Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure* 84) Just stop!

(*please skip if you have not been following this story). The last couple of posts have told yet again of wonderfully good things happening. Utterly unexpected and undeserved.  At each turn of the story so far through the years the Baptist Times (our weekly denominational paper) had printed  about us - often on the front page.  The Day of Willingness was also given front page treatment: ONE DAY'S OFFERING.  It faithfully recounts the story of the day's giving and then quotes me: 'In the upside-down Kingdom you lose in order to gain!  We're in the foothills of experiencing the joy of receiving the amazing riches of God to give them away'.

Then follows a good summary of how things were developing:
The Stone Yard Centre has been fully open for over a year. It has a staff of 14 full-timers and many volunteers. Its restaurant has over 3000 customers each week and has become a popular Christian meeting place in Cambridge.  The church calls the centre their 'shop window'. Part of the centre's ministry is the Job Search programme which in three years has found over 300 jobs for long-unemployed people. Counselling services are available through the Rev Ron Messenger and the Cog Wheel Trust which specializes in family relationships.  Stone Yard also boasts a library and Christian Resource Centre. However, Michael Quicke says that in spite of all the facilities, 'the key to the centre's life is the rich diet of formal and informal activities for all ages seeking to witness and serve in the city centre. These range from the Mums and Toddlers' Rainbow Room to the Friday Focus luncheon club for older people. Though the centre has been costly the church has continued to give away in mission. We have been able to support three long-term and six short-term misisonaries. We also sent over £22,000 to Romania last year.

After this story appeared the editor of the Baptist Times informed me that he had received a very strong letter from another minister pleading with him to stop printing articles about St. Andrew's Street. 'Enough is enough. Just stop.' I can really understand why he felt so irritated. I really can.  All this apparent heaping up of good news is hard to read when perhaps your own situation is languishing....who can bear it?   And, honestly, I don't think I appreciated just how wonderful it all was at that time and though we always talked about giving God the glory it couldn't but help give the church a bit of glory too. Two weeks ago I met someone who had shared in this story: 'I never realized how good it was at the time', she said.  Oh, it was good and to God be all the glory!

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