Today at the Ilford Church of Jesus-Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, it was a time for the Fowles Family bidding us Goodye, as they are returning home to Utah after serving here for five and a half years.
"It was a cold January morning," recalled John, "when we first arrived in Ilford. The Church gates were not open at 9am, we were that early, so we took a walk around the parish of Ilford. And here we saw people from all nationalities, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Jamaica, almost everywhere." John was even more thrilled that as he did God's calling and connected with the local community, he saw many people turn to Christ through this church by getting baptised, attending Sunday service, attending Fireside chats, bringing their young ones to the Bible study lessons and get-togethers. "We have all become disciples of Jesus Christ and become one big family." These are sentiments which have a reality in the way we all respond to one another in this Church, which is a family church, where every Sunday and every get-together becomes a joyful occassion, showing in the gladness of heart. We are indeed blessed at this Church with Bishop Onoalapo and his family, who welcome all and manifest the true message of Christ.
Mrs Allison Fowles quoted King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon (which is a complementary text to the Bible) on the purpose of coming to Church and fellowship :"That we may learn wisdom. When you are in the service to your fellow-men, you are in the service of God".
Katie, Christine and Marianne Fowles, who are primary school children, stood at the podium and said a few words of how they have enjoyed being here and how much they will miss their big Church family. "When we sow, we know the good seeds grow." that's wisdom from one of them. Another said that "we knew that Heavenly Father was on our side". Such wisdom and such innate faith show the inspiration this Church imbues people with, and why more and more people are turning to Christ, and why the Ilford ward is a place attracting a growing number of people, from all countries and backgrounds, Punjab, Gujarat, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Philipines, and other places.
In closing, the congregation sung the hymn, "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken".
So too of those who serve in His name, including the Fowles family, who have helped restore faith in many a broken heart.
(written by Duru-darshan