June 2020 Latvia, USA, Congo, Iran, Australia
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CARELINKS VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
We are planning an all day conference on Saturday, August 22nd God willing on Zoom. Please keep the date free. If you would like to do a short talk, please let us know. It will be a long day, so that despite the time differences, we can have contributions from all over the world- from New Zealand to North America. CONGO
The unending troubles in Congo have caused millions to be displaced. Not only is there bitter civil war, but now Ebola, not to mention Covid-19... so much grief there. And it is natural that the displaced are going to turn to God. KOUAMBA and his wife SUSAN are living in a small settlement along the Congo-Zambia border and downloaded the French app. They became persuaded of the need for baptism, and we were able to buy them some phone credit so we could talk more. Connection was terrible and precluded much chatting by video.
They walked to a river where they asked another man to baptize them, and took some photos on their phone- although the connection was too weak for us to remain in contact whilst the actual immersion happened. So yet again we rejoice that the Gospel has reached the furthest corners of Africa and the world. USA
Very pleased to report the self baptism of MILAD, again more fruit from the Bible Companion
We've increasingly been led to involvement with the many Indian students living in Riga. Support from their parents has dried up during the economic meltdown and lockdown in India, and some are doing it really hard indeed. Some of those we have baptized are now suffering from stomach ulcers and other issues; one young woman with jet black hair now has plenty of white hairs since the pandemic started.
We're giving them food, and had two helping us with our feeding program for the homeless. We do Bible study with the Indians and are hopeful some may respond to the Gospel they are hearing and seeing.
Ensuring 2 meters distancing, both in the line up for food and when consuming it in the surrounding area, is really so difficult. Partly because one of the reasons they come is because they have a 'space' where they can eat each other and chat. And that's rather spoiled by having to keep 2 meters apart. For the rest of the Summer we will try to take food out to them rather than having them gather at the hall.
Things aren't made easier by the demand for people to wear masks whilst on public transport [it's hard for homeless people to afford them] . And to discourage older and vulnerable people from travelling, all old age and invalid travel passes have been suspended in Riga. So they have to pay full fare. How's that for a Government retreating from its people.
These and various other reasons mean that we'll be preparing food in the hall and then taking it out to them, rather than using the hall as a central point.
Invalids continue coming, shuffling down the street to our hall from the bus stop. Here's one who found it hard to even climb the two steps up to the door:
And you have to raise your eyebrows at the [former] middle class who are coming. They are typically larger and better dressed than our regulars; will not wait in line; push in the line; will not observe 2 meters distancing...
You can see a video of this week's feeding at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzngiV_WGVs AUSTRALIA
Joseph got the Bible Companion
app and was baptized by John and Steve and Robin in western Sydney. He's an amazing example of the transformation of human life by the true Gospel. He's come over and had fellowship with Steve and Robin at their house group in Menai. And he is so keen to get out on the streets with the Gospel.
They were able to give him a "Free Bibles" vest, NEV
New Testaments and other literature- and here he is, out there with them. We so appreciate all your donations which make possible the printing and distribution of so much literature to the general public. The word is indeed getting out there. IRAN
It was in 2002 that we baptized brother B in Iran. He's now in North America and still zealous for his Lord. He shared the app with a friend in Iran, and she went to a place other than her home to do the baptism after extensive contact with him. We held the service online, and she kept asking us to hurry up. She immersed herself in full view of us on the video connection; and then there were loud voices outside the door and banging on the door, demanding she open it. She grabbed her phone and turned off the connection- and all went dead. We prayed with B for some time afterwards and continued in the next days. She is now free, not in jail and not imprisoned [so we hear from a third party], but has made minimal contact as clearly communication was being intercepted.
Please therefore pray for sister A. We are not sure what happened as B has had only one brief contact with her after this. It could've been people impatient to use the bathroom, but her silence afterwards suggests far more than that and the demand of the voices to "open up immediately" suggested otherwise.
Her baptism looked so tranquil, with her putting her hands together in the prayers and whilst she was in the bath tub, and lowering herself in and out of the water very gracefully, and then putting her hands together as we prayed afterwards... and then, the banging on the door and her terrified face as she grabbed the phone and cut the connection. It was a sober reminder of how communication is intercepted and there is a fair risk of the religious police getting on your case if you show interest in Christianity. This is exactly what so many Iranian asylum seekers testify is what happens and indeed it does.
These are the kinds of messages we receive: PRAYER POINTS:
- For those recently baptized
- For those under persecution for their faith
- For sister A
- For our Indian brethren and contacts in Latvia
With love from your brothers and sisters of Carelinks