They were building a new shopping centre in Chesterfield and one morning Josh came past the site. He paused for a while, watching. He was watching two contractors – brothers – on the scaffolding. They were brickies, men his age, paid well for working fast and straight. He knew them from work they’d done previously, but this morning he wasn’t interested in what they were building.”Simon!” he shouted. “Andy!”
The two men looked up – gave him a bit of a wave – and paused.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Cladding this wall,” shouted Simon back. “What’s it look like?”
“Come down,” said Joshua. “Come and work for me. I’m building something that’s going to last.”
There was something in the way he said it that was closer to a command than an invitation – and yet it was the best-sounding offer of work they’d ever had. Their hearts leapt. They put down their tools, Andy conscientiously wiping mortar off his trowel, picked up their bags and climbed down the scaffolding.
Just round the corner was another site. Josh whistled that cutting whistle he had and work just stopped. “I’m looking for Jim Goodgift. And his brother John. I thought they were working here?”
“They’re plastering with their dad down there,” said a man in boots. “What do you want with them?”
“I want them,” sad Josh. “John – Jim!”
A few moments later they appeared – plainly brothers, both slathered in plaster and with matching hard hats. “You know me, don’t you?” asked Josh. “Josh Davidson? My dad had a company. Well, I’m thinking of starting it up again. Come and work for me.”
“You need plasterers?”
“You bet I do.”
John spoke up first. “We’re in.”
“Here,” said the foreman. “You can’t just leave, you know.”
“Why not?” asked John.
“It’s not finished!”
Josh leant forward. “You’d better get it finished quickly, mate. Because things are going to change around here. Around everywhere.” He beckoned the Goodgifts. “Come on. You got a van?”
“My old Astra,” replied Jim.
“Well bring it round. Si – you come with me in my van. Jim, you got room for Andy here?”
“Sure… I think.” He looked at Andy. Andy shrugged and Jim scratched his head. “Where are we going, boss?”
“You’ll see. Come on.”
They expected to go straight to another building site, I reckon, but they followed Josh’s van up and down, Bolsover, Dronfield, Sutton, down to Kirkby and Mansfield. And wherever they went Joshua Davidson told people good news – that God was making a new country right around them. And he made people better – sick people got well when he’d spoken over them, touched them or told them what to do. Old people got a new lease of life. And pretty soon people were trying to find out where he was next and bringing their sick relatives to him – in fact, from all over the East Midlands and beyond started coming. People with cancer, nerve pain, people in wheelchairs, people with depression and epileptics, people who were paralysed or with immune system problems.
And he was making them better.
The builders slept in their vans at first, then in spare room and sofas when grateful people welcomed them in because they were with Joshua Davidson – a miracle worker. They wondered when they’d start building something.
“We’ve already begun,” he told them. “It’s not a physical building. It’s a building of people.”
“So why do you need us?” asked Simon. “I’m a brickie.”
“You’ll see,” said Joshua.
And the people kept coming.