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Two women started studying Exploring Christianity with John and Lucy (Belgium) during September. They had questions like "Is John the Baptist one of the disciples? Was he Jesus' brother? Did he write the book of John? What do you think about reincarnation?" and many others. They felt very accepted in the study and were excited to be able to learn more about the Bible, God, and Jesus without feeling stupid for asking questions. Pray for T and G as they study. Pray also for J, who has decided to decline for now. Perhaps, he will join later.
In Kiev (Ukraine) an 8-week series of stories on “Discovering God” will come to an end in the next two weeks. Pray that God will move these 10 students to make a decision to follow Christ whole-heartedly. Workers believe that God brought these unbelievers to this place to hear the clear message of the gospel in order that their lives would change. They are trusting God to do a miraculous work. Pray that they will be bold in asking, “Do you want to be a follower of Christ?”
Lift up Elizabeth and Courtney (Italy) as they start back with university classes and a Bible discussion group, as well as an outreach through the Salvation Army with many who live alternative lifestyles. Pray that these opportunities will all lead to sharing the grace and truth of Christ. No one is too lost to be saved by Christ!
Russell and Ingrid Woodbridge (Ukraine) write, “Russell will teach ‘Introduction to Missions’ at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary (Nov 2-6) to a new group of potential Ukrainian missionaries. Pray that these students will take the information back to their churches to mobilize others for reaching the nations.”
Nearly 100 of our Euro Affinity personnel have elected to accept the early retirement plan that the IMB is offering. Please remember these folks as they make their plans and preparations to return to the States and begin a new phase of life there. They are trusting the Lord to meet all their needs – homes, transportation, jobs, etc. Intercede that each one will serve Him well, wherever He places them and that His Kingdom will be advanced in amazing and unexpected ways.
In a top ten list of questions we get more than any other, this would be close to the top. What is going on in ministry? Elise and I have the joy of working with our team leaders and teams in six countries and here are three of their answers, plus one of mine.
These first two are from a weekly newsletter for European Peoples. Click here for the most updated requests.
Ron Brown (Hungary) writes, “Robin and I would like to express our thanks to everyone who interceded for the three consecutive weeks of summer camp we had at the Érdliget primary school. The Kids' Games camps and the Teen Games camp went very well. We had opportunities to share our testimony and tell the gospel. At each of the closing ceremonies, children and parents heard testimonies of God's grace and power to change hearts, transform lives and heal the soul. We were able to connect with a lot of families. Join us in giving thanks to the Lord. Pray that we will be able to continue these conversations when school resumes in September.”
Gary and Carolyn Miller (Hungary) praise the Lord for the gospel message that was shared last week at the Grain Game Bible camp in Tiszafured. Pray that the truths from Scripture will change lives, both for the kids and the adults who are also involved. Ask that this will be an encouragement to the people of the church plant who continue to go through very hard times.
Colleagues in western Hungary report, "Some have said working in Eastern Europe is like plowing concrete. The advantage for the people and team who come many times over the years is seeing that concrete broken and some fruit of their labors. This year we had four people who prayed to begin a personal relationship with Christ. We are so excited that these four young people heard and understood the message and chose a relationship with God. All four had been in two or more of our former ESL camps. In fact one had been coming since 2010. God is so good. His word tells us in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Seeing the same people come year after year, with the same message gives validity to the message and a harvest."
Last, I have been working to help develop and encourage training in church planting and evangelism in the various countries we serve. There have been victories and progress in every country, except the one I live in. Just this past week, I heard of church that is going in that direction and who is not only open, but have signed up for a great European training program that will lead them through all they need to know. My job will largely be one of encouragement and help. Pray for this church as they seek to learn how to better share their faith and to begin a new church.
My father-in-law died on May 12, 2015. Elise and I arrived in Austin, Texas the next day sad we did not make it before he died but glad he was no longer suffering. Cancer can be a long, drawn-out battle or it can go very fast. We knew he was sick less than a month before he died.
The trip back was not easy; yet, there were many blessings. Family who supported and encouraged even in the midst of their own grief; friends who came to love on us when they did not have to; Ryan and Summer flying to the funeral from China and leaving five days later; Bret driving the 650 mile round trip on two consecutive weekends to be there with us; and an employer that treated us with kindness and love, all the while making sure we knew how the policies for bereavement leave would work.
We miss Paw-paw, the correct spelling of which is open to debate, every second of every day. We are thankful for his faith that gives the certain hope he is now with the Lord. Below is a picture of Elise with her dad, taken last year in Vienna.