We’ve all seen them, that ‘Christmas Newsletter’ from relatives, friends, random people you don’t really know, all filling you in on their year just gone. I’ve never written one of these (partly because I have a paragraph in the Pocock newsletter written about me), but I thought I’d take this blog entry to do one of my own, part of me feels slightly self-centred doing this, but hey, might be interesting to try it out nonetheless!
So, 2009 started for me at the Abundant Life Church Leadership Academy in Bradford. Up till the end of June I lived, worked and studied up there, in what ended up being the most life changing, transforming and encouraging years of my life so far. I feel a lot more confident, determined and strong than previously. During the year God redirected me, I no longer want to work in radio which had been a dream of mine, but I felt that God has directed me to a different direction. A direction that seeks to help, bless, encourage and teach people, a direction that uses my giftings, my talents, my abilities and my passions to full potential. It’s not that I now hate radio, who knows, maybe at some point I will have an opportunity to do that again, but not for now. It’s been so exciting stepping into something so different, yet so thrilling! The Leadership Academy was amazing, I met so many wonderful new lifelong friends, grew and developed in so many areas (still growing btw!), and will always hold the church and people up there close to my heart. I was really happy to receive the Study Application award at the end of the year, which I will always treasure and brag about, hence this sentence of my blog!
Since returning to Bracknell (oh how I missed it so!) in July, I’ve been volunteering at my local church, Kerith Community Church. I have a passion for young adults, and have started a ministry called ‘exp’, for 16-30ish adults. I absolutely love it, and even though it’s still new and developing, I enjoy it, and know that if I stay close to Him, God will bless it. I am also being given all sorts of opportunities in church to lead, host, plan, help and teach which I am enjoying so much, it’s not like work at all! I have been given the privilege of helping in the organisation of the Sunday evening meetings, taking the lead of the volunteers on a Sunday night. They are a great bunch of people, and I love seeing people step into the adventure of serving at church, it’s awesome to see .
From July to November, despite the volunteering at church, I was considered ‘officially’ unemployed, which naturally financially was tough, and I felt prepared after a year in Bradford living on minimum income. Also, I have been supported by an amazing family and friends, and now I have an awesome job working as a Youth Support Worker in Hampshire, teaching young people about alcohol, drugs and all that, so rewarding and so fulfilling for me. This is for half my week, and the 2nd half is at church still, so life is generally busy, but wonderful!
From September until 10 days ago, Heather (my lovely lady), has been living and studying in Finland for her uni course. Obviously, its pretty rubbish having your best friend living in a different country, and having the annoying frustrating delay of Skype as your communication, but it was a quality adventure for her, and I’m so proud of her. She is back now, ready for the rest of her 2nd year. Together, we had a trip North in Finland to Lapland at the beginning of December, which was a once in a lifetime, fantastic holiday, and of course we met the REAL Father Christmas, what a man.
I’m in the danger of making this entry far too log (too late), so I’ll stop there. As for 2010? There’s all sorts of things that I’m hoping and praying for, but I’m not going to share them on this at the moment I’m afraid, still wary about ‘baring-all’ on this kind of public gallery!
Finally, merry Christmas, have an amazing year and lets be purposeful with 2010, step forward and take hold of what God has in store for you.