71 years ago Alice Keeling (pictured above when she was in her 60's) and Envoy Terry started a Sunday School outreach for the children in the growing suburb of Bath called Odd Down. They held the meetings in a tent, until it blew down and then transferred their activities to a hut, affectionally known as the milky way because this was where free milk was distributed. A year later the work had grown so much that the foundations for a building were laid and the new work given corps status.
This week we have been leading the 70th Anniversary celebrations of what is now known as Bath Temple Corps. We had a great time meeting up with people connected with the corps who we had not seen for a long time and it was a special privilege to kneel again at the mercy seat where I made my committment to follow Jesus, aged 7.
I know I am biased because Alice Keeling was my Auntie but I think I grew up in one of the best Corps in the Army. I say this not because we had brilliant musical sections or any kind of celebrity status in the army world but because the foundations were right. The corps started as a mission and remained one. God's word was believed and taught well. The Holy Spirit was allowed freedom to move and grace rather than legalism abounded. All of those attributes are still in evidence but the mission field has grown enormously and the labourers are few.
I know that there are hundreds of places and people to pray for but just as you read this, would you pray for Bath Temple, for more workers to bring in the harvest?