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2nd November 2000
Well Iíve now been in Derby for almost two months,
and hereís the lowdown on whatís happening at the moment....
Iím still living on my own, and it will almost certainly stay that way until Christmas. After that, however, I will probably need to make way for the new worker and his family who will be moving in. Suitable offers for lodgings have been few, so please pray that the correct decision will be made. Iím still finding it draining to have to do housework on top of all of the other work, and Iím in the situation (not for the first time!) where I need to start saying "no" when asked to do things, simply because I couldnít give it the attention that it deserves. I wouldnít say I was overcommitted, because thereís lots of things to do and itís usually my job to do them, but I need to be aware of my limitations and get my priorities correct.
Next week, weíve starting lunchtime clubs in 3 schools: Bemrose, Village, and High View. Please pray that many young people will decide to attend, and that what the team are saying will impact them. Our first primary assembly is booked for 7th November, and weíre hoping to go into many local primary schools this half-term. Weíre having trouble getting into 2 key schools: Noel Baker are very reluctant to let us in at all, and West Park are being very cautious with us, and are very unlikely to let us do a lunchtime club. The team is working well, and there is a positive feeling about the schools ministry and an expectation for God to change lives. The feedback has been very positive so far, but weíre really aware that sometimes weíre ministering in our own strength rather than relying on God to move powerfully.
There is a lot of friction in the church leadership at the moment, and this is affecting much of the life of the church. Iím involved with both childrenís and youth work. Sunday mornings Iím sometimes leading the 7-10s when the main leader canít make it, and when there is an 11-14s group I go with them. Unfortunately there usually arenít enough kids for the older group to happen. Iím getting involved with a 5-11s group on a Monday, and that has been very positive so far. Thursday nights is the main youth night, with both an 11-14s group and a 14s-18s group. Iím finding both of these groups very challenging, although Iím forming some encouraging relationships with the young people. The main project is the formation of a spiritual youth group, and Iím currently visiting some of the young people with a view to setting this up after Christmas. Please pray for the success of this, as itís going to be crucial to the work weíre trying to do with the young people in the church.
I was at home for a few days during half-term on the Pais "Refreshers" course. Unfortunately I didnít get to see many people, but it was nice to have my meals cooked for me for a change! Iíve also had my 18th birthday while Iíve been here. I invited the whole team round for a meal (which surprisingly went well given my cooking ability!) and had a party with some people from the church. Thankyou for all the cards and presents, it was fantastic to realise just how many people were thinking about me. Iíve got a bit slower at writing letters recently, so Iíll try to make amends soon.
Thankyou for all your letters, prayers and thoughts, I have felt buoyed by the support that I am receiving at many times. God bless you all, Ric.