal service. It was a blessing to have them with us and to see two of God's children obey Him in believer's baptism by immersion.
We also have our NBT evangelists with us. Tyler spoke this morning in SS. Tonight Luke will be sharing God's Word. Please pray for the power of God upon our ministry this week as we have ages 5-12 every morning this Monday through Friday. On Tuesday through Thursday in the evening we will be having youth activities for teens.
This morning I preached on taking divine appointments, "Go and Tell" from Acts 8, the story of the Ethiopean Eunuch.
There were other blessings today and we praise God for His goodnees. Please pray for the baptistry to be more often in use. This was our first baptism at our new property and we are thankful to God for His goodness.
Well, I normally give more frequent updates, but we enjoyed a bit of a down week. The boys in Ireland had a great time. (Thank you Pastor Ledbetter and crew for your hard work!) The were gone from Monday morning until Friday evening. This left 3 of us at home and we enjoyed some extra fun activities and a little R & R. It was good to be refreshed after some busy, busy times. I did put out flyers on Wednesday in Loanhead with Pastor Dillman. We put out our NBT advertisement in the area near the church.
There is much coming up in July and we appreciate your prayers. A very important week is the 10-14 July as we have NBT college guys with us. We will do a 3 hour childrens ministry for those five days and 3 nights with teen activities. Please pray for fruit that will be harvested and for God to build our local church through this ministry. God gave a great divine appointment today and hope that this individual will soon be able to visit our church.
I preached this morning on a very encouragine Psalm for those in need of help, Psalm 121. "My help cometh from the LORD which made heaven and earth."
Please pray for a friend of our's, Barbara Brooks. Mrs. Brooks and her husband were our field administrators when we came to Scotland. She has been a prayer warrior encourager for us. This past Tuesday she was in a serious car accident and has been in icu. She had some improvement yesterday but needs our prayers. Thanks for praying.
God blessed our participation in Gala Day and answered our prayers for good weather. There was rain on Friday and Sunday, but not on Saturday. It was actually a hot day (somewhat unusual in Scotland) and there was a great group of people at the event. We enjoyed a constant flow of children enjoying our archery, badge (Button( making, bean bag toss, train rides and cut out photo board. We handed out a lot of literature for our upcoming ministry with NBT (10-14 July.)
God also gave us a good Sunday. I enjoyed preaching a message on Abraham's walk to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his son. (Genesis 22) My message was on, "Obedient Faith."
This morning 4 of our boys flew out (are in the air right now) on their way to Dublin, Ireland. Pastor Les Hill is going to transport them with his boys to a week of youth camp. Please pray for Pastor Ledbetter and his crew as they run this important event.
In the drone photo below, our church minibus and tent are on the bottom left.
God has given us a good week of evangelism. Logan helped me put out between 4-5 hundred flyers on Monday. I was able to get out again on Wednesday with literature. I had a great Gospel conversation which I hope will lead to a future opportunity. The man thanked me and twice shook my hand in appreciation of my sharing some thoughts with him from God's Word.
Today was different in that I studied this morning and did street preaching this afternoon. I normally preach in the mornings. It was a good outing, albeit not without oppostion. I've had my speaker kicked before. Today I had an older man spit at my speaker. I said, "That's ok. They spit on Jesus when they crucified him as well."
Interesingly, I usually get encouragement as well. A young lady who is a believer, stood by for quite some time. As I finished up she really encouraged me in what I was doing. Praise the Lord. Please pray for the power of God as I get into Edinburgh to preach. I really feel my weakness and inability as I seek to declare God's truth on the street.
This Saturday is our Gala (children's fair) day. We're looking forward to that day of ministry. Some of the parade group will be assembling in our church car park and we hope to invite them in for some hospitality. Please pray that we can be a physical and spiritual blessing both on our property and at the park. Thanks for your prayers.
Our family packs in a lot of holidays in quick succession this time of year. Katie and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. (I know that is correct, but WOW that's a big number.) I praise the Lord for giving Katie to me as my wife. We are still enjoying serving the Lord together.
Today is Benson's 19th birthday and we enjoyed taking a little family time this morning. Of course, Sunday was Father's day. Benson was born on Father's day in 2004. He came at 6:00 AM. I taught teen SS, led the singing at church, did nursing home ministry in the afternoon, stopped by the hospital and preached the evening service that night at church! whew! (All the women out there have no sympathy for the dad - no matter how tough his day was, because...) And, they are correct!
God blessed our work projects at the church. The external painting of the church walls is completed. We still need to paint the trim. Thanks to Josh Rowley, we now have a working shower. An extra blessing last week was when we discovered a cathedral ceiling in the sanctuary. There was another ceiling between the drop ceiling and the roof. The boys (Noah, Logan, Parker, and Nelson) helped remove the drop ceiling and we were still able to have church in there on Sunday. We're excited to see progress on the sancuary and look forward to developing this beautiful space.
God blessed us with a good Sunday. I preached on Enoch, "It's Time to Walk with God." Thanks for praying for our church ministry, family and building works. God's hand has been evident.
God is blessing our labour on the church property. We nearly have the first coat on all of the outside. There is just a small section to complete of a wall which stands on top of the flat roof. All of the lower section is completed. We'll finish this morning and then begin a second coat. Please pray for endurance and God to continue to bless us with the right weather.
The shower room (bathroom) for the cresche (nursery) is coming along nicely. God provided a door and a door fram yesterday. They don't normally have pre-built door frams in Scotland. The man said that in England they do, but not here. He said, "Your in luck" as he found it and and I said, "I prefer, you are in providence." :) We live in a great area to source materials and are buying most things withing a block of the church. I enjoy getting to know the local businesses.
God gave me a fun divine appointment last night as I took the boys to chanter (Bagpipes) practice with their pipe band. I witnessed to 7-8 boys who were hanging out around the shops. I was sitting in my car reading a book, but thought I should go and speak with them. Please pray for God to open their eyes to His truth. They thanked me for the conversation.
God allowed us to solve the uploading puzzle yesterday. Sermon Audio switched their system two weeks ago and it impacted a small number of broadcasters. They have put us back to the old system and my sermons are now uploading without dropping. I uploaded, "A No Brainer" and "You Can Do" last night and they are now able to be viewed.
I long to get back to my normal evangelism and ministry routine. However, I'm confident that building, "the walls of Jerusalem" are as important as ministering God's Word. Both, are opportunities for God's light to be seen. We appreciate your prayers.
Well, it feels like a graduation day for our church as we worshipped God in our sanctuary for the first time. We still have some deconstruction to do before we redecorate it, but it is an awesome space.
This week has tested our endurance (like a marathon) but the Lord has helped us to accomplish more than we would have thought possible. The Rowleys still have 3 work days with us. They have been a tremendous help.
Josh shared from Proverbs 3 in our Sunday School hour and that was a blessing. I preached this morning on, "You Can Do" from Philippians 4:13. God has given us all that we need to do EVERYTHING He wants us to do. I enjoyed preaching on that verse. I want to share the recording, but I continue to have difficulty with uploading. I tried a different computer and that also did not work. So, I think it must be our internet causing the issues. I'm getting an upgrade, but it wont' be in for 2 weeks. Please pray for wisdom for us as to what God wants us to do.
Tonight we had a really sweet prayer and praise service. There was great participation in sharing things that God is doing in our hearts and we had a refreshing time.
I'll put some pics below of our work this week.