Ray Dadswell: Prayer wins the day

Personal stories should be entertaining, edifying and educational. The following is all three of these, I am sure you will agree.

Colin Povey, Team Leader for Fegans Child and Family Care in East Sussex, describes what has been going on recently in his world.

‘Praise the Lord that he promises never to leave us or forsake us, Hebrews 13, 5. He has a plan for us, knows what is best and will ensure things happen at the right time.

‘Back in 1900, James Fegan, the founder of our work, put in a ridiculously small offer for a large school and was told that if he completed the purchase in two weeks he could have it. In faith he set the praise meting for a fortnight ahead, and at the eleventh hour he was £9 short, when a man gave that exact amount. (It was later discovered that it was savings for his funeral.)

‘This inspired me to make an offer of two-thirds of the asking price, what we could just about afford, to rent a former bank in the Seaside area of town. It is in the heart of the Devonshire ward, and matched the vision from a few years ago about where we should be for our developing ministry. Praise God that the offer was accepted!

‘We submitted a planning application for change of use and provided a summary of our role and work to Eastbourne Borough Council to be forwarded to local residents. There were objections, focusing on a lack of parking and the possibility of anti-social behaviour.

‘Advice from the planning officers led us to hold a public meeting on 1st March, designed to listen to people’s concerns and allay their fears.

‘A colleague and I were able to share some of our testimonies before we explained more about our work. What a wonderful opportunity God had given us to tell of the saving grace of Jesus! Some of the objectors found that there was a couple, also local business owners, who were countering the arguments and saying incredibly supportive things about what we do. It led to one of the objectors turning to me to say, “You planted these people here, didn’t you?” I was able to say that I didn’t know them and had never met them before. Thank God for this unexpected surprise!

‘On 21st May, the planning committee of the Council voted unanimously in favour of our application, and we pray on that we can form good relations with people in the area who were not originally happy with proposal.

‘It is indeed a privilege for us in Fegans to serve locally , and we also pray for the Lord’s equipping to enable us to show the love and compassion of Jesus.’

Reading this, we are reminded of the words of Jesus to his followers once again: ‘You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world’ (Matthew 5, 13-16).

EASTSIDE PLAYERS are arranging their summer school this year at St Anthony’s from 5th – 16th August. The play they will be performing is ‘King in Waiting’, dealing with the Old Testament character David, from his anointing to Saul trying to kill him.

There are still five spaces for participants. Contact by email – steffihuxley@aky.com