Our church continues to meet together in the name of Christ Jesus. I am still preaching through the gospel of Mark and the book of Psalms. Brother Pavel is helping me in my studies. He is preaching through Colossians and is leading a small group in his home. We also get together with the brethren for Bible study and prayer.

I also meet with one brother for the purposes of mutual encouragement, promoting one another’s spiritual growth, spiritual accountability and mutual support in prayers for one another and for the church. This helps me to understand that I too am a child of God in need of His grace and am in need of being served by the body of Christ. I am especially grateful to those people who are not oblivious to my personal life, struggles, prayer, and my relationship with God. This keeps me in check and reminds me that God Himself takes priority in my life, not my ministry itself.

This month I am faced with two particularly difficult counseling cases. Sometimes I’m tempted to fall into despair because I cannot change another person’s heart. I know what’s right, but I cannot make decisions for others. This makes me come to God in prayer many times a day. At these moments I understand more than ever that He is God, and I am merely his creation. He regularly destroys my hope in my own strength although I am not always ready for that. In the end, these thoughts and prayers direct me to the main truths of the Gospel. This brings me comfort and joy. I know that God is able to change and direct His people, and He does it, at times, in ways I do not expect.

Apart from these difficulties I see good changes in some of the brothers, which is very encouraging. I would love for one of them to be prepared by God for leadership in church. It is becoming more obvious that it is not good for me to carry this responsibility on my own. I have recently ordered five more copies of the book The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller so that the brethren who are reading it with me could also read it with others or on their own. There is no better thing than to see the Gospel working in people’s hearts and directing their actions, words, and thoughts!

I can also see how encountering difficulties serves for my benefit, helps me think about what’s most important, and even has a good influence on my family. At such times it seems that we are more receptive of what God wants to tell us and are able to look at ourselves more objectively.

Prayer needs:

Please, pray for the counseling of two families, that God would crush their hearts and change them. Also that I may understand the will of God and be able to fulfill it.

Please, pray for the bringing up of brethren and that God would powerfully influence us and that we may influence others through the Gospel.

Please, pray that every person in our church would have a deep desire for the name of Jesus Christ to be known to sinners and to help in evangelism.