December 2023 Australia, USA, UK
So pleased to share with you the baptism of MADELEINE, another thoughtful, sincere, independent minded woman in Perth who is seeking God and Jesus, having been disappointed in churches. Due to various life issues, she went on a deep and desperate search for "Jesus, truth and meaning"- and came across a Mark Hawkins video talking of just those things. She was baptized by Mark & Lisa at a get together they organized last Sunday for like minded folk on a beach in the northern suburbs of Perth. Do listen to her testimony and join in the happy time virtually by seeing the
video at https://youtu.be/CAxFQmsawHo
She gives a very strong and emotional confession of faith, that turned to great joy right after her immersion. Mark is happy to baptize anyone in Australia so do let him know of any others who, for whatever reason, would like to be baptized just into the Lord Jesus rather than have to clear some of the hurdles placed before people by some churches. Do give him a call on 0400 772 190
And by the end of this week there was yet more good news from Western Australia. BEAU drove 5 hours or so from a remote location in Western Australia to come to Mark and Lisa's place and to be baptized, after lots of contact with Mark online. Covered in tatoos, Beau is yet another secular Australian man in his 30s who was desperately searching for God and has come to Him in spirit and in truth. He is eager to share his conversion with the whole world. So do have a look at his 1 hour long confession of faith, and you will again see the triumph of the Gospel in a secular life- https://youtu.be/xWPyUbVzBwA
. To God be the glory, great things He has done. NORTH AMERICA
We were delighted to get this message from RICK in the USA with whom we have had contact for some time:
Greetings Duncan Heaster and Carelinks,
I wanted you to know I self baptized tonight. I had become a Biblical Unitarian a while back and recently received the teaching from you on "satan/devil/demons". I've known I needed re-baptized for some time and have been feeling an urgency to be so. I am 66 years old. I was raised Roman Catholic. At U of Cincinnati I became involved with Campus Crusade and Inter Varsity. I was immersion baptized in Cincinnati at a Church of Christ by a Campbellite minister who taught two Bible classes at UC (which I completed). From there I was with Pentecostal churches and then basically on to every major branch of Orthodox Protestantism. I tried everything - except Unitarianism - which I fought tooth and nail my entire life (especially after an encounter with a JW early on). ... I now have a pretty good grasp of the doctrinal points now, but have been lacking needed exhortation. I found some encouraging Matt Norton talks on the PACE site [Paris Avenue Christadelphian Ecclesia, Louisville OH] ...so, I've reached out and now study with your group. Thank you for helping me. Thank you Duncan Heaster and Carelinks for your ministry and for helping me tonight... I was baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins!
Well the amazing alcohol free Christmas Party for the "church of the homeless" has come and gone. What an amazing event it was, clearly blessed by the Lord with at least 120 people attending throughout the long happy evening. Our thanks to Him, and also to The Venue, who provided their staff, the venue, security staff and especially to Shay and Leah who went out to the shops in the High Street and especially Waitrose asking for support- and received such a huge amount of food, brand new clothes and presents. Waitrose provided three huge Christmas turkeys, roast potatoes, Yorkshires etc. The local cinema even gave us huge amounts of popcorn:
And the shops in the High Street donated brand new quality clothes and shoes, which were very gratefully received:
We thought we'd have a glut of food and advised folks to bring doggy bags... but actually, there wasn't so much left over given the huge attendance.
All who came were known to us, they had all attended our meetings at some point, and some brought their children and grandchildren.
We gave folks wristbands with VIP written on them, and a few spare ones to share with their friends. Attendance was by wristband. This was a great hit... folks gave them to their friends as a way of inviting them to the party. Some of our folks who attend are literally homeless... here's where two of them sleep, and they came with their VIP wristbands to the full blown Christmas dinner and party [and got their presents too], with us urging them to see that we are all VIP to God and His Son:
During the evening we had two requests for baptism. We had live singing of Christian songs, Christmas carols, and then played through Abba and Bob Seger. "We've got tonight" was the favourite, and we had tonight alright.
There was table tennis and above all, good conversation. Such a great range of people there, ethnically and socially. But all with the common factor of having attended our Bible study meetings. Brother Glen came with his famous dog, Ian came as usual in his wheelchair:
Our intention was to give the homeless, the lonely and the poor the best ever Christmas... and we succeeded. "My best Christmas ever" as ex-army veteran Tony said. And so many text messages of appreciation afterwards. People were in tears at the end. Everyone was so very happy. The homeless went away with new rucksacks packed with useful presents. We started with a prayer and Bible talk:
But the rest of the evening was just having good clean fun, food and games together, going through all the amazing new, free, clothes and shoes. There was everything from table tennis to bingo to dominos, but most popular was setting up cups each end of the table tennis table, and taking it in turn to bounce the ball over the net and into a cup. The "winners" got a prize. For the kids, this was one of the many tins of chocolates we were given, which they then passed around the other visitors. We geared it so that for the homeless or more economically challenged, they won a gift voucher for Gregg's, a cafe chain [everyone was a winner]. COG [Christadelphian Outreach Group] very kindly provided those gift vouchers.
And at Sunday service, you can see some truly grateful homeless folks with their gift cards:
The video is at https://youtu.be/6UgZJijD6V8
Duncan comments: "As a young man I'd have thought this was a disgrace. Preaching, I'd have said, was about presenting the Gospel message from the Bible, doctrine by doctrine. And as an older man I still believe that and I still do that in our Croydon church meetings- four times a week Bible study sessions [all on YouTube if you doubt!]. But you have to meet people where they are. And where many are is on the street, where many are is lonely, with only sad memories of lost families, lost loved ones, where many are is a room in a subdivided HMO or a cheap hotel or a council flat on a rough estate. That's Croydon. So what is a Christmas party for those folks going to look like? Well I think the Lord Jesus set us up to have the party we did, achieving maximum outreach to people where they are, although we seek to lead them to higher things. I mention this because as you view the video, you may at times shake your head and ask whether this is really what outreach is all about. And I am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that in our context, it was and is. But I say that as a man who doesn't believe the Lord was born on December 25th and actually personally dislikes all the Christmas razzamattaz. But... we used it, the Lord used it, to meet a lot of people where they are. We thank Him and continue to seek to be workers together with Him to His glory in the final end".
Here are some of the text comments after the event:
You did something amazing tonight Bless you
Everybody was happy! Congratulations! There was a beautiful vibe
I didn't want to bother you cos it was too late , but I'm so happy. It was so beautiful. Thank you so much.. so much.
The meal was lovely and the rucksack I got thank u
That friend who was ill I found a jumper for him in the clothes section, so nice thank u so much
- For those recently baptized
- For brother Daniel as he comes over to UK this week from New Zealand to be with us in the work
- That those we are in touch with who feel unworthy to be baptized will get over that and accept the Lord's grace
- For Mark and Lisa's amazing work in Western Australia
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks