We’ve had our last weekend groups of 2017 (well it’s a bit cold for rafting now!), so we’re into a period of maintenance and development – read on to see what we’ve been up to. Thank you to those of you who support and partner with me – in prayer, relationally and financially – it’s hugely appreciated. If you feel able, you can financially support me here.
Verse for October
Hebrews 12v1b-2: “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, running the race he has given us becomes so much easier; something it’s often easy to forget, and yet makes all the difference in ministry!
At the beginning of October, we welcomed the youth group from St Stephen’s church, Birmingham (the same church where we have MMTC). The teaching was on understanding the gospel and being equipped to share it with friends – practical and helpful for everyone! Highlights of the weekend included: the usual Friday night bonfire (complete with smores!), craft, combat archery, air rifles, a walk in the countryside and a murder mystery.
A few weeks ago, the drive looked like this…
…but it now looks like this; nice and level and without any potholes: a smoother ride for those visiting Gaines!
Our final weekend group of 2017 was the youth from Kensington Baptist, Bristol; we enjoyed a packed out meeting room, with around 50 of them staying with us. It was a pretty full on weekend with so many people onsite (and to cook for!). But it was a joy, as always, to open up God’s Word with the young people, which was ancient wisdom from the book of Proverbs – still relevant to us today. We were thankful to be blessed with great weather, meaning we could spend time outside, and highlights included: combat archery, a bonfire, crocker, ice skating, lacrosse and a walk in the beautiful surrounding countryside!
Several of us from the Gaines team were involved in the Holiday Bible Club that Woodgreen Church ran over half term. If you can’t tell from the photo, the church was transformed to be ‘Under the Sea’! We were looking at the life of Jonah, and how we similarly run away from God and what he commands us to do, but thankfully Jesus came as the better Jonah to free us from our sin – and didn’t run away, but faithfully obeyed God.
Emily and Chris were our hosts (complete with wetsuits, swimming hats, life jackets and nose pegs!) and there was even a lobster costume involved as well! It was great to be involved in leading a small group and seeing the children better understand what Jesus has done for them.
The boys have been busy taking the conservatory down, so that the building can be better weather-proofed over the winter.
Meanwhile in the office I’ve been busy with lots of admin, including looking at several of the different aspects involved with the activities we run, as well as various housekeeping tasks and bookings for the coming year.
I’ve loved being involved at Woodgreen since I’ve arrived at Gaines, so have now become a Church member. Part of this involvement has been with After Eights: the students and 20s group, which has seen a lot of growth over the last year – so encouraging! You can see the excited bunch we are in the photo on the first session of term!
I’ve been settling into MMTC (Midlands Ministry Training Course) which has been continuing on Thursdays. We’ve now finished going through John’s gospel, and we’re just starting to put into practice some of the things we’ve been learning as we look at how to teach 1 Thessalonians to others.
Student work with the Christian Union at Worcester is also going well: they had their first session of the Alpha course this week, with many non-Christians attending – praise God! And pray He would be at work in their lives to bring them to Himself.
In my last update, the plaster board in Room 2 had gone up, and now it’s plastered! The boys have also been busy sanding, before it’s painted and the kitchen appliances go in.
Planning for New Year House Party, lots of maintenance around the house, and various admin tasks.
- To remember that the Gospel is great news and fix our eyes on Jesus, even when we have fewer groups coming through the doors
- Praise God for gap years already interested for September 2018 (and some girls!)
- Praise God for the provision of a woman at church to do a one to one Bible study with
- To use the time we have over this winter period well: for maintenance projects and planning for the year ahead (bookings, activities and Bible teaching)
- Praise God for over 100 children hearing about Jesus during Holiday Bible Club at church
- For God to be at work in the lives of those who have attended the Alpha course run by the CU