I am just back from a Christian workers conference and my heart is very heavy for the church in Ireland and the UK. Fist, I realised that there are 51 towns in Ireland with a population of 7,500 or more that have no gospel witness. By 'gospel witness' I mean no Independent Baptists. no Association Baptists, no Presbyterians, no Independent Evangelicals, no Brethren, no charismatics, and no Pentecostals. That is bad enough, but laws in both Ireland and the UK are seeking to stop any non-EU pastors from staying here more than 3 years. In both countries the enforcement deadlines are quickly approaching. We have no idea what is going to happen, but we do know that God is on control. We have been here long enough and have an Irish born child, as we have applied for Irish citizenship, so for the time being, at least, we appear to be safe. Not only that, but new legislation in the UK basically seeks to force all small, independent non-registered churches out of existence. New rules, regulations, and standards are going to make survival impossible. One such law would force churches to adopt equal opportunity practices to church hirings, meaning that there would be no way to stop homosexuals from being hired. Not only missionaries, but your brothers and sisters in Christ need your prayers. Many struggling churches will lose their pastors if this comes through. The Irish church is very small and there are no where near enough Irish young men to fill the existing churches, much less reach out to the 51 unreached towns. Yes, God is in control - we know that. Yes, God can use times of severe trial to further His work, so I am not necessarily asking anyone to pray about these laws in particular. We do need your prayers. One of he speakers at the conference was a lecturer in church history. He contends that the church here has lived in 'false reality' for about 200 years. We have come to expect that the church is going to be loved by society and that we will have the freedom to preach unchallenged by the state. That is not reality - it looks very much like we will be seeing real trials and struggles ahead. We need your prayers in these two nations. We need God's wisdom and leadership. Sadly, I wonder how long it will be before the US faces these or similar challenges? Brethren, will you pray for us?