“Every good gift and every perfect gift are from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” The apostles were Christ’s gift to his church. Believers are gifts to one another.
You, our praying and supporting brothers and sisters, are God’s good gift to Hope Bible Church. Greetings in Christ’s name.
My family is doing well. Keitu has started a new chapter for the mathematics program that she teaches, and because of that we find ourselves having to find a new routine that works for us. This means at this stage she is starting to take after me slowly but surely; being a homemaker, home-schooling, studying, and teaching.
As a family, the Lord has spared us personal and spiritual struggles. We were refreshed during our anniversary weekend by Marco and Laura who visited us from Antioch Bible Church. Marco preached for us and his sermon was well-received. Our daughter just turned four and she is starting to sound more and more like a four-year-old with an inquisitive mind. We praise him for that.
I reported a whole back that I was suffering from terrible migraines. The last while has been better. I changed my diet and I have started going to the gym more regularly. I’m on a ninety-day no sugar intake, concurrent with reading through the Bible in ninety days. The only problem is that I cannot tell what is contributing to the improvement. If it is foods I have cut out, I don’t know which of them, but I am also mindful that you have been praying for me. If the Lord heard your prayers, may he be praised for giving me good health.
I went for a couple of health and fitness assessments to see what to continue working on, but I was told that my health score is green, and that all risk factors are under control. Improving health-wise means improving in my Bible intake. It is indeed going “well with me and I am in good health, as it goes well with my soul.”
The brothers in the church have been a source of encouragement to me. They come alongside me to hold me accountable and to ensure that my soul truly rests in God alone as it can be tough being an elder alone.
Church Life: Donsa’s Testimony
The church has been doing well, by God’s grace. We rejoice in seeing the members committed to serving the church. Our prayer is that we will see the church not only growing in theological strength, but numerically as well.
One of the things the Lord has blessed us with as a church is a strong group of men who serve in the church. One of them is Donsa John Saki. He heard the gospel in 2010 and made a profession of faith then. But he continued living in sin, which dominated his life for a good number of years. During this time, he got introduced to reformed theology and in-depth study of the gospel because the person discipling him though he was a believer. It was only in 2016 when he started attending Hope Bible Church, under Richard’s gospel preaching, that the gospel took root in his heart and he became a Christian.
He took membership and was baptised at Hope Bible Church in 2017. He shares that the gospel personally means to him: that he is a sinner who is counted among the righteous and called to obey Jesus, believe in him, and trust in him alone for his salvation. Since Christ died for him, his love compels him to share this gospel with others, so that they too can experience the joy of the love of God. He is grateful that God never gave up on him throughout the years’ 2010–2016 when he was living a double life.
Last week, it was a joy to us to see Donsa lead the service for the first time. He got a baptism of fire for it. We use a projector to display songs, but on this particular day, just minutes before the start of the service, the projector started acting up. He shares how he started feeling the men were sabotaging him. He became more nervous and leading the service was a struggle as he made many mistakes, but the Lord carried him through, even though he said he did not hear anything that was preached on that day.
We take planning to lead the service seriously, and so our lead worshippers carry a lot of responsibility while in front. When we do our evaluation the next day, we even evaluate how the leader led the service. Providentially for Donsa, his call to worship that he selected in the week was: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” The Scripture came alive for him!