This year I will send a ministry update for the end of 2012 followed by a family update. You can make both of them available as you like to those interested.
First, the ministry news in the last quarter: In October, the family travelled to Melbourne for the “National Independent Baptist Conference.” This is important to maintain contacts with other pastors, see what the Lord is doing in churches around Australia, and for spiritual refreshment. The theme was greater love, and various pastors brought messages that the Lord fit together to bring home the theme to us. Carolyn and I also had the opportunity to attend a small pastor’s and wives prayer fellowship in the country town of Albury, NSW.
In November we travelled to Newcastle to help commission the Grace Bible Baptist Church just started in the coastal city of Newcastle. Our son-in-law Charlie, and daughter Janet, have done a good job, and the Lord has brought along a core of people committed to the doctrine and fellowship. On the Saturday, there was a large crowd attending from various churches to encourage them in the signing of the initial list of members. I was then able to preach there on the Sunday to this small but growing fellowship. What a blessing to hear some of the testimonies. Later in the month, we travelled to Sydney to attend the graduation exercises for the Sydney Bible Baptist College. A young lady whose family we have known for years here in Australia finished her program, also, our future daughter-in-law received a certificate as well (yes there is news about this, but will include it in the family letter). Our Thanksgiving outreach was less this year with all the travel at the time, but we hope to continue to use this in the future (some asked about this).
December is upon us and almost done, along with the year. We are preparing for Christmas activities, particularly a church fellowship time on the 23rd after the morning service, and then, a number of the people plan to join us for Christmas carolling that evening at an old-folks home that evening. We have taken the young people out for this each year on Christmas eve as a means of service and encouragement to some shut-ins followed by a time of fellowship. This year it will be on the eve of Christmas eve, but I don’t think anyone will mind.
In our regular services we have completed our study of the New Testament concept of the “mystery” in several aspects, and increased our understanding of God’s working in this day, as well as preparing us for Christ’s return. The evening services have taken a detailed look at Galatians and we just concluded with the study last night (our time). In these last few weeks of the year, we have been focusing on the time, place, and witnesses of Christ’s birth, along with the significance for us. Our prayer meeting group is small in number, but fervent in their desire to see God honoured while finding answers to requests. We always have a devotion-recently focusing on prayers in the Pentateuch, and then devote our time to actual prayer. It is blessing to my heart to hear the people pray. May their tribe increase!
Just want to let you know that we are sticking by the stuff-doctrinally, devotionally, in our connections, and commitments, and in our witness. Please continue to pray with us as we seek to reach Australians with the Gospel. We also desire to be used of the Lord to the greatest effect, and ask prayer for wisdom still. Also, on our prayer list are some individuals:
James Henry-salvation. This young man has a rare and unusual illness that will shorten his life. He was in Carolyn’s computer class and comes around to the house because we care. Pray for God to work in his heart.
John and Phyllis Sayers-continue to pray for this couple as they attend our services. They have come from a different background and are still sorting through some of the things they are hearing.
Terry Hetherington-salvation. This man is the husband of one of our regular attending ladies. He recognizes her faith and faithfulness, but has not embraced the Saviour himself.
Sick members and attendees-Carol Hetherington, Kevin Sloane, Hazel Barton
Please know that we pray for the churches. It is good to hear from some of you all year, some at this time of year, and we would love to hear from the rest of you any time. Our special thanks to some who have sent Christmas gifts to us through our sending church-Evangel Baptist Church in Dale City Virginia-they have recently called Pastor Barnes. Our thanks to them and all of you who have a part in this mission outreach into the heart of Australia. May God grant His blessing to you as you look to Him.
Yours in Christ,
Missionary Ross Trumble