April 2023 Australia, Canada, Holland, UK
The Carelinks Conference
in Adelaide was a great success, we were pleasantly surprised at the large level of interest in South Australia in our work and approach. The highlight was the talk by brother Mark Hawkins, who flew over from Perth to share the exciting news that the "Church in a Pub
" concept has taken off in Western Australia, at the two pub church meetings held- one in Perth, with 48 attenders at the first meeting, and in rural WA at Kellerberrin where 13 turned out. And he shared too about the two recent baptisms in WA. This is a model that could really take off almost anywhere, with God's blessing. Let us know if you're interested in doing this where you are.
So we had a good turn out of very enthusiastic brethren and sisters of like mind come to the Carelinks conference
in Adelaide. Many thanks to those who arranged it and did the catering. After an introduction to Carelinks
we shared about our work in Ukraine and at the pub church
in London UK. Mark then explained how this model was successfully replicated in Western Australia in two separate places, rural and urban. And challenged Australian believers to do the same in their states. This seems a sure way, with the Lord's blessing, to build up a large church of first generation converts.
Video at https://youtu.be/ZUtOfslO8ow
Peter Osborne then spoke of his and Hilary's efforts in Australia advertising the Bible Companion
video at https://youtu.be/y77Yzydl2nA
And we concluded with a talk about A New Christadelphia
. Retaining the doctrines but shedding the baggage and becoming a preaching focused, outward looking, acceptive and open community.
Video at https://youtu.be/69WDeL6Ja5M
There was huge interest expressed in the idea and some in Adelaide would like to meet together with others of like mind. Let us know if you'd like to.
Our time together concluded with the sermon on "The truth shall make you free... free indeed",
Video at https://youtu.be/j0Jls3RI6mc
It was really a most inspirational time together and gave us a lot of faith back in our community as we determine to take the truth of the Lord Jesus into this world, urgently, passionately and effectively.
This week we were delighted to online baptize REBECCA in Canada, in her bath tub, and Jim & Anne Barton will be there to help her forward in the new life. Our new sister had asked several churches for baptism but had been refused and she shows an amazing humility and sincerity of desire to connect with the Lord Jesus.
We've been having lots of communication with LUDMILA, a Ukrainian refugee woman living on the German-Dutch border. She desired baptism, having completed all answers to Bible Basics and having been driven to the Lord Jesus by a very difficult situation. Husband in the army, she fled Ukraine with her 3 daughters, with just the clothes they wore and a few old family photos like this one. After a long journey through Poland, Holland provided them with some refuge. But PTSD and other issues are major with them, and one of the girls has been taken away from the family by social workers. It's totally traumatic for Ludmila. She sees the child for 2 hours every week. She feels social services are constantly monitoring her and wishes to return to Ukraine, but doesn't want to do so without her other daughter. What with very little state support, just enough barely for food, and living in a small village not knowing English nor Dutch, it's all so hard for them. We provided support as we could, and baptized her. Sisters Evia and Ieva came along too, as the remaining two daughters are now 17 and 12. They are trying to raise chinchillas hoping to sell their fur as they did in Ukraine... but life is just so hard for them. In so many ways. It's only the Hope there is in the Lord Jesus which is any light for them at the moment.
Sisters Ieva and Evia came along too [both Russian speakers], it was great to see them interacting with this family of females and setting themselves up to keep in touch:
The baptism was the highlight, here you can see Ludmila before and after her baptism:
We took them out for ice creams to celebrate, seemed their first time to be taken out somewhere nice for a very long time:
It was a huge amount of driving. But the sisters had a great time. Ieva got off work early and we picked Evia straight from school on the Friday afternoon and raced down from London to Dover to get the ferry [hence school uniform in the photo on the deck]:
There was a lot of catching up with sleep here and there for the girls, they were exhausted by the time the ferry pulled back in to the white cliffs of Dover, but still great to have their youthful enthusiasm for the Lord Jesus and His work, and to explore a 200 year old working windmill we encountered near Ludmila's village:
Being away for 3 Sundays in Australia, we left brothers Kevin and Spiro to run the Sunday meetings at the pub. Wondering how it'd go. Absolutely delighted to say everyone turned up still, and had some great meetings. No greater joy than to hear that children walk in Truth. We had text messages all through sharing the progress. Although we suspended meetings for Lunchtime Church, people were still turning up for them, as you can see from the text below. We thank God for the deep roots the Gospel is taking in Croydon amongst the > 100 contacts and brethren we now have there.
One great blessing of getting folks using the Bible Companion app is that the work of teaching and pastoring of the group can go on remotely, independent of attendance or possibility of face to face meetings. Here's a comment from someone in our group who'd previously not been that into Bible reading:
- For those recently baptized
- For our Ukrainian sister and her family in Holland
- For all those facing trauma and PTSD after having had to flee Ukraine and other war zones
- For brother Mark as he continues to host his "Church in a Pub" attenders in his own home
- Thanksgiving that Croydon UK "Church in a Pub" is now standing on its own feet
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks