December 2012 Update
Bob & MaryScott Burns (1979)
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” John 20:21
Dear Prayer Partners,
During the Christmas season we often meditate on how the Father sent the Son into the world. Have we thought about His coming as the model for our own mission? How far are we willing to go to reach those that God wants us to reach? What sacrifices are we willing to make for the sake of Christ and the gospel? Are we willing to lay aside our own will in order to do the will of God? May we not forget the words of our Savior, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
Thank you for your prayers for the Bible Conference in October. The cooperation and participation of Norwegian partners and pastors did not come about as we had hoped, but the conference was exactly what the Lord ordered for the International Baptist Church. The messages by Dr. Tony Beckett focused on practical obedience to the Word of God. A ministry team of six people from Harvest Bible Church in Westland, Michigan served ably and graciously in leading worship and teaching seminars. The conference greatly encouraged the IBC family at the perfect time and in the right ways. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and provision.
Pray for Laborers:
God is answering your prayers for more workers to serve in Norway. After the Bible Conference, we received an unexpected but welcome visit from a young man who is planning to serve the Lord in Norway! He stayed with us for one week. We are also communicating with a young family that God is leading to Norway, and they are currently applying with ABWE. Pray for God’s continued leading and provision so that these people actually make it to the field.
Tim Sosin, a short-term worker through ABWE, is working with our pastor friend, Ulf Magne Løvdahl, at the Baptist Churches in Trondheim and Oppdal. Even though Trondheim is eight hours north, Tim came to spend a few days with us at Thanksgiving. We shared ministry needs together and agreed to establish better communication between our two ministries. Our son, Matthew plans to join the ministry in Trondheim for a semester of internship. That will give us one more reason to build closer ties with the ministry there!
The International Baptist Church held a baptism service in its own facility for the first time. We ordered a portable baptistery from the USA, and it took a couple of days to get it through customs. Bob set it up with the help of several young men, and Ian attached the proper hoses and heater. All our efforts were richly rewarded on Sunday, November 25th as three Norwegians and one Kenyan gave witness to their faith in Christ through believer’s baptism. The church family enjoyed a wonderful fellowship meal afterwards, with powerful testimonies from those baptized. Unbelievers present witnessed the reality of the gospel, and so we praise and thank the Lord!
Bob and MaryScott are working together to disciple two young couples plus one single on Sunday afternoons. The couples are Haakon and Molly Skuggedal, and Kristian and Susanne Youngblom. The single is Daniel Mehta. Bob works with the men plus one toddler while MaryScott teaches the women plus two infants! We are using a workbook called Change and Your Relationships by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. This is one of the best resources we have seen on godly living, and is meeting our present need very well. Continue to pray for the spiritual growth of those we are teaching, and that they will become well equipped to teach others.
Margaret enjoys her classes and work in floral arranging, and we enjoy the beautiful flowers and arrangements that she often brings home. One of Margaret’s big challenges is to learn flower names in several languages in preparation for a written test late next spring. Margaret will get some more practice working in a flower shop in Sandvika during the weeks before Christmas.
Matthew is halfway through his junior year at Northland and looks forward to his internship in Norway next semester. The trip he made to North Africa last summer went so well that he was asked to join Northland’s mission team to North Africa again in 2013. Matthew plans to meet the team there, the Lord willing.
Bob and MaryScott are glad that Matthew can be home from mid-December through mid-January so that the family can be together. As a family, we thank God that He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. We wish you His peace at Christmas, and joy in the coming year.
Joyfully in Christ,
Bob, MaryScott, Margaret & Matthew Burns
1. Edifying Bible Conference in October
2. Possibility of new laborers for Norway
3. Four baptized in new baptistery
4. Good progress in discipleship classes
1. New laborers to gain support and arrive on the field
2. More communication with churches in Trondheim & Oppdal
3. Spiritual growth of IBC deacons; more mature leaders
4. Continued spiritual growth of the Skuggedals, Youngbloms, and Daniel Mehta
5. Salvation of unbelievers in our circle of influence
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