We have baptised at least a dozen people in Niddrie over the last 6 months and it has been a powerful reminder to the congregation and the local community of the saving power of Christ even in the most hardened heart.
When I came to Niddrie over 5 years ago there was a young woman involved in selling Heroin outside our doors in the car park. Most of the members were oblivious but I spotted it after about 2.1 seconds! Her name was Charlene and she had two young children. Before long she had heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and was interested in changing her life. At that time she was under huge pressure from her friends and family. Nearly everybody she knew was an addict of one form or another. It was her culture. It was her life. Slowly but surely she began to see the seriousness and hopelessness of her situation and began to understand the reality of the gospel, her sin predicament and the deep, abiding hope that could only be found in Jesus.
One day, after a particularly bad assault on her out side the church, I took her into the prayer room and read her the riot act. She was losing her life to this drug, she had no real friends and she had lost her children to the social services. She was a bum and her life was going down the toilet. Then, with the help of Sharon, our Women’s Worker, she began to get more serious. She attended an evangelistic Bible study and our weekly Recovery Course at the church and the Lord removed the scales from her eyes. She got ‘proper saved’ (as we say in these parts). It was a long, hard slog over the first 2 years but, a coupe of years ago I had the pleasure of baptising her. Over 100 people came to the service (some of her old drug acquaintances) and heard her give a clear testimony to the greatness of Jesus. Not long after that I had the privilege of marrying her to one of our church deacons. Charlene is currently one of our Ministry Apprentices and now mentors young women and proclaims the gospel in our scheme.
Here is her story. We praise God for his grace and mercy!
20 Schemes believes that there are many “Charlenes” in housing schemes around the country who need to hear the gospel of Jesus and be discipled in a loving, committed Christian community. This is why Female Outreach workers are such an important part of our strategy to reach the schemes for Christ. There is a harvest to be reaped and we must pray for workers willing to give up all they know to enter the harvest field.