Pads declined the offer of a hot-tub on Saturday, having been awake a lot on Friday and with the determination to attend church on Sunday night. Ally was driving the smalls to OTW camp, but managed to get back in time for us all to go and enjoy a magnificent Christ exalting gospel message by the Pastor from John 17.UPDATE - back from hot tub with Padi. He had more than a few 'deck-chair ' moments (where his legs fold unpredictably beneath him) but is now safely reinstated in bed with a cuppa.
The camp started yesterday and runs to Thursday morning so, as much as we would normally shun unnecessary travel and worldly entertainments on the Lords' Day, this was a case of 'the exception proving the rule'. There may well be psychological benefit to the boys being on this camp, and joining from the start was intended to secure maximum advantage. The camp was all the way over near Grantham so we plotted a course that could include attending a good church on the way. This meant setting off at 8:30am, stopping at Welcome Hall for 10:30am. Depart Welcome Hall by 12:15pm, drop boys off and begin return journey by 2:15pm, to get back in time for our evening service at 6pm. We're grateful to Ruth and Rhys for back-up in terms of getting Pads to church because he was determined to go. In the event, the whole journey went very well and mum was back by 5:25pm with plenty of time to spare. The boys were very excited. This will be Asher's third and Boaz's second time, and it great for Ally to meet the staff, one of whom had fond memories of chaperoning 'The Lord Mayor', as he called Padi, on a previous camp. Pads hoped to stay behind for tea after the service but thought better of it as time went on. We got him settled into bed for a snack of scrambled egg on toast and a reading from 'Secret Believers', about Muslim converts to Christianity and their perilous and difficult lives.
Lives are being changed, despite terrorist attacks and fierce opposition. "The gospel of Jesus changes wicked, hateful, sinful, lying murderous people into saints who demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience-all the fruits of the Holy Spirit," says Brother Andrew.
At times Secret Believers face incomprehensible suffering. And yet, the power of Jesus, living in the hearts of Secret Believers, is greater than Islam. It transforms lives.