Summer is normally a quiet time for churches – students go home for three months, families go on holiday…

But as with most things, that’s not the way we do it in the Crowded House. Not that we’ve particularly planned it that way. Over the summer months at the larger congregation of Sharrow Vale we’ve been getting more people than is comfortable, but that’s another issue.

At TCH South View tonight we were missing 7 of our normal church (out of 16). But there were still 12 people there! (not including my brother who was visiting)… you can do the maths. What was really encouraging was that of the 7 people who were away only 2 were students. Our 3 other students are around most of the summer (the other two should be back by mid-August). It’s been such a privilege to see God working in so many of our church and giving them a real passion for each other and desire to be with each other.

As some of you may have read, during Summer in the City we spent time with some of the alcoholics and drug-addicts who hang out near where we meet. I’ve been trying to spend time with them over the past few weeks since as well. On Friday, we helped one of them, Pete, to move his stuff to his new accommodation. He then came back to our house for a meal and we watched a film together.

Tonight Pete came to our meeting. It was great to hear him asking questions. He was very honest about his fear of death. And then he prayed. In his prayer he apologised for asking questions (he really didn’t need to!), doubting and not understanding. He thanked God for the kind people he had met and then he said to God ‘I apologise for not believing you. I want to believe, and I do believe. I know what’s wrong and what’s right. I just wanted to apologise.’ It was great to hear him just talk to God. We’re going to try and meet up next week to start looking at the overall picture of the Bible using ‘The World We All Want’ course. Hopefully that will help him work through some of his questions.

It’s just so wonderful to see God working in so many ways – in the lives of his people, young and old as they are captured by the gospel and grow in love for him and each other, and in the lives of people of such broken backgrounds, as they see their desperate need of a saviour, and they speak so openly to him.

We will indeed glory in our redeemer.