Hi St James Family!
It is now about 5 months since I left Southampton and moved to Bristol. For those who don’t know/remember, I am currently living in Bristol and doing an internship with a church called Woodlands on the New Wine discipleship Year. I’m doing a leadership placement, and spend my weeks serving in my church, getting theology training and putting this training into practice in my placements. It has been a crazy 5 months with the adjustment of living without mum and dad, being in a completely different city and working rather than going to college.
I have some amazing people from St James who are supporting me this year both financially and in their prayers. Each month I send out an update, but I was speaking to mum over Christmas and we realised that no one else from home has any idea what I’m up to here!…
As I said, I am doing a Leadership Placement. This sees me being heavily involved with the running of our Alpha course - which runs every term and has between 60 and 100 people coming each week. The person who does all of the admin for this has just stepped down, so I am now doing a lot of the behind the scenes work to make each Alpha night run smoothly. It’s been great to just be given the trust to do this. It has also taught me a lot about how leadership isn’t always the upfront people; its the behind the scenes people that often get overlooked who help to make services and events happen.
I am also helping to start up a new children’s group at out 9:15 service that we have every Sunday morning. I and another intern (Hannah) have been asked to start a new group for year 2 children as their normal group has got too large. This is quite a big task, one that we are really excited about and again, thankful to the Woodlands staff for giving and trusting us with this task. Our first session with the kids is this Sunday (4th Feb), so prayers for that would be greatly appreciated!
The Discipleship Year was 100% the right choice. I spent a lot of last year searching for something to do when I left college, and decided that I was going to come to Bristol about a month before I moved. But the people that I have met here and the experiences that I have had tell me that I am exactly where I need to be. I am part of a team of 13 interns and I completely love each and every one of them. We bonded very quickly as a team and now are very much like family. Just having people here who support and love me is something that I cannot express how grateful I am for. I am so thankful to God for guiding me to Bristol and putting me in a place where I am so loved and cared for.
I have also learned a lot about myself in the last few months. I was never that confident in who I was as a person or how I looked. But in the last months, God has taught me to love myself for how he loves me - and I have completely fallen in love with myself. To look in the mirror and like what I see is a very strange and new experience, but one that I don’t want to go away. One of the phrases that us interns use a lot is “Confident in Love” - this is how I feel…confident in the love that Jesus has for me, no matter what I look or what I wear.
I would love it if you could pray for me - even all the way back in Southampton!…
- my future is still quite uncertain. I feel like God may have called me to do something next year but its all very new so would love prayer for reassurance and answers. I have learned to trust God’s timings because his plans are better than my own, but there is still the part of me that worries about the future!
- each month I am still struggling a little financially and had to pay rent very late this month. Once again, I completely trust that He provides, but prayer for that provision would be greatly appreciated!
- last term I got very tired because I was doing a lot of work. I’m getting good at saying ‘No’ and have learned that it is a good word! Please pray that I wont get too stressed or tired, and that I will be able to find a good balance of ‘work and play’.
- finally, that God will continue to work in me. He has been so faithful and loving towards me over the last few months. He is working in me in ways that I never would have imagined. Please pray that he will keep working in me, and transforming me into his disciple.
I really do miss my Southampton church family. It was very strange being back at Christmas but I really loved being back in the building and seeing so many people. As I said, I do a monthly update and if you would like to be added to this I would be more than happy to put you on the list, or am happy to answer any questions you have about what I’m doing here in Bristol - just give me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m normally quite fast at replying, it just depends on how busy I am!
Hopefully you enjoyed this little update on how I’m doing, its very strange that I haven’t lived in Southampton for 5 months, but I know I’m exactly where God wants me and am loving every day of being in Bristol and working for Woodlands.
With love and blessings,