Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, from the work, He is accomplishing in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. There has been much going on in the world that has been affecting the church and causing her difficulty. HeartCry pastors and their congregations are suffering in Myanmar. There is persecution in the Middle East and in India, recent prayer requests for children in Asia and even here in Canada, pastors defying lockdown orders are being fined and locked up at an increasing and alarming rate. Even more surprising, though it should not be unexpected, are the cheers and approval the watching world gives when they are imprisoned. There is a tremendous and greatly exaggerated fear of Covid in Canada, even by stat-takers standards. A lot has been happening that demands our prayers and attention.
However, and according to His wisdom, the Lord has not only seen fit to spare us many of these hardships but actually increase and prosper the ministry. With the excess of discouraging information, my hope and prayer are that through this report, you would be able to share in our joy and be encouraged. As you know, we are in the midst of a building project, and if you have visited a hardware store, you would also know that building materials have increased in price 300-400%, making costs untenable from many construction companies, let alone a church of donations and volunteers. Let me tell you how the Lord has provided, and how He has built this place of worship for His Name.
In late 2019 we sent out newly approved plans to a devout and generous hardware store owner in Doaktown. He agreed to supply all of our material at a cost price and ordered the lumber early in 2020. When we needed it, he sold it to us at the pre-pandemic price he purchased it for. Shortly after, I got a quote good for thirty days from a truss manufacturer. It was expensive, but not unexpected or exorbitant. On the last day, the quote was valid, I called and confirmed the order. All in all, the total for the lumber cost was about a quarter of what it would cost today. We would have never been able to afford it. We took this as a great encouragement, and indication that the Lord had taken a personal interest in the work, that we were inside His will, and that He would carry it to completion.
Not only that, he caused other contractors to look at us with favor. Our Engineer, who designed the trusses, actually sold them to us at a loss because lumber prices increased so rapidly. Our Heat and Air Exchange system, a system we were quoted that would cost 80-90,000, is now only going to cost us around 57,000 thanks to the generosity of a local installer and supplier. Another businessman, and member of the church, hired a company to come and install the drywall, and in every conceivable instance, God has helped us. Take, for example, the drywall itself. There is a shortage right now, and nobody knows when there will be enough supply. However, drywall is the stage of construction we are at. Thomas (one of the elders who has been heavily involved in the construction process), found 275 sheets, 60 short of what we would need. So, we prayed and asked the Lord to provide. Almost immediately after praying, we received a call back to let us know that 60 more sheets were found, and we could have them if we needed them.
But it is not just the building that has prospered. In November and December of last year, I was thinking about how the church had not seen many new believers. So I began to pray earnestly and nightly, that if it would please the Lord He would send his starving sheep to Christ Community Church, that they would be fed and cared for. In January, I was reading 2 Chronicle 11 and was struck by how the Israelites, who set their hearts to seek the Lord, left everything in Israel after the kingdom was divided to move to Judah and worship God. They left everything behind for Him. That very evening, I received a phone call from a young man whose plane had just arrived in Fredericton. He was from the other side of the country. He told me he could not find a church that preached the truth and the only one he had found collapsed and disbanded due to fighting over Covid. So he sold his vehicle and most of his possession in order to purchase a plane ticket and fly across the country to join Christ Community Church. Pray as we minister to him.
From that time, the Lord has answered my prayer and many people have been added to the church. Since then I regularly receive phone calls from families moving to the area and hoping to join the church. They join currently online, not because they want to attend online, but because they hope to soon relocate and be here in person. At this point, there are 80-100 people in attendance. Our Easter service saw 114. We are thankful. Not only has the Lord brought starving sheep, but he has also continued to bring in lost sheep as well. One young man, who came regularly for over a year, heard a sermon on justification by faith and gave his life to the Lord. Afterward, he began going to each person he had wronged in order to ask forgiveness and make things right.
On account of all this, the last few months have been exceedingly demanding, not to mention the challenges of having three young boys to raise, who increasingly need more of my affection and attention. These months have been an incredible time of blessing and joy in the Lord, as he continues to care for His flock. It is my great joy to share this, so that you may join us in it. Thank you for your prayers.