We have had a packed and exciting couple of months that have been very fruitful and positive. The family is well and thriving; all the kids are doing well are school. Sam is enjoying Rugby and getting into GCSE’s and Ellie is mastering Spanish and having an excellent time with her two best buddies here.
IMPACT, our Fresh Expression for 20’s has grown well. There has been plenty of bonding going on and I (Kevin) really look forward to each Tuesday evening. We have eaten Raclette together, followed the Mission Shaped Intro course and looked at what it means to be a changing church for a changing culture, we have had great fun with Creative worship, we ate chocolate fondue (see a theme emerging), we prayed together using Lego… One comment as we were reviewing our progress just last night was that “I feel at home here as I am with equals and supported” (We feel pleased about this – our innate youthfulness is shining through!).
The IMPACTers wanted to go out “Treasure Hunting”, where you pray for a description of someone, a name, place, some history or message from God and then go looking for them! Emma clearly felt we should go to Blockbusters and there would be two men sitting on the ground. And indeed there were right in the beams of the car headlights as we pulled in. There were numerous other details correct and Emma and I listened to and prayed for Mikey and Jonathan, the two homeless guys who were living there. We talked some more and then had ongoing contact trying to get them into proper accommodation. Making a long story short, they have been off the streets for two weeks now and are building their lives again in Newbury. Please pray for them!
The other major event was the 24/7 Prayer week IMPACT organised. We wanted to have a big focus on prayer as we are setting up IMPACT and this was a great way to pull us all together and help the wider church too. It was a fab time. We cleaned out and jazzed up the double portacabin, Liam installed low lighting, Rachel, Catharine and various others put in about 15 different prayer stations. A particular favourite place was the Gazebo of God as I called it; a cozy space in the corner where many crept in for different prayer times. And people came! Quite a number. I was on the night shift and I was rarely there on my own. At midnight, there were most often five people praying. Masses of prayers were offered. Some slept in the peaceful atmosphere. Others fired up the kettle and strove to keep their eyes open! It is hard to summarise the ways God touched many so people at so many levels of faith. It was a great joy to see local kids come in who had never prayed before and over the week become far more spiritually open. One great point was the sudden healing of Adam’s back. One moment he was in agony the next he was wiggling his shoulders about and twisting with full mobility again. We just saw so many prayers answered and a real change in people’s lives that week, particularly in IMPACT team.
Where now with IMPACT? We are taking a few sessions to reflect and keep praying and consolidate what we have experienced and the direction we feel God is calling us in. It feels like we are on the edge of something and we are all very excited. Please pray for the whole of IMPACT and the Tuesday evenings we meet on.
On top of that Nicki and I have preached in church, given talks in YWAM and generally been busy meeting, planning and praying. Nicki spoke last week in Emmanuel on emotional healing and renewing the mind and made a powerful impression on everyone. She was invited to share again at Yeldall Manor rehab. This time we will try to record her as many have requested to hear her again. Nicki has also been building up relationships with local women living close to the church with house to house visits after the sessions of the afterschool club she was running. This aspect of her role is still developing as the club was not really viable, but the visiting is working well and she is (of course) greatly appreciated!
There is so much more we could tell you about all the friends we are making here, the way the kids are thriving, our gardening escapades, the Fresh Expressions work nationally and with YWAM. But that will have to wait for another time.
Look forward to a slightly calmer December.
Kevin, Nicki, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Josh
Please pray for:
- IMPACT, the ongoing growth and wisdom as we start to identify and reach out to those outside the church.
- the YWAM DTC soon to finish.
- the ongoing work around Emmanuel church on Southlake Crescent and Drovers Way.
- Monday evenings – YWAM Discipleship course
- Tuesday evenings – IMPACT’s main meeting time.
- 23rd November – Kevin speaking on Stewardship in Emmanuel
- 28th November – Kevin in Sheffield, Fresh Expression Partners meeting
- 6th December – Kevin speaking at FISH youth group retreat
- 8th December – Last of the YWAM Discipleship course evenings
- 9th – 10th December – Kevin in Cheshire for Fresh Expression team meetings
- 11th December – Kevin in London Fresh Expression meeting and visiting YWAM Earls court project
- 20th December – Inviting Neighbours over for Mulled wine and Mince pies
- 22nd to 2nd January – Christmas break
- 14th January – YWAM Fresh Expressions Network meeting here in Woodley!