Dear Friends and supporters,
In a recent prayer letter, I described the various groups which make up our fellowship. In this communique, the blessing of our Bostonian Bible study group will be shared.
Our Bostonian Bible Study
This segment of International Baptist Fellowship is made up of men and women, many of whom have made serious mistakes in life and know it. Whether it be drug abuse, promiscuity, or some other life debilitating sin these individuals have seen the bottom and are fighting to get up. I love being part of this group. I wish you could join us for this Bible study sometime. This is no quiet, meek, and mild study group. Rather, when meeting, we tend to be kind of loud and in your face as various members explain their opinion concerning the way in which the Scripture relates to life or when holding each other accountable. And progress is being made—lives are being rescued and changed. Salvation is happening. At times during this gathering, I am compelled to quietly bow my head and thank God for the transformations that are happening right before my eyes. I am so blessed to be allowed to be part of this. Maybe the reason I identify so much with this group is that I came from a very similar background. I abused alcohol and drugs and I was in jail a couple of times, and yet God saved me as He is saving these individuals in Boston. Please pray for the leader of this study, Bruce, and the rest of us who attend the study regularly: Bill, Antonio, Richard, Toby, Felicia, Micheal, Dawn, Alex, and the children, Rosalie, Isaiah. Pray for us by name that we will grow and overcome sin in our lives, and that the children will be raised in an environment that helps them know the Lord at an early age and grow up in a secure environment. As one participant put it, “I want to break the cycle of sin that destroys life and the life of our children.” We plan on this absolutely happening.
Our Chinese Fellowship
The other major part of our church fellowship is our mainland Chinese congregation. The needs of this group are very different from the other group, but these individuals are also in great need of our prayers. During the summer, this academically oriented segment scatter across the USA and the world. This fact makes evangelistic, baptism, and discipleship studies difficult. There is a second major need as it pertains to our international friends. Several need work desperately. If they are not able to find jobs in their field of study, they will be forced to return to the country from which they came. This is not a good thing for some. Please pray for Jianwei, Xiuhua, and Wendy as they look for full time employment in the USA.
Our Vocational Workers
Perhaps I should say our potential vocational workers. I am referring to Toby and Susan Stevens and to Andy Scott. Toby has finished his internship and he and Susan are now praying about their next move. They plan to minister in the city vocationally, but the details of how this will happen have not been finalized. Andy Scott will be finished with all of his academic work (M.Div.) by early August and will then be looking for a job that will help him pay off his school debt. Please pray for Andy, Toby, and Susan as they continue to make plans to minister long-term in Boston.
Our Daughter Linda
Linda continues to diligently seek additional employment to help pay her way back into college. She is working as a waitress in the evenings, and during the days she is doing various odd jobs for various people. She is helping a hoarder sort through belongings, baby sitting and even counting cars. She spends much of her free time searching for more jobs. Please pray that she will be able to find enough work to pay her tuition and board at Maranatha Baptist Bible College.
Deb and Bill
Deb has been fighting a chronic cold for quite awhile—I am concerned. The last several years she has been prone to catching colds, and this year the cold has lingered for months. I (Bill) will be traveling to Denver next week to attend the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches annual meeting. I am praying, asking our Father for the opportunity to share with some the need for an urban church-planting movement.
We are thankful for the blessing of answered prayer in regard to our need for a new grill. Deb has needed a tool like an outdoor grill to assist her in her hospitable endeavor to feed the various guests we house, as well as the whole church family on Sunday afternoons. In response to our posted need on Bill and Deb’s Website for Supporters, a generous friend felt moved to provide us with funds to purchase a new grill. We are very thankful for this answer to prayer, and hope it will function as a small cog in the clockwork of our ministry.
Ministering the gospel to the world by means of the city, love you,
Bill & Deb