February 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at WBC,

Every few months we write you, partly to share some news, but mainly to thank you for your Christian love, your prayers and your continued practical support. I’ve asked that this letter be read Sunday morning, as I think a number of people do not get to see it when it is put on the website, and we want everyone of you to know how much we appreciate what you are doing for us and what WBC has meant to us and to the work in Belgium over the many years. We keep getting notes of thanks and appreciation from folk in Belgium and we want to let you know this. WBC has had an important part in the conversion of so many people in Belgium and the many churches (24) that were started there. Thank you in Jesus’ name.

I am speaking in Exeter this morning and will be in the University Hospital in London on Tuesday for the third operation on my hip. Please pray that the surgeon will have the wisdom to know how to get things right this time. Marina is quite weak and needs your prayers. She will become 82 on the day of my surgery. We both will be celebrating, ha, but in different locations and for different reasons. We continue to praise the Lord for His love, faithfulness and goodness.

I want to keep this brief and so thank you again for your share in our lives and ministry and the work in Belgium. God bless and reward you all richly, both now and in eternity.

Loving greetings,

Richard and Marina.

Warm Winter Greetings from Kingston

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.”   John 1:12

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.”

John 1:12

Believing on His name is the start of an amazing, everlasting journey that gives us the privilege of being adopted into the family of God. This offer is to all who will receive him and it is our privilege to proclaim this Good News.


Brandon’s Story
Wednesday mornings I host a fellowship drop-in at one of the minimum security institutions.  It was during one of these informal times last spring that Brandon came in and as we introduced ourselves, I asked him a few questions - endeavouring to get to know him better.
"Do you have any church connections on the street? Did you ever attend church as a child?" … were just a couple of starter questions that morning as I tried to make some connections.

Brandon answered that his grandpa took him to Sunday school when he was 7-10 years old.  "Which church was that and where would it have been?"  I asked.
Brandon’s response was that he didn’t think that I would have heard of this church located in the countryside.
"Try me," I encouraged.  He answered, “Wallenstein Bible Chapel.”  

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Wow!  What a surprise!
This was the same church where I was raised and attended for many years.
 
I then asked, “Who was your grandpa?” Another surprising connection… Horst Rilling…a very good friend of my dad, Herman Martin. From then on there has been a special connection with Brandon. He has trusted Jesus Christ as His Saviour and is growing in his understanding and devotion as a Christ follower. He has gained clearance to attend our church each Sunday morning. He and another Christian inmate are writing praise songs together and doing some singing for institutional chapel services. He is also taking advantage of available training during his incarceration to achieve multiple certifications that will benefit him in the workplace when released.
 
Brandon has a short sentence and his parole eligibility is this coming summer. Pray that he would continue to seek the Lord’s guidance and provision as he works his way through his correctional plan and returns to life outside of prison.

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Brandon writes: 
“When I arrived at CBI Minimum I was lost.  I knew that I was going down the wrong path. I knew I needed to make a change.  Another inmate who knew Robert invited me to come with him to the chapel. When I arrived Robert shook my hand and as we talked I could see and hear his passion for God and my curiosity drew me in. I wanted to learn more. I am truly grateful for the journey God has brought me on to come to know my Heavenly Father.  I couldn’t be happier. Now I am almost a year into my new journey. I still struggle some days but I know God has changed my life and will continue to guide me.  It’s amazing that our families knew each other all those years ago and God has brought us back together in my time of need.”


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ChrisSamJon, and Ian* - they have just recently been released to a halfway house.  They need wisdom and protection as they reconnect with society.  Pray also for Christians who will support them in their spiritual growth.
* Names have been changed.
This fall there has been a spike in violent incidences within several institutions. Pray for peace and stability so that programming is not interrupted.

For harmony and respect among Christian inmates; there can be discord among them and when this is observed by staff/guards it is a negative testimony.


The Lord has shown his kindness and grace toward us in many ways this past year.  We are thankful for good health. He graciously allows continued opportunities to serve Him inside prison walls and He provides daily strength to do so. His mercies are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness!

As we reflect on the gift of Jesus this Christmas season, we are reminded of the generosity that we have experienced through those of you who have been personally impacted by the generosity of the Father.  We want to thank each of you who continually partner with us and pray for us so faithfully. This is vital. 

We hope and pray you have a wonderful Christmas and may the light of Christ shine through you this season as you rejoice in God’s gift of his Son. May His presence bring deep joy and peace as you celebrate God’s gift of Immanuel. 

Christmas blessings,
Robert and Susan

How is the adjustment to Singapore?

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THE FIRST MONTH

Helping indigenous missionaries
A highlight from our first month in Singapore was travelling to a nearby country, as a family, to serve missionaries at a conference. It is unsafe for these missionaries to meet openly in their own country so we met them in a ‘safe’ third country. For many, it was a rare treat to safely sing songs out loud, gather as a large group and hear Bible teaching.

Despite a tightening government control of digital media, these missionaries are determined to make the love of Jesus known in digital spaces. It was an honor to meet these heroes of the faith, learn their stories and hear their dreams. We will focus a significant amount of time in the next season to come alongside these leaders.  Above, Russ was able to give one team some basic tips on how to accelerate their strategy. A follow-up is planned soon.

How is the adjustment to Singapore?
Our first month in Singapore has been full of learning. Learning where to buy what we need, how to get around without a car and a manageable pace for our family in new surroundings and with warmer temperatures. We feel quite settled in our flat. A smaller space makes for more family time. We are beginning to make friends at the parks and churches and familiar with our neighbours. Gwenyth and Heath’s skin/allergy challenges continue to have ups and downs, so please pray for God’s guidance as we chart a daily protocol to maintain comfort and health.

If you want to see more of what our life is like, I try to document our family memories on my instagram: @meredithmart (feel free to request to follow along).

It's our privilege to partner with you in leading the next generation of digital missions.

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Photos Below: Adjusting to life in Singapore
- Piling into a TukTuk (Rickshaw) at the missions conference
- Exploring Singapore's Chinatown to learn about Chinese New Year
- Brothers sharing

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Trevor & Hannah - February 2019

PRAISE:  For an amazing & unifying event called Western Worships, where 1000 people gathered from various Christian groups and churches to hear the gospel, watch creative drama and worship our great God!  For Angel & Gloria at Western who both have questions about Jesus and want to learn more. Please pray for their salvation! PRAY:  For the follow-up of any non-Christians who attended Western Worships and that they would continuing journey with their Christian friends towards Christ; for wisdom and discernment for us and our current student leaders in challenging student leaders for next year on each of our campuses; for Western as we'd like our student leadership team to be more committed next year.

Russ & Meredith - February 2019

PRAISE:  We are transitioning relatively smoothly to life in Singapore; for great engagement in a nearby country with persecuted missionaries; for good connection with local colleagues, Simon & Lillian.  PRAY:  For continued challenges with Heath and Gwenyth's food sensitivities and skin issues; to find the right local church to be a part of; for effectiveness in homeschooling our kids during the next season.