This past Sunday, we were blessed to have a guest preacher, Andrew Robertson from Sunderland. Andrew works full-time as a solicitor, but also is heavily involved in the ministry of his local church, especially with the youth work.
Andrew spoke on the subject “Christianity in the Workplace” and gave some very helpful advice from the life of Daniel about working hard at work, refusing to compromise at work, and witnessing at work.
After the service, we had our first membership class with 6 adults staying after to learn more about our church, about membership, and about joining the church. This was the first of several membership class opportunities we are planning to have leading up to our constituting the church in June, God willing.
We have located a building that looks very good in Derry, Northern Ireland. The only issue now is whether it can be changed to be used as a church. We are wanting to make an offer this week. Pray that James can get some good insight this week from some planning consultants about whether the building is likely to be allowed a change of use/zoning. Once we hear that the building is likely to be approved a change of use, we will then place an offer.
We had a very busy and blessed summer. It was wonderful to spend about a month in America visiting friends and family. It had been three years since we saw our families, so it was so nice to catch up with them, especially as our children seem to be growing up fast.
Grant is now eleven years old; Darci is nine; and Cali is seven. Grant just started secondary school and is really enjoying it. The girls start school tomorrow at a new school located half a mile from our house and very near the church.
On August 16-20, myself and several of the young men from Downham Baptist travelled up to Sunderland to be part of a week of evangelism hosted by Bethesda Free Church. It was a privilege to teach alongside several pastor friends here in the UK: Alan Campbell, Martin Wickens, and Matt Green. Each day, we had training sessions in evangelism, discipleship, and missions. Then in the afternoons, we went out on the streets to share the gospel. Young people came from all over the UK to participate in the week.
The last full week in August, we had youth camp in Wales. This was a joint-effort with Saron Chapel Baptist Church and Brimpton Baptist Church. There were 45 workers and campers, and we had a great time in a beautiful part of the country. The theme of the camp was “Having Done All to Stand” and each day there was teaching on that topic. It was encouraging to have several young people from our church make decisions for God and professions of faith in Christ.
Also, for two weeks in August, it was a blessing to have a young man named Nico with us from Germany. I met him last year while in Germany at a conference, and he came to help us for a couple of weeks with Reach and the youth camp.
Thank you all so much for praying and giving toward our special projects. Last month, $4500 was given toward the building fund for Northwest Baptist Church, bringing the total that has been given to $38,384!
Regarding the purchase of a building for Northwest Baptist Church, we have made inquiries about two buildings this month. One was too expensive; the other may not be able to be converted to a church, but we are checking on this. Thank you for continuing to pray for Pastor James as he leads the building search there.
Thank you for continuing to pray for the work here. Lots of our church ministries start back up this month including our youth meeting. The church is continuing to grow steadily, for which we praise God and give him the glory. It is beautiful to see people from dozens of different ethnic backgrounds worshipping God, loving each other, and working to share the gospel.
– Travis & Teri Snode
A safe and blessed trip to visit family in America last month
Youth camp with several young people making professions of faith
$4500 given toward the building fund for Northwest Baptist
Continued growth of Downham Baptist Church in London
Souls to be saved, disciples to grow, and men to train for ministry.
God’s blessing as we plan to officially organize Downham Baptist with membership soon.
The remaining $36,614 to come in for Northwest Baptist Church’s building fund.
The right building to purchase for Northwest Baptist Church in Northern Ireland.
The remaining $1500 that we need to purchase new chairs for Downham Baptist Church.
Chris Waye family as they return to the UK to do church-planting/revitalization
Monday night, I picked up a young man named Nico from Germany from the airport. I met Nico last May when Alan Campbell and I were in Germany helping a church there with a week of outreach. Nico and I have kept in touch and he came for a visit. Please pray for him as he is here with us for a couple weeks and as he goes back and seeks to be a witness in his own country.
Tuesday morning, Nico and I and three young men from our church drove up to Sunderland in the North of England for a week of training and outreach. This was the fifth year for Reach, which is a ministry of Bethesda Free Church under the direction of Alan Campbell. This was my third year to attend and help teach.
We had a great group of young people stay at the church and attend training sessions each morning, outreach on the streets each afternoon, and services each evening. There were young people from various parts of the UK. I was very excited to hear that many of these young people who have been saved recently are seeking to reach their families, communities, and universities for Christ, even despite persecution and opposition.
We arrived back on Saturday evening and had a great day today at Downham Baptist Church. The Lord blessed with four visitors, three of which have just moved to London from Kuwait.
Please pray for us as we head out to youth camp in Wales tomorrow morning. There will be nineteen of us going from here. We will be joining Brimpton Baptist Church and Saron Chapel Baptist Church. Please pray for any unsaved young people to be saved and for God to really stir up the hearts of the believing young people. Please pray for safety, strength, and wisdom. Thank you so much.
I had a great final week in America. It was very good to attend our sending church, Vision Baptist, and to catch up with everyone there. God has really blessed Vision with 22 missionaries families being sent of the church to various parts of the world. The church also has several dozen young people who are training for missionary work in the Our Generation Training Centre. I am so thankful for how helpful and supportive the church and Pastor Gardner has been to me and my family over the years.
Last Monday, we made it safely to Mobile, Alabama where we visited with Teri’s parents. Teri’s dad pastors Bellingrath Road Baptist Church, so he allowed me to share about the work in the UK and preach in their midweek service. I flew out of Mobile on Thursday and arrived safely back home in London on Friday. (Teri and the children come back this Friday.)
It was very, very good to be back at Downham Baptist Church on Sunday. I enjoyed catching up with everyone and preaching from Ephesians and Genesis in the services. I was very encouraged to see the faithfulness of the folks in the church. God has blessed the church with a tremendously servant-hearted and loving group of people.
Today, I have been working on catching up with everything and getting ready to leave tomorrow for Reach, a week of training and evangelism for young people in their teens/twenties. The week is hosted by Bethesda Free Church in Sunderland, and I am excited to be serve alongside several pastor friends throughout the week. Please pray for the four young men going with me that the Lord will work in their lives.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that Grace Baptist Church in Pekin, IL recently voted to partner with us! We know the folks there quite well, and we are so thankful for their support. Also, another one of our supporting churches in Illinois just informed us that they are sending $2000 toward the building fund for Northwest Baptist Church! Please continue to pray for that project. Pastor James looked a building today that looks very good. It is a bit out of our price range, but we are going to make a lower offer and see if they might accept.
We arrived in Ohio last Thursday evening and had several great days with family and friends there. Sunday morning, we were at North Pointe Baptist Church in Wooster, Ohio, which was started by older brother Harley several years ago. It was very encouraging to hear they decided to begin partnering with us. Sunday night, we were at Lifeway Baptist Church in Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania, which was planted by my young brother Nathan a few years ago. It was great to preach at both churches and to see how God is blessing them.
The rest of this past week, we were with my parents in Ohio, visiting my grandma and aunts, and Teri’s sister Joy and family. We drove down to Atlanta today, will attend Vision Baptist tomorrow, and then head to Alabama to visit Teri’s parents on Monday.
Thank you for continuing to pray for us and for the work in the UK. I am looking forward to getting back to the UK on this coming Friday. The week after I get back, I will be helping with a week of youth evangelism in Sunderland followed by youth camp in Wales.
We made it to America safely and have had a great first week. We were able to see Teri’s brother and sister and their families in the Atlanta area as well as catch up with a lot of people at our sending church, Vision Baptist Church. Friday morning, we were involved in teaching a class at the training centre there and Sunday night, I preached in the evening service. We were very encouraged to meet the Wipf family, who are special yokefellows out of Vision.
On Friday and Saturday, I was in Sam & Beth Quinn’s wedding. Sam worked with us in Northern Ireland for three years. It was great to see him get married to a lovely Christian lady. They are on their way to India as missionaries.
Monday morning, we left Georgia and are making our way up to Ohio to see our family there. We visited Teri’s grandma and some friends along the way, spent yesterday in Washington DC and will spend tonight and part of tomorrow in New York City.
Thank you for your prayers for safety as we travel. This trip has been very encouraging and refreshing.
Thank you for praying for the work in London. The church had a number of visitors and returning visitors on Sunday, and God worked in the services. Please continue to pray for the folks there and for the men who are leading in my absence.
The following points are taken from the Introduction of How to Preach Biblically by John MacArthur:
Superficial, marginally biblical preaching is wrong for the following reasons:
It usurps the authority of God over the soul.
It removes the lordship of Christ from His church.
It hinders the work of the Holy Spirit.
It demonstrates an appalling pride and lack of submission.
It severs the preacher personally from the regular sanctifying grace of Scripture.
It clouds the true depth and transcendence of our message and therefore cripples both corporate and personal worship.
It prevents the preacher from fully developing the mind of Christ.
It depreciates by example the spiritual duty and priority of personal Bible study.
It prevents the preacher from being the voice of God on every issue of his time.
It breeds a congregation that is as weak and indifferent to the glory of God as their pastor is.
It robs people of their only true source of help.
It encourages people to become indifferent to the Word of God and divine authority.
It lies to people about what they really need.
It strips the pulpit of power.
It puts the responsibility on the preacher to change people with his cleverness.
This section of the book is well worth the read and these points are well worth meditating on. Biblical preaching is alway the need of every age, and it is our job in this current generation to herald forth the truth of God’s Word.
BBQ: Friday night, we had a free community BBQ at the church as a way to meet people in the community. We had a great turnout with around 100 people attending, probably over half of which would have been people who do not normally attend our church. It was very encouraging to meet lots of new people from the community and many who were invited by the folks in our church. It was also great to see the willingness of the people in the church to invite people, serve, and reach out to others. I think it was a real example of God’s love to those who attended. Please pray for fruit from these conversations and opportunities.
Sunday’s Service: On Sunday, we had 2 first-time visitors, 4 returning visitors, and 51 in the morning service. After the service, we had our monthly Bring and Share Lunch together with a lovely time of fellowship. Then in the evening (since we did not have an evening service), we had a church outing to the British Museum, particularly looking at the artefacts in the museum that point to the truthfulness of the Bible.
Cali’s Birthday: Yesterday, our youngest daughter Cali turned 7. We had a nice time celebrating her birthday. She had a princess party in which a fierce dragon showed up. Thankfully, a brave prince was there to save the day!
Trip to America: Here in a few hours, we head to the airport for a few weeks visit to America. We will mostly be visiting with family, as it has been three years since we have seen our families, and it will probably be another couple before we return for a full furlough. I will come back to the UK on Aug 12, while Teri and the children will return Aug 19. Please pray for safety as we travel and for the church here in London. Please especially pray for Daniel and Jeff as they lead things while I am away and for guest speakers, Salaam Kamara and Ryan Strother.
Discipleship: This past Sunday, we recognised four adults in our church who completed Foundations Discipleship Level 1. We are so grateful for the commitment of Jeff, Heather, Susan, and Daniel. All of them are working on taking others through Foundations as well.
Community BBQ: This Friday we are having a community BBQ and open day at our church to meet people in the community and for people to which people can invite their friends and family. Please pray for this event, for lost people to attend, and for gospel fruit to come out of it.
Illness: I have had the flu the last few days, which has hindered me from doing very much. I appreciate prayer that I would feel better especially for the events of the weekend and our trip to America coming up on Wednesday.
Interest in Church Membership and Discipleship: Several young adults spoke to me this week about wanting to join the church and wanting to be discipled. We have not officially organised as a church with membership yet, but we hope to do that soon. It is encouraging to see people wanting to be more committed to the church.
Building Fund: Now is a great time to give toward the building fund for Northwest Baptist Church, as the exchange rate between US dollars to UK pounds is at a 30 year low. This means that anything that is given in dollars toward the fund will go about 10-15% farther. To find out more info about this project, go here.
For the last four days, I have been in Northern Ireland, searching for buildings with Pastor James Wilson. We have a had a very profitable week. Here are a few of the things we have been doing:
Contacting over twenty estate agents
Viewing a number of potential properties
Searching lots of websites for buildings
Setting up a list of estate agents to contact each week
Writing letters to companies and individuals who might be able to help us with buildings that might not be on the standard market
Working on getting the church accounts audited so that we are more likely to get a mortgage for the church
Driving around the city for many hours looking for buildings
Meeting with a planning consultant regarding change of use applications
Though we did not confirm any buildings or make any offers, we feel confident that we are in a much better position to be ready to buy a building and to find out about any available building that might come on the market.
Please continue to pray for Pastor James as he searches for buildings on a weekly basis in addition to his other responsibilities. Please continue to pray for God to provide for the building fund. Northwest Baptist Church has been taking up special offerings that have contributed to the fund. I am hoping that before we purchase the building, we will have raised another $41,441 (£27,850). If you would like to find out more about how to have part, go here.