Induction Service – The month of July began with an “Induction Service” for Ricardo Hipolito, the new pastor of Downham Baptist Church in southeast London. A number of friends, including several pastors, attended the service to share words of encouragement. It was a very special time acknowledging the hand of God in leading both pastor and church together. We are so grateful for God’s provision of such a godly pastor and his wife to shepherd the flock at Downham. Please keep Ricardo and Katharina Hipolito in your prayers.
Saying Goodbye – In Acts 20, the Bible records Paul’s final words of exhortation and his farewell to the Ephesian elders. This seemed a most suitable text for me to preach in our final services at Downham and Colchester, as we commended both churches to God and to the work of His grace (see Acts 20:32). In our final services, both churches were very gracious and kind to us, giving us thoughtful and generous gifts to remember them by. We came to the UK to be a blessing but we leave with so much more than we gave. As we said goodbye, we were reminded that Jesus said those who forsake “house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s…shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children…(Mark 10:29-30)” Though we don’t feel like we gave up much to serve the Lord in the UK, our friends in the UK have become like additional members of our family!
Baptism Service – To cap off a hectic yet amazing month, we were able to baptize two new believers in Colchester on our final Sunday. Both were invited to the church and through studying the Bible came to believe on Christ. What a blessing it was to hear them profess their faith and follow the Lord in believer’s baptism! Please pray for their continued spiritual growth.
Next Steps – This month we will conclude over 18 years of ministry in the United Kingdom. We are very grateful for God’s blessings and the things the Lord has taught us in this time. As we move back to America on August 24th, we would like to ask you to continue to pray for us and support us as the Lord leads you. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to be involved in world evangelism through helping local churches train and send missionaries worldwide as the General Director of Vision Baptist Missions. Please get in touch if you would like us to come by your church and give a ministry update.