March 2020 UK, App, Latvia
We strongly recommend you download the "Bible Companion"
app, from where you can access Carelinks
messages, daily Bible readings, Bible Basics,
commentary on every verse of the Bible and audio exhortations on every chapter of the Bible.
For Android / Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carelinks.bc
and on the App Store for Apple / iOS at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bible-companion/id1475914490
You can see the list of exhortations at http://christadelphia.net/audio.htm
Helps for the Bible Companion
readings this week: Leviticus https://n-e-v.info/levcomm.pdf Psalms https://n-e-v.info/psalms.pdf 2 Corinthians https://n-e-v.info/NEV2CorinthiansCommentary.pdf UK
The UK is particularly response to the Bible Companion
app, with about 80% of the 3500 people who downloaded it there retaining it on their phones. We have a number of those people studying Bible Basics
online and we're pleased to say that some are requesting baptism. This week we were able to get to two of them, AMBROSE and ANDREW. Andrew is in a hard position as he pastors a church which had about 50 members, although he has a day job. He became an enthusiastic user of the app, and started sharing what he was learning with his group- and the group has now declined to about 7 people. But he is such an example of being unafraid to stand with his back to the world if need be, for the sake of God's Truth. But all the same, it's pretty distressing to lose your congregation that you've worked to build up. And there are others like him, in various ways suffering because of the truths they've learned. Do pray for them.
The Carelinks Conference
was really stimulating. You can see the videos of the talks at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqHWDPHDmR_zem3o_6C5gqRx-TbiM27Rx
Caleb and Andrew drove all the way from the valleys of South Wales to Croydon and back in the day. Caleb was baptized exactly one year ago, and it was great to interview a teenager about how he sees the Gospel progressing amongst teenagers. It gave us older ones some hope- that young people are in fact interested in spiritual things, probably more so than before. It's actually, apparently, quite "cool" to be spiritual. But, not so cool to go to church. We discussed the issues arising from a generation raised on smartphones with low concentration spans, and the way we could reach them more.
Caleb's interview came after the talk about the app, and it's at https://youtu.be/6AA978cSH7E
Julian and Andy gave talks about the huge response to the Gospel amongst Iranians in Turkey, describing their visits there and appealing for more to go out there and experience the wonderful things going on. Julian also livened up our music with his guitar playing
Talking of music, it was good to have Peter with us on the keyboard. Peter is the one who for years has faithfully and quietly mailed out the Carelinks messages to you. Thank you, very dear Peter:
Phil challenged us all to see the glass half full rather than half empty in our lives [see https://youtu.be/YzX0_Kwd6QQ
], and Liz gave a very good study of God's search for the lost as revealed in the parables of Luke 15.
Duncan updated us about the Bible Companion
app, which has become the main thrust of our preaching.
The statistics are very impressive for the 5 months since it was launched- 120,000 downloads, with 65% of them retained on the phones or tablets; and high usage, with the app being booted up by someone once every 20 seconds [3 times / minute] , 24/7.
It's already played a part in getting existing contacts to study more and come to baptism; and there have also been baptisms from it of people who came to us through the app for the first time.
About every hour, somebody begins the Bible Basics
course and sends in their first answers; there are multiple requests for hard copies of the literature every hour. And people have downloaded it in about every nation under heaven, including Antarctica, remote islands in the Pacific, Greenland and the Faroes.
If things continue as they are, we'd be looking at 1 million people having this app over the next couple of years, God willing. This is likely the biggest ever outreach of our doctrines into the world. Because there is on that app about everything needed to learn the Gospel, answer difficult passages, and to live in Christ.
Please do pray for the work to continue.
Future directions were also discussed. You can see the complete talk at https://youtu.be/FrHHpV-QTOs
- Encouraging ecclesias and individuals to advertise the app, or sponsor the advertising, in their local areas. Response won't be immediate- people download it and use it for some weeks or months before contacting us, but those who do, are usually at an advanced stage of interest
- Including a briefer audio message on each chapter of the New Testament
- Producing the app in other languages
- Given the very high usage of the app already, with over 50,000 people worldwide regularly using it daily [and it's only been out for 5 months], to create some kind of new app that allows all those users to have real time contact with each other online, a kind of virtual church / Bible study group. This has its challenges as all those people are at various stages of agreement with our teaching, but it seems a way to go.
Caleb's insights into how teenagers think and want to act online was a great encouragement.
We have to face it that a lot of people are burnt by religion or turned off by their perception of it, but are very open to spiritual teaching from the Bible and connection with others who are also searching.
We certainly need your prayers for guidance as we think how to take further this amazing interest. And again, thank you to all who donated to enable the vision to become reality. LATVIA
Vanessa gave an encouraging picture of the work in Riga
with the soup kitchen. But she pointed out the need for more workers. We've had several cancellations due to health issues this season, and often there has been effectively only one person doing the kitchen work. If they too had gone down with a virus, our work would've ceased; and it's also really hard to do that work alone. Our faithful workers are all getting older- we really need some younger blood. Folks from the UK would be the logical source for this, as flights to Riga are short and cheap from the UK. Vanessa hopes to run a one day seminar in the UK in September GW to explain more about the work and hopefully attract some fresh blood to this wonderful work. Do consider coming over. PRAYER POINTS
- For those recently baptized
- For our work in Latvia this week
- For all who find themselves isolated because of accepting true Bible doctrines
- For more workers in Riga
- Gratitude for how God has blessed the Bible Companion app
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks