March-April '21: The Spiritual Battle Heats Up

Thanks for taking the time to read this amazing letter. God is so much better to us than anything we could ever possibly deserve, and we are so thankful and excited to get to serve Him here in Ireland. We are so grateful that we have dual citizenship, and He has provided us with a home that has a building we can use for church meetings. The most amazing thing about our home is that from 2012 – 2015, I used to go to a spot and pray. As I prayed, I would look at the same mountain we live on and asked the Lord to give us a home on it. I knew it would never happen and never be possible, but I also knew we serve a God of impossibilities. Today we are living in an impossible answered prayer. We also made a list of what we wanted in a house, and it met every expectation and much more. Despite the lockdowns, I fully believe the Lord has us here in the right place at the right time, and He has really been blessing us. Today, missionaries may not be able to come to Ireland, but retirees from the U.S. can very easily move here and help a missionary if the Lord calls them. Having a Silas in a church would be a great help to any ministry here. Someone might want to pray about that.

March – With the Level 5 lockdowns, not much happened this month. We continued having services and broadcasting them live online. One of our church people came on their own a couple times, but most people avoided church altogether. One of our families has really been struggling, trying to sell fast food from their high-class restaurant. They have barely been making ends meet. We promised our 17-year-old a bicycle for his birthday in January and were finally able to make good on our promise. We looked online, ordered a mountain bike, and collected it a couple of weeks later. He was so excited. The best part is that we live on a mountain with a large park and several mountain biking trails. This was the year anniversary of the two-week lockdowns, but it was also the anniversary of when the contractor cleaned out our church, including the carpeting. I want to thank every church for giving toward that need as the Lord led, even recently. I never asked for money, but many recognised a need and sought to fill it. This selfless giving has been a great testimony to our people of having a giving spirit and filling needs across the globe. Thanks to all of you faithful, mature Christians for encouraging the babes in Christ.
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April – The Sunday after Easter, the Irish government extended the legal driving perimeter from 5km to being allowed to drive within one’s county. Therefore, several of our church people decided to come to church for the first time since January. This was a great blessing, but the next week, the government made a new law that fined churchgoers US$185 (€150) or up to six months in jail. The next week, no one came to church. There is a definite spiritual battle happening in the world today. Our oldest boy nudged me to get a mountain bike as well, so by the end of the month, I caved in and got one so we could go on the nearby trails together. Victor has been talking to me about starting the discipleship again, so If things open up completely in May, I hope to get that started again.
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Soul Winning – I have found many unsaved people are like scared sheep. They know something is wrong in the world, and they are looking for answers. Near the end of the month, I met a lad named Edmond on social media who was one of these people looking for answers. I got to talking with him, and he wanted me to send him a Bible. I sent him the Bible, along with a Bible study and several Gospel tracts. I discovered he is from a town nearby. He asked me online if the sacraments were changed, and I told him that they were and that the Bible teaches the way to Heaven is only through Jesus. Then I quoted John 14:6. Please pray that Edmond gets saved. He is open and well on his way. We continue to get out The Light of the World DVDs by Chick Publications. We have not really had any responses, but we are continuing to put them out in the area. Please pray that the Lord will use them to help people understand biblical salvation.

Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. Kelly’s health

Last, I thank everyone who sent cards and emails and for your faithful prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you for your sacrifices to hold the ropes.

In the campaign for Irish souls,

Keith Hamilton

January-February '21: It Is All in the Lord’s Hands

Thank you for your prayers and support. As I write to you, Ireland is now entering its third month of lockdowns and church bans. People around the country are fearful, and many are looking forward to the miracle vaccine that will enable them to get back to some kind of normalcy. Unfortunately, I feel these heavy-handed, inequitable restrictions for a virus with a 99.8% survival rate are going to result in the financial devastation of the country. The future is uncertain, but we know the Lord has it in His hands.
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January – In December, we faced a sudden lockdown, banning churches from meeting and restricting people from travelling more than 6 miles (10km). Where most Americans are independent-minded, because of socialism, that is not the case here. There are a few who are, but the majority of people place their complete reliance on the government and their protections. So, that is where we are. I am allowing our people to follow their consciences, and we continue to broadcast live services and post recordings to those who do not have proper internet access. At the beginning of the month, a local lad came a couple times after the lockdown, but he stopped. Currently, most of our people watch services online. Our family continues to homeschool, and there is enough work around the property, with our sheep and chickens, that everyone stays quite busy. Our oldest boy had his 17th birthday at the end of the month, and we celebrated with some Kentucky Fried Chicken and gifts.

February – The lockdowns were only supposed to last until February, but they extended them another month. Our oldest son needed to register with the Immigration Office. After travelling to the city to register him, we discovered that he could only register by appointment, and I needed to email the office to schedule the appointment. I did so immediately when I got home, and I was informed that they are backed up and that the country has extended all immigration status until June. I did end up getting him an appointment for the end of the month. Around the same time, I also celebrated my 45th birthday with takeaway from a local Italian restaurant. During these months, I have kept in contact with our people and tried to encourage them. At the end of February, another lad, who had not been in church for over a year, arrived for a couple of services. Due to the censorship I was seeing on Facebook, I deleted my personal and missions account. During a service in February, I got to experience some censorship firsthand; it was for playing a video during the service that merely asked questions regarding the severity of the “pandemic.” The Bible study video was removed from YouTube within 12 hours, and we were given our first strike. Despite things that seem wrong, by the grace of God, there is still much that is right. Through our YouTube livestream, we were able to reach a local man who was looking for a King James Bible church to attend. When the lockdowns are over, he will be willing to visit.

Soul Winning – Back in November, Bro. Elias Correa sent us hundreds of DVDs of the video, Light of the Word, by Chick Publications. So, for the last couple of months, we have begun getting those out to the countryside community. They give an overview of the story of the Bible and how it relates to salvation in Jesus Christ. So far, we have not received any responses, but please pray that people will watch them and will consider salvation in Jesus Christ.

Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. Kelly’s health

Last, I thank everyone who sent birthday cards, gifts, and emails and for the faithful prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you for your sacrifices to hold the ropes.

In the campaign for Irish souls,

Keith Hamilton

November-December '20: Seeing the Light in Darkness

***Apologies for this late letter***


Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support. In these past two months, we have seen the Lord’s hand in a difficult situation. Although our hands are being tied, it is forcing us to seek new ways to fulfill His will and to rely on Him more fully for the results. In response to the recent censorship of conservatives, we are currently in the process of moving over to platforms that do not exhibit tyrannical tendencies. We removed our missions page from Facebook, but we still have our webpage and emailed prayer letters. We hope and pray that you will be blessed by this letter about what has happened over the last couple months of 2020.

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November – In November, we were in the midst of a “Level 5” lockdown. Our people have been slow to tithe, and these lockdowns have really caused our church to take some major financial hits. Thankfully, the Lord provided a building on our property so that we would have a free place to meet when things are open and people are struggling financially. I have not told our people not to come, but they have made the choice not to and have opted to watch online. I have been making audio recordings for our elderly single people who are really taking a hit. We have continued to reach out to people through tracts, social media, and website tracts, as well as preparing the new building for winter conditions and LIVE services. Last, on Thanksgiving Day, we got to have a nice meal with the family. With Kelly’s health difficulties, the boys worked together and helped her with the preparation.
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December – December began with our lockdowns being significantly lifted and most of our people coming back to church. We had a brilliant Christmas together fellowshipping again. We sang carols, hung Christmas decorations, and just tried to make everything festive. We even had a visitor from a town 30 miles away. The church is located in a hidden wooded area where there is no bus access. He texted and told me he was going to come on a Sunday morning. He said he was going to take a bus and then a taxi to the church. I had great doubts that anyone would do this just to visit a church, so I brushed it off. Sunday came, and in the middle of our service, I saw movement outside. I sent Kelly out, and she came walking back in with a lad. After the service, I found out it was the man who had contacted me. He had taken a bus but then walked an hour and a half through the woods to find the church. The lockdowns were supposed to be open until January 5, but the government decided to go back to a “Level 5” the day after Christmas. We all met on Christmas Day and gave out candles. That lad kept coming during the month of December. Please pray that he comes back when things open up again. On Christmas Day, Kelly made an incredible dinner. One of our single members spent the day with us and left our home at 11:30 that evening. We are thankful and burdened for our church people and the country of Ireland.
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Soul Winning – As we have implemented social media to spread the Gospel online to our area, I had a response to our Gospel video from a nice older Catholic lady who asked me to pray to Mary for us all. I quoted I Timothy 2:5 to her about how there is one Mediator, and then I quoted John 14:6, which states that no man comes to the Father but through Jesus. She asked if we acknowledged “Our Lady.” I told her that the question was not whether I or whether the Baptists acknowledged her, but whether the Bible did. So, she had heard the Gospel clearly through the video and now knows that the Bible says Jesus is the only way. Please pray that she will make the decision to trust the Lord as her Saviour.

Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. Kelly’s health

Last, I thank everyone who sent Christmas cards, Christmas gifts, and emails and for the faithful prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you for your sacrifices to hold the ropes.

In the campaign for Irish souls,
Keith Hamilton

September-October '20: More Lockdown Opportunities

First, I want to say we hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a great 2021. Thank you for taking the time to read our letter. We hope and pray that it would be a blessing to you and would motivate many to pray for our ministry and for the souls of the people in Ireland. February of this year began the spread of the Coronavirus, and the projected impact on the health of the world’s population was greater than what we actually encountered. Unlike in America, the majority of people here do not question what they are told, and there is very little dissent. Even the few protests have been shut down with laws banning any kind of opposition to the narrative. This clamping of free speech was preceded by the banning of any vocal public opposition to the new abortion laws. My reason for explaining this is to give you insight into the creeping authoritarian climate that we are moving into here in Ireland. My guess is that there will be pastors jailed in coming days, judging by the direction society is heading. I want to thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us as I seek the Lord’s help in making the best decisions I can for our church. The following is what happened at the beginning of fall.

September – As September began, the church had voted to continue meeting in a building on my property. This building is not ideal, but in case of another
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lockdown, which really impacted our tithing families, we would not be under the heavy burden of making monthly rental payments. As the days have begun to get shorter, I have been adding motion-detecting lights all around the property so that our elderly church people will be able to walk around safely. During this month, Victor decided he really wanted to begin the discipleship programme, and we are meeting an hour before our Wednesday Bible study. He has faithfully attended and has started to make some real headway through this series of books. Kelly and I were able to take the kids on a needed family trip to Dublin. It included some uncomfortable COVID surprises. We knew we would be required to wear masks on the Luas (commuter train); but we discovered we had to preregister online to go to the museums, and even the restaurant had an online menu and registrar. Despite these inconveniences, we still had a great time together. At the end of the month, we celebrated our youngest son’s 9th birthday with a new bicycle and a small party.
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October – We began this month with the threat of a lockdown, which became a reality on October 6, when we were hit with a Level 3 restriction. This meant a ban on all church meetings, as well as a county ban (people needed to remain in their own county). This affected us because we are presently meeting in County Clare, but our people live in Limerick. There were police checkpoints stopping cars at the borders of the county. On October 22, this lockdown changed to a Level 5 on for 6 weeks. They eliminated the county restrictions but added a limit of 15 kilometers (9 miles) of travel and a continued ban on church meetings. This has been incredibly difficult on our church people, both financially and spiritually. For many of our people, it will six-plus months of church restrictions this year.

Soul Winning – We really took advantage of our open time to get the Gospel to as many people as we could. We have also been coming up with creative ways of using social media and the Internet. Our family likes to watch different pastors we know, and one week we tuned in to Pastor Williams in England. He mentioned The Gospel Film by Bro. Caleb Garraway, and we have been using that video online in many different ways. Please pray that the Lord uses this for His glory.
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Please pray for these needs:
1. Co-laborers in Limerick
2. Protection over the ministry
3. Kelly’s health

Last, I thank everyone who sent birthday cards and emails and for the faithful prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you for your sacrifices to hold the ropes.

In the campaign for Irish souls,
Keith Hamilton

July-August '20: Released From Lockdown

First, I want to thank you for taking the time to read our letter. We hope and pray that it will be a blessing to you and will motivate many of you to pray for our ministry and for the souls of the people in Ireland.

July – We had scheduled for an evangelist to come preach for us, but since he could not fly to Ireland, nor could we meet even if he did, the only option was to have an online conference. Being very new to me, I needed to make my way quickly through the learning curve for this new endeavour. Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to figure out the ins and outs of streaming, uploading, cameras, microphones, lighting, the difficulties
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of slow internet, and all the rest that is involved. I figured things out for the conference, and we were still able to hold it live from July 5-7. As far as looking for a new building to meet in, we thought we had found a place, but I realised I was using pre-lockdown financial figures. When I looked back at our giving for the last six months, I realised we were greatly lacking. The Lord reminded me of a large
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building we have on our property, which is three times the size of where we were in the city, but it needed cleaning and repairs. At the end of the month, we received 36 new replacement chairs and a pulpit from the contractor. Then many of our people gathered to work on repairing the building so we could begin having meetings once again.

August – On the first Sunday of this month, we were able to hold services again. Even though the building is down a narrow road and adds another 10-15 minutes to their commute, our church people were happy to begin having services. We all looked at our status over the last six months and made the decision to
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stay in this building next to our house and see how things go. In the meantime, I am doing more upgrades on the building as time permits, and the contractor is going to do work for us for free, while we supply materials. The Lord has been good to us by providing a free place for us to meet. Pease pray that the distance will not be a hindrance for visitors. Our middle child had his 12th birthday this month,
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and he was thrilled to reach this landmark in his life. At the end of August, we had a lovely fellowship dinner with our church people at a local Asian restaurant. It was a great time getting together since the lockdown. Many have told me they are praying for Kelly’s health. Her condition fluctuates but seems to stay the same on average, so please continue to pray for her as we deal with this new difficulty.

Soul Winning – We were finally able to get Gospel tracts out once again and talk to people in the community directly, rather than online. We have been using a Gospel tract
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from Striving Together Publications; it uses the pandemic to lead into the Gospel. Please pray that the Lord blesses the tracts and gives us opportunities to tell about the gift of salvation.

Please pray for these needs:
1. New building
2. Co-laborers in Limerick
3. Protection over the ministry
4. Wisdom in dealing with the church situation
5. Kelly’s health

Last, I thank everyone who sent encouraging cards and for your faithful prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you for your sacrifices to hold the ropes. I want to give special thanks to FBC in Hammond, FBC in Berne, Ms. Ruby Hall, and Ms. Sarah Finley for giving to help with the recent losses at our church. It was a needed blessing.

In the campaign for Irish souls,

Keith Hamilton