This post was written by Paul McLoughlan, 20schemes church planter in Bingham, Edinburgh
God spoke through the prophet Isaiah and said this: ‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it (Is. 43:18-19a)?’ This was a Messianic prophecy pointing toward the coming of the Saviour Jesus. He would be the Mediator of a New Covenant through which he would save his people from their sins. This verse has been very apt for myself (Paul) and my team in our church-planting endeavours in Bingham & Magdalene over the last few months.
We were gifted a church building in early 2017. This had once been a place which was packed with men, women and children worshipping the Saviour, Jesus. But as the years progressed, people left for different reasons, and when we first came into the building, the church was dying. But God had plans to do a new thing in this old building. The ten faithful saints who remained there were in their later years. They had been praying for six months for young men to come and take over the work. When a friend and I walked in one Sunday morning, they said we were an answer to their prayers. Over the coming months this ageing congregation were gracious enough to hand the building over so the Good News of Jesus would continue to be proclaimed for many years to come.
The building had been well kept and was spotless inside. But it was in great need of a renovation, as it was very dated. It needed new central heating and new windows throughout. The whole place had to be rewired and the kitchen needed upgraded with modern appliances. A massive overhaul was needed, and after pricing the work, the total came to around £65-70,000. We prayed for months for the Lord to provide the money. We knew God was going to do a new thing when he provided the building. We just had to trust that he would provide the necessary finance.
In October 2017 God provided the full amount for the work to be done. Faithful men from the FIEC came and had a look at what we were trying to do. They saw the potential and knew God was doing to do a new thing with this building, and they invested in the work. The FIEC generously provided the full amount necessary to totally revamp the building, for which we are hugely grateful. Once the money came in the building work was started.
Over the months of November and December we started to see the building being slowly renewed. Old walls were knocked down and new ones erected. Old radiators were ripped out and new radiators were installed. The old kitchen was dismantled and a brand new, up-to-date kitchen was installed. The old carpet was lifted and a new floor was laid. The traces of the old building were gradually disappearing, whilst a new user-friendly building was starting to take shape. God was doing a new thing. The building work was finished in mid-January.
Over the last few weeks we have been kitting the place out with new furniture as well as promoting our new ministry, a community cafe. We launched ‘Hope Community Café’ yesterday, a café run from the church building. Our prayer is that our café becomes the hub and meeting point for people in the community. A place where people from Bingham and Magdalene can come and relax. A place where they can buy cheap food, have lunch and chill out with their friends. A place where relationships and friendships will be built between people from the area and our team. A place where broken, lost people are pointed to the Saviour Jesus.
God has done a new thing with our building, but we pray he does a new thing in the hearts of those we come into contact with through the launch of our new café. We also pray the café is only the starting point for our work in Bingham and Magdalene. God willing, we hope to plant a church in this area. We pray that this once old building, now fully revamped, will once again be full of men, women and children worshipping the Saviour Jesus. Lost souls who were once heading for eternal damnation, regenerated by the Spirit of God and growing as faithful disciples. Families who were once broken and fractured by life, united together in the gospel. The heroin addict who once begged on the streets, transformed and trained for ministry.
God is doing a new thing in Bingham and Magdalene and we would like you to be involved. We would be hugely grateful if you could join us in prayer.
- Please pray for us as we have just launched Hope Community Café and are in the very early stages.
- Please pray for our team (Paul, Rachel, Emily, Martin and Derek) as we seek to make Jesus known in this area. That God would give us the wisdom to speak the truth of the gospel of Jesus into the mess of people’s lives.
- Please pray that through our café we will see many people come to hear and put their faith in the Saviour Jesus.
- Please pray that God will do a new thing in many hearts in this community as we plant a gospel-proclaiming church where the mighty name of Jesus will continue to be worshipped and glorified; where the Word of God will continue to be preached and proclaimed for many years to come; where indigenous disciples are made and trained for ministry; where the gospel is passed from generation to generation.
God is doing a new thing and it is a privilege to be called into his service.