Last Sunday we celebrated Harvest Sunday at Beeches Road Baptist Chapel. Harvest Sunday is an annual tradition that has been celebrated in England since the 1800s. The autumn-themed day is dedicated to thanking the Lord for the harvest. Often times churches will have a display of fresh fruits, vegetables, and breads to remind people of the goodness and provision of the Lord. The food is then donated to those in need. Songs like “Come ye thankful people, come” are sung in praise to the Lord before the harvest dinner. Once again, God blessed in a mighty way. There were more people in attendance for this service than any other service held at Beeches Road in the last 8 years! May God work in the lives of the many first-time visitors who came!
Oxford Baptist Chapel held a Ministry Conference at Balliol College in Oxford a few weeks ago. The conference emphasized different evangelistic outreaches of the local church with a special emphasis on the Sunday School. Please pray for the churches that were represented during the conference as they seek to reach their local community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
54,000 John and Romans had been donated to Beeches Road Baptist Chapel. They only needed new covers printed and attached before they could be distributed. When the Lord blessed by providing beautiful new covers, the members of Beeches Road Baptist Chapel gathered together and began working on assembly. They spent hours assembling the John and Romans before a group of teenagers and adults from our sending church in Tennessee came to help with the project. The church members and the group from our church then spent days assembling and distributing the John and Romans in the local community. What a blessing to see the two groups work together for the service of the King!
The group from our church was large enough to split between the three current church establishments - Beeches Road, Oxford, and West Hill. The John and Romans were divided amongst the three churches giving 18,000 per church. While they were being distributed, some people even stopped and read the booklets the very moment they received it! As nearly a third of these were distributed within a few days, this month we are claiming God’s promise that His Word will not return void!
On Saturday, May 17th a special Sunday School Day was held at Beeches Road Baptist Chapel. The meeting emphasized the power of Sunday School in children's lives. Over 90% of children used to attend Sunday School on a regular basis. Today, that number is less than 1%! The need for the Sunday School is great.
Many churches in the area brought their Sunday School children and workers to Blackheath for this special event. All the children and workers from the different Sunday Schools marched in a parade that started at the church, went through Blackheath, and arrived at Brittania park. While at the park, the children ate their lunches and competed for prizes in field games. What a blessing to see something that was so prevalent many years ago happen once again!
Where shall we begin on this post? Brittany and I have had many "fun" driving experiences since arriving. There is quite the learning curve. Driving a manual while shifting with the left hand, sitting on the right side of the car, and driving on the left side of the road is quite overwhelming at first. While driving we frequently tell ourselves, "Stay on the left side of the road. Stay on the left side of the road." This has been especially difficult for Brittany since she's just learned how to drive a manual. She would appreciate your prayers in this area!
We hope to begin driving lessons soon. We have a limited time to drive on our American license before we are required to pass the test for a British license. We will have much practicing and studying to do before then.
Here are some of our difficulties:
Two weeks ago Beeches Road Baptist Chapel held a Holiday Bible Club (aka - Vacation Bible School). The theme for the week was the story of Noah. It was such an encouragement to see everyone involved in leading music, teaching object lessons, leading the games, organizing the craft time, and planning the snacks. God has blessed this church with many wonderful Christian people that we have the privilege to serve with.
The children seemed to have a blast all week. They were divided into three teams - Hippos, Elephants, and Monkeys - in honor of the theme of Noah and the Ark. Some children made a profession of faith during the week. Please pray for them as God continues to work in their hearts and lives.
Please pray for the Deaf in England. May they be reached with the Gospel of Christ. Brittany and I have had the wonderful opportunity to be in London today with Christian friends and to attend UK's largest Deaf Exhibition. Many contacts have been made with leaders in the Deaf community. Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we seek to glorify the Lord in this way.
Sunday, March 30th was Mothering Sunday here in England. Beeches Road Baptist Chapel held special services honoring all mothers. It was precious to hear the children's choir sing about their "mums." We passed out many leaflets on Saturday inviting people to the special services. As you know, you do not always see fruit immediately from passing out leaflets. We praise the Lord that a young family Brittany met on Saturday came for the first time on Sunday. A mom, her two children, her sister, and her nephew and niece were all picked up for Sunday School. It was the first time her niece and nephew had ever been to church. We are praying for this family that they will continue to come to church. We are not sure if they are Christians or not. It was so exciting to see first-time visitors come as a result of passing out tracts and flyers on Saturday! To God be all the honor and glory!