We are very blessed to have serving with us right now a young lady from Northern Ireland named Hannah Neilly. She is currently training and raising support to be an overseas missionary assisting with evangelism, discipleship and church planting. She will serve wherever the Lord opens the doors, but she has a real heart for Africa and in particularly for Muslim countries.
We met Hannah in 2007 when we lived in Northern Ireland, and she has been a good friend to our family ever since. The Lord has blessed her with nearly 50% of her support, most of which comes from British churches, for which we are very thankful.
While Hannah is working on her missionary training and doing an internship here in London until July 2017, we would like to encourage churches especially in England and Wales to consider having her come to share her testimony and present her ministry. She will be a real encouragement and inspiration to your church.
You can find out more information about her on website. If you have any questions about her or the work she plans to do, you can also contact me.
Youth Meeting: This past Saturday night, we had a great time at a youth activity put on by Crossroads Baptist Church in Bromley. There were games, food, and a powerful video on the cross. It was encouraging to see a good group of young people coming together and learning more about Christ.
Sunday Services: We had some very good questions in the 10.30am Bible class including, “What are the Biblical responsibilities of pastors and church leaders?”. In the 11.30am service, we had two first-time visitors and looked at “The Armour of God” from Ephesians 6:10-16. In the afternoon, a number of people starting giving out our 2500 Christmas invitations. In the 6pm service, we looked at “The Message of the Church – the Humble Cross” from 1 Corinthians 1:17-25.
Pastoral Visits: Teri and I have been able to do more pastoral visits recently. During the visits, we are trying to: 1) get to know the families in our church better, 2) care for their souls better through prayer and counselling, and 3) involve them more in the discipleship and ministry of our church. We are so thankful for wonderful group of people God is forming into a local New Testament church in Downham.
Coffee Morning Visitors: Several months ago, Salome from our church started a coffee morning on Tuesday mornings to invite people to come to the church, have a coffee/tea, and a chat. Yesterday, two visitors attended who first saw our banner two years ago when we were meeting in the community centre. They received a leaflet this past Sunday and decided to come to the coffee morning. They have many questions about the Bible and about God, so pray that they will start coming to the services and that we can be of help to them.
We have found Christmas to be a great opportunity in Britain to invite people to church and to share the gospel. Most people here are still open to attending some kind of Christmas service. Because of this we have planned a number of different church services and events that we hope lost people will come to and hear about Christ. Please pray for souls to be saved this Christmas.
We have just a few weeks left in our first term of Bible institute. As the weeks have gone along, some students have had to drop out for various reasons, but several are still attending and finding that it is helping them grow in the Lord.
One student who is with us right now is Hannah Neilly. She is a good friend from our time in Northern Ireland, and she is currently studying theology and preparing to go as a missionary, helping church-planting missionary couples and teams. We are excited for how God is working in her life and asking the Lord to direct and provide for her as she completes her training.
Another young lady Salome is also in Bible college. She had the idea to start a coffee morning where people could come by the church, drink a tea or coffee, and have a chat. Please pray for this outreach as well.
I have started taking a couple of our young men through discipleship lessons with the goal of them getting baptized soon. Please pray for them and their spiritual growth.
We are pleased with how people have given toward the purchase of new chairs. Thank you for praying for this need. We hope to purchase the chairs in the next month or two.
Please continue to pray for the building for Northwest Baptist Church. The lawyers are still drawing up papers for the church to lease the building initially while they apply for a change of use/zoning and then subsequently purchase the building.
Thank you so much for your continual support and encouragement. We are so thankful for how God continues to bless us personally and how He is blessing the work here in London with new visitors, with believers growing in their faith, and with new opportunities to reach out with the gospel!
Thankfulness is one of the immediate results of being filled with the Spirit according to Ephesians 5:18-21,
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…
In this verse, we see that Spirit-filled people will thank God all the time, for all things, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today is the American Thanksgiving holiday, and I just want to stop to thank God for His goodness to me and my family. And I want to thank each of you who pray for us and support us on a regular basis. It means so much.
Whether you are observing the Thanksgiving holiday or not, may God fill you with His Spirit and may we all give thanks to Him for all His wonderful gifts, including “the unspeakable gift” – Jesus Christ (2 Cor 9:15).
This past Tuesday, Jeff Bryan and I travelled up to Colchester to look at some chairs we may buy for the church. While there, we were able to stop off and see the church where Charles Spurgeon was converted and the house where He was born in Kelvedon.
Spurgeon at the time of his conversation was 16 years of age. He was under great conviction of his sin but despaired of being rescued. That Sunday in the church on Artillery Street, the usual preacher could not attend. A layman stood up to speak. His message was unimpressive by the usual standards, but God used it to show this young man that God wanted to save him. Spurgeon believed and as they say the rest is history.
It is so encouraging to consider the work that God will do through His Word to save lost sinners. And it is also exciting to think about what God can do through the life of one person who may be attending our church this Sunday or with whom we may share the gospel this week. May we preach the Word and share the gospel with great boldness, knowing that it is through “the foolishness of preaching” that God saves the lost.
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.