Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day four of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
4 February 2016
Robert Read, Pastor
Church planting is not as glamorous as it looks. Ask the friends at Chatteris. They can tell you. Many times they have known the reality of being exhausted by the fight and exasperated by the fault-finders. They have oft embodied what it means to be faint, yet pursuing. But, to the praise of God, though they have often been faint they have never been faint-hearted.
Faint-hearted folks would never have begun the work. With more people (for various reasons) against them than for them, it would have been easier to let someone else worry about evangelising Chatteris. But that’s the rub. Who else would worry about it – much less do anything about it? The only non-Catholic/non-Church of England churches in the town (Baptist Union, Methodist and United Reformed) had all gotten so weak that they had joined together. Like-minded churches in other towns and villages (those that hadn’t closed themselves!) either had their hands full in their own locality or their hearts focused on something else. So, it was this small band of friends or nothing. They couldn’t accept nothing. So they began.
Faint-hearted folks would never have continued the work. Where others would have been disheartened by small numbers and limited response, they pressed on. Where others would have been discouraged by various difficulties including the lengthy illness and ultimate death of the pastor’s wife, they persevered. Where others would have been distracted by their lack of a church building of their own, they put their efforts into building up the church body. No faint-heartedness here. They continued.
But in recent months these faint, yet pursuing saints, have been reminded that God gives strength to the faint. Daniel Shwe from the church in North Watford in Hertfordshire assisted them one day a week for three months with evangelism. Leafleting and visitation was undertaken at Christmas. Local authorities have given permission for them to mount a book table at three sites in the centre of Chatteris. The work continues.
There has been some positive response of late with a few new faces and some folk beginning to attend more regularly. It is hoped that with the continued outreach into the town coupled with the ongoing ministry of God’s word in the church meetings, 2016 will be a year of spiritual blessing and encouragement for the Lord’s people at Chatteris.
Please pray for the Lord to continue to sustain the work – and workers! – at Chatteris. Pray for those recently contacted through the church’s outreach efforts in the town to come to know and love the Saviour. Pray that the Lord would provide them a suitable building for a more permanent meeting place. In anticipation of locating a building, they have set up a building fund to which you would be welcome to contribute. Above all, pray these faithful saints will be granted grace to continue their pursuit of the glory of God in all things.