“You will receive the strength you need when you stay calm and trust in me.” Isaiah 30:15
Those words meant a lot to us during September when, as you may recall from last month’s letter, there was a lot to squeeze into a relatively short period and we were tired before we even began. “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord”. Thank you for your support – you prayed, we waited and God gave the strength we needed.
It was good to spend time with friends old and new in France at Spring Harvest Holidays houseparty ‘adults only’ week. We had the privilege once again of offering prayer and pastoral care to guests. Do make this annual holiday known to your contacts and also consider it for yourself, visit their website for more information. There was good Bible teaching and well-led worship, as well as a wide variety of leisure activities including wine tasting and a quiz. The competition was stiff so our team was delighted to come second out of at least ten teams.
The NIrV – Accessible Edition
The NIrV – Accessible Edition continues to spark some encouraging reactions: “I can read it without my glasses!” and “I don’t read very well but I can manage this.” Our friend Sarah read from it at Littlehampton Baptist Church last Sunday when Pete was speaking about making the church a place where people are known for their God-given gifts and abilities, rather than disability. Don’t forget, you can buy your own copy If you enter ‘PW’ in the discount box, it won’t help you (sorry) but it will benefit Count Everyone In (CEI)
So what is on the horizon for October?
A Area celebrations – during his years with Prospects, Pete established Prayer & Encouragement groups, where leaders of church groups get together for just that. Some of these groups have invited us to help them in running regional celebrations this autumn, hence our trips to Portsmouth and Chessington in October and to Stevenage next month. Unfortunately we are unable to attend the event in Wiltshire because of a prior booking.
B Biblica – Pete will be flying to Belfast to meet with the Global Board of Biblica and attend a dinner at the Stormont Parliament buildings.
D Developing resources – With our first training day coming up in November, it’s full-steam ahead to prepare the material for this and similar days. We are putting time aside specifically for that purpose and would value prayer. As time unfolds we hope to have other resources available and will keep you updated here.
E EDN – We received an invitation some months ago to the European Disability Network conference to be held next April in Latvia. At that time we had no idea how CEI would develop but we now feel confident in agreeing to attend and speak at the conference. Having made the decision, guess what? Next day we received a donation that will more than cover the costs of the trip! God seems to ask us to consider prayerfully and carefully what we should do and then, decision made, He confirms it!
F Future events – We are giving you the dates (below) when we shall be at Christian festivals and events in 2018. We shall be running accessible programmes following the same theme as the main events and will be getting a team together for each event. Please make this information available to anyone you know who might benefit from these events.
P Publicity – At last we have some postcards introducing CEI and advertising the festivals that have invited us for 2018. Please ask if you would like us to put some in the post for you.
T Training – CEI’s first training day is to be held on Saturday 18th November at Basingstoke Baptist Church. Please contact us for more information.
W Website – We are grateful to an ‘old’ friend for working with us to make this happen and we shall let you know when it is live.
Y Younger people – We are keen to engage with other people, especially younger folk, who God may be calling to get involved in sharing the love of Jesus with people with learning disabilities. If you know anyone who might be interested, please let them know about CEI and encourage them to get in touch. There may be opportunities to serve on a team, train to be a trainer, or start a work in their church.
Looking ahead, here are some engagements arranged so far and others may be added:
- Sun 1 Harvest Sunday at St Nic’s followed by ploughman’s lunch
- Mon 2 Meeting with a church leader
- Weds 4 Homegroup – we’re enjoying challenging studies in 1 Thessalonians
- Sat 7 Area celebration in Portsmouth, then staying overnight with friends in March, Cambridgeshire
- Sun 8 Morning service at Fenland Community Church followed by lunch with good friends Ed, Marilyn and Rosey, then home via Birmingham (we have drums to deliver!) and a brief visit to Andy, Emma and girls
- Tues 10 Christine visiting Dad in St Albans, then it’s the ‘Encounter’ prayer meeting at church
- Thurs 12 Pete flies to Belfast for meetings with Biblica
- Fri 13 Further meetings in Belfast, then fly back to Southampton
- Sat 14 ‘Alive Together’ conference in Chessington for groups in Surrey; we shall run 2 workshops on ‘whole life worship’ and help with pastoral care
- Sun 15 Sunday at St Nic’s
- Tues 17 Christian Resources Exhibition in Esher, then home via Rob, Cathy and boys in Hampton
- Weds 18 Homegroup
- Fri 20 – Mon 23 Winmill family half-term weekend at our home
In 2018 Count Everyone In will be at:
- Word Alive, Prestatyn 7-12 April
- Spring Harvest Holidays, France 4-11 June
- Keswick Convention 23-27 July
- Westpoint Event, Exeter 24-26 August
Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others. Do keep in touch and thanks for praying – we need it!