"Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching."
- Ecclesiastes 10:10

SMITH Edward Ruth 1024x576Edward and Ruth Smith, Venezuela

Thank you for your prayers for us as we are here in Colombia for a visit.

The work continues well in all areas. Since arriving we have helped in the annual conference at Sincelejo with some 200 believers attending from some 13 assemblies or preaching points, plus eight believers from Venezuela. There were five full-time workers who helped with ministry, Bible studies and the preaching of the gospel: Gelson Villegas (Venezuela), Jose Gregorio Yepes (Venezuelan serving in Cartagena), Jose Luis Batioja (Venezuelan serving in Cali), Fermin Gomez, who serves the Lord in these parts, and myself. Several other believers also shared the Word. On the Saturday evening a brother was baptised and on Sunday he was received into the fellowship of the assembly. We praise God for blessing this family. They lived in Piamonte, some four hours from here, where there was a small assembly which ceased to function because of the violence. This family shifted to Sincelejo, where the parents were received into fellowship. The family continued from time to time listening to the Word, and now three are in fellowship and several others of the extended family have professed to be saved. A Sunday school is held weekly in the mother’s home where about 50 children hear the Word. The father has been called Home, but what a joy it will be to him to see those of his family who are saved. Please pray for the remaining ones who are not the Lord’s.

This last year Ruth wasn’t well for several months and Edward had his shakes, which has now been diagnosed as Parkinson’s. We had to have the motor in our vehicle in Venezuela repaired twice, so we were without a vehicle for several months. We have also been busy organising the completion of the apartment we have been building in Yaracal. Yaracal is a small city (or a large town) on the main highway, some 11 kilometres from El Mene where we lived since arriving in Venezuela in 2002.  We finally made the shift on the 27th of February with the help of various ones from the two nearby assemblies. We miss Mene, the believers, the assembly primary school, etc.

Fernelis (our adopted daughter) got married in August/September last year. The civil ceremony was in the Hall in El Mene, and then a few weeks later the ceremony in the Hall in Merida. That way all could attend in one place or the other. She lives in Merida some 12-14 hours from where we live. We miss her a lot as she was our constant companion and helper. Such is life. Alberto, her husband, is a barber and has plenty of contacts where they are.
While in Sincelejo we are receiving massage treatment for our backs, which have caused us much pain and limit us in our movements. This doctor has treated us previously with good results, so we pray to that end now.

As you no doubt have heard, Venezuela is passing through very troubled times with many dead, injured or detained because of the demonstrations and marches against the present government. Thankfully we still have complete liberty to gather and to sound forth the gospel. There were two simultaneous conferences in Venezuela over Easter with 1800 and 805 believers attending. So there is still hunger for the Word of God.

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