'Behold I make all things New…'

The snippet above from Revelation 21 reminds us that even if we are too busy to notice, God is at work, lives are being impacted through the ministry of ICS, people are serving and being served. We are in a constant state of creation and recreation. 

Several chaplaincies have become hubs of care and support for families fleeing from Ukraine. Others are supporting migrant people from further afield, Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, Iran to name a few. Many people are displaced and in transit, seeking safety and security.  Some have found a place to connect or reconnect with God while away from home.  Of course, not every story has a happy ending, and for every story, there are hours of hard work and determined prayer which we rarely see.

One chaplain sent me a note he received on WhatsApp, it read: ‘I wanted to just send a text to thank you both for your ministry and warm welcome. Even though we were only there for a little under a year, our time at the church was very special to us. We were much strengthened and encouraged in our faith and we both left with a renewed zeal. So, thank you so much for the work you’re letting God do through you and the church.’  The chaplain said to me: ‘I think this illustrates well the ordinary work that God is doing through our chaplaincies, and the fellowships He has created, even when we don’t feel we are doing much.  God is at work; His Spirit is with us.’
Another wrote: ‘We ran Alpha at the start of the year in a drop-in centre in the local town. A core of ten people attended for the whole course, and several turned up for church. Towards the end of the Alpha sessions, one person came to faith, another sought help for their alcohol addiction and is now attending a support group, and one person was prayed for to be healed from cancer and just recently she found out that it has gone. We have since met up several times as a group and are seeking to make this a more permanent fixture going forward; a way of continuing the faith conversations and discipling the new Christians. It has been encouraging to see the group invite others along, as they in turn have been sharing with friends and family what they are discovering about Jesus.’
Delightfully one chaplain received this: ‘Your kindness and compassion have really brought me back to Christ. I come from a background of feeling like I was never enough, but through our sessions, I am realising that God loves us for who we are, and Christ died for us as we are; so that we can be the people we hope to be. It has been a powerful experience in changing my view of Christianity and in allowing in our Creator’s unconditional love.’
And lastly, Chai, who was raised by his grandmother after being abandoned by his parents. In his early twenties he got into a drinking, drugs, partying lifestyle; it was a way of escaping from the hurt and loneliness that he was feeling deep inside. During lockdown, his business collapsed and he was left pretty much alone. He remembered some Christians he had met a long time ago, but he had never made any sort of commitment to God before. He felt the Holy Spirit convincing him of his need to get right with God and to sort his life out spiritually. He started reading the Bible and began attending church. He recently made a real commitment to follow Jesus and was very keen to be baptised as a believer. 

In 2023, we celebrate 200 years of ICS. On Tuesday 27 June, we will gather and give thanks, but the council and I believe the best way to celebrate is to commit to developing more mission. Therefore, we aim to invest £200,000 over the next few years to stimulate new work and outreach. We can only achieve this because of the most generous support of people who stand alongside us and give financially, and in prayer.  We are all aware that we have had a pandemic, a war is taking place in Ukraine and a global economic crisis surrounds us. This is a challenging time to fund ministry. 

So, I ask you to journey with us, to make a gift to the ministry and life of ICS. We are only able to carry on doing what we do because of the loyal, sacrificial support from our members and friends. Secondly, if you can give regularly, could I ask you to consider starting or increasing a standing order to ICS?  You may not notice it going out, but we will certainly notice it coming in!

The stories give a picture of the impact ICS has, recruitment of new chaplains, pastoral support, prayer support, the care, the conference we hold for the chaplains and families.  Healthy, resilient mission partners serving faithfully in frontline chaplaincies, witnessing people find and grow in faith. Thank you for standing with us as we continue to fulfil this Gospel ministry. 

Your prayers, partnership and friendship are essential to us.

Yours in Christ,

The Revd Canon Richard Bromley
ICS Mission Director