We thank God upon every remembrance of you with joy for your fellowship in our ministry to the Australians.
A special thanks goes out to those who were aware and prayed for our short visit to Australia. Grace Baptist in Australia invited us down to have a part in the Church's 20th anniversary. Our time down under was a time of blessing and encouragement. It was so good to see the numbers that had been added to the church. And beyond the increase of numbers was the blessing of observing the growth and maturity of the church family. The church has called a graduate of the Bible College as associate pastor and he will be joining the church at the first of the year. Aaron will be a good help for Pastor Mark and will be able to help carry some of the load.
The blessings carried over from Grace to Open Door Baptist Church. Again we were encouraged by the growth seen in the church. Open Door has also added an associate pastor. Glen was only 10 when he began attending with his family and I had the privilege of baptizing him. There were others in the congregation who were youth when we ministered there.
The Winans have not been the only ones who participated in the ministry in Australia. I wish all of you who have partnered with us through the many years could have observed the results of your prayers and God's intervention. I believe one day you will have many individuals coming up and thanking you for helping to bring the word of truth and God's love to them. If there was every a doubt "was it worth it all?" that doubt will dissolve at that time.
Shortly before we arrived in Australia Pastor Mark found out he has follicular lymphoma non-hodgkins cancer. Now he has had two months of treatments which are really having an effect on him. The positive side is that his doctors believe it can be eradicated. I wanted to stay and help him but my ongoing health issues prevented me. I have been having serious headaches which resulted in me spending a night in the ER while we were there. I needed to get back for the help I need with these headaches. I have seen two doctors so far and I am in the process of getting tests.
We have been back two weeks and I think we are settling in once again. We left 115 tempts in Phoenix and arrived to 38 in Melbourne. We left late summer to arrive to late winter. When we left Melbourne spring was in full swing. As a matter of fact the clocks had been turned ahead to DST. School was in its last quarter for the year and students were looking forward to summer break. We arrived in Phoenix in time for fall and people getting ready for Thanksgiving and kids looking forward to Christmas. Things have been just about as upside down as they could get but we are getting right side up.
We wish you a great Thanksgiving Season as you remember the bountiful gifts we have been granted.
Don and Lola Winans