July 2020 Australia, Sicily, North America, UK
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Delighted to report the baptism of ELAINE after a long time viewing our videos and considering our material online. Evia also gave a lovely prayer which made Elaine cry. But it was a really lovely time of fellowship and feeling the presence of the Lord Jesus.
Elaine later wrote: "Words cannot express my deep gratitude for your prayers and for baptizing me today. It was the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. Thank you for your service to the bride of Christ. You a truly a blessing. Thank you also, Evia, for your prayers and witness today. I was thrilled and blessed to have you pray for me. It is rare, and I am so appreciative"
When converts write like that, we are encouraged that our ministry is real and the conversions absolutely legitimate- because they clearly realize this indeed is the most significant thing in life. AUSTRALIA
It was earlier this year that we shared how Phil Miri turned a large table upside down, draped lining between the legs, and baptized Chol in Ipswich QLD. This young man has gone out to his friends in his community and shared the true Gospel. It's an amazing witness to how the truth can in fact get a grip in communities of young people in Western lands- when they can appear so hard to penetrate.
Phil and Miri have been an open house for these young men to come and discuss the Bible and what matters in life. And so this week they were able to baptize DERICK on his 20th birthday, a young soccer player. The baptism was attended by several of the group of friends, and as you can hear on the video, Phil made a strong appeal for them to follow Derick's example, get the Bible Companion
app on their phones etc.. It's great to hear on the video how Derick and Chol are so bubbling over with zeal to take the Truth of Christ to other young people; and very significant to see "the right hand of fellowship" given to Derick by Chol.
There's a 10 minute video of the baptism and the scene at it, well worth watching- because it shows what can be done by folks in suburban Australia.
Befriend people, get into local communities, and the word will spread and bring forth fruit. So many could be having these experiences if they get out into the community and make contact with people.
The video is at https://youtu.be/Zw0QZtZptTs SICILY
We've reported over the last few years about the awful situation of our African migrant brethren here, with no state support and just about managing to exist doing odd jobs here and there- in the brutal heat of Sicily, already one of the poorest parts of Europe and Italy. The pandemic and economic slowdown, especially in the sectors where they tend to pick up work (cafes, restaurants, etc.) meant that they were in a particularly terrible situation. Throughout the pandemic we sent funds out there [thanks to your generosity]. Now the travel limitations have been lifted we were able to visit them. It was wonderful to see ample evidence that the funds had indeed been spent on food and it had been distributed. Although we were sent receipts for the food bought, it was clear from plenty of circumstantial evidence that indeed the food had been distributed. Brother Goddy was zooming around on his moped taking the food to all manner of people. We visited sister Osa, who was pregnant with twins throughout the pandemic. She was extremely grateful, really and truly grateful, for the help given. And so late at night after an exhausting day, it was a joy for us to visit her and the two babies, five weeks old and healthy:
We also connected with brother Osretin in another part of Sicily. His wife also recently gave birth, she was allowed into the women's camp, far from anywhere much, in central Sicily. She gave birth there and the baby is healthy. Osretin is a great example of the committed husband, cycling over two hours each way on mountain roads to visit her and his baby son, although he's not allowed to stay there overnight. We took him there to the camp [really quite a drive], and gave some support, and also were able to hold a Gospel meeting preaching the basic Gospel to other women there:
Do pray for this dear brother and sister in this very hard situation.
We also provided assistance here and there where we could and left more funds. Water remains a constant need in the heat (over 40 C). The public fountains, once a source of water to the Africans, have been turned off- and water is heavy to transport from other free sources of water:
We also purchased and distributed the 'malt drink' much loved and believed in by our African brethren:
The preaching of the Gospel continues, and we were able to baptize two very sincere sisters, BLESSING and JENNIFER. We did the baptisms at the place we have used several times before, although as it was Saturday, the place was packed with Italian sunbathers. As before, they watched the scene with very polite curiosity:
Blessing's little boy was rather concerned to be parted from his mummy. But an Italian sunbather quite naturally opened her arms to him and he sat safe with her, and got a cold drink and candy as well:
Italian beaches are "liberal" with nudity quite common and nobody has much complex about stripping off. Our African sisters set a far more modest example, again to the curiosity of the local Italians, with two of them holding up a sheet for the sisters to change behind, seeing they were baptized fully clothed and then changed into another set of clothes:
The Lord is clearly working in this very large group within Sicilian society, ignored as they generally are by the Italian Government. They get generally very little or no health care. Life is a real struggle and is going to be increasingly tough for them as they get older and have more health issues. Their very poor diet doesn't help with health issues.
We continue doing what we can, and likely plan another trip to Italy later in the Summer God willing. We are open to your support and especially your prayers for wisdom in how ever to deal with so much need. UK
The Iranian brethren in London invited us to join them in online baptizing MARAL in northern UK. Again we thank God for the clear blessing upon the spreading of the Gospel, and for the possibilities of technology. PRAYER POINTS
- For those recently baptized
- For the African migrants in Sicily
- For Osretin and others separated from their loved ones
- For our plans to develop an app offering more online fellowship With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks