Another person who joined us in the fellowship start was Robert, who had a sister and brother-in-law who came to Christ in another city through the correspondence course. Robert’s sister had talked with him at length about spiritual things, andh e went to the small meeting his sister attended and was impressed with the message.
When he returned to our city, his sister gave him the address of one of our collogues. Robert got in touch with him and after some weeks of Bible study, Robert made his commitment to Christ.
A fourth fellow, Chris, actually was led to the Lord by some-one in Salvation Fellowship, but he wanted a smaller fellowship. He met us through the bookstore and joined.
The last new believer, Sam, came to us through a chance contact with another one of our colleagues, an aggressive evangelist. He dragged Sam to one of the early gatherings and it was obvious that Sam was not happy to be there. However, as time went on he began to attend on his own, and became the fifth member.
These five were joined by two sisters who had gone to the Anglicans looking for potential husbands, but instead had met one of our lady teammates. She invited them to a bookstore event where they heard the gospel and shortly thereafter made commitments of faith. So “Light Fellowship” was launched.
As with other such beginnings, we met in homes. One major goal was to develop leadership and out of these five male believers, four were potential elders and one possibly a deacon.
This was an unusual situation to start with. In the previous plant, the early believers had been very much fringe people. I earlier described them as starting their spiritual life at minus 22. Our five new believers were starting at about minus five and some moved forward rapidly.
The enemy was not slow in seeking to torpedo this new work, however. A worker from another group brought a young fellow who claimed to be a believer. He attended regularly but since his earliest contacts had been with the Catholics, he began to draw the others in that direction. Over time, Falcon and Chris left us for the Catholics. Falcon said he was more comfortable there because he never had to take any responsibility, and if he didn’t come one Sunday, no one asked him why. Chris had other reasons: he wanted to get to Europe, and the priest promised to help him with that, while we did not.
In the founding of Light Fellowship we did a lot of things right, but we also made one big mistake. In focusing on leadership development, we failed to keep up the momentum of outreach. It is a fact that for a fellowship to “take off” there needs to be a “critical mass” of fifteen to twenty committed believers. We never did reach that number and eventually after we left, “Light” fizzled and was closed down. That was a sad event for me; it was the “death of a vision.” On the positive side, however, most of the believers from Light have joined other fellowships and continue to grow in their spiritual life, which is a great encouragement.
I am praying for a “resurrection” of Light Fellowship, clinging to the promise in Psalm 1:3, given to the one who delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it day and night: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” That phrase, “Whatever he does prospers,” is what stands out to me. May Light Fellowship prosper in whatever way the Lord chooses!
Picture: picnic event of Light Fellowship