As some of you may know, my family and I have been going through quite challenging times during the past two and a half years. So much so that even in the past weeks the question we have been asking is whatever will happen next? But I am not here to say woe is me but to celebrate what God has done for me.
I am going to be very honest, please stay with me here, and admit that in that time I have got impatient, frustrated, angry and absolutely despairing of God and the church. I have sat where you are and been desperate for words or songs of encouragement but found none. I have been told to pray out loud or leave my troubles at the door and focus on God – when your daughter is back in hospital for the – well I have lost count of the number of times, your brother has recently died or you are being sent to hospital for an “urgent appointment “because “something” was found on a CT scan, it’s hard to do these things. It seems almost impossible to “move on with God” in these times – but that’s what has happened to me.
Strangely it’s all about surrendering to God I have found – I really don’ t like that word as it suggests that you have lost, been defeated and now have to submit and that’s not how I want to see God at all. Those of you who know me, know that I question many aspects of Christian life and belief and more to the point, if I am told to do something – I do the opposite. During the past few years I have got better (or worse!) at this even though I have been a Christian for over 25 years. But recently I have had no fire or thirst for God or any of those other Christian clichés that we often sing about – I felt I was holding on to God by my fingertips.
In the worst of times I would cry out and talk to Him. He had answered my prayers right at the beginning of this awful time – but it didn’t seem like He was around after that. So many times I prayed but I didn’t seem to hear an answer and wanted to forget God and just carry on myself. It would be easier but I couldn’t let go and thank goodness God didn’t.
But looking back now I can see that God sent friends to keep me going and strengthen me – a much better way than telling me what to do – how well He knows me!
Anyway back to the surrendering! I haven’t found a better word yet but I’m still searching. How I surrendered was – “God I can’t do this anymore – I need you now!” I felt bad, getting angry with God – but I did. People have shown me since – that it’s ok.
I started to find that I was talking to God more – but I wasn’t yet really listening-but at this time it was ok. Then I started to see Him at work around me – I have to be honest that I thought, if my daughter has such a strong faith after all she has been through and to be honest is still going through– there must be something worth holding on for. I can only say it’s like the lyrics in a beautiful Matt Redman song called – Your Grace finds me – that was exactly what happened. The song tells that in every life situation God finds us and that His grace is for everyone however imperfect we are – how wonderful is that!?
Then I stopped worrying about the way it appeared faith should be done and concentrated on my relationship with God. I didn’t worry too much about reading my bible and praying every day but just focused on reaching out and talking to God at times when I needed Him. I am really sorry to admit this but I stopped worrying about not agreeing with things that were said from the front in church but worked on my relationship with God just as I would with other people.
I talked to Him more and rested in Him – it was all I could do – but it was enough. Then I began to almost feel Him carrying me through the worst of times and I started to listen to Him! I was even given two bible verses which have sustained me lately – this never happens to me, they must have been given to me by God as I can’t say that I ever read Deuteronomy so I wouldn’t have come across them – they are Deuteronomy Chapter 33 verses 26 & 27 –
“There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in splendour and majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.”
I still don’t feel I have “the fire” or “thirst for God” in the way I used to – it seems to now go much deeper. I am so grateful for all the friends and acquaintances who have kept me going over the past few years – they kept me holding on as I would often come to church to see them. Through them it was clear that God didn’t let go – His grace had found me when I needed Him and in the way He knew He could help me the most.
From all this I would like to encourage you – don’t worry about being the best Christian you think others expect you to be. God knows you and He loves you and most of all He understands. He understands if you can’t read your bible every day, he understands if you can’t pray out loud in church, he understands if you’re angry with Him and sometimes I think He understands us better than we understand ourselves. Let His grace find you – if it hasn’t already and let Him get close to you and build that relationship together in the way that is right for you both!
Chris Green – October 2019
What better than a meet up with friends from our Home Group, and you can’t beat a good curry!
And earlier in the year……..
Barbecue followed by cake and other treats.
Just what the doctor ordered and a great way to spend the afternoon following the Steps to Christ in the morning.
All in all a perfect day.
It is a quiet Sunday evening so it seems a good time to let you know how things are going here in Moldova. We have been here for four weeks now and getting to know the town of Cahul quite well. The weather has mostly been good since we arrived so we have been out as much as possible to explore and to enjoy becoming more familiar with everything.
We started teaching three weeks ago. It all seems to be going OK and we have met some lovely young people, all very respectful and mostly keen to learn. Ages range from about 13years to adults – including an accountant, teacher, car mechanic, council officer, bank worker and a full time Mum. We have been for lunch with several of the other teachers to get to know them better as well, two from the USA and some Moldovans who will help us with conversational Romanian. The English lessons are held in the building of the Baptist Church that we are linked with. Lessons are held after school hours, so from 2.30pm and can go on until about 8pm. Conversations in the class on different topics does give the opportunity to share our faith- please pray for this.
It’s great to meet folk at church on Sunday morning and they have been very welcoming. There are a few English speakers but communication is a bit limited still! One of the more advanced students from the English lessons translates for us and does brilliantly. As well as the church services Arleen is now part of a small ladies’ prayer group and has even been hospital visiting with the pastor’s wife. She and the pastor, Anatole, are a great encouragement and seem to have time and energy for many needs.
We are staying in a shared flat belonging to the church in the block shown here and it is about five minutes’ walk from the main shops and fifteen from the church where we are teaching. It is wonderful to be car free as, so far, we have all that we need within 15/20 minutes’ walk.
As well as a couple of new supermarkets and a range of shops there is a great market nearby; loads of fresh fruit and veg at the moment. The right time of year I suppose. We even made some plum jam this week as the plums are so plentiful and only about 25p per pound.
We are one block away from what seems to be the only real park in the town, but a great place to sit, people watch and eat an ice cream on a warm evening.
At the moment we are here on a ninety-day tourist stay but in the next month or so we will need to visit the capital, Chisinau, probably three times in order to get a visa for our stay here. This will involve a three-hour bus journey each way and possibly a stay overnight with visits to various offices. Please pray that this will go smoothly and that the various pieces of paperwork that we have been told that we need will be in order.
We hope things are going well and are always pleased to hear from friends
Thanks for your ongoing interest and God bless Mark and Arleen
Evangelism – taking message of the love of God out to those who don’t have much or any experience or knowledge of Him.
Following our recent ‘Evangelism Consultation’ that took place on Tuesday 25th June 2019 we have decided that evangelism needs to be a high priority at Gleneagles Church and that we should take action to increase the ways in which we, as a Church, are reaching out to our community with God’s love.
We decided to begin to do occasional outreach events. On 6th July we worked alongside the Street Pastors using their gazebo as a prayer tent. We gave out leaflets inviting people to ask for prayer. The rain literally put a damper on things, however we prayed with three people and had several other significant chats with people.
On 17th August we are planning to have a Prayer Activity tent at the Wellingborough Beach – see separate message.
We will be considering other such activities during the autumn, possibly based in our parish.
In the longer term, we will run the Diocesan evangelism training course, “Sharing your faith” early in 2020 and then Lent will have an evangelism emphasis for the whole church.
We will continue to meet to develop the programme and to review.
Rev Melvyn Pereira
5th August 2019
As a young man I had handed over my life to God, and felt that he may be calling me to be ordained. So I went for a weekend visit to a theological college in Bristol. There had just been a University mission, and on the Saturday evening there was a follow-up meeting where the missioner was encouraging those involved to continue following the Lord. He spoke on the verse –
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
I did not know what the future held so was encouraged to feel that God was calling me.
The next morning in college chapel the Vice Principal preached the sermon, and amazingly he spoke on the same verse! Coincidence? I felt it was more than that, so as you may imagine this verse became very important to me. Years later, as you may know, God called me to go and work among students in Bangladesh. At times that was very tough, but as I remembered this verse I was encouraged that I had gone there at God’s calling. “.. to a place he would later receive as his inheritance ..” I stayed for over 18 years and now there is a thriving and growing student movement there. I have been back several times and will be visiting again next year. It’s like going home to my second family.
Bob Cutler – July 2019
October 2018 was an exciting time for Gleneagles Church when the purchase of a house in Wellingborough, to ‘house the homeless’, was made. Members of Gleneagles church, together with investors found by the charity Hope Into Action, had raised the required funds.
After the purchase, it took a few months to complete the furnishing and equipping of the house to make it ready and welcoming for the first tenants. Many household items were donated by members of the church.
Happily, our first tenant moved in on June 22nd this year and it is hoped a second tenant will soon follow.
The tenants are supported by an Empowerment Worker, Jayne Jones, and the Gleneagles Church Friendship and Support group. They will be helped and encouraged to make positive choices in their lives, find regular employment, manage household tasks and finances and eventually be able to move on to independent living so that the church can help a succession of homeless people to leave life on the streets.
Please pray with us for Jayne and the Friendship and Support Group which she leads, for our first tenant KP (name not made public for confidentiality reasons) and for a second tenant to be found.
People on the earlier courses found it to be excellent so do speak to Melvyn for more information and let him or June know if you would like to do it (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Many people benefited from the teaching and discussions in the Freedom in Christ course and the Steps to Freedom.
Here are some of the participants’ comments about their experiences of the course:
Latest info updated 25/09/19
On Saturday 6th July – this Saturday – Gleneagles Church will be working alongside Wellingborough Street Pastors at the Wellingborough Carnival in Croyland Park. We will be using Street Pastors gazebo as a Prayer Tent and handing out leaflets giving people the opportunity to ask for prayer. Everyone is welcome.
You will have seen the details of our AMAZING Church Weekend Away 3rd – 5th July 2020.
We have it at a great price because Kings Park Conference Centre offer a 33% reduction for one weekend in the year.
We already have over 50 people booked in. We would love everyone to attend and no-one to miss out. So if you haven’t done so already, please seriously consider booking your place as soon as possible.
The accommodation and food is of the highest standard; every room is en suite.
Leisure and sports facilities are available.
Church weekends are a fantastic opportunity for all in the church family to enjoy some special time together. What a great event to include in our 30th Birthday celebrations!
We want everyone to be a part of it.
Worship will be led by Stuart Welch from Christ the King, Kettering and Children’s Ministry will be led by Jo Batch and team also from Christ the King.
Mark was a Vicar in London for most of the past 25 years before being appointed as Leader of New Wines international ministry as well as Director of Church Leadership Development. In London he led inner city churches into growth and fruitfulness and it is now his passion to coach and mentor other church leaders, alongside his desire for international mission and training.
His ministry has taken Mark to 30 nations worldwide and his deep desire is to see all of God’s people released in their gifts and ministries. He has a particular interest in the prophetic gift and seeing the church living freely and joyfully. He is the author of ‘Learning to Hear God’s Voice’ a small offering to get people started in listening prayer and living prophetically.
Mark is married to Kate who is a paediatric nurse and they have four grown up children. In his resting times Mark and Kate love to walk, camp and enjoy a good meal and glass of wine with friends. Mark is an avid Bristol Rovers fan which keeps him in solidarity with those who know dashed dreams
If you haven’t yet booked and would like to go please click here for an electronic copy of the leaflet with full details and booking form, or pick one up at the back of the church.
As a Church, we don’t want you to miss this great opportunity for a truly memorable weekend away together.