About a year ago, we met a couple here in Northern Ireland called Wesley and Helen Crawford. Bro. Wesley has been in the ministry for about 30 years as a missionary and then a pastor of several of the Baptist churches here in Northern Ireland. We have visited with them a couple of times and really enjoyed the fellowship. He preached for us in October and was a huge blessing.
It was a blessing to be able to preach for the midweek Bible study last night at the Poyntzpass Baptist Church, where Bro. Crawford is the pastor. Poyntzpass is a small town of about 2000 people. It is about 2 hours away from us and has 5 churches in the town (Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Baptist, and an Independent Church). The town is 70% Catholic. God is blessing Poyntzpass Baptist. When the Crawfords went there three years ago, only a handful of people were coming to the church, but God has blessed and they averaging about 50 people now. They have just about grown out of their building, so pray for God’s direction.
The church and the people were such a blessing to us last night. They bought our dinner even though we invited them to go out to eat and put us up for the night in their lovely home. They gave our church a very generous gift to help with literature and other needs. Several people also gave us some special gifts.
It has been a real blessing for us to get to know the Crawfords and to learn from them. One of the things Bro. Crawford mentioned to me was the need to “strengthen the things that remain.” He talked about how there are quite a few smaller Baptist churches across Northern Ireland that need pastors. These churches have a handful of people but cannot support their own pastor full-time. He said that maybe a possibility would be for men from America to come over who have some support who could work in these struggling or dying churches. If you are interested in doing that, please let me know and we can talk with you more about what might be involved in such a ministry.