Saturday, January 12, 2019

Do We Belong in Europe?

I just enjoyed breakfast with four amazing people from Madrid, the capital of Spain They were passing through Guernsey airport after visiting the tiny northern Channel Island of Alderney. They are evangelical Christians and pastors in a large church in the Spanish capital. Prior to meeting with them I had read a report that said that 12 evangelical churches are being opened in Spain per month - yes monthly!✻ Now this group feel a missionary concern for little old Alderney and already have a member of their church working there and sharing her faith. What was clear from my friends is that they don't want us to leave! They feel a great affinity with us and thank God for what our involvement with them has brought about.

Speaking as a retired missionary I just want to say how much I thank God for the decades during which there has been freedom of movement between Britain and the nations that make up mainland Europe. Here in Guernsey we are only 30 miles from France with its only 2% of Protestants and can see it clearly (we are 90+ miles from the UK). If that freedom ends I know that God will continue to bless and prosper his work in the UK and in Europe, but I can't help thinking that an effective door of opportunity may have been closed.

I blogged recently about fear as I think that both sides of the Brexit debate seem vulnerable to this at the moment. We need to recognise when fear is becoming debilitating and deal with it early before it eats away at our peace. God's love, and trusting in his loving care for us, in the antidote to fear, and the words of the Bible can help us to overcome. 'Don't be afraid' is said 366 times in the scriptures - one for every day of the year and one for a leap year!

But as I pray for the UK parliament and for its government when they come to the critical vote on Tuesday (15th Jan 2019) I am also praying that the door of opportunity for cross-cultural mission and cross-border friendship will not close. After all, the UK may be going to leave the EU but there is no way that it can leave Europe!