September has been a good month. I have been preaching, teaching, and evangelizing with Rob Greenwood at Miramichi Valley Church. My heart is overwhelmed with joy to report what the Lord has been doing here. I have been praying for and sharing the gospel with a man named Peter over the past few months. It was encouraging to see him start coming to church around the last week of August. He also started showing up for the Bible studies. Peter is 64 years old; he will be 65 this coming November. After consistently explaining the gospel message to him, he told me that he was irresistibly drawn to the church. He was at a hard spot in his life and had nowhere else to turn. For several weeks I pleaded with him, and he took time to count the cost. One Sunday morning before the church service, he pulled me aside and told me that he had surrendered his life to Christ as Lord and Savior. It is evident that he is a changed man. He began going back to his friends and past acquaintances asking for forgiveness for the wrongs he had committed against them, and then testifying of the Lord’s work in his new life.
I baptized him in the Miramichi River on September 23rd. That was glorious! Many came to the baptism, and Peter humbly shared what Christ has done and is doing in his life. Among those present was his daughter who is in her 40’s. Upon hearing and seeing the work of the Lord, she also seemed to be truly broken. Would you please pray for Peter and his daughter?
Thank you for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and support in the work here in Atlantic Canada. Your partnership is a great help to us. Please know that we are grateful.
Another month has passed, and as I sit down to write this update I realize once more how life is but a vapor. As Moses, I too ask the Lord, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”(Ps. 90:12). Time goes by so quickly. I just celebrated my 15thwedding anniversary this month, and my little girl turns 13 years old this week. Life is short, and we cannot waste a second of it.
Over a year ago, I wrote a report (March 2017) speaking about how the enemy was snatching the precious gospel seed that had been sown in people’s lives here. I shared how one man in particular had been attending the church for several months, eager to learn to follow Christ, but suddenly he became resistant. One day while a fellow worker and I were visiting him, he asked us to take our book (the Bible) and leave his home. We were no longer welcome. It was a dark and discouraging scene. It had been more than a year without hearing from him. However, last month he called and left a voicemail on my phone, apologizing for how he treated us, and asked if he could start coming back to the church. He said that he wished to continue to learn how to follow Jesus. This was an encouraging voicemail! He has returned to the church and it is our hope that this is evidence of a work of God in his life, and that he is being drawn to Christ. We pray that we will one day see the true and lasting fruit of genuine conversion. Please pray.
The church continues to grow, and we are excited about what God is doing in our midst. Almost a year ago we started a Tuesday night Bible study just outside of Moncton, a city almost an hour away from us, because there are people in our church who live in that area. They would travel faithfully to attend the worship services on Sundays, but due to the distance, they were not able to attend our Wednesday night Bible studies here in Richibucto. We now have around 20+ people attending the Tuesday night Bible studies. This is encouraging, and I praise God that we are seeing more people becoming excited about knowing God through His Word. We are currently doing a book-by-book overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It is our desire to see Christ in His story of Redemption throughout each of the books of Scripture, so that we might grow in our love for the Savior. It has been a very profitable study, both for me personally and for the church.
Please pray as we continue to share the gospel and to visit people in their homes, believing that God can and will save more people. It is our desire for the community of faith here to be firmly rooted in the love of Christ, flourishing by the Spirit unto holiness, and used for the transformation of many hearts and lives to the glory of God. Please pray for us to this end.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from the work He is accomplishing in Fredericton, NB, Canada.
The month of August was a sobering one for the city in which I labor. On August 10th, around 8:00 am, a gunman opened fire in the parking lot of an apartment building. He took the lives of four people; a couple leaving their apartment, and the two first police officers that arrived on the scene. The next officer to arrive was a young man I went to school with. He shot the gunman and ended the standoff. However, this has left the entire city on edge, as it is a reminder of the fragility of life and seriousness of sin and evil. Things that people rarely think about (death, right and wrong) were forced to the forefront of their minds.
How did the general public react? In order heal the pain and unify the city, they turned to the Pride Parade and Festival to show there solidarity as a people. Seeing the reality of the darkness in this city I have come to love, makes writing this tremendously difficult. I shouldn’t be surprised though. The Bible warns us of the depravity of man. That Sunday morning, I preached on the reality of evil in the world from Genesis 1-3. Nevertheless, when you witness such events, and the people uniting around perversion, it weighs on the soul. Please pray that God will have mercy on the city of Fredericton. Please pray that his church will not lose heart.
J.S. began working for HeartCry in 2015. As coordinator for Asia, North America, and Western Europe, he currently oversees the missionaries over 10 countries. J.S. currently lives in Virginia with his wife and four children.More By J. S.