The New Year looked a bit bleak. Perhaps it was the short days and long nights. Perhaps it was the driechness (Scots word that means more than merely wet and cold) of the day to day weather. Mostly I had been going through a place in ministry that direction was hard to focus on. What did God want me to do next? Oh, I had not lost the vision and purpose of why God put us here, rather the details were fuzzy… we had had a few ‘negative’ business meetings and some people who had left the church for various reasons. None of them pointing at me, but it felt personal.
The first Sunday of the New Year, I was preaching a message from Matthew 2 on the wise men following the star. Verse 10 says: “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy”. I realized why the wise men rejoiced, they had lost sight of the star and had ended up in Jerusalem and not Bethlehem because the star had disappeared. They knew the destination as the newly born King of the Jews. So they stayed the course even though the star had vanished. I realized that I won’t always ‘see the star’ but still need to stay on course. Our vision here is and will remain; to see people come to saving faith in Jesus and then come together as church to be growing disciples.
I got to see a glimpse of the ‘star’ as I was leading the song time this past Sunday. I asked if anyone would share what God was/is doing in their lives. In general Scots do not like to expose their hearts easily, still we have watched lives change, they just don’t talk about it. One lady stood up and said, ‘I am not afraid of the dark anymore, I know that I am not alone’, one guy said, that he was learning to search God’s word for answers instead of just trusting his feelings. One lady who has come for about two years said, ‘I have peace and comfort now’, she also told me personally, ‘My life has changed since coming to your church’. In the next 10 to 15 minutes there were several who shared who have never said anything out loud before. One lady was afraid to speak up in church, so she sent a text to Ruth later that said; ‘I wanted to say I am not so afraid of what the future holds because I know I’m not alone…being there and listening to Jon every week means so much, say thanks for me.’ So a bit of encouragement
Another interesting development is that there is a need for a Foodbank ministry in our area. Brechin has a 2% higher poverty rate than average for Scotland. Our Church people are excited about stepping out by faith and being a help to the community in this way. We have teamed up with an already established Christian Foodbank that works with the Council and social workers to help find those in need. We are blessed to have a building to be used in this way. We could use about £2000($3200) to help finish the room (it needs a ceiling) that would be used for this and buy shelves and scales for this project.
There is so much more I could and would share if we could sit together for a cuppa, but I need to get to work, so I will close by saying thank you for your ministry of prayer and support for our family and our church, continuing to stand by us as we are on this journey to follow the one who loves us and gave Himself.
Your Bridge to Brechin, Scotland,
The Jon Bergen Family