The last couple of months since our last prayer update have been a flurry of activity.
Let me start by saying that Lindsey and Violet are doing well. Lindsey is recovering and Violet is growing faster than any of our other kids did. It seems like she is outgrowing clothes faster than we can put them on her. Gabe, Ellie, and Lucy have been great big siblings.
About a month ago Diane visited our church. I received a phone call that Diane was in the hospital dealing with some health issues and wanted me to visit her. I was able to share the gospel with Diane and she accepted Christ. It is awesome to walk into a situation in which God has already been working and reap a harvest for His glory. Please continue to pray for Diane’s recovery. She will be released from the hospital to an assisted living program a couple towns away. Please pray for her growth and for the salvation of her adult daughter, Melissa. I have not yet met Melissa, but Dianne has asked me to check on her and share the gospel with her.
In the last two weeks we have had two visitors, Sherby and James. James visited once back in April, but has attended every service for the last two weeks. I am unsure of his salvation.
Sherby is a friend of Emmanuela (a member of our church who was saved in January). Emmanuela has been requesting prayer for Sherby and for an opportunity to share the gospel with her. Please pray for wisdom for Emmanuela and for Sherby to accept Christ soon.
Recently we realized that there was a leak somewhere in our church building, we discovered that the siding on the front of the building was incorrectly installed and water had been leaking into the building ever since (we believe over 20 years). All things considered the damage is very minimal. We have temporarily stopped the leak, and removed the mold, but will likely need to do a more invasive repair next spring. Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom and provision for this need.
When we came to the Boston area, we worked with Lifeline Baptist Church in Haverhill, MA. They have done much to assist us in planting Community Baptist Church. Three families from Lifeline joined our church when we started. Lifeline purchased the building that we meet in so that we can have reasonable rent and an opportunity to own our church building in a relatively short period of time (more on that in the next prayer letter). This has been a particular blessing with the pandemic causing many community centers and schools to stop renting to churches.
They have also been incredibly gracious to provide housing for our family over the last 4 years. As much of a blessing as that has been, we realized that we would need to live in Lawrence to be able to effectively reach our city. The pandemic and its effect on the housing market put those plans on hold. Lifeline was gracious enough to allow us to stay longer than we had originally planned.
Housing has been a matter of prayer for our family, since the Lord directed us to Lawrence. We prayed for a home that would allow us to have our church family over (parking and entertaining space) with a small yard, in a family-friendly neighborhood, near the church, and a park. I often would joke that we needed to pray for a home without grass to mow. The Lord answered those prayers, even the grass one. We are in the process of purchasing a home in the middle of Lawrence, in a neighborhood with a lot of families. It is less than two miles from the church, 900 feet from the best park in Lawrence, and the small back yard is fenced in and paved. The layout of the home and the available parking is great for having our church family over.
If you know Lawrence, you know that the house for which we were praying in our price range, is rare, especially in this market. In our lack of faith, we often doubted that the Lord would provide all of those things in the same house. This home was the only one in our price range in a market in which sellers have been receiving offers for more than $20,000 over asking price. This house had “inexplicably” sat on the market while the price was being lowered into our price range. We believe that this is the exact house that the Lord had planned for us. What a privilege to serve an all-wise God Who promises to provide for our every need!
Our closing date is set for December 9. Please pray for us as we move during the Christmas season and that the Lord would open doors in this process to reach our new neighbors with the gospel.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support of our ministry.