Dear PHBC Family,
I trust that this letter finds you well, on this great day that the Lord has made.
As you may have heard, at some point between Sunday night and Monday morning, the building was subject to a burglary, in which a number of electronic items were stolen.
Following the discovery, the police were informed, as well as our insurance providers, and steps were taken to secure the building, carry out remedial work for the damage done, and just have a general tidy up. Working with our insurance company, I am assured of our ability to ‘get back up and running’ within a short space of time. In addition, a new security system has now been installed, which should help to mitigate against any further incidents as this.
Please be assured that as much as you may have experienced some degree of shock that this could happen, that this could happen to a church, or that this could have happened to our church, please remember that it was not a shock to God. He saw this happening, and gave us the capacity to ‘handle it’ when it came. I will point out three things I was able to reflect on, over the last day or so.
- A fire can attract everyone. When a fire is lit in the darkness, many are drawn to it. Those who are cold, those who are worn and weary, those who are lonely or seeking companionship will notice and come. However, let us not forget that the fire can also attract predators, and those who seek to do harm to others. PHBC (as was featured in a prayer two weeks ago) is a beacon on a hill, and it is inevitable that we will attract all sorts of attention. Remember that the gates of hell might come against any church, however they won’t prevail against a church that Jesus is building. This situation is a testimony for us.
- Strength is built through endurance. James 1:2-4 tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” and I consider this an extension to the sermon on Sunday, where we were challenged to walk in the mandate of maturity. This kind of thing is the work of a fallen people, in a fallen world, and we must not be bowed, bent, or broken by it.
- Christians are simply sinners saved by grace. There was quite a bit of anger and disappointment expressed by various people I spoke with yesterday. Anger that a crime would be perpetrated against God’s house, and disappointment that it would be done by the same people that we are seeking to serve. Well, let me remind you of Jesus’ words to the disciples. He said, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” So, I want to encourage you to see that we have no choice but to love those who did this. There is no reward in praying for their judgment. We are all recipients of God’s grace ourselves, and it is fitting we pray for their eyes to be open, that they may see their wrong and come to repentance in Christ Jesus (just as we did).
This is incident is a direct challenge to God’s mission in Pollards Hill, as it has the potential to discourage. However, we must respond to that challenge by once again strengthening our hearts with the words from our motto verse for 2021 – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
Thank you for your continued faithfulness and commitment to seeing PHBC become all that God has called us to become.
With every blessing,
Rev. Deji Ayorinde