July 2023 Afghanistan, Canada, China, UK

This week we baptized RAHMAT online, with a few from our Croydon church in attendance. Our new brother is in a very difficult situation with the Taliban, and he lives in quite a remote area where there's no law and order and very tight Taliban control.

We had an amazing email from a man who found a copy of the NEV Bible at a thrift store- no doubt originally one of the many that our very dear brother Jim Barton has mailed out over the years. Amazing how God's word doesn't return void.

"My name is Daniel. I live in Ontario Canada. I'm not entirely sure you can help me but I am trusting Yahweh and all things are possible with him. The reason I am sending this email to you is because I am seeking baptism. I found this email address in the back of a New European Version bible that I bought at a thrift store on one of my recent quests to buy as many copies as possible of bibles I can find. I want a surplus of bibles so I can give them away to people. But this version stood out to me immediately. I've never seen a new European version before and the fact that the Yahwehs name is used gave me a sense of security in the translation right away and I knew this was going to be my bible. This one also has commentary and when I was browsing the back of the Bible there is a Bible Basics reduced version that gave me new light on many important things that have confused me my whole life. Long story short, it very well might have been the first time I recognized that Yahweh was answering one of my prayers. I'm afraid to assume that but it is quite possible that is exactly what just happened. I'm not sure how much time is left in our present world, but I know I need to belong to him. I want to put to death my flesh and start my walk with him".
We're delighted to say that DANIEL has now baptized not only himself but also one of his daughters in their nearby lake. And we pray his wife and other children will also be baptized soon. Daniel broke bread with us on Zoom for the first time afterwards, and gave a great testimony although we didn't record it:

Beloved brother Donald, faithful worker for the Lord for so many years now, reports the baptisms of SHIKE and ZHANGQITAO. He writes:
I baptized Brother Shike, who is an engineer at a Forklift Factory, in a waste pond. Here is his testimony:
"There are three people in our family, and I am responsible for earning money to support family, my wife is a housewife, I also have a daughter who is in junior high school. I was bedridden in 2021 due to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular problems, and it's very likely that I won't be able to stand up for the rest of my life. If this happens, I'll be like a useless person, and my family's finances will also be in crisis. It was an extremely difficult time. In the first month, I lost 8KG, thinking that life would end like this. I kept thinking, What about my father, mother, wife, and children? Although I was really tired, I was not willing to despair, I even hated life, asking why does God treat me like this? What did we do wrong?
Later, through treatment, I gradually improved, and my family also gradually improved. Through these things, I often thought about the pain of living. Occasionally, I also wanted to quickly end this boring life and leave this world. People only have a few decades in this world, and there are not many things needed to sustain life. Why suffer so much? Why are we living?
I had no answers to these questions before I believed in the Lord. Psychologists could not solve my problems; they only made me more distressed and entangled. Comfort from people is useless, not only can they not fundamentally calm your heart, but even superficial temporary relief cannot be achieved. Later, I started reading religious articles and books, and eventually met you on Baidu forum. Under your leadership, I began to get to know Jesus. To be honest, at the beginning of my contact with you, I didn't have much hope and had little confidence. But during my time with you, my fears have been miraculously healed, and I have been able to see the world normally. Now I can quote verses from the Bible to explain why I am alive, I believe that I "shall be recompensed in the resurrection of the just"? Luke 14:14? As I strengthened my determination I decided to be baptized into Jesus Christ, I believe my life in Jesus is getting better and better".

Brother Zhangqitao who came from rural area works in construction. His boss was contracted for a decoration and renovation project on our construction site, and brother Zhangqitao is responsible for managing the workers and construction. Once he came to our office and saw the Bible on my desk, he became curious and started chatting with me about Bible, we had much communication between us, despite the tight schedule for this project. We appointed at 8pm every Friday for talking over Bible, after some weeks interchange, he accepted my suggestion and decided to be baptized into Christ. God will provide guidance. All glory belongs to God!

We mentioned in a previous message how Jason was given a Bible by young Daniel 4 or 5 years ago on the streets of Croydon, and how he treasured this and took it with him everywhere, reading it and the Bible Basics and commentary at the back. And then he attended Lunchtime Church and quoted from his Bible in the discussion. And we were able to explain that we were the same people who'd published and given him the NEV Bible those years ago. He was baptized and his mum CAROLE accompanied him to the baptism. It was a great pleasure to take Daniel with us to baptize Carole. Daniel is now very keen to get back out there on the streets and give out more Bibles. Brother Jason has been telling everyone in his area and his circle of contact about our church meetings, and distributing the New Testament NEVs we gave him. It was a truly happy evening at their flat.
This week we were also so happy to baptize MEHDI, who has been studying our doctrines for some years and attending online meetings. Always so good to have 90-year-old Marcus involved:
On Saturday we had an incredible day at the alcohol-free Garden Party long planned at the home of a friend in Bromley. He lives in a subdivided house with an amazing, shared garden, which the landlord allowed us to use for the day. Various contacts and existing brothers and sisters invited in turn their friends and contacts, including from some online groups for recovering addicts of various types. We were staggered to have around 50 people attend, and despite the windy and sometimes very rainy weather, we had a wonderful day. The highlight was the baptisms of ANDREW, JERRY, SARAH, MANDY, EILEEN, SUZI and NICOLA. All formerly secular people who in various ways had had enough of the worldly life and looked into Christianity- and found the Lord Jesus, even if "church" had been a big barrier for many of them. "Vain was the good which in the world we sought", as the old hymn says. It was never truer of them all who were baptized.
Here's sister Tamica with newly baptized sisters Nicola and Sarah, and others chatting away. Such great conversations.
Yet again we are being shown that secular local people in the UK, at least in South London, are searching and looking- for the Lord Jesus. And not in small numbers. We gave folks NEV Bibles and encouraged everyone to download and share the app. Our prayer is that some of those friends and families who attended will in turn take things further and accept the Lord Jesus in spirit and truth.

We're planning another such "Alcohol free Garden Party" for September, Lord willing- let us know if you'd like to come [or would like to volunteer to do the food!].

   - For those recently baptized
   - For those battling addictions and trusting and hoping in the Lord's help to overcome
   - For our work in Israel this week
   - Thanksgiving for all the Lord is doing in London UK
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks