June 2023 Austria, Italy, Turkey, UK
As mentioned in the last Carelink
, the group in Vienna, Austria continues to grow under the leadership of brother Iliya. This week they gathered in the park and brought along friends. As intimated, we sent some funds to fund a fast-food meal for them, which you can see in progress. Do keep praying for them, that these folks come to the Lord Jesus in spirit and truth. Let us know if you'd like to come visit them with us. ITALY
Next weekend God willing, 31 June / 1 July, we plan baptisms in the Torino [Turin] area; let us know if you'd like to meet up. TURKEY
For many years now we've been nurturing and assisting a large group of Iranian brothers and sisters in Denizli. Brother Julian Baseley from the Guildford ecclesia spent some time doing pastoral work with some of them and was impressed by their genuine love of the Lord. Julian stayed with them in their home and was able to see first-hand the direct impact of the Gospel in their lives. Duncan came out to join Julian in the baptisms of another 16 people. We held Bible talks for the group, and Julian led the breaking of bread afterwards. Their situation remains grim- the constant concern about getting in trouble with the immigration Police, being forced to return to persecution in Iran, and the difficulty of having to work on the black market to survive. Many have been in Turkey many years and apart from skilled workers with qualifications immediately acceptable in western countries, they have little hope of migrating out of the trap they are in. Despite all that significant background noise, and indeed because of it, folks continue to turn to God and His Son and His word. And it was really an honour to baptize and break bread with so many who have turned with true hearts to the Lord Jesus as their saviour.
Videos of some of the talks are as follows, in English and Persian:
Baptism service https://youtu.be/UB6Jmq9CbV8
The Gospel in Genesis https://youtu.be/ZP_H419DqjA
What a joy to baptize WILLIAM this week after Lunchtime Church. His baptism and very interesting testimony is at
given as he lay in the bath right after his baptism. Brought up in a middle-class home in a suburb of Croydon, William explains how he started doing drugs at school, justifying himself by thinking he wasn't shown enough love by his parents; and then became a successful financial advisor, although still abusing drugs. But the drugs got the better of him; although at 15 he had been given a Gideon's New Testament, which he read right through, and that was a toe hold for the Lord in his life which the Lord never let go. Fast forwarding to middle age, he was on the streets of Croydon looking for cigarette butts from which to get tobacco and taking food from bins. Brother Spiro saw him doing this and invited him to our Lunchtime Church for a meal and Bible teaching. It was just what he needed and just what the Lord had been leading him too. So, it was a great joy to baptize him, realizing the Lord had been working with him for decades. Do pray for him as he presses forward in the new and clean life for the Lord Jesus.
KYLE has been quietly and seriously attending our meetings for some time now. He's a nicely spoken general builder and strikes you as a standard guy. But he has agreed to share his amazing testimony of an unusual life, culminating in hitting rock bottom with drugs and the related lifestyle- and turning wholeheartedly to the Lord as a result. He has found God and His Son to be the only reliable, rock-like persons in his life. And he truly has come to living relationship with them through their word in the Bible. He also as a young man speaks for so many in saying that somehow "church" didn't do it for him, but he loves our more open and Biblical approach. And like many, finds the "woke" approach of churchianity at best unhelpful. Because a drug addict needs to hear the radical call to repentance, actual change and transformation; "just as I am" is not how a drug addict wants to remain. This is a powerful testimony, and brother Spiro's comments are mature and helpful; and at the end you can see Kyle being baptized into the Lord Jesus whose spirit alone can transform, cleanse and save.
The video is at https://youtu.be/J8-hiTrWX_Y
Last year sister Clare was baptized in Croydon, whilst Mark & Lisa Hawkins were in the UK, and it was a joy to baptize online her friend SHADY, and thanks to WhatsApp we were able to have Mark with us for it. So again, we praise the Lord for His continued outreach in so many various ways.
We're delighted how our now quite large group are forming friendships amongst themselves and becoming friends outside church. We couldn't have dreamed of more blessing:
All this work is of course worked by the Lord, but it requires a lot of backroom work, with paperwork and the food aspect. The water in London is famous for being extremely "hard", kettles and urns get calcified very quickly. Here's Cindy late at night in the conservatory, descaling the urn. It's so clogged with calcium carbonate... the water hardly comes out. We estimate that urn has done a few hundred hours of boiling water and thousands of teas and coffees for Lunchtime Church.
- For those recently baptized
- For our brothers and sisters in Russia who live in the Wagner affected areas
- Gratitude for the huge blessing on our activities in South London
- For our work with the migrant brethren in Italy
- For the refugee brethren in Turkey who appear to be in a dead end situation
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks