The Gift of Siloh

I’d spent a year scratching my head over it, but finally God answered us with absolute clarity.

The search for our new church building continued. Over the year, as we’ve investigated hall rentals and vacant churches across the city, it had become clear that our current arrangement couldn’t continue. We loved sharing our current venue with the Bible College of Wales but things were feeling crowded and as God continued to expand both ministries we needed to find our own space.

I could still taste the disappointment in my mouth when I thought back to the Baptist church hall in Brynhyfryd. It was no one’s fault that the venue wasn’t green lighted, the logistics just didn’t work out, but I really felt like God was directing us towards Brynhyfryd. What were we missing?

The text came through in December 13th from a prayerful, woman of God in our congregation:
“I feel like God is speaking something to us. I heard the Lord give me the word ‘Shiloh’. I looked up the meaning in Hebrew and found the definition: “the one to whom it belongs”. I don’t know what this could mean but felt the Lord directing me to send this to you…

I could feel the Father’s fingerprints all over this.

God, what are you up to..?

One week later I got the phone call. The sweet, sing-song voice of a veteran organist introduced itself excitedly as Grenville.

“I heard you were looking for a new building? There is a church in Brynhyfryd you need to see…”

I first stepped into Siloh chapel (the Welsh form of the Hebrew word ‘Shiloh’) ahead of Dave, our Youth and Children’s Pastor, and his son Jack, our future Media Director. Stained arch windows hurled bars of light down from the balcony onto the rows of creaky pews below. Ornate, iron chandeliers hung from the towering ceilings. The room was vast, grand but showed its age; cracks ran through the plasterwork and cobwebs gleamed in the sunlight. But, immediately I knew more hung in the air than dust: possibility.

Wait, what had Grenville just said..? My attention flashed back to the smiling voice of the stubbled organist. “We want to give you this building. Our congregation has dwindled to only 6, but we want this church to live on. We’ll give you the building, and whatever we have remaining in the bank account is yours to use towards the renovations. We believe in what you’re doing and, if you’re willing to receive it, we’re ready to pass the baton.”

Stunned, I turned to see my Youth Pastor gazing out at the empty pews with glossy eyes.
“What are you seeing Dave?”

Glancing up, he replied, “I see seats full of smiling kids.”

I looked around, stunned at the goodness of God. I could almost hear the deep, belly laugh of the Father: “You asked. This is what I’ve been up to.”

We were home.

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