Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,
Despite worldwide quarantines, lockdowns and periods of isolation, God is still at work in this pandemic. From the very first verse of our Bibles we read of God at work in creation (Genesis 1:1). But what was God’s occupation before He created the heaven and the earth?
The scriptures mention at least five divine acts:
- Love (for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24). There was everlasting and perfect love of the Father for his Son.
- Wisdom (I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was…when he appointed the foundations of the earth. Proverbs 8:23-29). There was wisdom from God which was by him and was daily his delight Proverbs 8:30)
- Redemption (with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world. 1 Peter 1:18-20). God had a plan to send forth His Son into the world to save sinners.
- Election (he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Eph 1:4). There was a purpose in His plan of salvation for sinners, that we should be righteous and increase in love for Him.
- Judgment (whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8). There was also a plan of judgment for unrepentant sinners to be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15)
It is reassuring to know the same God in whom we trust, who was there before the beginning of the world, will be there after the end. Then our occupation will be of the Lord Jesus Christ who is ‘Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last’ (Rev. 22:13).
Over the last couple of months, we have had some technical problems with our QMBC website and the student enrolments were not getting through to us. The problem has now been resolved, but unfortunately we don’t know how many prospective students had completed an enrolment form via the website.
On a positive note, we have been able to re-establish the connection with our contacts in Papua New Guinea, and in June we received a parcel of mail from there. Praise God for answered prayer, but please continue to pray that the contact will be maintained and the mail continue to get through.
Some may have heard about the Homecall of Elliot Arthur, who passed into the presence of his Lord on 16 July. Elliot faithfully volunteered at QMBC for over ten years, where he filled the role of Treasurer, before moving to Mt Isa to be with his family several years ago. Also, Mrs Akehurst senior from Sydney (mother of former Director Gary Akehurst) passed into the presence of her Lord on the same day. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families at this time.
The position of Director of QMBC is still open to any interested persons, and we repeat here some of the requirements that should be met by prospective appointees. They should:
- Be self-funded, although some allowances may be applicable,
- Be an active member of a Christian Brethren Assembly,
- Have the ability to undertake some deputation work in the surrounding districts,
- Have the ability to lead and work with volunteers,
- Have a working knowledge of MYOB accounting and data-based computer systems.
- For the renewed contact with PNG and the lessons received from there.
- That the problem with the website has been rectified.
- For those who faithfully support the work of QMBC in various ways.
- That the mail from PNG will once again come through regularly.
- For spiritual wisdom for the Management Committee as they meet every quarter.
- That the Lord will provide a suitable permanent Director for QMBC.
Please take time to read the enclosed excerpts from some of our students’ letters and answers to assignments, which we are sure you will find interesting.
From students doing the basic Courses:
Siriphat, age 42, Thailand:
I am very pleased and excited when I [receive] the lesson. I will pay attention to learn the words of God. I ask the Lord Jesus Christ to bless you for everything you are doing.
Onyeka, age 41, Thailand:
Yes, He lives in my heart because I have accepted Him as my personal Lord and my Saviour. He paid my price on the cross where he died for my sin, and I found peace since I allowed Him to live in my heart…He said in John 15:4 “Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me”
Nonso, age 35, Thailand:
Thanks for your lesson with the stamps. I am very happy when I received it. Actually I have learned a lot in this Bible Club. In this condition I realize that sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. May God Almighty continue to strengthen you for your good work. May He grant you divine favour, profound peace and grace to witness many more fruitful years ahead.
Ganesh, age 35, Thailand:
Greetings and heartfelt love from your student…I am so much appreciating and enjoying my wonderful class with you since almost six years now. It has been ten years imprisonment [so far] with a 25 year sentence. The good news is that soon I will be going to have my freedom, so this is my last Bible study with you from prison. My next lesson I will not be able to receive it, because my release date will be 21 May…but I’ll inform you again from outside as soon as possible. I would like to thank you so much for giving me much more knowledge and understanding about the Word of God. I have learned many things through your ministry. Words cannot begin to express my true gratitude and are of no real value in this lifetime, because, like feathers in the wind, they blow away. But the beauty in the Word of God shows that doing good and sharing with others is a sacrifice well pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:16)
Innocent, age 33, Thailand:
I really thank God for His grace upon my life here in prison. His Word in my strength to move on…here in my building, our Church name is “Hope at Last” and I strongly believe that, after here, there is still hope, no matter how long I spend in prison. This is my ninth year in prison, not easy, and I don’t have anybody here in Thailand. Now this Covid-19 has already turned everything outside down, it’s harder and harder for us here in prison now – no visitors, no friends, nobody to help, little money for our daily needs, that is the problem I have now. Please I hope you will understand my feelings, not that I’m disturbing you. I’m waiting to hear from you soon, may God be with you and protect you from Covid-19.
Rodin, age 36, Hong Kong:
God is good all the time! I’m doing just great…thanks be to our Heavenly Father. I was a teacher at a High School since 2012 till I left my country in June 2016. I’m married and have a child who is under my wife’s care at the moment. I was tricked into drug trafficking by someone too close to me, my own cousin, who gave me a job for which I should travel to a lot of countries, Hong Kong included. Then she and another person sent me to Hong Kong for emergency work, and provided a pair of shoes which contained drugs, unbeknown to myself. Thanks to God, they are currently in prison in Madagascar, because I reported them and they were brought to court and confessed, and all the transcripts of their trials are now in Hong Kong justice’s hands and are evidence to prove my innocence, as I’m appealing my conviction and sentence. Please pray also for my family, especially my wife because she has no income since April due to Covid-19. She’s an English teacher but the schools are closed.
From students doing the Panorama Course:
Emmanuel, age 35, Thailand:
I thank God for me to come to prison, because through this place I encountered Jesus in my life, and now I know that he lives in me. In this place I get time to learn the Word of God, and I am coming to know that the life I used to lead before now, everything is changing over here and I understand the purpose of my life and the reason God created me. These things help me to know that now my Saviour lives in me. And I am coming to understand that no one is above temptation, but that does not give me permission to sin. And in every temptation God will make a way out for me. But I need to pray and read my Bible and attend services, and obey what God says.
[Excerpts from his letter] I am from Ghana West Africa, and I have been part of QMBC for almost eight years. This Club has helped me a lot to learn the things of God – I have never regretted knowing you all, and I pray for you and for the wonderful work of God which you people are doing. I have been tested positive for COVID -19, but I believe the Almighty God will heal me and my friends who have been affected. We need special prayers for us prisoners, and I need prayers for my family as well … I am afraid to tell my mother who is old, but when God heals me, I will tell them. God is merciful! One of my friends is very interested in these lessons. [Please send him the introductory package]. We stay in the same building so you people can reach him through his name – John Mikhely.