Mission Encouragements – II

Monday night was the Girls’ Night In. I didn’t go. Wasn’t allowed to, what with not being female and that. But at half ten that night I got the full debrief when all I wanted to do was watch the highlights of the Quins Northampton game from the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as keen as the next man for women’s evangelistic events. But there’s a time and a place for everything! And this was neither.

Joking aside. And, yes, it was a joke. Monday night’s women’s event went off like a storm.

The event was billed as an evening on which to take time out, relax and find sanctuary. Guests were greeted with an stunning array of beautifully crafted canapés (a rapidly diminishing number of which still reside in our fridge). Different women in the congregation offered a variety of pampering treatments ranging from make-up, hand massage, nail treatments and the like. (They may be boring accountants, teachers and nurses by day, but by night they clearly transform into talented beauticians!) But the focus of the evening was a talk by Julie Marriner. During the traumatic pregnancy, delivery and now upbringing of her youngest daughter Hope-Tia , Julie found her ultimate sanctuary in God. By all accounts she spoke openly and with heart rending honesty about Hope’s life. But Julie and the family will continue to face a number of heart-wrenching decisions as they respond to Hope’s very serious heart defect.  But in the midst of this ongoing turmoil, Julie is adamant that we have a God in whom we can always find refuge.

Commenting on the event one recent newcomer to CCB wrote this in an e-mail to her small group,

Those of you that were around last Wednesday know that I was planning to ask my flatmate to come along. She said yes and then told me how excited she was about it. Then yesterday I think she got cold feet and said that she wouldn’t stay very long but would still come along, so I prayed about it. Anyway, we arrived and it was just a haven of loveliness! She felt really welcome and said how friendly everyone was. The food and drinks were beautiful too! So after being there for about 15 minutes she decided that she definitely wanted to stay longer and hear the talk – hooray! The talk really moved her and we had quite a long chat about Christianity and our faith afterwards (previously unexplored territory!)

Anyway, she really enjoyed the evening and on the journey home even said she might try and go to the Bedford on Wednesday night and also said she’d like to come along to CCB.

Before the event, when they were still facing the anxious uncertainty of whether it would work, I tried to convince the girls who organised the event that if only one non-Christian came then it was worth all the effort. I still believe that. But how good was God!! Isn’t that terrific. We’ve got more events to come; the Question Time at the Bedford tonight, the Men’s Curry Night on Friday, the guest service on Sunday morning and Balham’s Big Question on Sunday evening. We’ll keep you posted. But we’re praying that God continues to exceed our expectations and do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

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