Hi I am Susan I am a member of a small non-conformist chapel perched half way of a north welsh hillside. We serve a community that not even those in the local area know much about because it is not on the way to anywhere. Yet I help to run a successful craft group for people with learning disabilities and their carers. It is a community of interest few in the church have any contact with.
My background is a survivor of domestic turmoil created by mental health problems. I was given a lot of advice by people who used biblical principles but because they misdiagnosed the problem they advised me to do things that made me weaker. (Now do you understand why the strapline mentions the idea of meeting the needs of the weak are met without weakening them further.)
One of the things I held onto during the hard times was something that I wrote down during prophetic workshop at a Pentecostal church in 1991.
…My daughter I would say unto you do not be afraid you know more than you think. You are my child, my precious possession my lily my beautiful one. My saviour for many people and churches I will use you as you lean on me. I will support you and deal sensitively with you. You will restore my people throughout the word of my testimony. You are my child, you are my deliverer of millions. Through you I will do many wonders. I am the Lord your God…
It shook me that God wanted to give me that kind of responsibility. Yet I accepted that this was God’s answer to my request to know what He wanted me to do with my life. For about 20 years now and I have been learning to walk in that calling. It sparked the catalytic scream that proved to God that I really wanted my life to change so that I could serve Him better. That scream also gave Him permission to change whatever He wanted in my life so that I could serve Him better. No wonder that two years later it was hard to see anything in my life that could be changed that had not been changed. I was in an extremely negative situation then but things are so much better now. It has been quite a journey of developing skills and changing attitudes so that I can do what I need to do in such a role.
One of the things that I have learnt on my journey is that the churches need for resources is met when they meet God’s need to help people. Too many churches concentrate on what they look like and forget that if they learn to grow like the lilies of the field that they will be dressed in greater finery than ever Solomon was. Too many people are doing what I was expected to do i.e. look as though I was swimming when the reality was that I was drowning. I was expected to look like an overcomer so that the church seemed attractive to incomers. Not only that but I was given precious little help because no one, not even me, recognised how serious my situation was.
Now you know something about me and why I am so passionate that Christians as individuals and churches as communities of interest need to get out there and do the stuff that restores people and makes the world into the sort of place that God would like it to become.