Today I visited the old Cregagh Rd meeting house as part of the Eastern Presbytery's committee responsible for the replanting of a congregation in East Belfast. The task seems so great, the need all around so overwhelming, our resources so meagre. But as I climbed the back stairs from the hall and entered the former session room the memories came flooding back. About twenty years ago I had the privilege of working in Cregagh during my first year placement from the Reformed Theological College. When a young inexperienced raw student entered that room it was a meeting place with God. It was in there prior to the service that three fathers in the faith paused to pray with you - Bob, Stanley and Herbie. None of them were men of great physical stature but even a novice knew that they were mighty men of God. As they prayed it seemed that windows of heaven opened and the veil drew back a little. These were men who knew their God and pleaded that their Saviour would be glorified in the saving of sinners and the building of the church. If those men were not already in their heavenly home and were hearing of this endeavour to replant in their beloved East Belfast they would be saying - Here am I send me. For years they prayed and laboured. And perhaps this response of the Presbytery is in answer to their prayers of long ago.
They are the sort of men that we are after. Men of prayer, men who love the Saviour, men who delight in the church of the covenant, men who will go the distance. If any young or not so young person reads this and you are wanting to do something with your life this is a challenge you can't afford to miss. I don't think we will get the likes of these three mighty men ever again. But they served a mighty God and merciful Saviour who delights to use the frail and weak.
If you would like to know more of the Eastern Presbytery's plans for East Belfast email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
There was no one in that room today. Maybe it is where you will be, pleading to the same Lord that my three fathers in the faith now serve within the glory of heaven.