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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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