May grace and peace be multiplied to you. —1 Peter 1:2
My wife and son have both been doing well. The boy is very wild and active, as is probably normal for a one-and-a-half-year-old. My wife has had fewer cases of dizziness. I have been deepened in the sense that I cannot rely on my own weak powers and ability. I can only and solely depend on the Lord and His sustaining grace and mercy.
A Believer’s Assurance the first of the booklets in John MacArthur’s Spotlight on Scripture series I have translated is now printed and ready. I have a box of 150 copies that we will be able to distribute. More translated booklets will soon be ready and printed. We have some ideas on how to distribute them, so please pray for this effort, that we would be able to get the booklets to the right people.
One of our Elders has gone on a Sabbatical to study. In order that the other Elder would not be left completely on his own in the leadership responsibilities, it was decided that another preaching brother in the Church and I would act as a substitute and become a shepherd-trainee during this time. We have both already been preaching for a while and carried the burden together with the Elders, but now the duty and responsibility seem to weigh a little heavier on us.
It seems the Lord has also been prodding me to more preaching recently by providing more opportunities. In October, I visited Grace Baptist Church Tampere to preach two Sundays in a row. The Pastor and his wife were expecting their baby to come, so at first, I was only planning to preach the first Sunday. However, he asked me if I would be able to come the next Sunday, as the baby still hadn’t come. As I had preached from Colossians 1:12-23 the first Sunday, I decided to continue the second Sunday with the passages directly following it, 1:24-2:5. Both passages and sermons have the theme of looking to Christ with a high view of Him, as all things were created through Him, and he is supreme above all things. We are thankful for Him humbling Himself unto death to save sinners. How this Truth makes us “stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that [we] heard.” We were all blessed by the Word and fellowshipping together.
One of the brothers in the Church kindly opened his home, so I could stay over at his place the night before preaching. We met at Central Station in Tampere, where I had arrived by train. We went to eat at a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed a meal and talked about the things of God. I got to know him better than before. He told me about his life and testified of how the Lord had wonderfully and graciously saved him from his sins. After having come to faith, he had no healthy Church to go to, but he searched the Internet and found good pastors such as John MacArthur. He also found out about our Churches in Finland, Agape, and the Church in Tampere. He came to Agape’s conference and got to know many of us and then decided to move all the way to Tampere to join the Church.
God’s way of saving His people seldom go in straight lines. It is more like many winding paths. Regardless, is always amazing to hear a testimony of God’s grace. It is also encouraging to hear how God keeps working in them to faithfully bring them to Biblical Churches. We feel a desperate need and have been praying as a Church, that God would bring more people, not only to salvation but also to our fellowship. We desire the fellowship of more of God’s people.
On a final note, Finland is infamous for depression and drunkenness. People trying to cope with the hardships of life and the reality that life is futile if not lived to the glory of God. May the Lord open doors and opportunities and boldness to search and reach them with the Gospel, the greatest and only good news that can bring salvation and true joy in Christ. He is God, supreme over all things, and unto Him, we and all things are created.