As much as the world keeps changing, nothing has changed at all. It is the year of our Lord, 2022, and the world still needs the fear of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ! That’s why God has us here – to open eyes, and turn people “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins!” (Acts 26:18). It is getting harder and harder, but we as a church keep at it!
There is so much of the wrong kind of fear... The news in Ireland has been absolutely one-sided, and very slanted in favour of more and more control of people’s lives and restrictions on liberties. And the people’s compliance with the restrictions is mind-boggling. The lack of discernment is terrifying. It is no wonder the antichrist will be able to just tell people one day soon to just take his mark, or his name, or his number, and the world will gladly comply. (REVELATION 13) My heart grieves about just how lost and away from God this generation is. I am so glad many government mandates have been “lifted”, but am well aware that this world is just a constant series of disasters waiting to happen, and people always look to the wrong people for answer!
A brief look at what happened towards the end of 2021…
On Sunday, Oct 31 of last year we held our “Light-the-Night” Church Activity with Food and great Christian Fellowship! As dark as the times were, we had light! And we had fun, and preaching, and joy, and gladness. From November 4-6, several of our ladies got away up to Oavoca in Wicklow for the annual Ladies’ Retreat. At the beginning of December, the church office staff met for two days for our annual Office Planning Meeting for 2022 and beyond. It was a great time of planning and getting a vision for the Lord’s work this year! As a pastor, I am so thankful for the volunteers and staff who serve and give of themselves to feed the flock of God, and win the lost to faith in Jesus Christ!
In December, we as a Church took on a new Missionary family to pray for and financially support. The new Missionary family replaces a missionary family that our church has supported for 20 years, but just recently resigned from their Mission Field. Their labours bore so much fruit, and we were honoured to be a part of their ministry! Only heaven will tell the number of souls our labours together have reached!
Even though Covid ripped through most of our church during November and December, we had a such good Christmas. Both Nita and I got Covid as well. Thankfully, everyone recovered. And Christmas was still special, in all its simplicity, and powerful reality, that God became a Man (John 1:14) so that He could die for a world of sinners! No matter what your Christmas was like compared to everyone else, having Jesus as the Saviour of your soul makes every Christmas perfect! The children told the Christmas story in Scripture and song, and reminded us what we all bring to the story today!
On Friday, Dec 31, we gathered together again for our New Year’s Eve Meeting. A great turn out, and a wondeful time of fellowship, food, preaching, and fun. We Christians have so much to enjoy and be thankful for!
I recently was privileged to preach a Mission’s Conference in another church here in Athlone. (LINK) They are a precious group of Irish believers that we have known for years, and they work so hard to not only reach their city with the words of eternal life, but also help other men and families take the Gospel into the rest of the world. It was a joy to just be with another missionary family for a while and try and be a blessing to them and their people.
Men Made Right’ meetings on Sunday evenings. Covid restrictions have made ministry planning extremely challenging, and even just having church on a Sunday has been a struggle throughout all the constantly changing levels of restrictions here. But on Sunday evenings, we have been able to regularly get out 12-15 men to talk about issues that men specifically need taught about. We men need much work to get right and stay right!
So, we keep doing what we can: /Visiting people, and encouraging each other; preaching on Sunday mornings; fellowshipping as often as we can, praying together, learning and doing the word of God; discipling believers with our First Principles Discipleship Programme, along with Street Evangelism in Cork City and in the town of Ballincollig. I also keep preaching the Gospel between hymns on the radio here in Cork on 93.1 LifeFM.
Some things coming up...
Mar 17 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ballincollig
Mar 27 Mother's Day
Apr 17 Resurrection Sunday
Apr 21-23 Men’s Camp (Killarney, Co .Kerry)
Well, that is about it for now. Pray for us. We want to stay faithful!
In Christ Always