Thank you so much for your prayers and your notes when Ruth and I were so sick. So many of you sent emails and cards and it meant so much to us to know that we were thought of and prayed for. I can honestly say that I have never been so sick in my life. I did not move from my bed for almost two weeks. It hurt to blink my eyes!! I still have not totally recovered, the virus has moved into my joints, especially my right knee. The doctor tells me that it can take 8-10 weeks to get over this part of it. One encouraging part of this time was ministry continued on without us! One of the men preached both Sundays, others lead the music. With Ruth sick as well one of the ladies took the Sunday School classes, and another lady played the piano. This is the kind of growing we need in addition to more folk coming.
Summer holidays don’t last long here, a mere 6 weeks. In mid-July we had our version of VBS with 27 primary children and up to 20 teens in the evenings. Another 10-15 workers also involved. On the Thursday we had a Family BBQ with over 80. So encouraging numbers followed by a good group out for the Family Service to close the week out. We pray that now that the summer holidays are past that some will come for church and Sunday School as part of the follow-up.
We have had progress on our building since our last letter. We were able to get the hallway plastered where the dry rot had been. We are almost ready to put the ceiling in the big Sunday school room. It is exciting to see one more room coming to a completion. I have had a joiner (carpenter) come to see about the kitchen for the flat. Our almost 200 year old building requires that we take the floors and walls all the way back to the stone and joists. While we know it is hard economic times these projects are in need of money. The architect just submitted the bill for getting the planning permission to do the next steps and that alone came to $2800. The estimate for the kitchen that Ruth has gone 5 years without came in at about $10,000. These are funds we don’t have and so the projects stay on hold till the money comes in. By faith we bought the building and have paid as we go to do remodelling, but after 5 years of no kitchen in the flat it is time. Can you help in this?
The fall will bring a whirlwind of activity starting with our 9th Anniversary here in Brechin on September 4th. We are praying for a good crowd above our 40 average and that this will lead to us reaching our goal of 50 by the Christmas Season. We will celebrate with an old fashioned Song and Praise Fellowship and ice cream social in the evening. The last Sunday of September is our ‘Back to Church’ Sunday which also is a special outreach effort. Then into the schools we go, we will have Scripture Union classes in both primary schools and are getting one started in the Brechin High School as well. This will add two extra ministry opportunities to our already busy schedule so pray for the strength and health to keep up. Every week I am given the opportunity to do a ‘thought for the week’ in the local newspaper. This paper goes in most of the homes in the Brechin area, God has been so good to give us these opportunities.
Ephesians reminds us that this is not a physical or political battle but rather a spiritual one, I truly feel this past year has been one in the front lines in a major way. Besides several of our people having serious illnesses, we have had a few that have just plain quit coming and have decided one way or another that biblical Christianity is not for them. It is hard to watch as these people struggle. But, in the midst of this we have two ladies who have asked to be baptized. Baptism here is a huge commitment, as it truly shows they have chosen a new way of life. The baptismal service is scheduled for 23 October. There are a few more people who have attended our services for quite some time and need to make the commitment of baptism. Pray with us that they will be willing to take that decision to truly be a follower of Christ.
We thank you once again for your prayers and your support of our ministry here in Brechin,
Jon, Ruth and the Bergen Family