Pizza, planes and partnership...

I write this having just waved off most of the party of Highfields visitors who have been with us for the weekend.

Huw Williams | 21:20, Monday, 10 October 2011

We get the bonus of an extra day with Tamar who is returning to Cardiff a day later! It's been such a joy to have them with us. We had a special day yesterday in our induction to the work with the International Chruch of Torino, and it was a particular delight to hear Phil Jenkins preaching again (and also for me to have a week off!)

I am reminded of something Jonathan Handley said to me years ago, about never underestimating the encouragement of simply getting on a plane and spending time with people. This has been very true for us of course this weekend, and it's been wonderful to see our friends again and catch up over the last month. But there's another dimension to this, because as Kathy, Kevin, Phil, Simon, Sophie and Tamar have spent time with the church committee (Saturday evening) and the rest of the congregation (Sunday) they have been a huge encouragement to them, too. While the congregation here were meeting them for the first time, there's something about the fact that these people want to fly from Cardiff to Turin to see us as a church, to meet us, to share fellowship with us, which reminds us again of what it means to be gospel partners; it's a tangible reminder that we do not plough our own furrow here, but that we share in the great work of making Christ known with a church in Cardiff, and with churches around the world. It's a comforting reminder that it's not our church, it's Christ's church, His worldwide people. The work of building his church is ultimately His, and we simply have the privilege of being involved.

So while we tried to keep our guests plied with coffee, pizza and ice cream, their contribution far outweighs this. Thank you for sending them, thank you for your partnership in the gospel. And do let us know who's visiting next!

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