As I write these words I am in Forsyth, Georgia preaching a Missions Revival for church planter Eric Byrd. I met Bro. Byrd two years ago through my good friend, Pastor Joe Bowker of Macon, Georgia. During the past two years Pastor Eric and I have stayed in contact, as I have tried to be a blessing and help to him. In fact, about 18 months ago he and several of his church folks drove to Jacksonville and attended a seminar I was conducting on Sunday school organization and growth.
In the few brief years since the founding of this church, God has used Eric and Wendy Byrd to impact this community for Jesus Christ. God wonderfully provided an old church building for their new congregation—debt free! After much labor, it is amazing how beautiful it now appears.
I am so pleased that God connected me with Bro. Byrd. He and his people are doing a fantastic job of reaching the lost in this needy community. According to the Pastor this is the only independent Baptist church in Monroe county. I am so very honored he invited me to be the preacher for their Missions Revival! Please pray for the Byrds and the good people of Philadelphia Baptist Church; their greatest days are ahead!
Each ministry has seen growth in a way that has not been seen since our coming to Iceland.
You have heard by now that we had to discontinue our van ministry for a time until we get ourselves out of the debt that was caused by the van ministry. The cost, as you may recall from our previous letters, reached over 1,200 dollars per month. At 8 dollars per gallon of gas - that was just the beginning.
However, since having to stop transporting we have seen an increase in children coming to church weekly. We have seen many visitors coming with parents that drive their children in each week. It has been a blessing to see this change.
I very much believe in the bus ministry and because of my love for it we continued until it was simply not possible. It will take us over a year to recover financially. I hope to start running the van once a month at some time in the summer.
The English ministry has seen some good things, also. Several immigrants in the English church have been quite willing to help. They walk to church and some take a bus. It is a blessing to see their desire to be with the people of God in the church house.
We had 4 raise their hands in church that have not been saved. That was in late February. Please pray that they will understand, believe, and be saved. Below is a one photo from each of our three services service taken in January and February. Each week the church building has 50 or more people come and gather for the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. Though most are children and teens it is still a great blessing.
We love the people of Iceland and want so much to see a generation rise up in Iceland to become a strong and living Church Body.
Our supporting churches, four of them are sending groups to Iceland this year to help in the work here and to see the work in Iceland first hand. Please consider sending your pastor, deacon, or church member to come see the work. This is always a blessing both to us as well as the supporting church to have a first hand look at their investment in Iceland. We have been blessed with right at 300 people from supporting churches coming to Iceland since 1999. We are very blessed as missionaries to have this close connection to our sending churches.
April l-14th we will have a group from supporting church, Tucson Baptist Temple, with Pastor Brent Armstrong. You will remember that Pastor Armstrong came with 61 people in 2005 to assist in summer camp and to distribute tracts to 25,000 people in 9 days. We are excited about his team of 18 that are coming to complete another phase in the former Air Force Officer and member at First Baptist Church Iceland when the church was being established back in the early 80's. He came to Iceland for a visit last year and has become a strong supporter of the work here in Iceland. He has a burden to see a Christian radio station started in our area to broadcast to the 25,000 people living on our peninsula. This is a huge undertaking. Pray as he is doing much of the planning. Pray also for me on this end as we work on licensing details.
Tommy Thompson, from Bearing Precious Seed also contacted me about the translation work and wants to know how things are going. My answer was "Slowly but surely." This task still needs a team to help in the work. As it goes at the present I am still working alone on this project. We do have Nationals willing to read and proof the translation, but there remains none that can work with the source text and translate into Icelandic. This work will be a lifetime in the making. It will be worth it all when the job is done. This project will be given more time after the building team leaves in April.
Our family is doing very well. Clayton goes in for tonsil removal on the 18th of March. Vicki's aunt Pam, her father's sister, was moved to hospice and seems that her days are short her on earth. She is a Christian lady and ready to depart from this world to be with Jesus. Vicki will probably be going to the funeral. Please pray for her travel and family during this bitter sweet time. Clayton is getting lots of invitations to study at a variety of different colleges. We are looking forward to taking a College trip for him to visit different colleges and pray about where God would have him study. William starts High School next year and Rosa will be in 7th grade. Time sure does fly.
We are grateful for the support from our wonderful team of supporting churches. All of you have been such a blessing to hold the ropes for us as we labor in Iceland. We remain committed to make your investment count for eternity as we strive to be good stewards of your offerings for the Lord's work in Iceland. Thank you all so very much for keeping support coming through good times and difficult times financially. Thank you all!
The building project photos and videos can be viewed on GodTube.com and Facebook. You may send an email to Patrick at email@example.com - if you would like to have the links for the videos. You may type in Iceland Project into the search engine at GodTube to find the video also. GodTube is like YouTube without the junk. Following the team from Tucson, AZ, we have a small team coming from Gospel Light to help with spackle, tile, and painting. Then we have help coming from our sending church to assist in our summer camp. We also have Megumi Wright coming to help with summer camp from North Carolina. Megumi Wright is daughter of Johnny Wright, who is the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Njardvik, Iceland. We also expect to have Dagan Lisenbee, former member of FBC Iceland to bring a team at the end of the year to assist in building. Dagan did much work on the building during his tour of duty in Iceland with the USAF. We look forward to all of them coming!