Thanks for your prayers. Today is the second time that I preached at the new Sunny Point church. We attend a pre-service prayer meeting at the main church, then the first 30 minutes of the service there, and then drive to Sunny Point leaving about 9:30 for their 10 AM service. This time, the church has its own electricity, and the children’s programs are well organized. In fact, they are needing to open a third children’s church room as the first two are full. The sermon seemed to go well, and we enjoyed our time there.
Immunized against salvation: Neither of the first two churches in Suriname preached what I would consider a clear message of salvation, but they mix salvation with good works. I dealt with two men in the last two weeks who were “immunized against salvation.” In both cases, they felt that they were OK. One in particular said that he had not really sinned (at least any serious sin, although he had fathered a number of children out of wedlock), trusting his attendance at mass in his church. I have spoken to him twice before. At least he is now going back to his church weekly, and has removed the witchcraft items from his home. (The church does not object to their members being actively involved in witchcraft as long as they come faithfully to mass, etc.)
It is very sad, but I can remember a similar situation in my own life when I attended the Presbyterian Church USA for my first 36 years. I was really trusting my good works such as church attendance, avoiding gross sins, doing good works, reading my Bible, and taking my family to church, rather than trusting my salvation to the Lord Jesus Christ, who had shed His blood on calvary for my sins and paid the price for my sins. I praise the Lord that the Lord Himself opened my eyes when I was in Liberia, West Africa, and I realized that I was a lost sinner and needed the savior. The day my eyes opened, I knelt at my bedside and received Christ. Then my life changed dramatically for the better - not so much on the outside as on the inside.
We pray that many will have their eyes opened to the truth of the gospel. We had a very good soulwinning time on Tuesday seeing three young people pray to receive Christ. It is when we totally trust Him and receive Him into our lives that we receive that gift of eternal life.
Jowjowstraat main church meeting: We had a good meeting of the leadership of the main church on Saturday night looking to the future when we leave. At that time, the churches will be totally independent of any funds received from us, and it is requiring some changes and challenges. I believe that this is a necessary step in the growth of the church, just as it is when a young man marries and takes over the responsibility to raise a new family. We pray that it will be a stimulus for many more to become active in financially supporting the ministry of the church as they accept more responsibility.
Strength and health for the work here
Our personal spiritual growth
Safety on the road
Souls saved and growing in the Lord
Unity and better organization of the churches
Independence of the churches
In Him and Content: Bob & Liz Patton Missionaries to Suriname since 1986