December has been a month full of blessings and opportunities. While much of our work this past month has been focused on building our support team, we have been searching for new ministry opportunities. God provided Michele with a new opportunity to start a women’s Bible study on Thursday’s. The group is still small but is made up of women who had not been attending church regularly. Her prayer is that this group will provide fellowship and discipleship to the women participating and they will grow strong in their faith because of the study.
We also had the privilege of participating in an outreach Christmas banquet for teens at our sending church. The dinner allowed us to get to know many teens who live in the local area but do not attend a church. Many of them have not put their faith in Jesus Christ. We pray that this event and the ongoing outreach gatherings on Friday nights, led by our youth pastor, will bring these young people to a faith in Christ.
Each year our church also serves at the local Christian shelter providing dinner, fellowship, presents, and a sermon. Michele cooked some food to bring and we rode down with a large group of volunteers. God laid a burden on Patrick’s heart to get to know a man at the shelter named Mike. It turns out that he is a believer and attends a local church in the area. It was an opportunity for Patrick to provide encouragement and fellowship during a difficult time in his life.
In addition to the Christian shelter, we visited two local nursing homes this month with our pastor and a few others from our church. It was a blessing to fellowship and worship to together. Tom and Janice Blades ministered through music by singing and playing Christmas songs on their guitar and banjo. We were both able to spend time with the residents and get to know some of them more closely.
This month has also been a time for both of us to know God better through our studies. We are each taking graduate level classes to build up our knowledge and skills to better evangelize to the lost and provide discipleship to God’s children. Throughout our prefield ministry we will take a variety of different courses to help us prepare for our future ministry in The Gambia.
Patrick is also doing additional studies to prepare for his ordination in June. Our sending church licensed Patrick for ministry this past month. This is typically the first step in the process to become ordained into ministry. An ordination council of pastors will convene to examine Patrick’s doctrine and if they are satisfied with his responses they will recommend ordination to the local church. This council is tentatively scheduled for June.
Pray that God will bless our efforts to set up appointments and present at churches.
Pray for us to have discipline and resolve in our studies.
Pray that God would use us for great things during our prefield ministry and it would glorify Him.
Pray for Patrick to study wisely as he prepares for ordination.
Thank you all for your prayers! Until next month…
Patrick, Michele, Alyssa, Danielle, Luke