Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blessed Beyond Imagination

A Royal Servants report on our ministry team to Northern Ireland & London
By Matt Halseth

Early on during our time in Northern Ireland I reminded the team of a verse about “blessing” from the Old Testament that has been important to me over the years:

"If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country..." Duet. 28:1-3

This summer our team was constantly blessed by our loving and gracious God. What blessings did we encounter? Where do I begin? To start with, I felt every day was a gift where God specifically blessed us with one of those "WOW!" moments.

Here are a few more "blessings" that I personally felt or witnessed as our team followed God in obedience over the summer:

· Divine appointments with hearts that were ripe for the Gospel

· A timely word from the Lord for an individual or situation

· Godly relationships formed that are sure to last a life-time

· Our teams needs being met through generous givers

· A "calling" confirmed in the hearts of a numerous students

· An encouraging word from the Lord when the team needed it

· Seeing students grasp and understand truth from God's Word

· Having just the right amount of strength for each day

· Good weather when we needed it for our ministry in the city

I could mention countless more blessings that each individual on the team experienced as we all had the privilege of serving Him this summer. God is so faithful and worthy to be praised and worthy to be trusted! This summer and all its blessings had once again brought that to the forefront of my mind.


I know that it’s NOT about the numbers but I’m always amazed to see what God can accomplish through our lives in just a few short, ministry-packed weeks. As I looked back over my trip journal, from the start of training camp to the flight home, I reflected on what we accomplished with our time and resources:

· 7 local church services we were involved in leading

· 21 street or drama performances

· 80 children involved in the Holiday Bible Club

· 18 creative evangelism team outreaches

· 11 servant evangelism team outreaches

· 12 youth clubs or outreach programs

· 6 community school summer schemes participated in

· 34 bible study and small group sessions for each individual

· 32 team teaching sessions

· 31 bible verses memorized by each individual

· 102 team meals prepared and shared together (3 times a day!)


Recently I was asked by a friend to share just one encouraging moment in ministry from the summer. I thought, wow, how can I share just one, there are too many to count? But if I were to narrow it down to one thing that stood above the rest, it was this; the blessing of our partnerships with churches in Northern Ireland and in London.

Why? In all my ministry years working with churches overseas, I would have to say that this summer was one of the best, in terms of partnership with the local church we go to serve.

Not only did Ebrington Presbyterian and Miller Memorial Methodist let us use their facilities to do ministry… they partnered along side us to do ministry and several within the congregation were involved in the work each and every day. So it was NOT about Royal Servants or about their church, it was about the Kingdom!

Together, we were able to do more than we could have done by ourselves. At Ebrington we brought young Catholics and Protestants together, something that had not been done at the church in over 100 years! And at Miller we broke new ground by reaching out to local youth and exposing our students to poor and ethnically diverse communities!


As you can imagine there were lots of tears shed the mornings we departed from each church. Several church members showed up at our early morning departure to give final hugs and say their goodbyes. Here is one of the letters I received from David Baxter, one of the church members that I became close friends with….

Dear Matt,

I just wanted to write this note to you and really to all the Royal Servants to thank you all for the joy you have brought to our church. Not in my time here have I seen so close fellowship and the Holy Spirit working in so many people. I know the Lord will bless you all in his work when the team splits up to go to their own homes. I don’t feel this is goodbye between us, “just a break,” because with the Lords help this relationship between Ebrington and the Royal Servants will grow, all for His glory and I find real encouragement in that… I will be praying for you all regularly, especially for you Matt and your family. Have a safe journey and may Jesus be with you all.

Your Brother Forever in Christ,


And finally, we thank God for blessing us with friends like you. Thanks for hanging in there with us. Your prayer and financial support is invaluable. We pray that you, too, will be immeasurably blessed beyond your imagination!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Ephesians 3:20