Friday the 17th of November at our Gathering was a wonderful evening of fellowship, stories and lovely big tray bakes.

Meeting in the beautiful T3 centre in the House of Vic-Ryn we had a time of tea and coffee facilitated by some of our volunteers. This gave people an opportunity to find out more about us through the resource stand or to interact with other people who have been supporting us for years.

As we then moved into the auditorium, James Diffin the chair of our board opening the evening by speaking about Nehemiah 8 where Ezra and Nehemiah open the book of the law for the first time in decades helping the people to hear and understand what God had to say to them.

He used this passage to speak about the time that he and Catherine speak at this 2023’s United Bible Societies World Assembly, a gathering of almost every Bible society in the world (some 140 countries represented) based in the Netherlands.

James talked about the amazing new statistics of Bible translation but also about how much work is still to be done in this area.

We are so thankful to James for sharing such a poignant message with us that evening.

Catherine then shared with us about our work of the Bible Society here in Northern Ireland. She took the opportunity to thank the volunteer members of our board, the staff team and our very committed supporters who make all of our work possible. She mentioned that due to this support we are able to send over £450,000 to mission within the united Bibles societies fellowship but she also challenged us that we need to be engaged in bible mission here in Northern Ireland as well.

Lidia from the Bible Society of Portugal spent some time with us that evening speaking to us about their work with other Portuguese speaking Bible societies. Their work in helping these Bible Societies to be established has been instrumental and it was wonderful to hear about their projects in Cape Cerde and Sao Tome to name a few.

Here they have been helping nursing homes to receive audio Bible ‘proclaimer’ machines to help residents to engage in God’s Word when they are partially sighted.

They have also helped Bible Societies to receive funding for Bible librabies and shops, some of which are being distributed and deliver on motor bikes.

Julie from the National Bible Society of Ireland shared with us about her work in the Republic of Ireland and about how as a team of one she continues to reach out in our local community through an outdoor Bible study,  an online Bible courses and annual biblical lectures in Dublin.

We are so thankful for Lidia and Julie for both being with us for that weekend and hope that you will continue to pray for them in their work.

Mark also led us in some worship and shared with us about the “Amazing Journey” project from Baptist Youth.

Jenna Cardwell, one of our volunteers from the Bibles for babies team, also shared with us of her experience of both receiving a toddler Bible for her one year old and joining our volunteer distribution team. Jenna talked about the impact it made on her as a new mum to know that someone she didn’t know had prayed for her child and handwritten a note to them and said how impactful this must be for those who may not have any connection to Church and yet receive a Bible from this project.

Rev. Captain Colin Taylor from our board then closed our evening with prayer and challenge everyone to go and engage in the resources that were available.

We have over 60 supporters with us that evening and raise over £300 for the work of Bible mission and had others who signed up to give us a monthly donation. Thank you for everyone who came along to be with us that evening.