I was in London, at Gatwick Airport when the phone rang from the Convener of the Vacancy. I looked at my phone wondering who is calling me from County Down. I answered the call and it was Rev Mark Spratt telling me that my name had been put forward as a possible candidate for the vacancy. After prayerful consideration, I said that I was happy for my name to go forward. As soon as I finished the conversation with the Convener I called my wife! Something had shifted, I felt it, somehow I knew it. Was the Lord opening the door?
I was asked to submit an application form which was different from any other that I had completed. I put in that application form everything that I have done, my experiences and who I am, I did not hold back. I had a simple reason for that; I knew that if Session called me for an interview, it was because the Lord was speaking.
I did not hear a thing for a week. Denise and I were invited to a friends’ get-together to celebrate a new church plant in the South of Ireland. It was there that I heard as clearly as you can hear the sound of someone speaking, I heard the Lord saying “You will be going to 1st Ballynahinch! That floored me! I did not say a word to anyone, I was just amazed that I was able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, giving me directions.
The installation was so powerful and it was a special event not only for our church but also for us as a family. We were delighted to see so many of our friends there and people who have believed in us. It was an emotional event that I will not forget. I want to thank you all for all you have done and continue to do. Not just for the catering, the worship, and making that evening a place where the Lord was honoured but also to those of you who have come to the Manse and left us flowers, cards, came and helped us move furniture and drilled them to the wall and also those of you who brought us food, and chocolate cakes! Our kids are happy! THANK YOU.
It has been more than a month since my installation and I am getting to know the culture of 1st Ballynahinch PCI, it is really exciting to meet new friends, to hear their stories and it is a blessing to pray for them. I have also enjoyed our Sunday’s gatherings, I am always expecting that the Lord will move freely, that He will speak and that His Presence will be manifested through our worship.
It is going to be a journey, a journey that will bring surprises, joy and also struggles but we, together, will overcome them. In the CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia books, we are introduced to Aslan, the Lion, who is a picture of Jesus; Aslan is not safe but HE IS SO GOOD.