God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Psalm 68:6 (NLT)
It was getting on for 5 years ago that Julie and I first walked into CBBC. We had been in Australia for three years and had lost our way a little bit. In the UK we had been a key part of a wonderful church movement where we had planted a church, helped oversee that movement, mentored many leaders, were known, loved, understood and accepted. In the three years between arriving in Australia and setting foot in CBBC things were……….. well, let’s say…………different! We hardly knew anyone, we didn’t fit in – especially in church life, we were without the people who ‘got’ us. We had come to Australia thinking we were Pentecostals, as that is how we would have identified ourselves in the UK, but when we connected with what we thought would be our family, our tribe – we realised that we seriously did not fit in. So we came to the conclusion that our only option was to church plant and felt led to look somewhere between Hallett Cove and Aldinga for an opportunity. To cut a long story short, while we were at Tabor we were approached by one of the lecturers to see if he might introduce us to someone at Baptist HQ with the view to exploring whether we would consider planting with the Baptists. To this day (and probably more than ever on this day) I am ashamed of my response – something like “BAPTISTS – why would I want to church plant with them!!” (read with the most disdainful voice you can muster). However this started the most amazing journey for us which has brought us here today to now being ordained as Pastor/leaders of CBBC. Along the way I have moaned, whinged, at times been rude and arrogant but have consistently been met and welcomed with love, grace and acceptance by both the church and also the wider Baptist family. The verse at the top says God places the lonely into families – I know for me just how true that has been – We are at home, we have found a family to love and be loved by – thank you for making room for us!!
Daniel and Julie
p.s. It didn’t go unnoticed that the verse also says; ‘He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land’ – I am not sure it was meant as the blessing I now read it as!!