The other very exciting thing we have been doing is visit many of our supporting churches, mission committees, and individuals to talk about the ministry we are all engaged in. This process of reporting on the work that God and his people have been doing has been a source of great joy and inspiration for us.
We started off “zooming” in with churches and mission committees, preaching and giving verbal updates on what is going on in Cameroon. Here in Alberta, the churches began opening up soon after we arrived (May 1), and our first “live” church service was down in Carbon on Father’s Day (where I worshipped God in spirit and in truth by humming, for my first time). We have visited with a series of Edmonton area churches in various modes, online and live.
Prayer – that we would use the time we have here to connect with our supporters in meaningful ways in spite of the restrictions and challenges.
In early July, we travelled to Manitoba and visited churches (and/or leaders from them) in Minitonas, Ochre River, Beausejour, and Winnipeg, in addition to visiting friends and supporters in other areas.
In the midst of all that, we attended our son’s wedding and visited with the rest of our children.
The day of the wedding was sunny . . . and sweltering hot as the humid Manitoba summer days can be. There were many metaphors for marriage for the day – persevering in COVID adversity, staying cool in the heat, etc. – but we are so happy for them to get their lives together started with the presence and blessing of family. The wedding, like the bride, was small, but beautiful. I am proud to see the young man Robert has become and pray for him to be a godly husband. We are very delighted to welcome Leah into our zany family and hope she can hold her own.
Praise – for a lovely wedding, held on their original date in the original venues for both ceremony and dinner.
We are still travelling a fair bit and hope to connect with quite a few more supporters. Getting into the US is problematic, partially because it is only possible by air, plus we will have to quarantine any or every time we return to Canada.
Pray – for wisdom for us on these decisions, as we had a number of US churches we really wanted to visit that no longer seem feasible. Also pray that we can be wise and respectful of differing views with handling the social distancing issues, as we meet with so many different people.
There have been times when someone from a church has said they felt they were too small a group for us to visit and they did not want to trouble us . . . what can I say about that? Please – if this might be you, know that there is a special place in our hearts for small churches for, after all, I was a rural church pastor for over 20 years. Our mission here is to bless God’s people by telling them about the good work being done in West and Central Africa, and if that means only two or three at a time: no problem.
As I have been preaching, I focus on the ways that the Spirit of God has been helping to change our brothers and sisters from the inside out. This is occurring in the areas of racism, education, water projects, health clinics, and more. It is exciting to be a part of this ministry, and we are very glad to be able to talk and report on it to our Canadian and American supporting churches.
Meanwhile, the work is going on apace in Cameroon. These days we are watching events in the Central African Republic closely, because the conflict there is directly affecting relatives of our Christian families, and they have become refugees coming into eastern Cameroon. In fact, some friends have gone to visit them there and have focused on helping six families (all with multiple wives and many children) weather the storm of being refugees, fleeing a conflict zone with nothing in the way of sustenance to help them. They have been told that the help they have received (in the form of rice for cooking) has come from North American Christians and the love of Jesus. This has impressed them greatly, and I am praying we will be in a position to help these poor people get settled in the near future.
The health clinic has begun operations, with their new doctor finally, recently, on site. They are receiving patients and have travelled to introduce the doctor and the health clinic services to the surrounding communities. This is going to be a life-changing blessing to the people there, and I believe that the “health” given from this little place will not only be physical but spiritual, emotional, every other positive way as well.
Pray – for these endeavors, as there is opposition to the works going on. These areas are still dark places, and bringing the light in is not easy or opposition-free.
When this little virus issue has calmed down, we really do hope to receive visitors to these sites, not to build any walls or anything like that. Rather, we hope that in groups of two or three we can be building relationships between our churches and the Christians over there. If this might include you, please let us know, and we will help you prepare for the challenge.
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2–3 (NIV)
Jeff and Sonya Kilmartin