This Spring we have been enjoying an unusually dry and sunny spring here! We’ve lived here long enough to know not to take it for granted and have really been enjoying the outdoors and making good use of the nearby parks.
We are also thankful for the work of the Lord in our church the past few months. Since January, we have had one person join our congregation, we’ve finished a ‘Christianity Explored’ course and are preparing to do a new course called ‘Life Explored’. Those participating enjoyed the course and had some great questions and discussions, including some discussion of interest in baptism and membership. Please do pray for wisdom, guidance and clarity as we continue these conversations. We have also been busy engaging in Bible study with much of the congregation. There are a couple of one-on-one studies going on and we have just begun a group Bible study following the Sunday service. It is our prayer that the scriptures will continue to penetrate into the hearts of people and they are drawn into a closer relationship with our loving, gracious, kind, and risen Saviour.
Our Easter celebrations at High Road Baptist Church were encouraging. Our craft day activity for children had almost 40 new people into our building to have fun and to hear the message of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection—we pray that this activity and contact with these people will develop into something greater. In addition to the great attendance of the craft day, the attendance on Easter Sunday matched the highest attendance in our time here. Especially encouraging was the fact that many of these people were second-time attenders or had been invited by our members. It is exciting to see that our members have confidence and enthusiasm enough to invite others along. We pray this type of enthusiasm this will continue.
As mentioned in our previous update, 2017 marks 100 years that High Road Baptist has been in North Finchley and we are looking forward to celebrating this on 14 May in an anniversary service. Please pray that the Lord will use this celebration to make more people in our community know about our presence and history here and to build unity and a sense of purpose in our people as we look back on 100 years here and 226 year of meeting as a church in the London area. We are looking forward to sharing the church’s unique history—please pray that it will be done well and the work of running and hosting the event will go smoothly.
As a family Easter marked the end of a nice school break which gave us lots of time to visit with some friends, do some day trips, enjoy the sunny weather and have some relaxed time as a family. Just before the break we enjoyed a visit from some family and their friends as well.
Also mentioned in our previous update letter, was our support level. Though we are still a bit under-supported, the Lord is meeting this need—we are very thankful to report that a new church has taken us on for support and several other churches have been able to increase their support level. We are deeply grateful for those who allow the Lord to use them to enable our work here and for your care for our needs. If you, your church, or someone you know is looking to partner with us through ABWE to help us in our church revitalisation efforts here in North London, please do contact us or see our support page.
We also are aware that we are nearing the time to apply for residency in the UK—we have been here four years now and next January we will be eligible to apply. Recently the visa regulations changed to limit the number of temporary religious visas we are able to apply for to two (which we have now done)—this means that without successful application for residency we would not be able to reapply for the same visa again and would probably have to leave the country for at least a year. For many reasons, this is obviously less than ideal for the church here and us. Though we’ve not started the application process for the residency yet, we have begun the research part of it, which can be tricky because the immigration laws seem to be changing rather frequently. So please do pray for our anxieties, wisdom and guidance as we begin this process and for the funds to cover the cost of it.
With joy we give thank for what the Lord is doing and we look forward to how he will continue to build his church here in North London.
David and Annalisa Wilson