Athlone Baptist Fellowship
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We trust that you are all keeping in good health and being encouraged in these days of grace and opportunity as we are here in Athlone. Our God is One who remains faithful and true even though at times we don't understand His ways and wonder at the apparent lack of fruit yet we will reap the harvest if we do not give up. We are now into our ninth year in Athlone and time has gone so fast but it is just now that we are beginning to see the blessings as He draws loved ones unto Himself.
This Summer's Outreach.
We have had a tremendous summer in Athlone seeing God move in very direct ways. Before our summer team from Cape Breton Island arrived at the end of June, we were holding prayer meetings twice a day for all that would take place. The Lord blessed and by the end of the week fifteen children, aged between 7-14, had made profession of faith. It is hard to say just how real these professions were but the fruit will show in times to come. Four adults also came to the Lord. Two are now in regular attendance and the other two are being visited in our local hospital where they are residents.
Both ourselves and the leadership of the Cape Breton team are praying that, if the Lord tarries, we might be able to repeat the Team's visit next year but this time extend it to two weeks instead of one. We are also encouraging links between our two youth groups via email and tapes. Our own young people commented on the effectiveness of this Team in their ministry, evangelism and approach to people both young and old. Their time with us in Athlone was truly inspirational and I don't use that word lightly. We also were used as a contact point for an American team led by Larry Dunne from Swords Baptist Church. They decided to work in Roscommon for a week and had a number of good opportunties to share but these are very early days as regards the witness in that town.
Getting back into the Old Routine?
Our Kidz Klub for children aged between four and twelve and our youth work called "1st&3rd" are up and running now that school routines are back up and going. With the "1st&3rd" we are showing a series of Doctor James Dobson videos called "Life on the Edge" which are proving to be extremely challenging and instructive. Our prayer triplets having been running since September and we have just now restarted the weekly Mullingar Bible study (30 miles NE of Athlone) with, Lord willing, in the not too distant future, the commencement of another one in Ballinasloe (16 mls West of Athlone). Things are certainly going on at quite a pace and the old routine is very much filled with new things and fresh vision for the future.
We are encouraged to see what the Lord is doing in the Fellowship. We are presently focusing teaching both on Sundays and Thursday nights on "The Church" with a view to encourage the Fellowship to recognise its need to step on to the constitution of Athlone Baptist Church. I have also introduced a different style of sharing on Sunday mornings using the O.H.P which involves a mixture of questions and answering and preaching. People have said how much they appreciate this style which gets them involved in the sermon, helps to keep them focused on the text and enables them to think through the issues being presented.
We now have a membership of twenty with a middle-aged couple being welcomed in just recently.