August 2023 India, Iran, UK, appeal for practical help
We were delighted to baptize online ROY a former atheist who has been slowly attracted to the beauty and truth of the Lord Jesus. IRAN
This week saw the online baptism of SAJAD, again needing prayers with all the issues that go with being a believer in Iran. Although in other such news, we're delighted that our sister Katliya, baptized online during the lockdown, has now finally arrived in Adelaide, Australia. Really God's gracious hand upon her. She has been mentored for a long time now by the Hookwood [Horley] ecclesia where she has attended online. She writes: ""Our Amazing God hears my cries, my moans and our all prayers, really. You all have been my biggest support during these difficult times. You were my biggest supporters. I saw all your faith and believed in your faith with the eyes of my heart. Your faith strengthened my faith as well. From all of you, each and every Hookwood family, who were really like a real family by my side against the pains and sufferings and diseases that I had and were a strong mountain behind me. Thank you to all of you and I ask God to always give you perfect health and I ask God that none of the members of the Hookwood family will face difficulties and problems in their lives. I also thank my dear brother Duncan for interceding and introducing me to my church family, the Hookwood family, and you who strengthened my faith and I saw true faith in you". UK
It was as well that we made every effort to get to the Sunday meeting at Church in a Pub, despite arriving in Croydon at 4 AM that Sunday after a truly nightmare journey back from Ukraine. We had a good turnout at the pub, and then a large crowd back home afterwards for the baptisms of ADRIAN and DAVID. Adrian sat through much of the baptism meeting in tears, so sincerely moved and ready for the commitment he was making. He had gone to the Venue by mistake and walked from there to the Orchard Pub, quite a walk. David is blind and got the wrong bus and ended up wandering around Streatham until he got the right bus to the pub and was guided there by kind people on the street. Point being, between us, we all made quite some effort- and the Lord mightily confirmed that.
As ever, our baptism meeting was just lovely. Everyone gave their personal testimonies, and you can hear the lovely stories at https://youtu.be/jKDvovC-y_c
Marzena spoke of how she was so desperate for the Truth after passing through many churches that she hid a plea to God in the wailing wall at Jerusalem, asking for him to show her the Truth- returned to the UK and found a leaflet inviting her to learn Bible truth, which she responded to and was baptized.
Tatyana spoke of her hard childhood in Russia, how she got into Moscow State University, got a good job, came to work in the UK, and now at 71 rejoices all the time in her faith, describing her baptism as a "rocket launch".
Kevin spoke of how the Lord had taken him by the arm, just as he takes blind David by the arm, but we have to cooperate with that helping hand.
Athina [originally from Athena, Greece] spoke of her amazing journey through illness to the Lord.
Piotr [Peter] originally from Poland spoke of his journey and the obligations and comfort of being in covenant relationship with the Lord.
And Debbie, with her two grandchildren from good ole Brixton in South London, herself baptized in the garden at our place last Summer, shared her joy with us all.
We just marvel at the Spirit's work in our otherwise random lives, the Lord's work, God's work, the blessing upon our feeble work... all to His glory.
Not that we need much advertising of it these days, but opportunity presented itself in a disused Anglican church, so we grasped that opportunity; and so here are a couple of videos Mark and Duncan made advertising Church in a Pub, do share them around. https://youtu.be/kcvpnzod_rg https://youtu.be/A_QCeCAqha4
We celebrated Mark & Lisa's final time in the UK by having a great time in Croydon giving out Bibles and ended up meeting up with quite a few of our regulars at The Venue as we did so. Ended up in McDonalds, rather sad to sit there and see young teenagers and probably younger skinning up lines of cocaine to sell, a girl surely no more than 14 with her teeth rotted away from meth addiction, and then the heavy smell of marijuana on the street outside. Welcome to central Croydon. But demand for "Free Bibles
" was huge... just wearing the visibility vests meant folks just walked up to us and asked for one. You can hear Mark's commentary on the whole missionary activities that day at https://youtu.be/dT_-qdqyQy0
This work does bear fruit as we sometimes report. Sister Maria, baptized by us a few months ago, now recalls after seeing the photos: "I received mine, I think from David a few years ago in Croydon High Street. I always wondered about the church behind this tiny boy and the Bible".
And then with brother Spiro we drove to baptize PARHAM, one of the tallest Iranians we've baptized:) APPEAL FOR PRACTICAL HELP
We're planning an "Alcohol free Garden Party
" for those looking into God and Jesus, or re-considering church, especially those "in recovery" from addictions. It'll be at our home in South Croydon. We're looking for someone to coordinate the feeding. Cost of food will be met. But someone to run a barbeque and / or other way of feeding an unknown number of people, between 10 and 40, with a lunch and also ongoing snacks etc. Sorry to be so vague about numbers but that is how it is! Uncertainty about numbers is the bane of our church events here!
Anyway, have a think whether you know any who could consider taking it on, and of course you can think whether this need is your call:)
Folks are welcome to stay over the Friday and Saturday nights at our place, also welcome to come to Sunday "Church in a Pub
" the next day in East Croydon.
Whatever, please do pray for our efforts to take the Gospel out to folks. Here is the invite that we're getting out there on various social media groups throughout South London: PRAYER POINTS
- For those recently baptized
- For our work in Latvia and elsewhere in the coming weeks
- For our Garden Party plans
- Thanksgiving for sister Katliya getting safely to Australia, and for all God's great blessings upon our feeble efforts
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks