Wantage

It was 5.00 am on a winter’s morning in 1981. I was sitting bolt upright in bed listening to what seemed like an audible voice saying, “All that you have been teaching the young people at Cote about faith, I now want you to put into practice. I want you to sell your flat, give up your job and move to Wantage.”

I had never been to Wantage and had no particular desire to go either! However, I knew that God was speaking to me, so I asked him to confirm his word to me through others. Very quickly, my prayer was answered as Sue Spencer, who shared my flat, said that God has already told her that I would be going. David and Rosie Freeman, who were to lead the new fellowship in Wantage, had also felt God telling them that I would be joining them.

From Easter, I began travelling with three other couples to Wantage for the Sunday meetings at the Red Cross Hall, and for midweek housegroups. A few Christians from Wantage had been worshipping with us at Cote so now we were able to meet with them on their home ground. A sense of family soon grew amongst us and we were excited at all that God was going to do in the town.

July came and I had one more week to finish the term teaching at Carterton, but there was still no job for me in Wantage. I was holding on to a promise given to me that my next job would come through a telephone call. Sure enough, God’s word proved true and a headmaster in Wantage telephoned me to offer me a job for September! God is faithful!!

During the summer, the seven of us moved house. I felt very isolated in the new home God had led me to, but little did I realise that two families from the same road were soon to commit themselves to the fellowship. Again, it was clear to me that God is sovereign. Slowly but surely, people were added to the church. Whilst continuing to build family, we felt the need to reach out into the town. We delivered hundreds of evangelistic newspapers, did street outreach, showed videos, arranged social events and prayed and prayed. There were encouragements, disappointments, and incredibly hard times, but we knew beyond doubt that God had planted us there so we ploughed on! Seeds were sown and over the past year, fruit has been seen.

It is encouraging to see a strong and thriving church firmly established there now, and I consider it a privilege to have been involved in the beginning.

Julia Morgan