Since we last wrote at Christmas we have had much to occupy our time!
Mary has continued as Coordinator for Rainham Foodbank, a project currently involving 9 to 10 churches, and a growing multicultural volunteer Team. At the Foodbank Celebration in January several volunteers shared the fulfilment they felt in being involved with the community. Everyone received a wrapped candle as a gift with the verse, “Arise, shine for your light has come….” Isa 60 v 1. A recent word, John 1 v 5 has confirmed this vision for the Foodbank, “The LIGHT shines in the darkness and the darkness has NOT OVERCOME IT.” On the strength of this we are now believing for favour with the local Council re the use/ purchase of a local building for the Foodbank. Recently Mary spoke at the YMCA about her personal journey in setting up the Foodbank- how she has grown in confidence as she has related with councillors and other officials and how she has been challenged to really love messed-up and needy people, learning to express that love in words as well as action ! Since opening in Nov. 2011, 51 adults and 93 children of all cultures have been fed.
Since January Bob has been developing a Healing on the Streets Initiative in Harold Hill. Again this is involving around 9 churches in the area. It is a Multicultural Team of English, African and Caribbean cultures. The Training weekend with Mark Marx (founder of HOTS) is coming up on 13th/14th April, and we can see further Teams getting involved later in other parts of Havering Borough.
As often happens in February, around Valentines Day, we shared some Relationships Teaching with a few churches in the area. We were part of the input at an event called SPICING Up your marriage! Also another Relationships event with Family Values TV, led to us sharing our testimony on two subsequent TV programmes with them. This was exciting, but, as yet, we have not seen the result, so don’t know how much may have been edited out!!
Over this time we have given Multicultural teaching input into ten churches, and also shared about the Foodbank projects. The challenge we bring is always about loving others as Jesus loves us. It is painful thing stepping out of our culture box to embrace one another! So often we can feel misunderstood; we really need God’s grace to stay open, giving and receiving love without any conditions placed upon it. One challenge for us all is to really love the communities in which we live.
Along with others from the Welcome Network Team, we have been developing material for several workshops on Multicultural Awareness. Our aim is to offer these as a resource to churches who want to become more welcoming to all cultures in their community. Along with practical suggestions, these workshops will highlight the change of heart attitude and character-building needed when we begin to engage with other cultures.
Mary continues to be part of the Healing Rooms Team in Havering and has found this personally very helpful.
With our local church, we have enjoyed participating in a monthly Coffee Morning outreach to the old people from a nearby Care Home. They really enjoy coming out for an event and we have seen a change as we have spoken, sung and prayed with them. We are now also holding a monthly meeting with them on a Sunday afternoon in the Care Home.
Bob has recently helped an African Couple with their application to the Department for Education to start a Free School with a Christian ethos. We are amazed at how God uses all our experiences, as we, ourselves, started and ran a Christian School in Canterbury for 7 years in the nineties!
This season has seen 4 Bain birthdays, including Matthew’s 18th, along with Mother’s Day and Easter coming up! There has been a lot of cake, balloons, Teenage sleep-overs and Fun!! Now we are off to Wales for a walking/ camping trip along with Joe and Esther as well as Matt, Abigail and Vicky, for 4 days before Easter! We are looking forward to the wilderness experience, including staying in a bothy with earth closet!!
Please remember Mary and Abigail as they plan and prepare for a mission trip to India this July. They will be helping at a Childrens Centre for 2-3 weeks.
In all the busyness God has been emphasising the need for us to make space to rest and receive His big ,deep Love. Bob and I have enjoyed some times of soaking in God’s Presence at the home of one of our friends. At home, now it is a bit warmer, we are taking turns at retreating into the Summer House for some peace and undisturbed time with God.
In a recent time of worship with the Healing Rooms Team, Mary physically felt Father God’s love for each person there. She felt that there was no difference- everyone was loved the same, and completely, as sons and daughters, whatever their age, culture, attractiveness, or spiritual state. It was a wonderful feeling of unity, and very freeing to know we can just be ourselves and enjoy His perfect Love! There is no place for competition! It’s all about Jesus! THIS IS HOW CHURCH SHOULD BE!! Can we learn how to work together, with this attitude, as the Body of Christ across all the cultures?
1Cor. 12 v 24,25 “But God composed the body, having given greater honour to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism within the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”
We love and appreciate you all! Thank you for all the prayers and financial gifts which help our work with Welcome Network to continue.
Please send us your news and prayer requests. We look forward to hearing from you!
In Jesus wonderful love,
Mary and Bob
If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
Fatal error: Call to undefined function similar_posts() in /hermes/waloraweb033/b1531/pow.faith/htdocs/other-sites/welcomenetwork/wp-content/themes/bluedge/single.php on line 76