Thank you for your continued prayers for us at Gracemount Community Church. We’re so grateful to God for them, and continue to have the privilege of observing the Lord answer those prayers.
It’s been a tough couple of months, and so been reflecting a lot on these verses from Matthew 16:24-25. Jesus says that denying self and dying to self is the way to life: that when it feels like your losing life, you are actually finding it. Discipleship will feel like death, but it is the way to life. More and more we are experiencing this reality. The business and complexity of ministry is exhausting. I feel like most mornings as I read my Bible I’m saying, “Lord, today I’m at an end of myself.” Yet, with our nothing, God is doing something. In our weakness, God is showing His strength. In our dying to ourselves, He is teaching us about what is truly life.
Please pray for us, that the Lord would sustain us in this “living sacrifice.” Please pray for wisdom as we seek to walk through this with a bunch of new believers. It is easy for them to think that becoming a Christian will make everything better and make life easier. Please pray that they would persevere through the mental process of getting their head used to the daily reality of denying self and dying to self, and they would truly find life to the full in Jesus.
We can look back and see the gracious hand of God at work in Bingham and Magdalene. We have seen the Lord bless us time and time again over the past year. Here are some of the many blessings from this year:
Our Bible study started in my house in October 2017. Every Wednesday we would meet together. We had around 6-8 people studying Mark with no unbelievers attending. As the weeks passed we out-grew my house and this year we moved our Bible study to the church building. Now we have up to 20 coming along to study Mark’s gospel verse by verse, many of whom are unbelievers.
Over the last year we have met on Sunday evenings. This meeting is for those who are committed to becoming members of Hope Community Church. We have looked at and studied many topics on how our church will function when we launch. This has been a valuable time where everybody is growing and learning together in what a healthy church looks like life. What a healthy Gospel community looks like and what our church polity will be.
We now have a community meal every Wednesday and we can have up to 35 adults and children there including many unbelievers from the area. This is a great time of fellowship and relationship building with the lost from the scheme.
These are just some of the ways we have seen God work in our ministry. We can only give Him all the glory for all He has done.
Pete Stewart and Pete Bell
In late November we took around 50 of us to our Weekend Away to spend some time worshiping, praying, reflecting, and learning together as a church. Paul McLoughlan (20schemes Planter in Bingham) came and absolutely smashed us with the Gospel from Acts. It was a key time for us as a church family and there were also a number of unbelievers with us who heard the gospel too! Please pray for them.
On the first Sunday of the New Year we gathered to worship Jesus and celebrate all he has done in the first year of HCCB. In 2018 we’ve seen 6 baptisms, 14 New Members, and a real growth in love of Jesus, each other, and Barlanark. We rejoice.
Prayer request: Pete Bell (Pictured- middle) has really struggled with his headaches and fatigue since the turn of the year & has been off work and barely out of bed since 2018. It is taking its toll on Pete, Cara (who’s rheumatoid arthritis has also flared) and the boys. Pray for Pete’s healing and for endurance for them all.
Thankful to God for your prayers and support.
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.