Before I tell you why I love my job, here is another story of my acclamation into British life:
While skyping my mom I came to this realization...
"I have decided I love the Dollar store, although here it is called Pound Land, which if you think about it, really makes it the "Dollar. Fifty" Land, but oh well."
So the minister of JMC, Rob, has such a loyal faith, which I can only hope will rub off on me as the year goes on. He trusted God would bring someone to build up the student and young professional ministry and Time For God called him about bringing me in. He trusted people pull me in and I would feel welcome, and I feel more than comfortable here. He trusted passionate people would find us, if JMC is what they needed and we've had many new students seeking us out on their own.
It is a matter of trusting things will happen if they are meant to, if it is right. It is that trust in God, which has shaped my time here so far.
My work is now in full swing: meeting new people, welcoming freshers into our church family, creating outreach events, and seeing potential play out in this community. I have had so many coffee dates in the past week that I think I have developed a permanent caffeine buzz...definitely worth it! We had our first student events this week (a Free BBQ and a Sunday Lunch after church for the students and young professionals), and they went so much better than I could have ever imagined. But today I want to tell you about the BBQ.
We set up for a free "Barbie" to welcome the students back, fit with food, drink, goodie bags and all. What I expected, was for some people to be too afraid to accept free food from the church (thinking there must be an ulterior motive such as sitting through a condemnation of their sins, or conversation of why they should convert: as is sadly the only view some people have of the church here in England). I expected people to grab a free barbie and exit as quick as they came. This is what I was prepared for, hoping they may simply know that we are present in Jesmond. But of course, God had another plan for the afternoon...
Just Kidding We Had No Troubles With The Authorities, But They Did Come For A Barbie And We Couldn't Resist A Photo.Anyways...
Not only were the students happily indulging in free food, they were so appreciative of the event and developing a positive view on the church as an important part in their community. Even more to my excitement, some students were taking time to chat to us, with others even feeling welcomed and comfortable enough to sit and enjoy their food and conversation in the sanctuary.
I will admit that there was one bloke who joked about possibly bursting into flame as he cautiously entered the foyer to get his barbie, which provided a good laugh all around :)
Even still many of the students were asking what other events we were going to host throughout the year!
As the afternoon turned to evening we ran out of food, but were filled with great connections and the students left knowing that we are here, we are welcoming, we are friendly, and we are loving no matter what...and that, no, they will not burst into flame as they step through our doors :)
All it took was to open these very doors, smile bright, and have that trust in God I have come to see as apart of Rob's very nature. (Although I'm sure the wafting smell of cooking sausages didn't hurt either).
So It is official, I LOVE MY JOB!
|Carl Grilling up a Storm (goodie bags beside him)|
|Chris manning the barbie and Me with the goodie bags|