A Year of Change and Challenge, and Strengthening Our Grip
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
The past year has certainly been a year of change, In January our beloved Pastor Vic Mario Lopez, along with his beautiful wife Melissa and the two kids J.D. and Joshua left us to pastor the WIN church in Silicon Valley, U.S.A. This was a time of sadness, and uncertainty for all, with many tears being shed. But sometimes, God’s plans are not our plans, and even in times of sadness and difficulty He is still in control. He knows what’s best for each and every one of us.
With our new Pastor, Manny De Leon and family, not due to arrive until July, this left a big challenge for the WIN Ireland Church. However, we were not left to fend for ourselves, and we really appreciate the great teaching and preaching we received from our visiting pastors. A BIG THANKS, to Pastor Rene Nepumoceno, Pastor Stefan Tiran, Pastora Ching Langsang and of course our very own Pastor Manny De Leon.
This was also a time of challenge for the leaders, to oversee the day to day running of the church, the on going building work etc. It was also a time when the leaders where challenged to enhance their gift of exhortation. Praise the LORD, all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, and despite the challenges the church continued to grow.
On June the 12th we participated in the Philippine’s 112th Independence Day in Dublin, and showed the love of Jesus by giving free tea, coffee, juice, and cookies to one and all. More importantly , we also distributed gospel literature and where able to speak to others about our LORD Jesus Christ.
On July 15th–18th we had our Annual Family Camp at Johnstown House in Enfield, County Meath. With a guest speaker from Focus on the Family Ireland, Pastor Stephen Cardy. This was a truly blessed time of refreshing and relaxation, and of fun and fellowship for all. With four people accepting the LORD as their personal saviour, and seven people going through the waters of baptism.
July also brought blessings of a different kind with the arrival of Pastor Manny and Lily De Leon and their two beautiful girls Keziah and Hannah, on 8th and 9th the From Frankfurt Germany. Pastor Manny soon had his hands to the plough and began ironing out any creases and moulding us into shape, and getting to grips with the things that needed doing.
In a busy month we also started a new outreach in county Cavan in the house of Brother Dennis and sister Mildred Santillian. With three couples and three to five singles attending on a regular basis. Pastor Marlon Almonte and Brother Jojo Geroche also took the first steps to establish an outreach in Cork, with separate visits to the house of Brother Elmo and Sister Diwata Gutierez. I thank the LORD for all the leaders who are involved in these ministries.
In August we where able to send six youth delegates, along with three leaders, and our pastor to the EU/ Mid-East Youth Camp in the U.K. We also established a new Young Adults ministry, on the 16th who meet every Tuesday in the house of Pastor Manny.
In October , we celebrated ten years of God’s goodness and faithfulness, for the church here in Ireland, with our theme “Strengthening Our Grip”. A wonderful time of celebration, with special numbers from the Youth, the Women (WINGS), and the Children. The only challenge here was where to put all the visitors, with the church packed to overflowing, with a special visit from the Ambassador Ariel Abadilla . We also had our first meeting with pastors from the U.K., in order to establish our partnership, our ethos, and our goals.
On November 12-19 I had the privilege of being part of our first official WIN Europe/ Mid-East pilgrimage to Israel. A truly amazing trip all round, and a must for all of God’s people. Please read Pastora Ching’s report, and prepare for the next trip. I know for sure I will return again.
In November we also established a new ministry for our men, Christ’s Carpenters. “ Building Lives”. Truly we have a lot to be thankful for here in Ireland. I feel like John as I’m writing this when he says “ and there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they where written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” John 21:25. Even though we go through changes and challenges, even though we go through time of sickness and grief, God is always there. He is walking by our side, watching our steps, guiding our way, and blessing us much more than we could possibly imagine. Let us continue to desire a closer walk with Him, let us keep on drawing nearer to Him, and let us continue to thank and praise Him for all the blessings He bestows on us, and let us continue to share all these blessings with others in need.
Please continue to pray for our Pastor Manny and his wonderful family as they continue to shepherd the church and adjust to life here in Ireland.
For our charity status and our building permit. For the many people who are sick within the church especially Sister Marnie Lopez, and Brother Nimrod Robles. Let’s also pray for the WIN-Carrickmacross Church, and the outreaches in Cavan and Cork and wherever else the LORD may lead us. Also pray for our partnership with WIN U.K., and the Seaman’s Christian Friend Society. Let’s look forward to the year ahead, excited at what the LORD will do in our church, in our region and even to the ends of the earth. Let us think big and pray big, for truly we have a big God. God bless you all real good in 2012.
Bro William Carleton
Outreach Department Head