A Terribly Icy Winter for the Orphans
In early February I had to visit to some of the remote orphanages in Latvia, Eastern Europe that were struggling in minus 20C temperatures and a metre of snow. The needs of the orphans increased dramatically this winter. In one area a flu epidemic had struck and the children were desperately ill. Some of the orphanages had problems with faulty heating systems that will have to be replaced this coming spring. Please stand with us in prayer for the funds for these urgent needs.
My 9 year old granddaughter, Niamh, accompanied me. While I was talking with the orphanage directors and staff about the needs and the budgets for this year, Niamh got a bit bored. She decided to walk around and talk with the orphans and the workers. She took my camera and returned an hour later with some amazing photos and news of the children’s needs that I may not have noticed any other way.
It is great receiving news of victories and breakthroughs some of the past orphans had experienced. Linda at the Spriditis Children’s Home in Latvia (the first orphanage I started supporting 21 years ago) was a 16 year old when I met her ten years ago. She’d just been admitted to the orphanage from a horrendously abused background. The psychologist said she had a mindset of a 5 year old. She invited Jesus into her heart and underwent two years of therapy. In that short time the psychologist said it was a miracle that she’d progressed to the mindset of a 16 year old. We paid for her to do a chef’s course which she passed very successfully. She is now married with a little baby of her own. I love it when God’s plan comes together.
Madara, a handicapped 14 year old at the Spriditis orphanage in Latvia has been wheelchair-bound all her life. However a surgeon has been found in St Petersburg, Russia, who has offered to conduct a series of operations over a two year period that will have her walking as normal. Madara is a shining light for Jesus. The cost will be around $8,700 – well worth it for this wonderful little servant of God.
Yaroslav in Latvia, a young man who is almost completely paralysed, was battling with all the daily logistics of life that we may take for granted. He needed a mechanical lifter to get him up and around, especially in and out of the bath. We were able to find one for about $800 that solved his immediate problems. He is so grateful to God for this and is serving the Lord with great joy these days.
Kalkuni Children’s Home (Daugavpils, Latvia)
The Kalkuni Children’s Home, Daugavpils, Latvia with 180 very disadvantaged children that we started supporting late last year was so grateful for the supply of 5,000 disposable nappies (diapers) – most of the children and teenagers are incontinent and need about 5 changes a day. With your kind help we were able to supply a dishwasher, washing machine, trolley tables for the distribution of food as well as provision of food and gifts for a wonderful Christmas dinner in January (they didn’t mind the lateness). The orphanage director was in tears, saying, “At last, someone who honours their promises.” I wonder how many politicians and others had promised help over the years and failed to honour it. How disappointing. Thank you for helping us to bless these needy children. We have committed to continue helping these needy children in this remote area.
Please stand with us to bless these needy children. They need so much encouragement. To affirm the orphanage’s directors and staff, we have repeated our commitment to remain helping the 5,700 orphans in the 47 orphanages we support. If you’d like to make a donation through our website, please go to www.smethurstministries.org Thank you.
Amazing Olympic Ministry in England
2013 started with an accelerated drive to win people for the Lord in the wake of the London Olympics. Churches in the UK wanted to capitalise on interest in the 2012 Games to conduct Olympic outreaches. I had wonderful opportunities to uplift Jesus at the A10 Mission Church, Hertfordshire – what a glorious time I always have with them. The Deal Pentecostal Church, Kent saw God’s touch on many needy lives. The Hawkinge Anglican Church (near Dover) had me speak at their Sunday night healing meeting where hungry people gathered to meet with the Lord.
In February the Business Men’s Fellowship in Wigan (near Manchester) invited me to speak at a Men’s Breakfast which was held in the famous Wigan Rugby League Stadium. So many men came to the Lord that morning. I had the joy of ministering at the Billinge Family Church in Wigan, at an Olympic Outreach Meeting on the Saturday night and a wonderful Sunday morning service. The Wigan Purposed Life Church hosted a great Sunday evening service at which I thoroughly enjoyed preaching.
Wonderful Ministry in Australia
Early in January it was a joy to minister at the Initiative Church in Mt Druitt NSW to the needy aboriginal children and their parents. It was precious to see the children paying such close attention to the stories and slides of the orphans we support, and committing their lives to God’s service.
The Christian Family Fellowship, Springwood, Brisbane, hosted a really fun Sunday evening at which I was privileged to speak.
Nambour Assembly of God hosted two wonderful services where it was great catch up with many longstanding friends who’d served for decades in ministry and refused to retire and do nothing with there lives. They are still serving God in personal ministry, with great fervour. The Good Life Church in Toowoomba hosted us at a glorious Sunday service where many needy people found their breakthrough into the Lord’s victory. I was accompanied by Craig Soll a Jewish friend who last year had embraced and begun to follow Jesus as his Messiah.
In March for three weeks I had the privilege to travel with Bernie Gray and Keith Penman of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship on a 5,200km (3,250 miles) Queensland Tour of many of the coastal and outback towns affected by the recent floods. It was my honour to be the keynote speaker at an amazing chain of meetings at Mayoral Prayer Breakfasts, Dinner Outreaches, Church Services, Chaplains’ Meetings and Schools.
Some 180 people attended the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast in Kallangur for the Moreton Bay Regional Council. Mayor Alan Sutherland welcomed the gospel message and the encouragement from God’s word to so many needy people there. Many came to me afterwards to say they had committed their lives to Jesus.
The next morning the Sunshine Coast Full Gospel Businessmen hosted an outreach breakfast at the Maroochydore Anglican Church, which was a very joyful occasion. We then drove the 1.5 hours north to Gympie for a Full Gospel Business lunch where many needy souls received encouragement.
Another 1.5 hours north took us to Maryborough where we were welcomed to minister at the historical Maryborough City Church. The worship and fellowship were very refreshing and many lives were touched by God in that service. We drove another 110kms north to Bundaberg (a city that was greatly affected by the floods). On the Monday morning it was my joy to share for an hour with about 200 senior students at Shalom Catholic College, in Bundaberg. I was stunned at the tremendous respect and attention given by these 15-17 year old students, to the message of destiny I shared with the gospel challenge. I thought, “There is hope for the country with young people like this, embracing Christ and living their lives to serve others.”
We then drove north to Rockhampton to address a School Chaplains Dinner which was wonderfully attended by chaplains dedicated to help young people, and an equal number of prospective passionate future chaplains.
Tuesday 12th saw us in Mackay, ready to speak at a Full Gospel Business Dinner. This meeting was attended by some many lonely, hurting men whose lives and marriages had broken down. God’s compassion and healing visited us that night.
The next day we were in Bowen for a Full Gospel Business outreach with a difference – held in an open amphitheatre on the foreshore. There was a BBQ sausage sizzle for the crowd of foreign backpackers and passers-by followed by a talk and media presentation at which quite a few came to the Lord. The next day took us north to Cairns for an amazing Full Gospel Business Dinner at a Tropical Restaurant. In this exotic scene, Keith Penman shared his wonderful testimony and I had the opportunity to uplift Jesus and call people to embrace and follow Jesus
Friday 15th saw us driving 480kms to Charters Towers. The first meeting was a Full Gospel Dinner at the Johnson home which was attended by the Mayor, Frank Beveridge, and a lot of professional people. They were greatly encouraged by God’s word. The next morning we had the Charters Towers Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, hosted by Mayor Frank. On the Sunday morning I was honoured to speak at the Christian Outreach Centre. In the evening we attended a very unique gathering at McDonalds of people from Christian Family Church. What a great time of fellowship, coffee and question and answers.
Next day we the drove the 7 hours to Cloncurry for an outstanding Mayoral Prayer Breakfast hosted by Mayor Andrew Daniels. In every Mayoral breakfast head students of schools attended but in Cloncurry almost half the audience was school children who’d come to participate in song and hear the message.
Straight after this breakfast we drove the 530kms to Longreach. The Mayoral Prayer Breakfast hosted by Mayor Jo Owens was excellent with pastors reading the scriptures and praying for the needs of the country, the state, families and the schools. After counselling and praying for people, we said our goodbyes and set out to cover the 420kms to Emerald. The Emerald Mayoral Prayer Breakfast with Mayor Peter Maguire was very professionally presented with many responding to the gospel. Again after counselling and praying with people seeking the Lord (and placing them in the capable hands of local pastors and counsellors) we got on the road to cover 590kms to Chinchilla.
On Friday morning 22nd we spruced up for the Chinchilla Mayoral Prayer Breakfast (covering the Western Downs Region). Mayor Ray Brown was very appreciative of the presentation and the message of encouragement to the community.
We covered the distance of 170kms to Toowoomba – our last venue of this marathon tour. The Friday afternoon meeting at the big Christian Outreach College was a huge surprise with a couple of hundred senior students gathering in the church auditorium. I was amazed at their respect and the attention they gave my message – Fulfilling their Destiny on this Earth – the reason God had them born to be alive at such a time as this.
That evening we shared at a wonderful dinner hosted by the Toowoomba Full Gospel Businessmen. Many were touched by the lord that night and responded to the call for prayer.
On the Saturday morning we were hosted for breakfast by the young men at the Toowoomba Teen Challenge Centre. These young men who’d committed themselves to a year of rehab and counselling for their needs, were very respectful and appreciative for our visit and the message of encouragement.
A very special word of thanks for your prayers for the fruitfulness of this marathon trip.