Dear Precious Friends in the Ministry!
Eleven Years Going. Well, eleven years have passed since arriving here to this wonderful island of green sod! My family and I can’t thank all of you enough for praying for us, and faithfully supporting us here – especially with your cards and letters – they are always a blessing and a special pick-me-up for us, even when we are not down! It just is great to be constantly reminded that we are loved and prayed for!
Our Christmas Choir sings for the Lord!
2004 was a year of change. As I look back at 2004, I can remember quite a few things happening that were part of the process that the Lord often uses to change His people. Everything was humming along as normal with a steady stream of preaching, discipleships, evangelistic outreaches and church events, until the second week in June following our Tenth Anniversary in Blarney when the building that we rented had a disastrous fire. It was all we needed to convince us to step out by faith and attempt to purchase one of the most prime location properties imaginable, as well as formally organize the people here into a full-fledged Bible Believing Baptist Church. Well, we weren’t able to adequately bid on the property on auction since its price soared to twice our ability to buy, but we did see this incredible church-group rally, as well as so many other supporting churches all across the world to help with the ultimate purchase of Irish property! The church, now known as the Bible Baptist Church of Ballincollig stands more ready than ever to build not only people, but its own church building one day soon! And the other change has been the addition of a precious missionary family named the Durhams who have saddled-up along side us, and have been strengthening our hands in the ministry and enabling both the Ballincollig and Mallow churches to win more souls and train them in living for our worthy Lord! I thank God for change, because I know He knows best, and that His ways are best!
Christmas Choir Performance. God put together the limited talent that our church here in Ballincollig possesses in music, and we put on a Christmas Story in Song and Scripture to a great crowd just before Christmas. We had 8 unsaved people come out, 7 of whom were first time visitors. I was so pleased with how the 20 people who made up the choir sang and honoured our Lord’s birth in a day when the worship of the name and birth of Jesus is almost impossible to find.
Snow on Christmas Day. Well, we had something so spectacular happen on Christmas day here – it snowed! And it snowed, and it snowed. Almost three inches fell in a country that doesn’t get more than a dusting every couple of years. It was so special for us, since our church here gathers on Christmas Day to worship and honour our Lord on His birthday. These green hills never looked better than when they are coated in white!
Folks are getting saved. The men in the two churches are working so hard shining for the Lord Jesus at work, and at home, and it always pays off! We are constantly handing out Gospel Tracts and going out witnessing door-to-door in both Ballincollig, and in Mallow, and we have seen two people saved so far this new year, and we have seen several new folks coming out to church. Pray that our church in Mallow grows well this year!
New Family Portrait. Enclosed you should find a new family picture of us that we hope is a blessing to see just how we are all growing-up and growing older! God has been better to us than we ever could deserve, and we just stand in awe of His wise and careful care through all the trials and triumphs!
· Upcoming Events to pray for! We have Revival Meetings in the first of March; our Men’s Retreat at the end of March, and our Evangelism Conference in April! They won’t mean anything without God’s blessing upon them!
· There are dozens of people we are working on to get saved. Please pray specifically for Nora, Michael M., Ken D. who is seriously ill, and Sean H. – please pray that we bear much fruit in these lives here!
· Please also continue to PRAY for us to be able to buy property here in Ireland!
May God bless you all mightily – We Love you and Thank God for you!
Bro. Craig Ledbetter and Family