Friday, 1 November 2013
Thursday morning I visited the team at Lemington in Newcastle. A small team who are encouraging prayer and bible study in the congregation and then going into the community prayer walking. I was chatting to one of the Lemington members who told me that her and another lady prayer walk and meet each other to pray every week. I came away from Lemington thinking that while there are still pockets of praying people in our churches there is hope. Then in the afternoon Rob & I went through to visit the team serving in Pelton/Birtley. Not many adults had come into the Labyrinth & coffee that day but they had attracted a group of boys who were enjoying the tea & biscuits & playing games with the team. The boys also interacted with the labyrinth....one of them seemed to be dropping a lot of stones into the water at the table that talked about giving worries to God. I asked if he had a lot of worries, 'I have' he replied.
Then in the afternoon I was delighted to finally visit the 'Pictures of Love' exhibition & craft activities in a shop in Whitley Bay. 'Pictures of Love' was a project Rob Wylie had initiated and it was good to see it being used so well. Around 60 people have been visiting this each afternoon, & I can understand why. There was something for all ages, crafts, art exhibition, a cup of coffee and a warm welcome...and all for free. It was interesting to think about how on Halloween the TOGETHER team had provided a space to engage with crafts on the theme of love.
In the evening we travelled back up to Alnwick for their final evening celebration & thanksgiving (on the theme of Light). What a way to finish their week. There were testimonies, tears, hugs and promises to keep working together. So many lives have been touched here & almost everyone involved has been challenged to keep on sharing the light & love of Christ. Church member Joy said, 'every minister, lay person, village & town should be out there listening to the hurts of the world'. Team member Hodge said, 'This week has completely blown me away'. Team leader Alan said, 'Going out on mission has helped me recognise again the priority of mission which is why I was called to be a minister in the first place.' They all have become very aware of the deep need of people on their doorsteps and their faith has been lifted to the point where they feel they CAN do something. Please keep praying with me that this link between Alnwick & the team from Rowlands Gill (plus one from Stakeford) continues to flourish and bear fruit.