It’s always good to reflect on a week of outreach. Every day was different. Some days I had a stream of people just wanting to talk, other days were quieter which gave me an opportunity to pray for the village – and it was often on these days that I had the most significant conversations. The last day was a good one! One man with his two young daughters who may start coming to our church (there were a few of those!), another young man who had had a long battle with depression and anxiety, a lady with back pain (no more!), a young man with big questions, and I wouldn’t have spoken to any of them had I not taken the time to pray and to be available.
I think that’s the big learning – and it usually strikes me whenever I set time aside to do something for God. So often we just need to make ourselves available and when we do God has no trouble using us just as we are to see him work in ways that are beyond us. I’m planning to make myself more available in this season – I’m going to enrol in a course because part of being available is making myself available to God. I’m also going to do more in the way of outreach mainly because I do sense that this is where we need to be as a church so watch this space. Thank you to all.
It’s good to rest in God’s presence – in many ways that’s what being in the square is all about. Just resting and praying and being with the community, and today was all about just that. Resting, praying and meeting, an amazing French Sommelier who told me all about his dad and his amazing ideas about why we’re here, a wise old dad still looking after his kids as best he could after they’d long left home, a local councillor who told me all about her family, local shop keepers most of whom would love me to bless their businesses, local personalities friends from church one of whom had ventured out of her house for the first time. Listening, chatting and praying.
The general bonhomie and good feeling has been growing – I was surprised to see my face on the front of the herald – pleased to give cake to the staff in the pub who have been amazing, cheered by the drinks and offers of food. Tomorrow is a day off but I’ll be praying for sunny Saturday – praying for God to do something big and something new.
Well the sun broke through today in the square – and so did God as one after another people came up for a chat – There’s so much need and God is doing amazing things! I chatted with a student who’s atheism is in the process of crumbling, an ex-army NCO who was so open and so in need of hug from the Father, a parent who’s trying to adopt, a young man who’s had an experience of God, an older guy who was such a big fat juicy atheist – but was happy for me to bless his son! An amazing guy who has too many problems to mention – and finally two lads who helped me put the tent away and weren’t expecting to hear encouraging words and a blessing from God!
And lots of people who’ve noticed me out there (hard to miss) and love that the church is meeting people in this way. Someone even said that the atmosphere in the square has changed even though she’s not a churchgoer herself! More Holy Spirit – more!!
Do pray for the momentum of what the Spirit is doing to build tomorrow and in particular on Saturday. That God will really bless all the people that I’ve spoken to and that heaven will rain down over the square.
Today was free gift day! Starting with a delicious coffee, then a mystery tea which I found after my run, a bottle of San Pellagrino and finally a pint of Guinness – all with me in the down time between conversations planning my sermon – lots to pray and think about with services resuming. Particularly the church centre on the 19th July when we really want to welcome the children back to church (they’ve had a raw deal online).
I had some really significant conversations again – one of my friends said he’s been thinking about God a lot – (oh for another Alpha course) – another God-incidence when a girl I’d prayed for many years ago turned up with her new baby and boyfriend in tow – they live in Guildford and had just gone out for a drive and saw me! Just good to be out there as well engaging with all sorts of different people from surveyors, carers, mums, seniors.
Thanks so much for your prayers Day 3 has started with rain – so I’m declaring blue skies over Liphook!
Something must have happened – I’m writing a blog. But I had to because today was AWESOME – I had visions of the vicar cutting a lonely beleaguered figure amidst howling winds and driving rain – a bit like Eeyore in the monsoon!
The opposite happened, as the summer sun shone down over us all, and one after another people came to chat – people from our church – people outside it – Atheists – Christians and some real needs – Do pray for a cat who’s injured (seriously!) – do pray for one of my friends who’s having real marriage problems – for another who’s asking big amazing honest questions – for a lady who’s just lost her husband – for a carer who’s really open to the spiritual side of life – for an amazing elderly woman who’s had such a tough old life. These are just some of the many conversations amongst smiles, hoots from cars (not rude gesticulating hoots but happy smiley ones) waves and ditherers who sort of want to talk but feel self-conscious – all of whom seem to love seeing their local vicar reaching out.
A big THANK YOU to all who are praying, and all who are patiently waiting on urgent e-mails!