Please pray for our week of Gospel Outreach.
These pictures are from Tom Merriman who has been working on the school project at Camundamvala after seeing a request for help from Brian on this blog.
Here are the first tiles being laid in the shower rooms and toilets of the new school.
Drainage for one of the toilets and showers
Running the pipe work for the showers - using whatever you can lay your hands on.
This is just a small part of the substantial project which is progressing well with a combination of willing locals and visitors. I contacted Brian and Debbie after seeing the request to assist with tiling mid February, but there’s much more work still to be done after my 3 weeks!
The assembly in Zapopan received a sister who we met years ago as a result of the private school education system. It was thrilling to hear her describe how she came to the conviction that, not only was the assembly the right place, but now it was time for her to take her place in it. Several weeks ago after the gospel meeting Sunday night, a lady came to ask if she had understood salvation correctly. She had been attending the gospel meetings from some months now. Her home situation left her desperately searching for help. She told us that she had found peace with God sitting in a gospel meeting last November, learning how great God’s love was for her, a sinner. She just had not found the words to explain it to us, but was living it. Every blessing brightens the journey as we work for the Lord.
Camundambala Primary School: Thankful for the great progress made with the help of Brass Tacks.
We would value prayer for our flight from Heathrow tonight at 20:20 hrs and the next flight to Saurimo on Tuesday morning. We are looking forward to getting back and getting on with the work the Lord has given us to do for Him.
Shetland has had a double blessing this week with visits from Graeme Paterson and Gordon McCracken. Both visited different schools throughout Shetland each day
The Brae assembly organised an After School Club for Graeme Paterson in Tingwall and up to 26 children came regularly each night which would be just under a third of the school role. Please pray for the prizegiving on Sunday where we hope some family and friends might also join the children.
The Sound Gospel Hall held their annual Super Club with Gordon McCracken in Lerwick where the attendance was very encouraging with the prizegiving night on Friday hosting 85 children and 65 adults. From this there is the hope that 10 new children will start attending Sunday School and a couple have said they would like to attend the gospel meeting.
Following the After School Club Graeme moved onto Brae where a Children’s Club was held and children came from various different villages around Brae. The prizegiving was also on Friday evening where 30 children and 7 visiting parents came. Please pray for the community in Brae which is very hard to the gospel and especially the school where there is an open hostility towards the Gospel.
We pray that this past week of seed sowing in young hearts would yet bear much fruit and that through the Gospel going into homes that whole families will be saved.
The Christians at Holburn Gospel Hall, Aberdeen are holding a Life Explored course in Holburn Gospel Hall on Wednesday’s at 7:30pm from the 4th April. Please pray for the leaders of each group, that there would be those who come with an interest in gospel and that by the end of the sessions there would be those who would put their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just an update from Ethiopia. We were down at a place called Awassa about three weeks ago. One of the reasons that we were there was a group from a place called Bali is a very strong Islamic area and it was felt that they should come to us rather than us go to them.
Some had travelled 9 hours by foot before catching three buses to reach Awassa. We had a very profitable time with them and it was felt that the effort made was worth while.
There has been limited travel and as a result instead of having a united conference at Ginchi it was decided to have area conferences and we had an excellent response from the assemblies around Addis when about 50 evangelists joined us for a full day of teaching. This was followed by a full day with elders from in and around Addis and we had a very worth while day.
These two days was followed by a youth leaders conference for about 4 days when around 50 leaders attended. During the time that we were together it was good to hear of real interest among young people in so many assemblies around Addis.
One of the Sundays I was at a place on the outskirts of Addis and the hall was packed and they have only commenced in this area two years ago.
Just last weekend we were at Batie and Kamesay. The work in Batie is encouraging and the children sang for us and a number of Moslem girls were a=mong the group with their headscarves on. We then went to Kamesay and in spite of the fact that this was an extra meeting over 200 came for some Bible teaching and it is great to see in two very strong Muslim communities a work of God going on.
We value your continued prayers for Ethiopia as the government is in the process of appointing a new Prime Minister and it is felt that we might hear the result in a short time. Keep praying. The photo is the brethren who came from Bali.
Camundambala Primary School: Praise the Lord for great progress in putting up the steel framework. Pray for safety as roofing sheets are put on.
The interest in the WW1 presentation and opportunities with the Gospel continues.
We have over 65 bookings for this year, and bookings continue to come in every week, and also a number of bookings already taken for 2019.
Just recently we were at a group in Leicestershire where there were 110 people present.
All heard the Gospel and took both tracts away with them.
We appreciate the interest and prayers of the saints in this work.
The last two weeks has been a huge encouragement to the believers in Shetland. A series of talks were held in the Lerwick Town Hall each night entitled Life's Big Questions. For the two weeks prior to the start of the meetings there had been a variety of promotional activities on a new webpage (www.gospelforshetland.com) radio, the newspaper and social media. One fifty second extract of a gospel message was viewed on social media over 10,000 times most of whom would have been people living in Shetland (whose population is only 22,000)
Stephen Grant was responsible for the presentations each evening and visitors sat around tables and enjoyed some tea and cakes before and after. Jamie Mcilree also joined us and spent his days going around the doors presenting the gospel and trying to interest people in coming to the meetings. There was an encouraging interest on the doors and many unbelievers who attended did so as a result of Jamie's visitation.
The attendance each night was a real boost with unbelievers present each night, many kept coming back regularly throughout the two weeks. Please pray for the many unsaved who heard the gospel over the course of the series. One lady who had been nearly every night made a profession on the last day and was able to tell folks on the final night of her burden which had been lifted having believed the gospel.
In addition to all the Shetland assemblies, who were well represented, there were Christians from other Churches who came and supported the meetings and appreciated the clear presentation of the gospel. Many Christians started to grow in confidence as the meetings continued and unbelieving family members and friends were asked and prayed for during the prayer meetings held at the end of the night. It was a big encouragement to see these individuals in under the sound of God's Word. The local Christian bookshop had a stand along with the Gideons and many Bibles were given away along with many books being sold both to believers and non-believers.
The Lord was very gracious in presencing himself amongst us as the Gospel was preached and we pray that the blessing experienced so far is only a first fruits of things to come. The challenge for the local assemblies is to follow up with the many people who we now know have contact with.
Bridge of Weir Bible Class cancelled for tomorrow night. I am told that there is a drop of snow about in Bridge of Weir ..... disappointed that James ch1 will not get started.
I am in Shetland and am not sure if I will get home tomorrow or not. Due to fly into Glasgow airport at lunchtime.
I have been back in Ethiopia for one month. This is my 24th visit since 1993 and I have seen big changes in that time. The assemblies have grown from 6 in 1993 to 200+ in 2018.
I attended the second graduation service for those who have done the discipleship course which takes 3 years to complete. This was two days after I arrived in the country. It was so encouraging to see 100 believers graduating and I have felt that this course among the assemblies has brought a real maturity among the believers .
I was also at the Chobi Bible school graduation where 16 evangelists were receiving diplomas having completed the 3 year course. There was a very large number of believers there to be part of this event.
I have had the privilege of teaching the scriptures in many different areas and this has been most encouraging. The one I went to recently have just built a bigger hall than the previous one and two moslems have been converted very recently.
We have managed, through the kindness of the believers in the UK, to purchase a Toyota Land Cruiser to be used on the rough roads in the countryside. The last vehicle had done over 750,000 and we had it for ten years and it has served us well. We are just praying that this vehicle will give us as good service. We travelled today 22nd Feb on our first trip in the new vehicle and it travelled like a bird.
I will be here [d.v] for another two months and I value your prayers. One of the people who was quite an influence to me in my teenage years, Willie Hastings, I notice has been called home after a long number of years in the service of Christ in Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
We value your prayers for Ethiopia
Yours in His service
Robert C. Revie
Please pray for a series of public lectures being conducted in the Town Hall in Lerwick, Shetland. It is a two weeks series which started on Sunday the 18th and Stephen Grant is doing a series of talks on "Life's Big Questions". Jamie McIlree is also up visiting doors and speaking to people and as a result a number of new contacts have started to attend along with a good number of Christians from different churches and also a few unbelievers. At lunch time today we intend to host a Business lunch in a local hotel where a short gospel presentation will also be given. Praying that God will bless this work with His presence and that souls will be saved.
Camundambala Primary School new classrooms with roofing sheets going on. Internal work has started now on rendering walls. Now thinking of the amount of wall tiles and floor tiles to be laid, any volunteers? Seriously.
We arrived back in the UK at the weekend after a five-month stay in Angola and while things are still fresh in our minds and memories seek to send out a brief update to encourage prayer and thanksgiving.
We continue to be so encouraged by the Lord as we see His hand in the lives of the believers locally. A number of the young men are seeking to develop and use the gifts that the Lord has given them, and some are showing genuine concern for their fellow countrymen and trying to reach out locally to the many unsaved in the village. The two brothers who have been recently recognized as elders have made a considerable difference within the assembly with fresh vision and demonstrate real love and concern for the believers. We now can call upon at least 5 brothers to teach the Word on basic Biblical truths within the assembly and 8 who we can be confident that they will preach the Gospel faithfully. As we recall what it was like in the not too distant past, we can only say that this is the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.
With the work locally growing stronger and with confidence in the national believers we feel that we should now start visiting assemblies beyond Camundambala and in the town of Saurimo on a more regular basis. It is then that we are confronted with the solemn facts of how desperate the needs are spiritually, the need for Bible teaching is massive and the Lords Supper underlines how deep the ignorance is of even basic truths. A fleeting once a year visit is simply an encouragement but achieves very little and with 25 assemblies in town just 6 miles away, and every village having an assembly in every direction out of town it is overwhelming. We need new workers, men who will learn the language and buckle down to grafting away locally.
I have been able to maintain 5 bible study classes per week and it is through these small, consecutive, weekly studies that real progress is made. Much more could be done but at the moment with the practical work on going 5 weekly studies plus the assembly activities is as much as I can do. Prayer would be appreciated that this work continues to be blessed of the Lord. We have just completed a course with 10 young men from the assembly “The Gospel Of the Bible” it is 15 lessons on the doctrines of the Gospel and they have really appreciated the studies and their eyes have been opened to the so great salvation that they have.
CAMUNDAMBALA PRIMARY SCHOOL
Since Ruth’s home call we have been heavily involved with the daily running of the School in a logistical rather than teaching role. It is taking more of our time and Debbie works closely with the Head and deputy to try and make sure that the teachers and pupils have what they need from day to day. Please pray for Marcus (Head Teacher) and Mavunda (Deputy Head) that they will be kept well and remain motivated. If they were ill for any length of time or left then we would really struggle. They were called to a Government meeting last week where they were told that the Government has no money to pay wages, or to take on new teachers, cannot supply the school textbooks and cannot replace tables or chairs and yet want every school to take on more children as the demand exceeds the number of schools. Already some classes have in excess of 50 children.
We have tried to do some much needed maintenance work on the old part of the School during the School holidays and have been able to keep some of the young men employed while the main building work on the new classrooms has halted. We have had heavy rains for the last month or two and that has limited the amount of outside work done. With Jon Singleton returning to Angola last week and the prospect of Brass Tack workers going later this month then we are hopeful of significant progress being made on the new classrooms.
While the school holidays were on we were able to do some much needed maintenance on the Land Rover that is used to transport the school teachers, with several different drivers using the vehicle we have discovered that in the end no one actually feels responsible to maintain the levels and check it over. Its another call on time and finance but an essential part of keeping the school running day by day. We are hopeful that a Land Rover mechanic will visit us during the year to do so much needed maintenance and diagnostic work, it will be a tremendous help to us.
AID & ASSISTANCE
During the last five months Debbie has daily been treating numerous folk from the village, mainly for Malaria. It is quite amazing what can be done with the most basic of medicines to help people in need. We were able to help a sister in the assembly have an operation in hospital to remove a cyst, and another young married man we were able to send to Luanda to have much needed dental treatment. Scabies is a daily sight as children and young people come for help. This shows us that there is not enough money in their households for soap, any money available is spent on feeding the family. Our little medical post at Camundambala has no medicines and it is pitiful to see sick people turn up each day in the hope of getting the medicines they require. We are confronted daily with great need and we realize that these poor people have no one else to turn to, and when we leave they verbalize just how lonely they feel. We are indebted to Sam Simonyi - Gindele for his advice and care for the sick people that we send to him at Buila almost 4 hours away or when we Whatsapp him with a picture and say “how do we treat this? We continue with the monthly food distribution for the lepers and widows and although what we give seems so little they are very appreciative. Thankfully the water pumps have been working well for the local population and the leper village, this is down to the constant attention that a local brother who we have employed for the past 20 years does a great job in maintenance day by day.
LITERATURE AND PRINTING WORK
This is on going and we are thankful for our Angolan co-workers involved in it day to day. The Angolan Literature Fund continues to be a great blessing and we are looking forward to receiving shortly 14,000 Portuguese Bibles. We are thankful that despite reducing prices of literature to rock bottom and lower as the need demands, even giving Bibles away free, we have been able to maintain a rotating fund. Much more could be done to distribute the literature, but we are faced with two big issues, 1) the roads are horrendous and less and less vehicles are now travelling beyond the cities. If I personally went then it would entail leaving other responsibilities that I have. 2) Finding reliable and honest folk in outlaying areas that could receive literature worth several thousand dollars and be sure that the finance was going to return. If your family is struggling to afford to eat and you are holding money from literature sales wouldn’t you be tempted to use it to feed, clothe and buy medicines to meet your needs? It is impossible to expect someone to pay up front for literature when there is such deep poverty.
PRESENT SITUATION IN ANGOLA
Politically Angola is calm, the new President is promising a lot but so far little has changed. Fuel is scarce and we now buy it in 20 litre cans or barrels of 200 litres. The roads are desperate and what used to take 16 hours is now taking a lorry 5 days from Luanda to Saurimo. I think it won’t be long before we struggle to find a lorry driver willing to undertake the journey. Food prices are increasing, the exchange rate for the dollar has gone from 320Kwz/$1 to 440kwz/$1 in the last few months.
We are home for a short period of 7 weeks and hope God willing to return on the 25Marchth, we do feel in need of a break and we would value prayer that we will both feel refreshed spiritually and physically to return then. We trust that through this brief account you will be able to pray for and give thanks for what the Lord is doing. We are so thankful for the sustained prayer support and love shown by so many and would simply ask that you continue to stand with us as fellow labourers in the work of the Gospel in Angola.
Brian & Debbie
Bible Experience in Kilwinning Academy this week. All first year R.E classes plus local primaries coming along. Great opportunity.