...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
Holding the Ropes in Prayer - One of the founders of the Baptist Missionary Society in the eighteenth century was Pastor Andrew Fuller. The first Missionary sent out by that Society was ‘the father of modern Missionary work’, William Carey.

On one occasion the two men were discussing the vast number of souls to be reached in the nation of India alone and Fuller stated, ‘there is a gold mine in India, but it seems almost as deep as the centre of the earth. Who will venture to explore it?’ William Carey not only had an answer to that question, but he was willing to be the answer himself because he clearly replied, ‘I will venture to go down but remember that you must hold the ropes.’ Carey was referring to the great need of those who would hold him up in the place of prayer. The idea came from Paul’s escape from Damascus by being let down from the wall of the city in a basket by Christians holding the ropes (Acts 9:25). Afterwards Mr Fuller stated, ‘this we solemnly engaged to do, pledging ourselves never to desert him as long as we should live’.

William Carey spent forty-one years in India and translated the Scriptures into forty languages. One of the great secrets of his success was those Christians who were ‘rope holders’ and held him up constantly at the throne of grace in prayer.

We want to thank you sincerely for being ‘a rope holder in prayer’ for the whole Free Presbyterian Missionary cause. Be assured that as a Mission Board we put great value upon your prayers. We can do without many things in our Missionary work, but we cannot do without the prayers of God’s people. Those prayers are a vital support to our Missionaries and Mission Stations on a daily basis, but they are especially vital at a time of crisis such as we are facing all around the world at this time.

We appeal to you to pray earnestly for all our Missionaries and their work at this very challenging time. To aid you in your prayers we have provided below brief reports on all our Mission Fields and listed some important prayer requests.

Meetings and events
• Missionary Council meetings have been postponed until further notice
• All planned deputation meetings have now been postponed or cancelled. This includes – Rev Patterson (Kenya), Rev Hall (Tasmania), Alejandro Bernabeu (Spain), Uganda School and Precious Orphanage.

Home Workers
• Our children’s and Youth workers have now stopped their work in the schools, and we have plans in place to allow them to continue their service to the children and young people by video. More details will be announced next week.
• Our Home Evangelists have postponed any planned missions and other activity, and are helping out where they can in our local church work.

• The churches have been closed and the men there are using other communication means to evangelise and keep in contact with the congregation – webcast, whatsapp, etc.
• Rev Alverez will not travel to NI in April to complete his deputation meetings

• The Free Presbyterian Church of Nepal has now closed all church services, in line with government announcements.
• Our worker there will, for now, remain in Kathmandu and restrict her work according to the government advice in Nepal.

• Margaret Russell’s farewell service, planned for early May, has been cancelled, as has the Pastor’s conference. Miss Russell still plans to return home later in the Spring.
• The churches and shops are reviewing the situation as the Kenya government issues new advice

• Noreen McAfee and Andrew & Hannah Foster will continue to work in their respective roles in Uganda. Andrew & Hanna still plan to be home on furlough in the Autumn.
• The School and church are now closed, and children have been sent home.
• Mr Trevor Wyllie, who was preaching in Uganda for the past few weeks has rearranged his travel and will return to NI this weekend.

• Rev Dicanio, and Joanne Greer, continue to work in Monrovia and expect that the church may close shortly
• The radio work is a real asset at this time and will be the main part of the work for the next few weeks.

• Rev Hall has cut his deputation meetings short and has just arrived home in Tasmania today. He will now commence a 14 day period of self-isolation.
• Mr Noel Shields who was covering there has also rearranged travel plans and has just returned to NI
• The works in Tasmania, Perth and Port Lincoln/Lock continue to observe the government advice at this time.

All other planned travel to or from our mission fields, including work teams, VBS teams and Mission Board members, is now cancelled or postponed.

Please continue to pray for

• Our workers, that they would be protected at this difficult time
• Our congregations overseas to be preserved, drawn closer in fellowship and visited with revival.
• The Lord to speak all around the world by these events so that many souls will be saved.
• Clear guidance to be given to the Mission Board at this very challenging time.
• New methods of evangelism to open up and be developed
• All our Mission Fields will continue to be kept open in the future
• The Lord to overrule so that these events will fall out unto the furtherance of the Missionary work and the opening of new doors of opportunity
• The Lord to step in so that this time of crisis will soon pass

‘Ye also helping together by prayer for us’… (2 Cor 1:11)
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