It has been a while since our last update and there is much to report. I have been hoping to write sooner with news of our application for indefinite leave to remain (residency), but there has been some unexpected paperwork needs which we are still in the process of obtaining. At this point, we are asking that the Lord will allow us to complete our application in May — please keep that in your prayers. We can give praise that the funds have been given to cover the cost for the application, and for that we humbly say thank you; we are incredibly grateful to all those who have helped in this way and we hope to communicate some good news soon to both churches and those who personally gave towards our residency.
In other areas the Lord has been extremely kind to our church these past few months. Since the beginning of the year our average attendance has increased a little bit and we have been seeing new regular people coming in. Here are just a few encouragements:
- The couple who have been talking about Baptism are currently meeting with me to be baptised in September.
- We’ve had a new young family begin coming regularly and have said they have become believers but haven’t been baptised or been in church very much.
- A young lady who was a member of the church in the past, but left membership about 18 months ago has returned stating she has become a follower of Jesus now. She has a new love for Jesus and mentioned that she, about a month ago, began a personal relationship with Jesus that she hadn’t had before. She is currently enjoying one of our Christianity explored courses at the moment and we look forward to how she will grow in her relationship with Jesus in the future for her too.
- For Easter we had 30 people in attendance— our second highest in the last 2 1/2 years.
- A non-Christian friend I met last year has agreed to meet, read and talk through John’s gospel starting this month.
- As a church we’ve established a statement of beliefs, a church covenant, and what it means to be a member of our church. These were crucial to establish a unified understanding of what a church is and what it means to be part of a local church amongst our congregation.
We mention encouragements because they are what we like to focus on, but in the midst of these encouragements, the devil is also always at work. Please pray for us as a church; pray for me as its pastor that the Lord will protect us. We’ve had some growing pains these past few months, and some spiritual battles these past few months, but in the end we fall back on truth that we learn from 2 Corinthians 4v7 “but we have this treasure in jars of clayto show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
We do value your prayers, we are extremely thankful for everyone who has invested in us here in North London. We have had some lovely times here these past few months, with both of our parents and grandparents, friends from our church in Virginia Beach, and others who have stopped in for a day or two. We have some fun exciting things coming up for the summer and we are looking forward to a few young people from Colonial Baptist Church in Virginia Beach being with us to help with some events.
We ask that you rejoice with us in these encouragements that have happened in the past months, but we also ask that in your thanksgiving you continue to pray for the other things. The longer we seek to help in building the church here in London, the more we realise that only God is the builder — we are just the workers. Lord-willing you will hear from us soon regarding our residency application. May the Lord continue to build His church.
With thankful hearts,
David & Annalisa Wilson