A New Thing
Paul McLoughlan is looking to plant a church in Bingham, a tough housing estate in Edinburgh. He explains how partnership with FIEC has led to a refurbished building that the planting team are using to reach their community.
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 where He would save His people from their sins. This verse has been very apt for myself and my team in our church planting endeavours in the Bingham and Magdalene area of Edinburgh 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 worshiping 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 myself and a friend walked in one Sunday morning they said we were an answer to their prayers.
Over the coming months this aging congregation were gracious enough to hand the building over. So, the Good News of Jesus would continue to be proclaimed there 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 a new central heating system and windows throughout. The whole place had to be rewired and the kitchen needed upgrading with modern appliances.
This massive overhaul would cost between £65,000 and £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.
It was in October 2017 that 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.
FIEC was able to give the money because of the generosity of another church that was at the point of closure. The remaining members asked FIEC to invest the sale proceeds of their church building into church planting, which meant the funds could be released to totally revamp the building in Bingham. Once the money came in the building work was started.
Over the months of November and December we slowly started to see the building being renewed and the building work was finished in mid-January. In the last few weeks we have been kitting the place out with new furniture as well as promoting our new ministry: Hope Community Café.
We launched the café in February and our prayer is that it 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 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.
Partnership in Prayer
So our prayer is that this once old building, now fully revamped, will once again be full of men, women and children worshipping the Saviour. 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 our team, (Paul, Rachel, Emily, Martin & 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.
- That through our café we see many people come to hear and put their faith in Jesus.
- As God does a new thing in many hearts in this community that we would 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 new thing and it is a privilege to be called into His service.