Schools

So, another part of our ministry, which is another area completely new to me, is work in schools. We actively take part in school life, leading assemblies in all four primary schools and at the secondary school. This, of course, feeds into the kids work at the corps very well.

There are two of our primary schools which serve needy parts of the town, parts where there are localised social issues and I’ve volunteered to spend a morning at each school just supporting and helping out whatever way we can. Needless to say the headteacher grabbed the opportunity!

The opportunities to build relationships with the children of this town are immense, so will you join me in giving it to the Lord in prayer to see what can come of it. Its preaching the gospel with our hands and actions as well as just doing it with our mouths…both are crucial – take Jesus as the example.

Advertisements

My weekly pub-crawl

Just in case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t backslidden!

Each Saturday night at 10pm, when your average Corps Officer is putting up his feet, watching telly, tinkering with his/her sermon, or attending a nice festival, Wick Corps prefers their corps officers to be in the pub.

Each week I set off with my ‘trusty’ War Crys, uniform and tin and invade the various interesting institutions in town. What can I say? I love it. The opportunities to speak with the not-yet-saved, the opportunities to witness and to speak to those who don’t know Jesus about the gospel are great.

I’ve also gathered a short list of backslidden soldiers and junior soldiers who can be found in such a place on a Saturday night…surely first on the list!

Last night I was met by a very aggressive man, spouting all sorts of abuse about the hypocrisy of The Salvation Army etc etc…was interesting for a while, but it all ended in my box being blessed with a £10 note and me having a new best friend! A soft answer turns away wrath, says the writer of the Proverb!

Anyway, tell your officer you want to go to the pub..invite him/her to come too. The light belongs in the darkness.

Our Youth Work

This week I have witnessed nothing short of miraculous…a wonder. It was something I’d been told about, but never quite believed it.

Our corps have an incredible children and youth ministry to kids at Primary school age and the beginning of secondary school. Not only are we, as officers, actively invoved in chaplaincy at all four of the primary schools, but we run childrens activities two evenings a week.

On Friday, we have JAM Club. From 6.pm-7.30pm we have children in P1 -3 (ages 4-7). On Friday we had over 70 children. From 7.30pm – 9pm on the same evening, we have children in P4 & 5 (ages 8-9) and we had just over 60 of those.

On Saturday night, from 7 – 8:30pm, we had P6 & 7 children (ages 10+) and there were just under 70 of those.

My terrible math skills tell me that we regularly have around 200 children coming along to our Army youth clubs, which all include a section where all the children sit down in rows, in silence, and listen attentively to the gospel. It is so big that we have to hire specialised premises as our halls are too small.

Can you believe this? I didn’t until I saw it with my own eyes.

However, we’re not seeing cross-over into the corps. We lack the progression from the ‘God-slot’ into worship, teaching, reaping and discipling. Enter Andrew & Tracy Clark! We’re over the moon to have been entrusted with such a great privelege and responsiblity.

I would like to ask you to give heaven no rest until we can see these children move on in their faith, into a real living relationship with Jesus, plugged into the local corps, in love with the Lord and fighting the fight.

The Lord gave me a word this evening as I prayed in the hall:

“…and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).

The general context of that verse is a revival of God’s people, specifically in the person of Jesus and by all those who follow him, but I sense that God was saying he was going to use these children.

In 11:12: “He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel”

…in 11:15-16 “The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Eyptian sea(the nile)… (a sign of opression, sin and worldly influence on the people of God..it was a source of life for this nation who were anti-God an opressed God’s people)…with a scorching wing he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates river, breaking it up in to seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals.” (The Lord is making a way for people to come back to him from exile before the gospel breaks out…God is saying he will do with the Euphrates as he did with the Nile, the sinful system keeping people away from God will be dispersed.)

For those of you who’ve followed the ‘river’ words the Lord has been giving, this will make sense I hope..if not, scroll down!

The Wick Salvation Army/Baptist Revival 1921

Finally got sorted out with broadband at home and good to be feeling connected with the world again! Been having to take trips to the library to check emails etc, so glad thats all over.

Did I mention that the last mainland revival in Britain took place at Wick Corps? Between the corps and the baptist church, in November 1921, over a thousand souls sought salvation. In my filing cabinet in my office, I have what is called a ‘Seekers Register’ from that time. That is basically a record of people who have come forward in a Salvation Army meeting to seek salvation, to rededicate themselves and to seek after holiness. The book is split up into people who appear on Salvation Army rolls and those who dont.

Now, from the middle of November 1921 to the beginning February 1922, there are just over 400 names of people seeking salvation who have no formal connection with the Army. In the space of two or three months, 400 people seeking salvation. In addition, you can add around 40 – 50 backslidden soldiers who came back to the Lord. Add to that those who knelt in rededication and who were gloriously renewed.

First hand stories I’ve heard so far include recollections of people lining the Mercy Seat 10 rows deep and people having to come back later when it was empty.

And all that is just at the Salvation Army.

Today, Wick Corps is comprised of a dedicated band of holy, godly people who are desperate for the Lord to move again. Many of them are senior in years, but we have a vital evangelistic youth and children’s work which has been planting the seed of the gospel into nearly 180 every week for the last 15 years.

The time has come for the harvest, the north wind is blowing. Oh Lord help us! Join your prayer to mine for the Harvest in Wick. The Lord can do it again!

The first 100?

I am sure, like me, you’ve heard of the ‘first 100 days’ as being significant for new Prime Ministers etc. Well, I suppose they are sort of like that too for a corps officer! Having started work last Thursday in our new command, things are already beginning to build up steam. We are nearing the end of the summer holidays here in Scotland, so it will be getting into the normal scheme of things very soon.

Our welcome weekend was good. There were over 70 soldiers and friends who had gathered on Sunday morning and around 40 in the evening. We were ‘installed’ into our new appointment by our Divisional Commander, Major Martin Hill. Ben and Ceitidh made their presence known!

We were also welcomed at the Home League on Monday where just under 60 ladies gathered…they tell us there were many missing due to the weather. Talking about the weather, they could do with a bit more wind up here! Sheesh…I can see why Army caps have chin straps! Anyway, its a bit cooler, which suits me fine!

I’ve witnessed things this week that I’d long forgotten happen in Scotland: children in prams…big prams, sleeping outside shops and coffee shops in the streets while mums have cups of tea inside; supermarkets full of lovely Scottish food I’d forgotten about; people walking round Tesco’s with their kilts on!

Last Saturday, we went up to the castle of Mey, to the Highland Games where the game Cheiftan was HRH The Duke of Rothesay (as the Prince of Wales is known in Scotland), and, of course, the Duchess of Rothesay. I was expecting his arrival at the games to be with much pomp and circumstance, so you can imagine my surprise when the Prince drives his own car (a humble light green Audi estate), with the Duchess in the passenger seat, into the games arena. He did a grand job adjudicating in the tug-of-war too…all very interesting!

Anyway, still no internet at home…should arrive next week when normal blogging should resume. I’ll also be starting to use my ‘Wick Blog’ (see right) for corps things and keeping Army Renewal for the purpose I started it.

thats all for now!

Andrew