There are two things I would like to emphasize in this text. First, we all have our weaknesses and faults which can cause a lot of trouble in our life we live beside our families or neighbors. Their weaknesses and faults make us even more nervous. Some of those can be corrected, changed, others can’t. With respect to those belonging to the second category – we may condemn them, but to no avail: we can’t do anything but forbear them. As for the second emphasis in this text, Ephesians makes clear how important in this the role of love is. This is something which makes the weaknesses of the other for bearable. Someone told me once: Of course, I have a lot of shortcomings if you come short of love. The more love is in me, the less the shortcomings of others will bother me. May this lead our thoughts in our expectations during the time of Advent. How do you see this happen in your life?
With respect to the missionary work I am more and more troubled by the question how I could engage more people and make them more active in the life of the congregation. During my search I was struck by the Theme Centered Interaction approach (TCI), one of the methods which proves to be very effective in leading and coordinating groups. Most of our work in the congregation takes place in some group (groups of children, youth groups, young married couples, women’s alliance, etc.). Therefore I decided to make use of this method in these groups. During this summer and the autumn I attended several courses abroad where I was introduced in these methods. What I have learned I was able to implement immediately in my work with the young bible study group. It functioned well, the group was very active. I am looking forward for getting into the further details of this approach. Of course, I know that the revelation of the Holy Spirit is the most important, without his help no method will work. But often it is not only a question of what I say, but how I say it. I have to talk about the living word of God, but it is not unimportant how this word is presented. For this reason I consider it important to learn more about the theme centered introduction. I believe it is God himself who leads me in this direction. Please pray for me that I may have the wisdom and be able to put this method in practice in my missionary work.
In our work with the youth we see the continuing presence and work of God. We have a big plan that I would like to share with you. We have planned with the youth to visit a penitentiary centre this Christmas and tell those people about the news of the birth of Jesus and the shining of his love. The boys and girls are preparing the cookies and sweeties that we would like to give as presents to the prisoners. This visit is a great challenge and responsibility for us. On the one side, we have to be aware that this is not merely an interesting visit but a serious service. We should not be indifferent as to how we prepare for this. We have to pray for this and prepare it with great caution. We need the leading of God’s Spirit and his care so that nothing can hinder our plans to bring the gospel to the prisoners. Pray for us and ask our Lord to prepare our hearts for this service, that he may help us choosing the songs, the word to be preached, the cookies we make, so that we may be able to bring the gospel close to the hearts of those people, that they may experience concretely the love of God, the love he has shown on the first Christmas, by which he calls us to himself even today. Please pray for the prisoners as well that they may hear the word and convert. May this be a wonderful experience for each attendee.
In November visited us Hank Paulson, the founder and president of the 4D Ministries, with Stuart Ferguson, board member of the 4D Ministries. It was a very nice meeting, we discussed about the ministry future plans and possibilities.
We are happy to share with you the work of God in the life of our family. As our children get bigger we are more and more thankful to God, seeing how he is at work in their hearts. One of the wonderful signs of this is how each of them prays and thanks to God with his or her own word each night before we turn to sleep. About two weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised by another event: while going to attend a bible study with many struggles, we were struck by the presence of God in our midst. After the bible study my wife told me that my 13 year old daughter had told her just before the bible study was going to begin that she had a strong feeling to pray for this gathering that his father was going to attend.
Please pray for our family so that we may all get to know him better and praise him with our lives, we and our children alike.
We wish you all a merry Christmas and a new year in love and peace!