Christmas letter from Bob and Gabi McFarland
Our dear friends,
Our warmest Greetings to you and we pray that you may know the Presence of God, not only at Christmas time but every day. Thank God that He often refreshes us in His love.
In the Christmas story Jesus came to the earth because He obeyed His Father’s command. Notice that Jesus did not come as he wanted to do it for His Father. We praise God’s love that He sent His Son Jesus into a woman’s womb with the Holy Spirit coming upon her. It means that Jesus worked with God. Blessed be to the Trinity! According to Matthew 1:22 and 23 which said, “The Lord has said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, they will call Him Immanuel which means, “GOD WITH US.”
We are learning what God teaches us about our lives. We want to do what God wants, not we try to work for Him. We love to work with God instead of working for Him. You can compare between “WORK FOR GOD” and “WORK WITH GOD”. It is so much easier to do things for God in our own way, and in our own time, than to yield ourselves to Him to work through us His own perfect will.
This year has been a year of opportunity and challege in our ministry.We were happy to stay in our homeland as you can see above five flags where we have been ministering, preaching, visiting, writing letters, sending emails, webcam and fellowshipping instead of travelling abroad. We noticed that many deaf believed in Jesus and are active in their Christian lives. The Holy Spirit showed us that people are religious and professional and knowledgeable of Scripture instead of having relationship with Jesus. God challenged us and desire us to see and encourage them to have their time with Jesus.
We are looking forward to 2016. It will be my forty year’s ministry. We feel strong to stay here, to focus here in Leicestershire and the Midlands. We praise God for His answer to our prayers and can see what He has done. There are many things happening in Leicester. Over 5 years ago the deaf club was closed down which caused deaf people to scatter everywhere however the Over 50 Club still meet every Wednesday at the pub which they rent. We attend that club once a month. It is good opportunity for us to show the love of Jesus especially those people who are left out. One deaf man is going blind. He was delighted when I used hands on communication with him. The Over 50 club is moving to our Community Hall beside our church next year. God is at work.
We do pray that they need Jesus and will be born again. I read Isaiah 55:11 which said, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Thank God for His Promise. We appreciate our good team of interpreters; one of them is a development worker, who works with us to reach deaf people in different churches or lost sheep. I occasionally preach at Church of England services in Leicester. This is clearly showing the need for our churches to work together.
Three months ago God challenged me about “AHEAD” this message really struck me, for we sometimes feel behind, we are not in front especially in the world.
We read the story of the healing at the pool in John 5:1-15. Jesus saw a disabled man who had stayed in the same place for 38 years and said, “Do you want to get well?” (I ask you “Did a disabled man answer Jesus? ”Yes I want to be healed. In fact “No”) But he had no one to help him into the pool while the water was stirred.
While he was trying to get in, someone went ahead of him. Then Jesus said to him, Get up! “Pick up your mat and walk.” Sometimes we feel like “the disabled man” who says, “No one has helped me or someone goes ahead of me”. Deaf people sometimes feel they are behind and not in front especially in the hearing world and in churches today. It breaks our hearts and we, deaf people, need to encourage hearing people to think of deaf/disabled people in the churches next year.
We pray that God will help us to be like Elijah and read a verse of 1 Kings 18:46 says “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran AHEAD of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.”
We must ahead with the help of Holy Spirit for next 2016.
We are looking forward to hearing your news.
HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Bob and Gabi <><