Well, the day has finally arrived; its 12:17 and in under 9 hours the removal men from Pickfords should be arriving to start packing and loading into the van. Tomorrow will be a day of upheaval as the house is slowly packed away into boxes and then loaded into the van. They’ve promised to leave us just enough to be comfortable tomorrow night and then they’ll be back on Thursday morning to finish and transport us to Burton upon Trent.
Our journey with Borders Mission Methodist Circuit is over and we now start looking towards a new Circuit on September 1st, Trent and Dove Circuit, an amalgamation of the former Burton upon Trent circuit centering on Burton and the Dove Valley Circuit centering on Uttoxeter.
My farewell, which I covered in my previous blog entry, was fairly spectacular and has reminded me of how popular I am, but also perhaps that I`m not a bad Minister as well. Confirmation of that came today when a lady from the village who has previously had a bad experience with clergy hugged me and whispered in my ear “Thanks for making me believe again!” I walked out of the door and in my mind punched the air and shouted “RESULT!” Perhaps my job here has simply been to get Borders Mission Circuit under way and at the same time persuade those who were disillusioned that not all Christians are stuffy, stick in the muds; that clergy can have a sense of humour as well; that we are ordinary people with an extra-ordinary job and that we-re privileged to be doing that job for God.
“Thanks for making me believe again” Ministry brings with it a lot of hassle, grief, misunderstanding, criticism and it becomes very easy to dwell on the difficulties, but to hear one comment like that makes everything worthwhile.
“Thanks for making me believe again” is after all what I came into the Ministry for. I don’t believe that God called me to shuffle papers, but that He called me to spread the good news of His Kingdom and that is the greatest privilege of them all. The God who stepped out of the glory of Heaven, became a vulnerable little baby at the mercy of those He had originally created, walked with outcasts, talked with the lowest of the low and the highest of the high and treat them alike; the God who in Jesus went to the cross for humankind, for ME, and who rose from the dead leaving my sin in hell itself: He is the same God who has asked me to bring others to know Him, and whilst I won`t persuade many with fancy talk or profound theology I just hope and pray that they see the love I have for them and move closer to my Lord and Saviour, even if it’s just one inch.
“Thanks for making me believe again” I have been so blessed with good friends in this Circuit and over the next few weeks I`ll get the chance to write to some of them to say thank you; I have been given some pretty amazing and generous gifts and we will spend the Circuit money on something to remind us of Borders Mission, but with all due respect to hear those words today is probably to have been given the highest honour of them all.
To those who I`m leaving behind and to those I`ve yet to get to know in Trent and Dove, I close this night with the challenge to reach out to others and help them “believe again”
I don’t know when I`ll get the opportunity to be on the internet again but will get back as soon as possible.