Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

As I enjoyed the 2020 Olympics this year, I could not help but think that the start of the 100 metres hurdles is a great metaphor for where we have been as ICS. It all looks good, everyone is ready, all the preparation done, on your marks… get set… and then it is a false start. There have been many false starts this year. Plans made that had to be remade. Appointments made that have not happened. Trips booked, and rebooked, and then postponed. But in the middle of all this frustration and uncertainty good things have happened.

We have recruited and placed Michael Roden in The Hague and Nick Finlay in Grenoble. We have been able to serve and support our Mission Partners and our Resort Mission has been able to operate, and eventually, we were able celebrate 150 years of being in Zermatt albeit a year late, but then so were the Olympics! 

At a time of less than encouraging news, a positive story I am delighted to share with you is from Grenoble. Nick, who started at St Marc's in early 2021, was telling me about the requests coming in for baptism. On Easter morning they celebrated eight baptisms. A few months later, he informed me that seven more people were seeking baptism. Fast forward to early summer and Nick was again on Zoom with me, telling me there were twenty more seeking baptism. A month or so later he told me that actually twenty-five had been baptised, including a woman he had met in Ikea! I was blown away and delighted for them, thirty-three people, children and adults baptised. We can see the difficulties and false starts, but God is at work.
As a postscript to the story, a friend connected with ICS who attends St Mary Magdalene Clitheroe, saw this picture. You may notice, if you look closely, that Nick is baptising people in a washing up bowl. Touched by this the church came together and donated a lovely baptistry constructed by a member of the church.

I am reminded that we run this race together. We support each other and the connectedness is our strength. In this vein I want to say thank you for your partnership, prayer generosity and interest in the work of ICS around the world. Secondly, I would ask you to run with us at this time financially, to prayerfully consider making a gift to the ministry and life of ICS. It may be £50, £500, £1000, whatever you feel is appropriate. By the grace of God, we are only able to carry on running this race because of the loyal, sacrificial support from our members and friends.

If regular giving is something you find convenient, could I ask you to consider starting a new standing order or increasing your existing regular gift to ICS? You may not even notice it going out, but for us that regular donation allows us to plan ahead with confidence.

Please also bear in mind the value of leaving a legacy. More information can be found here.

Yours in Christ,

Richard Bromley, Mission Director ICS

Baptism photo courtesy of Jean Philippe.