What Happens at Gaines Manor in the Winter?!

Well quite a lot actually – even without many groups! Read on to find out what we’ve been up to here at Gaines Manor and how you can be praying. If you feel able to financially support me, you can do so here.

Verse for January

Job 38v4: “Where were you when I established the earth?”

This verse is so great because it reminds us that it is GOD who created everything we see; it humbles us to remember the Creator of the universe when we think we can o things in our own strength – God is so much bigger than we can imagine.

Day 351

conference

As a team, we enjoyed the chance to go away to the Growing Young Disciples Conference in Swanwick, Derbyshire along with around 200 other youth and children’s workers from across the country. We had some great teaching from Sam Allberry on identity, from Andy Prime on 2 Corinthians 5 & 6, as well as the doctrine of sin with Chris Stead in the Theology stream, and various seminars! So it was a pretty full-on time, but definitely helpful, challenging and encouraging.

It was also great to meet those from Yorkshire Camps (we visited them back in May – check it out here) and The Oakes, who are doing very similar gospel ministry in different parts of the country. And we even got to the opportunity to give those at the conference a chance to try out our newest activity: combat archery!

Day 359

washing

The boys have been busy clearing, prepping, cleaning and painting the new washing room, which is underneath the kitchen and will be great to start using over the coming season of groups.

Day 365

girls floor

They’ve also been renovating the Girls Floor – to open up the corridor; this has involved knocking down some walls and straightening them, before they’re re-plastered, repainted and re-carpeted. We’re looking forward to some beautiful fresh new rooms very soon!

I’ve been at Gaines for a whole year! While the boys have been getting dusty I’ve been busy doing lots of admin for the groups we have coming to us in the next few months, as well as doing some planning for our summer camps, and finding volunteers!

And our weekly visits to Birmingham for MMTC (Midlands Ministry Training Course) have also been continuing; recently we’ve been looking at Genesis, sex and sexuality, as well as continuing with 1 Thessalonians in our teaching practice groups.

Day 369

ae

It was great to be able to welcome the Students and Twenties group from Woodgreen for their weekend away. We had teaching on hope and holiness from Romans 5 and 6, which was really helpful, encouraging and challenging! There was also plenty of time for food, fellowship and fun, including a walk in the countryside.

Day 374

sgh

A couple of us took a road trip down to North Devon to see our friends at St George’s House (remember Neil and I visiting there in November? If not, see this blog post), as we’re running one of our summer camps: ‘The Beach’ there in the summer. And we also got to enjoy God’s creation at it’s best: the stunning Devon countryside and coastline in the sun.

Day 379

rm2(1)

Very excitingly, the coving (the bit that goes at the top of the wall between the wall and the ceiling) in Room 2 has started to go up. After that it should just be painting and carpeting before it’s a finished studio flat! Check back next time to see what it looks like.

wash up

I’m sure lots of our groups will be thrilled to know that we’ve now got an industrial dishwasher! But we just needed to have a wall knocked down first before the dishwasher and counter tops can be installed in the new wash up room. More photos to follow in my next blog.

Coming up…

Lots of maintenance: finishing the Girls Floor, installing the dishwasher and counter tops in the new wash up area, finishing off Room 2 all before our next group in 2 and a half weeks! And then we have another two groups in the following weeks in March.

A few of us are helping out with the mission week that the Christian Union at Worcester Uni are putting on; with the theme of ‘Satisfied?’ There are lunchbars most days with a talk on how Jesus brings true satisfaction to different areas of our lives, as well as evening events.

Please Pray!

  • Praise God for so many groups in the coming months, pray that we would have enough volunteers to be able to give every group a great time away enjoying God’s creation and His Word
  • For safety for the many maintenance projects we have going on, and that there wouldn’t be any hold ups to getting the work done before our next group comes
  • Worcester Uni’s mission week: that many students would hear how God brings them the satisfaction they long for
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Time for a New Adventure!

I’ve recently started working at Gaines (this is Day 20), a residential Christian Youth Centre near Worcester (check out gaines.org.uk, and if you’d like to support me, here’s how: give.net/20216952). I’m SO excited to be serving God here – this is what I’ve been up to so far!

Day minus 30

nyhp-group

New Year House Party = dressing up, amazing food, banagrams, ballroom dancing, mask making, relaxing round the fire, glow stick party, and great teaching on God being the top priority in our lives.

Day minus 18

letter-post

Letter writing for support, posting and delivering: over 100 of them!

Day minus 13

gyd-group

‘Growing Young Disciples’ conference with approx. 300 people from around the UK and Europe who are also involved in children and young people’s ministry. It was such a great time to be equipped for the work I’m now doing at Gaines, as well as getting to know the team better (pictured above, with Christopher Ash – the main speaker) and being encouraged about how good God is and what great news the Gospel is!

Day 0

Moving day!

Day 1

Time to get stuck in! One of my main responsibilities is looking after all things activity related, whether it be rafting, archery, murder mysteries or bushcraft (and much more!), so familiarising myself with these was the order of the day. As well as learning how everything works and where everything lives in the big house.

Day 5

first-wkend-mtg

First group! A youth group from Newbury. A packed weekend included: a very competitive game of crocker, good food (there were pancakes), a walk in the sunshine and games in the woods, a murder mystery set on a cruise ship in 1914, a cracking game of signs, an archery session in the sunshine, chats by the fire in the lounge, a massive game of perudo, and teaching on wisdom from Proverbs – I was leading one of the small group discussions, a definite highlight!

Day 8

cu-freedom

The Gaines team were helping out with Worcester CU’s Mission. The theme for the week was: Satisfied? The lunch bar talks (with free lunch!) were on – Satisfied with suffering? Satisfied with sex? Satisfied with fake news? Satisfied with freedom? Then a quiz night with a Gospel talk on the Thursday. There was a great turn out of between 10 and 20 non-CU members at each event – Praise God!

Day 13

Word Alive training day in preparation for most of the Gaines team helping on the 8s to 11s team at Easter – lots to get excited about as we prepare to teach the kids about Jesus and all He’s done.

Coming up…

Back to back groups every weekend in March and preparation for camps in the summer (I know it’s only just stopped snowing but summer is coming!)

Please Pray!

  • To continue to settle in to life here at Gaines
  • For the students who heard the gospel during Worcester CU’s mission week: that they’d want to find out more about the One who truly satisfies
  • Preparation for the upcoming groups: that they would feel at home during their stay at Gaines, they would grasp more of who God is and grow in their walk with Him