By Mabel Brush

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.” Isaiah 55v8

Portadown FM Centre had been unusually busy with residential groups in early 2020 and this was set to continue. We had planned some necessary refurbishment and wondered when we were going to get it done. Replacement carpet tiles had been ordered for the games room; the day before they arrived, lockdown came into effect in Northern Ireland. We thought we had so little time, we thought we knew what was happening … now we know different!

So what’s happening at the centre now? We are working and waiting: doing necessary maintenance and other jobs which had previously been put off and waiting on God’s timing to resume activities. Much of our work is constrained due to Covid-19 but God continues to work freely and everything is going according to His perfect plan (Is 14v24).

Words of a song remind us “You (God) are working in our waiting, sanctifying us, when beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust”. Waiting is never easy but it is not wasted. Throughout the Bible we read of people who had to wait: Joseph waited 13 years to see his dreams fulfilled, David waited 14 years after being anointed before he become King and Abraham waited 25 years for the promised son Isaac. Lydia Brownback says “Real faith – the kind that brings peace – is faith that lets God choose the best answer for you”.

God is teaching us not to focus on our efforts. In Luke 10 Martha’s focus was on her work, she rebuked Mary for waiting at Jesus’ feet; we can so easily repeat Martha’s mistake and think we must be doing things. Our culture promotes busyness; God commends waiting on Him (Ps 27v14, Ps 37v7,Is 40v31).

God is teaching us that He is working even when we can’t.

  • For years many people of all ages have heard God’s Word through a wide range of activities at the centre. The seed has been sown and God will bring a harvest in His time.
  • We thank God for former campers who love God and are serving Him wholeheartedly, some involved in different ministry settings, sharing the gospel with others, multiplying the seed!
  • The first Faith Mission camp was held on the site in 1984. In 2020 the planned camps will all go ahead via technology reaching into homes involving other family members in a new way with God’s Word.
  • Hilda Lyons has put her June talk for the monthly Women’s Bible Study which usually meets in the dining room online.
  • Jim and Hilda Lyons organised a Drive In mission entitled “There is always hope” Sunday 28 June – Friday 5 July. It was great to see people back on the premises listening to God’s Word

As the weeks pass into months it’s easy to get impatient. Our human eye sees blank pages in the diary, an empty centre, missed opportunities to share God’s Word and no income. The eye of faith sees God carrying out His plans (Is 46v10). William Cowper’s hymn reminds us “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.” Our challenge is to wait on the Lord and simply say “Your will be done”.