In the spring of each year for eight out of the past nine years the Airdrie Church has held a week long Mission. The purpose of these mission weeks has been simple – to give members of the congregation an opportunity to invite their unconverted family and friends to hear the gospel.
Preparation for these mission weeks begins on the Saturday evening immediately after the mission. On that evening and on each Saturday evening leading up to the next mission a small group of people gather to pray specifically for the salvation of the lost. The reason for this prayer meeting is simple – we came to a point where we realised that unless the Lord’s hand is upon us and His Spirit is at work, then nothing of eternal consequence will happen.
Each year the Lord has used this ‘Mission Week’ to bring people into church. Some have come for a few weeks, some for a few months, and some have been converted and become part of the community which Christ is building in Airdrie. One of those who has been converted and is now actively involved in the life of the church is Billy Redmond, and this is his story.
Greetings, I am Billy Redmond, 52 years old, married to Helen, father to Jason and grandfather to Taylor, Logan, and Jenson. I currently run my own company contracting myself to work in telemetry projects for Scottish Water.
You may guess from the name of my son and his children that I didn’t come from a godly family. In fact I think I had only known two Christians in my life prior to my conversion, one being my mother-in-law and the other was a work colleague from many years ago. Christianity for me was an irrelevancy. Golf was my religion with Sunday mornings and holidays being spent on the golf course with my friends.
So how did I come to have contact with the RP Church in Airdrie? Well, my mother-in-law, Betty Reilly, is a long-standing member of the Airdrie RP congregation, and for a number of years I would sit outside the church on a Lord’s Day morning waiting to pick her up and take her to my home for Sunday lunch. On many of these Sundays the minister, Andrew Quigley, would pass a few words with me whilst he was waiting for the congregation to come out of the church. Then in early April 2009 Andrew handed me a mission leaflet. As a matter of politeness to someone who took the time to pass the time of day with me, I decided to attend the service on the Thursday evening of that April Mission. Even though at the time I didn’t appreciate that the services were different for each night, I would like to have gone back on the Friday night, but I had made other arrangements. This was a sign that a seed had been sown, and whilst I didn’t attend the church on a Sunday, over the next year I must have listened at least 10 times to the CDs of the five sermons from that mission week. Through listening to those sermons I believe I was led by the Holy Spirit to attend every night of the 2010 mission. Some of the sermons spoke to me more than others but that mission and hearing God’s Word preached instilled in me a desire to attend church, and I have indeed been doing so ever since.
So, what has the mission ever done for me?
I know that I had no relationship with God prior to the 2009 mission, and that was fine and dandy at the time, but through being preached to from the Word of God over the past three years, I have become aware of the sin in my life and my need of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
I now have a relationship with God which I pray will, by the grace of God, grow and mature in the coming years as I seek daily to learn a little more about Him and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In April 2009 Andrew asked me to “come and hear” and through the work of the Holy Spirit I have heard, and He has given me the faith to believe what I have heard. My life has changed, I can now read the psalms and understand and identify with the man who wrote them when he says: “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your rules,” (Ps 119 :107-108) knowing and trusting that God will do so.