(Originally posted on 29th April 2019)
‘That’s what you believe, I’ve got my own beliefs.’ That’s what Bob used to say to anyone who asked. He attended Beechwood Chapel for years, loving the community it offered, the love and care of it’s faithful members. Tim met Bob when he started working at the chapel in 2011. They really clicked and had a mutual love for one another, despite the 50 odd years between them.
Tim started going over to Bob’s house to watch telly with him, Deal or No Deal being the programme of choice. Gradually this changed into a Bible study and they read about Jesus’ life together. It’s through this and the continual witness and challenge from the church family that Bob finally gave his life to Christ. ‘I’ve prayed the prayer! I’m part of God’s family now.’ That was Bob’s simple and powerful testimony, forgiveness offered because of Jesus. Bob took every opportunity to share that with people around, often heckling visiting preachers at the Chapel to make sure they knew what God had done for him.
Bob always said that it was through reading the Bible with Tim and others that he not only learnt about Jesus but he learnt to read too! With very little in the way of education, Bob had been a hard working bin man for years before becoming a loving carer for a family member before they passed away. When Tim decided to start up some training sessions at the chapel on how to dig deeper into the Bible he invited Bob to come along. Tim felt passionate about training people from all backgrounds to get into the wonderful truths in God’s word. Bob loved it.
Training in a church context isn’t just for academics, intellectuals or young people. It’s for the uneducated, the bin men, the Bobs of our communities. God used Tim and the training he received to pass this on to others. I hope the fund will go on to see many more ‘Bobs’ trained up in our churches, and that God will use this training to develop in many, passion for the gospel.
In memory of Bob, a lovely brother in the Lord.