Ron was about to die. Part of a road repair & construction crew, he somehow frighteningly found his clothing caught up in a rotating part of a truck and could see that death was imminent. But he was rescued just in time – and given a second chance at life.
A man of little or no learning, Ron, who lived in Malmesbury, decided to ask for help in reading, writing and arithmetic; and his quest led him to Mary and Vince, who lived in the next village. Vince was a maths teacher, and together he and his wife helped Ron – not just with his education but by introducing him to Jesus. Ron’s life was never the same again. His education never really got very far; but his new-found love for the Lord increased and although not really able to read the Bible, Ron developed a true and deep prayer life based on a very close relationship with Jesus.
One day, visiting Mary and Vince, Ron told them about a picture he’d had when he had been praying for the village. He described a large old house, set back from the road and not visible when you walked past. The house was a little disreputable and needed a lot of work done on it. There were big white double gates, which Ron described in great detail. He then said that the Lord had told him that one day the house would be a Christian place for others to come. He then set off to walk home, rather than take the bus as he normally did, and on the way he saw the double white gates of his dream. He peeked up the driveway and saw the house he’d just been describing to Vince and Mary. Excitedly, he ran back to their home to tell them of his discovery.
They immediately recognised it as Mays Farm, which has been a farm for about 600 years. How could it become a Christian centre? But they believed this word from the Lord and began to pray for it to become true. Nearly 20 years later, their prayers were answered when we bought what was then an uninhabited and almost uninhabitable old house.
We hadn’t planned to go to our local church this morning, across the road. We’d planned to go into Bath to church. But on hearing that this morning was to be a joint service with Mt Zion, the non-denominational church which meets in the village hall, and that Sat-7 would be there to share about their amazing Christian outreach TV programmes in the Middle East, we changed our minds and are so glad we did. Not least to hear about that incredible work!
And Mary and Vince were there of course – they still lead Mt Zion even though they are now in their eighties. The worship was amazing, led by the Mt Zion band; lots of our new village friends were there; and there was the usual good coffee before and after – and with delicious homemade baklava as well to get us in the mood!
And over coffee, Mary and Vince shared with us the story of the prophecy about our home, made by Ron, a man of very little education but of enormous love for his Lord; a man who was given a second chance of life and spent it growing closer to Jesus.
Ron is now in glory; I hope he knows that his prophetic dream has now come true. Hearing his story this morning sent shivers down my back; made me realize afresh that this work at The Vine is a God-given vision and calling; and that we need to keep going – even when we just don’t know how we will survive financially! But we have to trust that if God has ordained it then it is to be continued.
ADVANCE NOTICE OF A SPECIAL INVITATION FOR YOU:
SATURDAY JUNE 27th: OPEN DAY AT THE VINE AT MAYS FARM
The pleasure of your company is requested for a summer’s day
FULL DETAILS with INVITATION will be sent soon,
but put the date in your diary now and plan to join us.
"I found welcome, warmth and wisdom at The Vine." (that guest MUST be a vicar!!)
"Thank you so much for what you have created here. We've not been on a retreat like this for a long time - much needed and a very special experience. It was rest, spiritually inspiring, fun and regenerating." (a couple from Bristol)