January 2020

‘… grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ 2 Peter 3:18

That’s our longing for us and for you in 2020! We’re just beginning a new series in church on 2 Peter and we’re praying for this kind of growth in ourselves and in others. One of Peter’s big concerns, in this letter, is for Christians to have certainty in their faith and especially in light of ‘the day’ that is coming. If we’re really honest, I think most of us will admit to struggling with assurance. Sometimes we can even be paralysed with uncertainty and a lack of assurance. And yet, Peter doesn’t send us off in pursuit of assurance. Instead he exhorts us to ‘grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’. In other words, to pursue Jesus and a knowing, growing relationship with him. And as we know him and grow more like him, by God’s grace, the certainty of belonging will grow also.  Please pray that this would be a reality for us and in our church family at Gothenburg International Baptist Church.
Praise God for many encouragements over the Christmas period. We enjoyed an Irish Christmas dinner together with our easy Swedish bible study group. Please pray for S from Turkey who came along and also for her mother who is very ill just now. S shared with us about a vision her mum had seen of Jesus and how she had encouraged her to pray to Jesus. Please pray that this family, both in Sweden and in Turkey would come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
The bible study group has grown both in numbers and also in fellowship. Please pray that this would continue and especially that we would strengthen in praying together and really experience the presence of the living God. 
Give thanks for the opportunity to sing carols at Kviberg market and also in the city centre. As the adults sang, the children gave out ‘pepparkakor’ and many copies of ‘Jesus: Vem, varför och vad då?’ (who, why and so what?). Please pray for A from Syria who was very open to talk about the Bible and expressed an interest in meeting up to talk more. 
The next day was our Christmas outreach service followed by an international bring and share meal. A large number of people came along with many visitors. Trevor preached on Ruth and God’s grace that brings refugees to our true home with God and his people. This was part of our Advent series where we’ve been considering the scandal of God’s grace in Jesus’ unlikely family tree in Matthew 1. We focussed on the great grandmothers of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.  Please pray for ‘outsiders’ and internationals in Gothenburg to be brought into Jesus’ family by grace through faith. 

It was wonderful to have the children from our Sunday school taking part in the Christmas outreach service. Praise God for our first term of Utforskarna (Explorers!). It’s a small Sunday school class but it has already been such a blessing. Give thanks for J who’s now able to come regularly to church as her two children are part of Utforskarna. We’re also so thankful for CEF Sverige and the excellent materials we’re able to use. There was also an opportunity to host a children’s ministry training day in November. Three churches were represented, with Judith and Ingrid (CEF Sverige) leading an excellent day’s training. Please continue to pray for bible ministry with the boys and girls.

Thank you for praying for our Equipped to Preach Module 2 course. It really was a tremendous blessing to share together over the two days with 14 preachers who were hungry for God’s Word and eager to be better equipped to faithfully proclaim Jesus. Please pray for these guys as they serve in their local churches and also our planning for Module 3. 

Please pray for the planning and preparation for our third annual Equipped Conference in May. We’re really looking forward to Christopher and Carolyn Ash being with us over the two days. Christopher will be teaching on preaching Christ in the Psalms and Carolyn will be taking a seminar on keeping fresh spiritually. Please pray for new contacts between now and May. 

At the Equipped Conference, we are planning to launch our new Swedish translation of Dig Deeper: Tools to unearth the Bible’s treasure. We still have some way to go in meeting the costs of translation and printing. Please pray for this and if it’s something you feel you could help with that would be wonderful. Any gifts should be directed to Equipped Sweden through the Crosslinks office.
Give thanks for a restful time at Christmas with family in Northern Ireland. We were able to meet our new niece, Rebekah, and Emily and Grace had the opportunity to attend the CEF New Year Camp. This time last year Andrea was in hospital and there was much uncertainty. We are so thankful for God’s faithfulness through a difficult time and also for the good health that Andrea is enjoying.
Emily, Grace and Alice have now started back to school. Grace will sit her National Tests this term in preparation for High School in August. Give thanks for God’s help with her orals before Christmas, including her Swedish oral! Please pray for wisdom to make a good choice for High School. Teenage years bring the ‘law of diminishing influence’ and we’re conscious of this with our three girls. How much we need the Lord’s wisdom and help. Thank you for your continued prayers for our girls. Please pray that they also would ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. 
Thank you for your continued partnership with us as we seek to know Jesus and to make him known in Sweden. We wish you a Happy New Year!
With warmest greetings,
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx

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