December 2018   
The Shrivnauths

Noel & Charlene 
Natalie (Josh & Mercedes), Rydal, Gretel, Elsie, & Nolan 

July/August 2017 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

In July and August, when our attendances go down because of school break, God still blessed with 111 saved and 15 baptized in the church and its ministries. 

Our VBS was a tremendous blessing.  It was absolutely remarkable how God worked.  A total of 690 attended for the three days ranging from ages four to eighteen.  Forty-seven received salvation.  We are following up on each one and trying to reach others in their families for Christ.  The VBS theme was simple – “My son, give me thine heart.”  God worked mightily each day, especially on the third day.  Over 100 teens made wholesome decisions to stay pure, get involved in church, and allow God to use them.  Several of them made decisions for full-time service.  We had a skit about the True Heart, Evil Heart, Young Christian, and the King.  Each day the Evil Heart tried his best to get Young Christian to do wrong and to disobey God’s Word.  The True Heart tried to persuade Young Christian to listen to the voice of the King.  Finally, Young Christian decided to listen to the voice of the King.  In doing so, his reward was true riches and heavenly rewards.  On the final day, a big treasure chest was given to him.  It was filled with gold and precious jewels.  This was one of the best we have had.   

We are gearing up next month for our mid-October faith promise mission conference.  It is always one of our most anticipated events in the church.  I love world missions and the opportunity it affords to give more to reach the lost around the world.  Until that time we are staying in the vineyard keeping busy with the harvest.  Please stand with us and thank you for persistently praying for us. 

September/October 2017 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

In October, we had our annual missions conference.  This is really one of the highlights of the year in our church's calendar.  The theme was "That They Might Hear" - Romans 15:21.  The international missions banquet was a feast.  It featured food that included cuisines from Martinique, Morocco, Myanmar, and Montenegro.  We enjoyed the preaching and the excitement that goes with world missions.  I was excited about the fact that a faithful teen girl in the church answered God's call to be a missionary.  The faith promise commitments of the people were good.  I believe more people are giving to faith promise this year compared to the last couple of years.  Lastly, I have to say that the music for the conference was fresh, Spirit-filled, and upbeat.  All the songs focused on world missions.  I can't wait to see what God will do with our people and in our church for worldwide missions for this coming year.

We have been busy in the last several months trying to finish the ground floor of our church.  There have been some delays, but things are coming along smoothly.  In the ministry from September through October, we saw 136 saved and 16 baptized.

As I sit here writing, I am thinking about Christmas.  It won't be long now.  I love Christmastime more than all other holidays.  Ever since I was little, I would hear the songs of Christmas, and though I was not saved at the time, they would draw me to this mysterious Babe of Bethlehem in the "yonder stall," as one of the Christmas carols sings.  I am glad that a little later on I got saved.  Then there is that Christmas tree - festive and decorated.  It stands cheerfully undaunted by the winter's chill.  It reminds me of another tree so long ago.  In the midst of the coldness of unbelief, the ravages of satanic onslaught, it stood.  On it hung the Loving Lord of Glory in crimson red.  Because He paid the ransom for my sins and yours, we can now enjoy the beautiful things He offers us - peace, forgiveness, joy, eternity in our hearts, and eternal life for our souls.  Those are truly wonderfully beautiful gifts.  Christmas is, without a doubt, the most wonderful time of the year.  Think of it.  You get holiday snacks, hot chocolate, and cookies; you get to savor the aromas of Christmas morning breakfast; and then, the opening of pretty gifts wrapped in love, warming the soul with holiday cheer.  It all brings this wonderful season of joyful songs and merry wishes into sharp focus.  We get to celebrate the zenith moment in history that a Saviour was born - the express image of the invisible, omnipotent God.  On one bright future day, that I believe is hastening very near, we will walk on streets of gold.  We will live in His abiding, glorious, majestic, everlasting presence.  Have a Merry Christmas to all of you.

November/December 2017 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

God gave us a great year last year.  Our church has grown both in numbers and also spiritually.  Compared to the last couple of years, our attendance is up, and salvations and baptisms have increased.  The missionary program and faith promise have also increased.  I believe we have more committed and faithful people now and God has sent to us more workers for His harvest.  This makes us look forward to “greater things” this year.  Please be in prayer for us.  All this does not take place without a fight and opposition from Satan.  When the battle seems fiercest the victory is surest if we stay in the fight - Acts 18:9-10.

Let me give you some statistics from last year.  These numbers may not look like a lot for some, but for us, it was a significant gain.  Salvations for November through December 2017 were 133 and baptisms 18.  For the year 2017, salvations were 1,255 and baptisms 105.  In November we had a tract-passing competition for three weeks.  One hundred and two thousand, six hundred and ninety-two tracts were taken and handed out.  That comprised tremendous work by our church people.  We awarded first, second and third place prizes for the winners. Each received beautiful Christmas food baskets loaded with goodies and food for the holidays.  In December, we passed out another five thousand Christmas tracts to shoppers, pedestrians, and commuters to work.

Now for some family news.  We had our lovely little granddaughter and her mom (our daughter, Natalie) come to visit us in November.  They were here for ten days.  Mercedes was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in June 2017.  She is our first grandchild.  Her mom and dad and her other set of grandparents are so in love with her, and so are we. It was the first time we were able to get to see her in person and to hold her in our arms.  We got to love her, squeeze her, kiss her and do all those things that grandparents do – three words, “spoil her rotten.”  Mercedes Lily is absolutely adorable.  She has a sweet smile, beautiful gleaming, attractive eyes, and a very pleasant personality. You may think being a grandparent that I am exaggerating, but I am not.  Over-excited, yes, but not exaggerating.

Well, that’s all for now.  Thank you for being our faith-partners as we proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the multitudes in the valley of decision.

May 2018 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

Ephesians 5:27 states, "That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not haveing spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."  I love God's church.  However, I also know that before God uses His church, He must also purify the vessels.  God told Paul in Acts 9:15 that he was a "chosen vessel," and He went on to purify Paul - see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.  In the past twelve months, I counted nine people in our church who thought they were saved.  They realized later that they were not saved and made sure of their salvation.  All of them are either teens or young adults.  One of these young adults was raised in our church from birth.  This person is not in another country studying at a Bible college.  Another young adult is being greatly used of God in our church.  Another is planning to study ministry, and another has been called to be a missionary.  In the process of being purified, all these young people are facing or will face some tough times.

This week some of us, adult men, along with some younger men joined in an all-night men's prayer meeting.  What a wonderful time to meet in prayer together with a bunch of praying men.  Every week, we pray on Tuesday, but once a year, we pray all night.  We sing and fellowship a bit.  I teach them something about prayer from the Bible.  We praise, give requests, and break up into groups to pray.  At times through the night, we pray together as one group.  We pray about certain aspects of our church, our missionaries, and other ministries of the church.  We pray for more laborers.  We also pray for our world, persecuted Christians, and for our local and national leaders.  Twice in the night, we break for coffee and light refreshments.  This is a nice part of the whole thing.  I believe this to be the best all-night men's prayer meeting we have had.

Over 23 years ago, God helped us start Victory Baptist Church, which I still pastor.  Out of this church, we have trained men to start three other churches.  Recently, I got to preach in a church that was started by one of the churches that we helped to start.  So, now, we are seeing our babies grow up and have babies of their own.  As far as church planting is concerned, I am thrilled.  The name of this new church is Cornerstone Baptist Church.  It is pastored by a man who was saved at Victory Baptist Church and was a former Hindu.  His church is in a remote jungle village of the Amazon rainforest.

I also got to preach recently in another one of the churches we helped start.  It was their third-year anniversary.  The church is named Harbor Light Baptist Church because it is located in a place that is a port for many ships.  They are doing well, reaching the lost, running buses, and supporting further missions.  I was happy to see the work going forward when preaching as Harbor Light Baptist.

During the months of March and April, there were 95 salvations and 23 baptisms.  People are still being saved because someone is willing to go.  Please pray for the "goers," for the laborers, for more people who will be committed to the task of soul-winning and church planting.  Families here are devastated by drunkenness, drugs, and immorality.  Very few people in the younger generation are getting married; most just live together without marriage.  This is such a blithe on the home.  It is very hard to reach this generation for Christ, but God is still working.  We want to be part of that work.  Thank you for joining us by your financial gifts and prayers.  May our labor together reap much fruit from the harvest.

July 2018 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

I pray all is well with you.  As the heat of the summer sun increase and the days get longer, my prayer is that you will take the opportunity to also increase your witness for the Lord, no matter where your travels may take you.  We pray for you and praise God for your love to us and for your abounding support for our ministry.  The Lord has blest us with long-time, faithful supports.  These are the churches, pastors, people, and individuals who have stayed with us in season and out, through the years.  May God bless you, your family, your church, and your work for Him.

Our church has put forth a strident effort to train more soul sinners, and the results are already being seen.  We have now more qualified soul winners who are bringing in more fruit from the harvest.  The training is ongoing, and we expect to see better things accomplished for the Lord's work.  As you already know, this is not done with the enemy opposing our efforts.  Some of our people are finding that their employers want them to work on Sundays.  Steady jobs are not easy to find, and life here on the mission field is definitely a huge challenge.  Many times, our people have to go far away into the "bush," as they call it, to find employment.  They work for gold mining companies of in the lumber industry.  These isolated camps are located deep within the Amazon Rainforest.  Their pay is menial, and the work is back-breaking.  The risk of getting malaria is always present in those areas.  There are no churches, and the people they work around are rough and ungodly.  You can imagine how detrimental it is for young Christians to withstand that crowd.  Please keep these in mind as you pray for us and the work of our Lord here.

Praise the Lord there have been 100 salvations and 20 baptisms in our church during the months of May and June.  Thank you, once again, for your faithfulness in support!

August 2018 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

As the hot summer months wind down and the summer birds prepare to fly south and autumn's beautiful colors take form as the air gets cooler, as if there is a changing of sentinels, may God help each and every one of us from changing in following God's pristine, pure, fresh, beautiful, majestic, eternal, and unchanging Word.

Since our last newsletter, two months ago, there has been a beehive of activity around here.  First of all, in July, we had our Vacation Bible School for two days.  Five hundred and twenty children came from ages four to eighteen.  Sixty-three accepted Christ as their Savior.  We used the colors of the Guyana flag as the theme, which incidentally are the same colors as the Wordless Book.  The name of the Guyana flag is the Golden Arrowhead.  During VBS, we had the Golden Arrowhead puppet singing a song about the Wordless Book and the Crayon Box song every day.  The children loved it.

In August, we traveled to America so I could have surgery done on my left thumb.  This was in order to remove a cyst.  I thought it would be a small operation, but it was actually a major surgery with me having to go to sleep.  Please pray for good healing and for recovery of the bending motion of my thumb.  It is dominant hand since I am left-handed.  Besides that, we had lots of preparation to make to send our daughter, Gretel, off to Pensacola Christian College.  She wants to study nursing, but for now she is enrolled in pre-med.  Please continue to pray for us and for her as we lose a wonderful gourmet cook, a great soul-winner, and an otherwise splendid, all-round wholesome girl.  She will be greatly missed at home.

We, now, have two children left at home; three have left the nest.  We are excited to see how God is using them and for them making themselves available for His use.  We did get to see our son, Rydal, as Hyles-Anderson College, where he is in his final year studying media production.  Our oldest, Natalie, finished Bible college at Commonwealth Baptist College in Lexington, Kentucky.  She is married to her husband, Josh, and they have our first grandbaby, Mercedes.  We got to visit with them for a couple of days in Drummonds, Tennessee, where Josh's father pastors a church.  They are doing well, and Mercedes is so cute and smart as a whip for a 14-month-old (as of August).  From there, we traveled to Pensacola, Florida, to take Gretel to college.  Pensacola is balmy and beautiful.  We drove 5,555 miles during the five weeks that we were in the U.S.  In the midst of all of that, we got to visit four of our supporting churches in Pennsylvania, where we make our home base in the States.

It's now September, and we are back in Guyana in the thick of the ministry and at the forefront of the battle for souls.  We are looking forward to our October Faith Promise Missions Conference.  We will let you know how that goes in our next prayer update letter.

During the months of July and August, there were 133 salvations and 11 baptisms.  Please keep us in your prayers and thanks ahead for all that you do for us and for the Lord.

November 2018 update from the Shrivnauths family, our missionaries to Guyana:

Psalms 16:7 mentions, "I will bless the Lord who hath given me counsel."  Isaiah 11:2 talks about "the spirit of counsel and might."  I believe there is might or strength in good counsel.  The best counsel is God's Word.  As Thanksgiving rolls around, I would like to thank God for giving to me and my family "the spirit of counsel and might" as we serve the Lord on the mission field.  There are always battles to fight and to overcome.  Praise God, we are overcomers.  The Lord has done some great things for us this year.  Some of these include the growth of our church, the last stages of completion of our church's auditorium, finances to upkeep our family and ministry (God bless all our supporters and prayer warriors), and good health even as there are problems as we get older.  We have now sent three of our children to that illustrious institution we call "Bible college."  One has graduated, one is nearing graduation, and the third one just started this year.  As our family downsizes, we miss our children who have left, and we cherish the time we have left with the two who are still with us.  Eventually, I know that the two who are with us will join the others and go to the realm where the young eagles must learn to fly (Deut. 32:11).  The Lord has been good to us.  I am reminded of what Proverbs 10:22 says, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it."  From our family to yours, we would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for the 171 saved and 19 baptized in the ministry from September to October.  Last month, we had a really wonderful faith promise missions conference with missionary, Robert Smith, as our guest speaker.  God has used Brother Smith and his family greatly in his twenty-five plus years on the mission field, first in Nigeria, and for the past fourteen years, on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean.  Our missionary conference is one of the great highlights in our church calendar.  Our people always pour their hearts and talents into it.  The devil always seems to work hard to hinder us, but I can say this, God worked even more to help us.  The missionary enterprise of our church continues stronger and unabated.  The faith promise commitments are up from last year, and last year came in well.  The theme for the conference was "They are still waiting" from Isaiah 6:8.  Our theme song was the chorus, "Let Them Know."  At our international banquet, we featured desserts from Poland, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Pakistan.  They were all very delightful!

With all of that said, we are looking forward to the Christmas festivities at our church.  We still go caroling, conduct a candlelight and lantern Christmas Eve service, have a Christmas Gospel tract blitz on the streets during December, and bring in the New Year with a special Old Year's Eve Service.  Our next letter will not be until January of 2019.  So, until next time, we would like to wish you all a joyful, Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!