Stanley Baptist Chapel

I‘d paid for a couple of those day trips offered to visitors to major tourist centres. As well as the expected sights worth ticking off, I was required to visit a jewellery store to ‘buy beautiful item for lovely lady’ and spend a happy 40 minutes at the pretty seaside town of Stanley. I felt at home here; not only did English-style pubs line the seafront, but it’s named after fellow Lancastrian Edward Stanley from Knowsley, who served as Colonial Secretary when the British established there a base. Naturally, it has a large and twee tourist market, suitably over-priced, where any visitor foolish enough to dare look at the wares is instantly harassed into buying. Among the tat and hassle was a stall playing English Christian music, selling books and inscribed Bible verses. Unlike their fellow traders, the ladies by the till offered no more than a pleasant greeting. This stall belonged to ‘Stanley Baptist Chapel’ whose main premises lay behind. Through an internal glass window, I could see a meeting taking place in a nicely air-conditioned meeting room. By its shopfront on a portable blackboard was Psalm 55:22 in both Cantonese and English. Truly, a welcome relief from the hustle, bustle, hassle and haggle.

If this refreshing public display of scripture was not encouraging enough, I was mindful of the Lord’s words in Acts 18:10 

“for I am with you…for I have many people in this city.” 

Even at the other side of the planet, in a culture not my own, there are likely to be believers, fellow Christ-lovers who long for His return and seek to live by His precepts. I wasn’t able to attend a service of worship at Stanley, but I wish this congregation God’s blessing and protection.