(*please skip if you have not been following this story). The sixth picture showed Ron Messenger who was also an astounding answer to prayer. One deacon said it was like asking Gary Lineker to play for the local football team. He was the best known counsellor in the Baptist denomination and he came to undertake part-time counselling work after having spent the previous 25 years in counselling ministry - 20 years in the residential community of Greenwoods and the last 5 in the Family Ministry of West Ham Central Mission. Ron's self-effacing gentleness with a strength of steel had immense impact on us all as he trained befrienders in the restaurant, gave marriage guidance and dealt with extremely demanding psychiatric cases. And what maturity he brought to our ministerial team.
The seventh picture shows Jenny Robinson-Joice. In response to her own traumatic experience she had founded the Cog Wheel Trust to provide a Christian family counselling service. She saw such need in Cambridge and with skills (and volunteers) was seeking to meet it. But she required a central base. Her prayerful search for this base paralleled the church's desire to develop marital and single-parent counselling. On the top floor of the Stone Yard Centre she began with a Drop-In Centre which was to gradually build up its ministry.
The eighth jigsaw piece had the faces of John Peck and Steve Shaw who were project workers and co-founders of College House with a mission to apply the Christian faith relevantly to every part of life. With an office beside the library and resource centre they ran seminars, courses on a variety of themes including an introductory course on developing a Christian world view.
Looking back I marvel at this team of gifted leaders who came together in this new story...who could possibly have foreseen this a few years earlier? Well, God...obviously! But the rest of us were stunned by answered prayers.