We are really pleased that Jon & Emma Birch have finally moved into their new home! After years or praying, waiting and looking for the right house the vision has taken a big step forward.
Introducing the Birch family ….
For the past 4 years Jon and Emma have shared with BUW a vision to establish a missional community house where Christians can live together to be a blessing and witness to the surrounding community. With the support of the local Baptist Associations (East Glamorgan and SWBA) they began the long process to work out all the practical and legal details.
In the end, by becoming a formally registered charity with Trustees in place, they were able to apply to the Welsh Baptist Union Corporation who agreed to loan the funds to purchase a property in the Tonteg area where they are members with Salem Baptist Church.
Jon & Emma describe this time of waiting and preparation …
“The two big themes we have been working through with God over the last few years are ones of obedience and perseverance. Probably our biggest challenge in pursuing God with this vision, was that we have known what He was calling us to do, but not the details of how, or how long it would take.
At several points along this journey we have hit major obstacles, but each time God has opened a way for us to continue, and for seemingly impossible situations to be turned around. We have also been greatly encouraged by other Christians we have met and prayed with, who without knowing about our circumstances have shared scriptures and encouragements that have spoken directly into our situation, re-confirming God’s call to persevere with this vision.
When we look back, God’s timing seems perfect. As we begin this new practical part of this ministry through this missional community house, we do so following a dramatic expansion of our church’s foodbank ministry during lockdown. It is no exaggeration to say that we have built up more relationships and connections in our community in the last year than the previous three combined, and it is exciting to think about how God will use these for mission.”
After looking at several suitable houses, in late 2020 they found one with enough space to both engage with the local community through hospitality and accommodate other Christians who share the vision and will join them in ‘Y Ffowndri’.
Jon & Emma talk about what then next steps are how we can be praying for them.
In the months ahead, we will be looking for Christians to join us as short and long-term residents, to be part of an intentional community with a daily and weekly rhythm of mealtimes, prayer, and hospitality. Our goal is to create an environment in the community that supports discipleship and releases people to join God on mission. Please pray that God gives us the connections to meet the right people to join us here.
We are also looking to pursue mission through social enterprise (charitable business) in the community. As a charity ourselves, we can access a range of funding to get this going, but we need God’s help to connect us with the right people with business experience to help this ministry flourish.
Please also pray for God’s blessing on the very practical and mundane business of getting the community house furnished and that the practical improvements we need to make can be carried out as soon as possible!
Please pray for Jon & Emma as they take these bold pioneering steps together and ask God to bless them as a family in the coming months.