The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ
Presented in Swansea, Wales

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
(Eccl. 3:1)

For the past five years I have been blessed to work with a Christian group called Prison Fellowship, which is based in my home town of Swansea. It is made up of various denominations with very different personalities. The group is held together by the love of God and the unity of the purpose of preaching Christ to the lost and to those brothers who have stumbled

While waiting to go into prison one Wednesday, I was thinking of the class to which I had been invited, Rev. Tim Sullivan’s "The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ," which Rev. Jerome Lucas was hosting in London. Having not seen or heard Tim teach for a number of years, I was keen to go, and at the same time was eager for the people in my area to be encouraged by this message. After much prayer, I contacted him to see if he would come to Wales to teach the seminar, and thankfully he accepted the invitation.

After returning from an inspiring trip to London with good fellowship, I was ready to go home and tell my wife, Vivienne, what to look forward to the following week. When Brother Tim arrived on the Tuesday, there was already an invitation from a Christian brother, Paul who had asked him to do the "Thought for the Day" on a local radio station. During the week Tim shared a few sermons of encouragement with me, Viv, and the boys, and he attended a Prison Fellowship meeting with me. By the time Friday came, I was thinking that if these were the only reasons for his visit to Wales, it had already been very profitable. I am so glad we share the same Lord and master.

The seminar was to start at 7 PM. About sixteen people had said that were going to come. My prayer beforehand was for God to work in the hearts of those who needed to be there. As 7:00 approached, things were not going the way I thought they would. I was starting to question my judgment in inviting Tim to Wales with so few in attendance. So far it was only my family plus Rudi Illavský, who had travelled all the way from Austria. As we were about to rearrange the seating to accommodate a smaller group, Mike and Rhian arrived who were helping with the music, and then another two people, Kinsley and Karen, also turned up. I learned a good lesson that day:

Zechariah 4:10a:
For who have despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice…

The Lord had stripped it all away before starting his work. I had been relying on the numbers of people coming to make the event a success, but the Lord was showing me it is not just about numbers but also about the individuals.

On Saturday I was pleased to see Nesta turn up. She is a co-worker from Prison Fellowship who has a great heart to serve God’s people. The seminar was a success in that the people who needed and wanted to be there were there. We were greatly blessed by the Word and the fellowship.

The fruit of that meeting is the start of a prayer and study night taking place in our home on Fridays at 7:30 PM where all are welcome. We would really appreciate your prayers for us here in Wales.

Jesus would often talk to the people in a way that they would understand. Peter, being a fisherman understood that he would not spend all his time on the sea fishing, but there would be times when he would have to repair his boat, nets and equipment. I too realize that there has to be a time of preparation if I am going to serve him to the best of my ability.

Psalm 119:133:
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

God bless you,
Rev. Carl Roberts



From the June 2011 issue of The Vine & Branches