...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
Many things have dramatically changed in our lives in just a few days. As you may know, Spain is the third country in Europe with people infected with coronavirus, and Madrid is the worst province in Spain by far. There is one hospital close to Alcorcon which has collapsed due to so many sick people, and other hospitals in Madrid are about to be in the same situation.

Thankfully, up to now no one in our church has the virus (that we know of). Now, the authorities in our country are telling us that we are still to face the worst days in Spain with a larger increase of infected people in the country. The whole population in Spain are confined to their homes, and we are only allowed to go outside of our houses for exceptional reasons (to buy food, to go to the pharmacy, to the hospital, or to go to work to one of these places). Only those who cannot work from home are allowed to be outside. Thank the Lord, Kelley can work from home for now.

Every evangelical church in Spain has had to cancel their meetings. Of course, we are no exception. We had just commenced our services in the new church building (just two meetings) before having to cancel them. There are still many things to finish in the building, and this crisis is making it much more difficult to cover all the expenses we have in order to finish paying for the renovation of the building, but we are resting on the Lord and trusting in His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. As the meetings have been cancelled, we continue to broadcast our services live as always, so the congregation can follow them via internet.

These are difficult days for everybody, but we have an access to the throne of grace to plea the Lord to have mercy on us. We would like to thank you for all your prayers and support, and we would encourage you to continue to pray for us, that the Lord will help us during this time of trial, and that He will use us to give testimony of the Gospel at such a time as this.
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)
Dear Praying Friends, Please remember us before the Lord during this Coronavirus crisis as we remember you. All church gatherings, schools, markets etc. have been cancelled all over Spain as the people are now suffering lockdown and confinement. Presently, I have been sending out devotional voice messages each morning and evening to the church fellowship, friends and contacts. At this time the internet has been a blessing.

Last Thursday when I was setting up the book table in the market, a man stopped and put out his hand for a tract, something that has never happened before. Usually quite a few would refuse the tracts when distributing the literature.

Please pray for a young man with special needs and connected with a family of the church. He lives in Mallorca and is dying because of the virus. Pray that this crisis will speak to many of their need to get right with God and that the people would pay more attention to the radio program that continues each morning from Monday to Friday.

“But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
My times are in thy hand:…” Psalm 31:14-15
I pray you are well and enjoying the blessing of the Lord upon your lives. We, as servants of the Lord are under His orders at all times, so it is imperative that we know His will and strive to do it to the best of our ability. God in His mercy has led us down through the years, through good times and ill times, but we praise Him for His faithfulness and guiding hand.

There have been times when we believed that the Lord wanted us to move on, but then He revealed His will for us to continue labouring for Him here in this part of His vineyard. As we continue to seek His will the Lord spoke to me through Genesis 31:3 “And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee”.

As I pondered those words I wondered what the Lord had in store for us. But very shortly after that my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia. I have been concerned about my mother for some time now as she is 85 years old and living on her own. I believe it to be the Lord’s will to return and be with her in these closing years of her life.

It was always a constant burden to me of who would take over the leadership in the church here. The Lord in His providence has provided for this need in a wonderful way. Alejandro or Alex Bernabeu who is a 4th year student in the Whitefield College of the Bible was visiting Spain late December and wondered if it would be possible to visit us here at the beginning of the New Year without knowing our circumstances. I was more than pleased to have him come and preach on the Lord’s day.

Alex was brought up in Spain, but his mother was originally from Ballymoney. He had returned to Ulster to work some summers and study in the Whitefield College with the burden of returning to his native country to serve the Lord. His trip at Christmas was to see what prospects there were for him here in Spain, thinking there may be some opening in the north. Eventually, he realised that the work in the North was not open and that it was very clear to him to come to work in the church here in Cortijos Nuevos.

Since then we are delighted to know that the Lord has opened up the way and that he has been accepted by the Mission Board and the Presbytery to come here and labour. We praise the Lord for His guiding hand and His provision for the work in Cortijos Nuevos. We hope to be able to stay until Alex comes over to take over the work probably in November. Please pray for him and his wife Vanesa. They have a family of two little daughters and are expecting their third child at the end of August (DV).

In the will of the Lord, my wife Heather and I will be working in Spain until mid-autumn but we want to thank you most sincerely for all the years that you have faithfully supported us, both financially and prayerfully. We have known the prayers of God´s people and His faithful provision, experiencing His loving hand upon us in every aspect of our lives. We are happy that you have been a part in this work for which we give thanks to the Lord.

In closing, I would ask you to continue to pray for us as it is unclear what the Lord would have for us in the future. We leave that in His hands and believe He will reveal it in His own good time. Thank you once again and may the Lord richly bless you.

“For we are labourers together with God, ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”  1 Corinthians 3:9

Yours in the service of King Jesus,
On the 23rd February the Moderator, Rev Gordon Dane, visited the Perth congregation. In the morning service he officiated at a special ordination and installation service for Mr Bevis Muller as a ruling elder in the congregation.

Greetings were received from the Australian churches, the Australian Commission and the Mission Board. In the absence of the Clerk of Presbytery, Rev Philip Gardiner asked the prescribed questions. Rev Gordon Dane then oversaw the signing of the Westminster standards and conducted the ordination and installation. Click Here to see more photos.

Following the installation Mr Muller spoke of his conversion in Zimbabwe and the Lord's providential leading to the doctrines of grace, and thereafter to the FPC.

The service was well attended by the congregation, and was followed by a light lunch.

We give thanks to the Lord for this encouraging development for our churches in Australia.

1 Samuel 7:12 "Hitherto hath the LORD helped us."
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