I was sorting out some old papers last week, and came across my application to work for NISCU! With it was a copy of an old NISCU News dated 2007. Ten years ago, NISCU was still under the auspices of the North West Evangelistic Trust, its parent charity. Then a NWET trustee, Angela Mills had been associated with us from the very beginning, and she had written the headline article. Here is an extract from Angela’s article, ‘From a Trustees Desk’.
“It started in 1962 at the Roxy cinema in Carnforth, now the Co-Op supermarket. As the cinema was about to close down, Jill Briscoe hired it to show a Billy Graham film which was advertised around Carnforth and in Carnforth High School. 200 came. She announced that evening the start of a youth group which was to meet each Friday in the TA Drill Hall, hired for 12/6 (68p) per night. Mike Scott was the very first convert (later became Secretary of NISCU N Lancs). From this came a weekly Bible study with just a small group of young people who had trusted Christ, held in a small room above the Co-Op in New Street and hired for the princely sum of 6/6 per week (32p).
The whole work started with a gift of £5 which was put in a green tin cash box. We called it “the little pot of oil” because, as in the story of the Widow of Zaraphath in 1 Kings 17, it never ran out… and has never done so even until this day. (Ed note: in 2017 it still hasn’t!)
I become increasingly struck by the twin facts that the Lord only supports what will bring him glory and will not support an organisation which takes its eyes off him. There is always the challenge in a work which is long established to fall into the trap of being wrongly focused. We need in NISCU to be set for the long haul of making disciples of the new generation, building them into the local church and equipping them to fear the Lord not the warfare.”
Well! Apart from the cost of hiring a room (!) you could have written this just yesterday. NISCU still faces the challenge of keeping its collective eye on the Lord; Mike Scott is still a NISCU supporter having served with N Lancs NISCU area as both secretary and chair; and the little pot of oil is still going strong. Though to be fair it’s not kept in a green tin any more! Meanwhile from that one little Bible study in an upper room has come a schools work that regularly works into over 220 schools across Cumbria, N Lancs and Craven. Praise the Lord and give him the glory! As well as heartfelt gratitude to every supporter who gives of their time and money and most especially that faithfully prays for the work.
The other day CEO Nick Klein and I were talking about the history of NISCU, what is it that makes an organisation keep on keeping on, with such faithful support? We concluded that it is not what we do, vital though that is. It is not how well we do it, though we are professional, respected and blessed with highly skilled staff and volunteers. No, what really matters is that we all believe the same thing. We believe that children and young people have the right to hear the Gospel of Jesus, and that the best way to reach them is to go where they are to be found and that is in school. If you believe that too, then lets talk.
I think Angela says it so much better than I can, so I’ll finish by repeating again what she says:
“We need in NISCU to be set for the long haul of making disciples of the new generation, building them into the local church and equipping them to fear the Lord not the warfare.”