It feels very good to be communicating with our beloved supporters and partners in ministry. As you know, our Spirit-derived goal is to help facilitate a church-planting movement in Boston, which will hopefully flow into other world-class cities. We intend to do this by joining our Savior in the building of a local church in Boston, (The International Baptist Fellowship), and by developing local (Boston), regional (New England), continental, and international networks of those with whom we are doctrinally and methodologically compatible. Progress is being made; we have many blessings and prayer requests to share with you.
The International Baptist Fellowship (IBF): Firstly, our fellowship has instituted an addition to our Sunday morning prayer ministry. (The IBF spends at least 30 minutes praying at the beginning of each Sunday morning service). Each of us now has prayer partners with whom we individually pray on a weekly basis. If it is not possible for prayer partners to meet personally, these prayer times are managed by means of phone, email, chat, or by some other way of communication. A young woman, who joined us about a year ago, is leading this portion of our prayer ministry. Within the last year, this young lady has trusted in Christ, has been baptized, and is now faithfully serving the Lord. Secondly, the IBF decided as a congregation to move the Lord’s Supper from our early Sunday afternoon weekly session to Sunday morning. We did this at the request of one of our members who is not able to attend our Sunday afternoon meetings. This means that one Sunday a month our morning service will be given over to teach about and to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Thirdly, in other IBF happenings, we are ecstatic to report that another individual has confirmed that their faith is now in Christ Jesus. In addition to this, we recently met yet another person who recently became a Christian and is now in need of Christian baptism.
Our fellowship collectively is teaching English as a second language to at least twelve international students. This type of activity establishes our general care for people and this, in-turn, helps authenticate that our message is from God. Indeed, some of these language partners are becoming Bible study partners.
Therefore, we are currently establishing evangelistic relationships with at least twelve individuals, are engaged in at least three evangelistic Bible studies with five people, and are helping along three friends who are in need of believer’s baptism. Quite a number of the IBF are young believers who need infant discipleship, leading towards a stable Christian life conducive to growth in Christ. There are, in addition, other more mature, yet not very old in the Lord, Christians who must not be forgotten. Deb and I are wired to minister to those whom have not heard, and this strength can also be a weakness—it is possible to neglect the needs of these in-between Christians (no longer infants in the Lord, but not yet completely mature in the Lord).
In addition to those engaged in evangelistic relationships, in evangelistic studies, in baptism studies, in infant discipleship studies, and those young but not fully mature Christians, the IBF is also made up of more long-term Christians. These also have their needs for growth and maturity. Toby and Susan Stevens are now established in Boston and are becoming part of the ongoing ministry of the IBF. Adam and Heather Brandt are asking for wisdom concerning the next step for their ministry in the Dorchester/Mattapan area of Boston. Andy Scott (former intern) is fruitfully ministering in Boston and is at the same time finishing his M.Div. studies at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary—a very busy young man. Rob and Amanda Edmondson are preparing to move back to Jackson, Wyoming, taking with them some of the lessons learned in Boston. Deb is busy as can be. She is fully engaged in the ministry of hospitality, has ten language partners, and will soon be adding academic work to her very busy schedule. Bill is busy working to facilitate church planting on the various levels mentioned above, engaged in several evangelistic studies and endeavoring to be a decent pastor to the IBF.
We had intended to write a little more about the local, regional, and continental levels of our church planting endeavors, but this letter is already long enough. We will need to save more news for next week’s (Lord willing) letter. Hopefully we can bring you to date on our network building efforts then.
This afternoon Jeff and Sherry Newman arrive in Boston for a several days of ministry. Dr. Newman is a faculty member at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. Please pray as Jeff and Sherry interact with the IBF. May this be an edifying experience for all of us.
Please pray that time will permit us to send another prayer letter next week.
Bill and Deb Edmondson