Prayer Letter from the Sirmons in France
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Here we are, already at the beginning of February. Our world is changing at such a rapid pace that we are reminded to “look up, for our redemption draweth nigh.”
The situation of covid-19 in France: We were on lockdown for several weeks in November and had fewer limitations in December, then for Christmas the restrictions were lifted. In January they imposed a curfew from 8pm to 6 am, and now it’s from 6pm to 6am. There is talk of another lockdown, but since only a minority of the French is favorable to that, the government has simply limited travel to and from France from non European countries for the moment. The vaccinations have started. The government insists that it is voluntary, but there is talk of in the future limiting certain activities to only those who are vaccinated. We are in a “wait and see” mode about this.
By the way, Judy and I were at a pastors’ get together in October. The week after we got back, we both had a slight runny nose and a strange feeling of having fever, but when we checked it out, there was no fever (for about 2 days). Three weeks later we learned that several of those who had been at those meetings had come down with Covid. We may have had it in the non-symptomatic type.
For Christmas this year, since we could not have our regular program because of Covid restrictions, we were able to put together a Christmas video, lasting about 40 minutes, sharing the good news of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus, with two plays, songs, verses, small choir, and a brief message. We then shared it on Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo. There were several hundred visits to see it (we don’t know how many people actually saw it all the way through) but we praise the Lord that we were able to meet in Church since the beginning of December and this gave us the time to film it with the church people. (http://noel.bible.com.es) It was incredible: With the lockdown in Nov. and not knowing when that would be lifted, it almost seemed like a wild idea to try to put together a video for Christmas. But just the morning of our first try, we were unexpectedly encouraged by a verse in our regular Bible reading: “Hand over to the LORD your works, and your projects will succeed.”! (Prov. 16/3, translated from our French Bible). And sure enough, God helped the whole church to come together, children and adults alike, to do the best we could. And even if it’s not perfect, God helped us do it!
Also, we were able to spend almost a week with Rebecca and family for Christmas in Toulouse. Nathanael wasn’t able to join us this year. He’s still in Ireland and hopes to soon go to Madeira.
The beginning of November, I had a PET scan for my prostate cancer. Praise the Lord that they did not find any metastases. I am seriously considering the radiation treatment, as even though I believe that the metabolic method has slowed the cancer’s progress, it is still progressing. But one thing that I have read is the effectiveness of fasting to deprive cancer cells of glucose and insulin, things that cancer thrives on. Also, from what I have read, when fasting, testosterone drops to at least half by the third day, which the prostate cancer depends on. Over the last couple of years I have done a lot of short fasts (3 to 5 days about every 3 weeks), but for a longer fast, I have always read that it is wiser to do that under medical supervision. Not finding a doctor to supervise me, I decided in Nov. to try it, so I fasted for 3 weeks while we were in lockdown. Then at the end of January, I did a 2-week fast. I wanted to try before accepting a more traditional approach. Well, next week, I will have another MRI and we will see if this has had any effect. If not, I will see about the radiation therapy. Please pray for guidance.
Even though I have done this fasting, it is something: When I have a job I need to do, I have plenty of energy, but when I sit down to rest, I have no energy. Our God has wonderfully made us in that our metabolism is capable of adjusting.
Otherwise, we have our weekly worship service, prayer meeting and Bible study (with Skype and/or Facebook). Also I do a weekly Bible study with Gary (the guy that was in the hospital when I was hit by that car and broke my wrist last year). Judy and I do a Bible study with Christine each week and then Judy does one with Viska, a young Christian mother who wants to know the Bible better.
In January, we were able to host another session of the Bible Institute where we recorded two classes of the online courses. Tim Knickerbocker was here to finish a course on Creation/evolution and to start one on the Christian family.
We praise the Lord for Laureline, Christine’s daughter, who has made a profession of faith. Please pray for her as she has ups and downs.
Then “V” of whom we’ve shared in the past, has trusted the Lord. Pray that the Lord will help her to get up Sunday morning and come to church, as she really wants to, but often finds obstacles. Judy has started a personal Bible study with her but it is difficult for her to be regular.
Also, “V”’s father-in-law, Mr. “L”, sent us a Happy New Year’s message early Jan. We were able to go visit him and learned that God had kept him through his delicate operation in Nov. although the hospital kept him 8 days longer than expected, and once he was home, he had to be re-hospitalized for an additional 9 days. He was very pleased to receive the gospel calendar we took him, but when we again shared the gospel, he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll pay for my own sins.” We had to reply, “That’s exactly what we don’t wish for you!” Please pray God will open his eyes to see that his sins are bad enough to send him to Hell (as is the case for all of us!), and to see that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the payment God has provided for him, if only he will look and believe! (John 3:14-16, Num. 21:7-9)
Again we want to thank each of you for your prayer and support. May there be much fruit accounted to you for your part in It.
Yours in Christ,
Greg and Judy Sirmons