Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I thank God for your partnership with us in the work that He has called us to in Richibucto and the surrounding area for Christ and His glory.  Your prayers and support truly are a help and an encouragement to us. 

Our family is doing well by God’s grace.  In my previous two reports, I wrote about my son Nathaniel and the tests that he was undergoing. He collapsed to the floor following a Sunday worship service in February and went into convulsions.  We brought him to the hospital that day, and he was sent for both an MRI and an EEG in the days that followed.  A 3 mm artifact showed up in the MRI on the lower left side of his brain.  They did not seem too concerned about that, but have scheduled another MRI for him next March to check up on it.  Since writing my last update, we met with a pediatrician and have received the results of the EEG.  It came back normal.  We were told that in a small percentage of cases, it is possible that someone can still have epilepsy even when the EEG comes back normal, but that oftentimes it is only a one-time episode.  He has been doing very well, and will have a follow up appointment in a few months.  God is good!  We thank Him for the quick help we received, and for the positive results from the tests.  Thank you for praying for him.  

Over the past couple of months, several new people have begun to attend the church, and have continued to do so faithfully.  I believe that God is at work in drawing and saving souls.  One man in particular, named Robert, has been very open to hearing the Word of God and very receptive of the truth.  Since receiving a Bible, he has spent much time in Scripture, having already read through the whole NT in only a short amount of time.  During a recent Bible study in Galatians, he began commenting on some events in the life of the Apostle Paul that he had been reading in the Book of Acts.  There was great excitement in his voice as he spoke. There appears to be life in him and he desires to be baptized.  This has been a such an encouragement, not only because of God’s work in his life, but also because of how God brought it about.  What I mean is that this gentleman started coming because of his neighbour, a man who also recently came to faith in Christ and was baptized last Summer. The neighbour had first started coming through friends at his work, believers who were part of planting of this church.  And so, it has been exciting to see God draw people to Christ and then use them to draw others to the Savior! 

This weekend, I received news of the death of man I had met when we first moved to the area.  Another brother and I were walking through a neighborhood, engaging people with the Gospel.  We saw this man and his wife in their yard outside of their home and approached them to talk. They made it very clear right up front that they were not open to have a spiritual conversation.  Our paths crossed again over time, and one day he told me he had been diagnosed with cancer.  This seemed to make him more open to speaking with me about the things of God, and I remember having a couple of brief conversations with him. I didn’t feel like it went very well, both in my witness and in how it was received.  They eventually moved away to a city where he would be closer to the hospital for his treatments.  Several months went by before I saw him again at a funeral I was conducting for a neighbor.  They had known each other.  I was surprised to see him and was glad.  He was there to hear the funeral sermon in which I preached about God’s love demonstrated in the cross of Christ, and how there is forgiveness and eternal salvation for all who repent and trust in Christ.  In our past conversations I felt weak in my witness, but here at this funeral I had an uninterrupted opportunity to point him to Christ.  We spoke afterwards and he was glad to see me and appreciated the message – a contrast to our first encounter. Our conversation was brief, but warm. 

That was the last time I saw him; at the funeral of a friend, six months before his own.  I learned of his death when the local funeral home contacted me.  His wife specifically wanted me to be the one to help with his funeral.  The door is no longer shut.  I am thankful for that final Gospel opportunity the Lord granted me with him, and I hope that he reconciled with Christ before he passed into eternity. 

Please pray for us, for boldness and power in our witness for Christ, and for the blessing of God upon it to the saving of many souls.

Yours in Christ,

Christopher Sippley