20 December 2016

20 December 2016

Good morning from a wet, hot, humid Luanshya!

As this year comes to an end we look back on some of the events of 2016.

Shortly after we were married we began helping a number of orphans and street kids. Over the years we were involved with 36 children. Most of the children were with extended family members (uncles, aunts or grandparents) but seven became full-time wards of the Lighthouse Children’s Home. Of those seven five have completed their secondary and tertiary education and have now entered their various vocations and are active in their local assemblies and communities. We are thankful to have had a part in their lives and now leave that part of the ministry behind.

After years of struggling with the leaking roof of the Christian Resource Centre, we were able to do a “make-over” of the building. We now host our regular ministry outreaches (Correspondence Bible School, Christian literature and tapes as well as counselling). Sherry now leads a Ladies Bible Study, will open the seminar room for deaf language lessons and preparations for a College & Career Bible Study. The Lord has truly been good!

Partnering with our community has enabled us to provide school desks to Mobile Mission Maintenance Vocational Training Centre and other Community Schools. Local schools gave us discarded desks and, with help from the Rotary Club of Luanshya, the desks were renovated and delivered. MMMVTC is expanding their program to reintroduce carpentry and joinery to the curriculum as well as basic welding. The school is also branching out into two more rural communities with vocational training and evangelism. Residents in these villages are learning by helping to build their own chapels. We both continue to teach the Bible courses on Friday’s at the main campus.

We have been extremely busy with the various outreaches these last couple of weeks. The rush to complete village visitations with the oncoming rainy season has been hectic. However, this is the very reason why it is so important to train others to carry on the ministry. There are two brothers that Patrick has been working with very closely. They will do the visitation of the rural churches on their own as Patrick remains closer to town. What a time of testing for them (smile).

In other areas, Sherry began a public Bible study at the Christian Resource Centre. She just concluded the book of Ephesians. This week she will look at the story of Chanukkah then take a one or two week break before picking up with a series entitled “Being A Woman of Excellence-God’s High Calling For Women”. This is an outreach where people are exposed to the Word of God, visit the Christian Resource Centre and have access to all the study materials. The class has grown each week and we pray that many will come to know Christ as their personal Saviour while others grow in their faith and become grounded in the Word.

Over a nearly two-month period we had a group of deaf visiting with us at Fellowship Chapel. We thought that since we have deaf kids joining us at our song service Sunday evenings, perhaps it would be nice for this other group to do a "trial run" for 6 weeks or so and see if perhaps they would like to fellowship with us and become part of our church family. Well, the trial period has concluded and we are overjoyed that Fellowship Chapel now caters for the hearing and the deaf community offering four services on Sunday, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. At the conclusion of the trial period, we were able to baptize 30 believers at the chapel and welcome them to The Lord’s Supper. With each passing week, more people visit the chapel (both deaf and hearing) and make enquiries about how they can be part of our gathering. We thank the Lord for this opportunity and those who have come along beside us to grow the work at the chapel and reach out to a segment of the community often overlooked.

With Christmas just a few days away, we wish to express our sincere appreciation for your constant prayers and support for our various ministries and trust that the Lord will continue to lead and guide in the year ahead. May you and yours have a blessed holiday season and a Happy New Year.
In His grace,
Patrick & Sherry