Recovering from the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes is an ongoing task for Oxford Terrace Baptist Church.
The sense of family that we have had from the Baptist movement over the last 18 months has been tremendous. Numerous individuals, previous ministers, national leadership, and church groups both local and further afield have expressed love and solidarity.
Teams from the Napier and Invercargill Central churches travelled to Christchurch to spend time with us in January. Every aspect of the Sunday services were organised and completed, from the sermon to the prayers, all of the music, and even the set-up/pack-down jobs.
The teams also aided people who needed a hand shifting house, moved the church office back on-site after building repairs had been completed, sorted out damaged church goods, and gave the church grounds a big tidy-up.
A lot of our people are worn out, some having shifted house three or four times since the earthquakes began. Quite a few people are tired after prolonged periods of broken sleep. Some are getting weary as the city rebuild issues are delayed.
It can be easy to miss the good things that God gives. In these recent visible, tangible, practical expressions of help, it was hard to miss the love of Jesus being expressed.
It was good to laugh with fresh faces, to share with brothers and sisters who were determined to serve, and to listen, and to quietly say, “We can’t fully understand how hard it must be, but we are your family, and we care about you.”
Thank you! What a great community of faith our Baptist movement represents. We appreciate knowing others are supportive as we seek to become a fresh expression of God’s people in the centre of Christchurch. Continue to pray for us.
– Chris Chamberlain, Pastor of Oxford Terrace Baptist Church