The Davis Family
Serving at the House Church, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
May 13, 2011 Update
Hey guys, sorry it’s been awhile since our last update. I’ve actually written a couple but something always gets in the way of finishing them and then there no longer relevant. Sorry, this isn’t going to be short as there has been so much going on. This past month has been a real hard one for us, with a lot of internal church issues. Many of you were aware that we had somebody working in the church with us who after being confronted about a certain area of sin in his life, left the church and tried to do everything they could to cause a church split. It has been an exceptionally hard month trying to deal with this and all the lies he has spread. This included dealing with several governmental agencies that he tried to turn against us. But thanks to God for your answered prayers for us! Not one person in the church was swayed by this persons attempt to break up the church, in fact what Satan has meant for evil God has been turning for good. This gave us a push to re-evaluate our church policies, and though it was very difficult and time consuming I believe it has made us stronger. I have also spoken to the pastor of the church that he now attends, and they are going to set up a meeting with our church elders and theirs to talk with him about the whole matter……(several days latter), well we thought things were getting better, but they have actually gotten worse. The pastor of the other church told me that this person has left their church as well in a very unhealthy manner and refuses to seek restoration with anyone, and that this person has a personal vendetta against us and won’t be happy until were closed down.
We just found out yesterday from a visit from “Child Protection Services” that he is now accusing us of illegally taking and keeping our foster daughter Jasmine away from her parents. Thankfully, they know the truth and assured us that this wouldn’t be a big problem as they know us very closely and know that these accusations are lies, they know that Jasmine was taken from her family by Social Services and that they asked us to be her care givers, and that we have gone through the official fostering training. Though, it will mean several time consuming meetings with the governments Child Services. The list of accusations goes on and on, and we need to now go to a small court hearing regarding some false accusations he made about us committing fraud. We’re not worried as we have nothing to hide and it is so evident from everyone that these are all lies from a disgruntled and perhaps mentally ill person. Though, it looks now like we are going to have to file a legal suit against him, and this is going to turn ugly. What a shame, that brother should take brother to court (1 Cor.6:1-6), but we are being forced to protect ourselves, our family, and the church because of the nature of what he has done and his unwillingness to heed any biblical counsel. So, will you please continue to pray for us about these issues as they weigh heavy on us, but we believe deeply that God is intervening on our behalf and answering prayer as every single lie of his has been exposed, and in fact he has incriminated himself in several ways which we will be forced to act upon if he doesn’t stop soon. Why is it that no one prepares you for this kind of stuff in Bible College!
Anyways, everything is not bad here! In a strange way this whole event has brought us to the veryyyyy end of ourselves, and a few weeks ago we closed the coffee shop for two weeks to go away and just pray and re-evaluate our calling to England. We felt completely empty with nothing left to give, and in that place the Lord spoke to us, John 15:16-20 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you…Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” Since then God has reinvigorated our hearts with a deeper understanding of our identity in him! It’s not the church, or where we live…etc. that defines us, it’s solely His sovereign grace and love. I feel almost like the Prodigal son that has been embraced in the loving arms of my Father running out to accept me back from my folly. I feel like somehow my identity slipped away from the gospel of grace defining me, into a church planter defining me. While church planting is good, it’s not God! I can’t tell you how alive I feel, and how impassioned I am to not just teach bible studies, but to proclaim the transforming power of the Gospel! That we wouldn’t just be a church but a community of disciples on mission with Jesus to engage our city with the gospel!
With this I have seen how important it is that we each be serving in the areas of our gifts rather than just trying to do it all. The most draining thing consuming us and the church staff has been our coffee shop, and while I have lately wanted to close it because we feel more like a coffee shop with a church rather than a church with a coffee shop, it provides the finances for us to have a building in the city centre where most of our ministry happens and which facilitates the relational building up of our church body. So we have been praying that God would provide the people to manage the coffee shop or to close it and give us another place to meet. Well, just last week a Christian brother we know who is a supervisor of a chain of coffee shops in London visited us for the week, and since, has decided to quit his good paying job and cushy life and to come manage our coffee shop even though we can only pay him peanuts. God, also last week has risen up another person to help him. This is a huge answer to prayer so please pray that it all goes through speedily, as we think his manager is going to make it hard for him to leave.
As well could you please keep our church in prayer this weekend as we will all be going away on our annual church retreat. I feel very stirred of the Lord that He wants to use this time in a powerful way to re-establish our church in the gospel of Grace as we focus on what it means to be True Worshipers from John chapter four. I really could use your prayers though as my Vertigo has been affecting me a lot this past week and it’s making it very hard to concentrate during my study preparations. Please also pray for the handful of non-Christians coming to the retreat as well.
Thank you all for your love and support of us being here. It seems like we’ve been in a bit of a dark cloud for the past two years in the church and our own growth, but something is changing in our hearts. We have a renewed love and vision for the people of Newcastle and a whole reorientation of the Gospel in our own lives. Thank you for patiently standing with us and giving us room in our lives to grow. By the Grace of God, may your labours and ours produce much fruit for the Glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. I promise the next update will be sooner and not soooo long.
Drew, Tam, Jaz, Caleb, and Joy