Aaron and Rachel Halbert - December 2018
Dear Christ Covenant Family and Friends,
As this year has quickly come to a close, one of the things I have been thinking about is areas in which I would like to grow in the coming year. As I was reading Ian Hamilton’s wonderful book, A Faith Shaped Life, there was a chapter on what faith aspires to and he mentioned the need for the church to have more encouragers. I found it very helpful for my own soul and something I am praying for myself and for the church. I will let his words speak for themselves:
You do not need a degree in theology to be an encourager. You do, however, need a Christ-like spirit. You do not need to be a gifted speaker or an extrovert personality to be an encourager. You do, however, need a humble spirit, that does not wait for others to do good to you before you do good to them. Indeed, the grace of encouragement only grows in the fertile soil of humility. A kind and thoughtful word, a few lines on a note (not an e-mail!), an assurance of prayer, an unexpected visit, a smile, a thoughtful enquiry after some major event. None of these require you to have read Calvin, Owen, Edwards, or Lloyd-Jones. They do require you to have drunk deeply of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. May it please the Lord to adorn our churches with encouragers. Our fellowship will be the sweeter and more wholesome.
We would be appreciative if you would pray for us and for our church in this area. That we would be encouragers of one another and, to be so, that we would drink deeply of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the more exciting memories we had from the past months was our first annual conference. Our conference covered the topic of Covenant Theology. Along with having our first conference, we also had our first short term team, who helped us put the conference on. One of the pastors taught and the team watched kids so that we could offer nursery. It was a very encouraging time studying God’s Word and having wonderful fellowship. We were encouraged by the number of folks who attended (about 70) and especially with the number of pastors and young men interested in the ministry. We are hopeful to have this conference annually and have a different speaker come each year. We pray that this will not only be a benefit to our church family, but also to other churches in the area as well.
As I mentioned above, we were able to host our first short term team and they were a great blessing to us. Besides helping us put on the conference, they also did some work around the church property and put on a VBS for our church kids. They were not only a help to our church, but also a great encouragement to us and to our work. We love to have folks come down and see what the Lord is doing in Tegus, and it is a joy to get the opportunity to show people God’s faithfulness to us in person. We plan to have more teams come down in the future as we have need.
Another of the joys of the summer was Josue getting the opportunity to study Hebrew at RTS in Jackson, MS. Though it was a joy, it was no walk in the park for either of us. The months that Josue was gone left me with the sole responsibilities for the summer, which was difficult and yet a delight. It forced me away from some of my comfort zones and pushed me in many different ways. For Josue, it was stretching as well. He worked extremely hard, in a second language none the less, to learn Biblical Hebrew and did so with great success. He passed the summer course of Hebrew with flying colors and we were glad for him and his family to be back with us at the end of August. Thank you for your prayers for him and his family during the summer, I know they greatly appreciated it.
Most recent news
One of the major highlights of our last month has been that we have begun to have evening worship services. We have enjoyed a little over a year studying the Westminster Confession of Faith on Sunday Nights and, now that we have finished up, we are beginning night services. One of the things that we have loved about our Sunday nights is that there are folks who are attending churches that are prosperity gospel driven. Many of those folks don’t have Sunday night services and they have been coming to hear our studies in the confession. Please pray that they would continue to come as we begin worship services. We have seen some of these folks start on Sunday nights and now become consistent morning and evening attenders. Another aspect of our Sunday nights is that we have had a large number of college students attending. We started with about 4 and now have about 10 to 12 on a regular basis. This has been encouraging because we are hopeful to begin some outreach to the local campus at the beginning of the new year. We are hopeful that this will be a way to reach out and see our numbers grow, especially hoping to see new conversions as we reach out on the campus. We would be grateful for you prayers in this area!
Finally, we are excited to have finished our first New Members classes and will be receiving members at the beginning of January. We will not only be receiving new members, but will also be doing our first baptisms. We will have both believers baptisms and infant baptisms. We are overwhelmed by God’s kindness and faithfulness to us during this past year! We thank you for you constant prayers for us and our work here in Tegucigalpa. We truly have been blessed to have your prayers and support. We pray that you have a wonderful New Year and that the Lord would give us all eyes to see how abundantly gracious He has been to us in giving us salvation! May the Lord richly bless you in this New Year!
If you would like to see pictures from the last few months you can click here.
Gracia y paz,
Aaron, Rachel, Ford, Catherine, Ryley, Anne Waverly, Whitley
MTW - Honduras