God is faithful and fair
September 2018

God is faithful and fair. If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins.
He will forgive every wrong thing we have done.
He will make us pure.

1 John 1:9 (NIrV)

At the end of a particularly challenging month we have so much for which to be thankful. Read on to find out more.

Just a few days after returning from Keswick we set off for Cornwall to a brand new venture for Count Everyone In. Creation Fest is a free Christian music festival and Bible week that takes place over a whole week each summer at the Royal Cornwall Showground near Wadebridge. There is something for everyone, including vibrant children’s and youth programme that make use of the largest skate park in SW England (specially constructed on site!). Church groups come for the whole week, whilst other people come as families, couples or individuals either camping or as day visitors.

We enjoyed the relative luxury of a tiny wooden ‘pod-pad’ with beds and electricity but no toilet or washing facilities. The other challenge was working with a new team that, although experienced in the Christian care sector, had not been involved in anything of this nature before. It was a tiring but rewarding week and we were privileged to open the eyes of many to what it means to take accessibility seriously.
The cleaning team for Creation Fest comprises people with mild learning disabilities who come on site year after year in a voluntary capacity. They find the main meetings too loud, long and complicated. How good it was therefore to attract and engage with some of this team, with the encouragement of their leader, and one was baptised in the sea later in the week!

We probably raised more questions than we solved in offering a quieter, slower alternative to the rest of the programme and it would be great in coming years to see some provision for children and young people with additional needs and autism as well as what Count Everyone In has to offer for adults.

Most readers will be aware that we spend most of our time together, whether at home, away or working. For a few days this month however this was not the case and for good reason. Pete posted on social media: ‪”Today will be a strange day as Christine and I will be serving God in different places. Normally it would be us side by side; today 100’s of miles apart, Christine at her father’s bedside and me @westpointevent leading a team doing what we do. For our friends that pray, please do.”

Westpoint went well, although numbers were disappointing. We followed the event theme of ‘Thy kingdom come’, exploring aspects of what the King brings to us – peace (yes, it was August but we sang Christmas carols and dramatized part of the Christmas story!), gifts, strength and joy. We welcomed two new team members as well as the rest of the team who who have become good friends serving with us for all three years at Westpoint, as has the amazing worship band from Bovey Tracey Baptist Church.

Meanwhile, following Pete’s seminar ‘More than loos, loops and ramps’ on Friday afternoon, Christine was called back to St Albans to be with her Dad. There were precious times over the next couple of days. Our sons, their families and eventually Pete, after a long drive back from Exeter on Sunday, were all able to say “Au revoir”. Christine had the joy of seeing her prayer of 50+ years being answered as Dad, at last, could say with real assurance that his sins were forgiven and he has a place in heaven – “Absolutely!” He slipped away peacefully just after Christine had left him on Monday afternoon and before her brother David arrived.

That was the end of an era and the start of a new one. The other new beginning in August was finally moving into our new house in Newbury. Eight crates full of furniture and other belongings were unloaded out of storage but many of the boxes will not be unpacked until the garage has been converted into an office. Being away from home so much doesn’t help when there is a lot of work to be done but it is already beginning to feel a little more like home. How good it has been to have an oasis in which to stay for the past three months, thanks to some wonderful friends – we thank God for them (you know who you are!).

As the summer draws to a close we can hardly believe we were able to run so many festival programmes literally out of plastic crates – and nothing was forgotten! During the autumn and winter our focus will largely be on training, speaking and ministering at local churches and conferences with the aim of encouraging and equipping churches to be more welcoming, accessible and relevant to everyone and especially those with learning disabilities.

Here’s a taste of the month of September:

Saturday 1st

Overnight ferry to St Malo

Sunday 2nd

Arrive at LPO (Spring Harvest Holidays) in the French Vendee Region

Monday 3rd – Monday 10th

Serve on prayer team for Houseparty holiday week

Tuesday 11th

Travel home

Wednesday 12th

Methodist ‘Belonging’ Facebook conference rehearsal, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Thursday 13th

Methodist ‘Belonging’ Facebook conference. Why not join in?www.methodist.org.uk/belongingconference

Saturday 15th

Support group meeting at our home

Sunday 16th

Ashley Baptist Church, New Milton – morning service

Monday 17th

Day off – plenty to do at our new home

Tuesday 18th

Thanksgiving service for the lives of Christine’s uncle and aunt in Keighley, West Yorkshire

Monday 24th – Monday 8th October

Holiday!!  🙂

Friends with Count Everyone In

Don’t forget our ‘Friends’ scheme which offers support, advice and prayer to those looking for external support for their ministry amongst people with learning disabilities. ‘Friends’ status is available principally to churches and groups but also to individuals. In no way is it intended to replace or compete with affiliations or partnerships with other organisations. There is no minimum fee but we ask for a donation either monthly or annually. Please consider this prayerfully and with regard to the fact that CEI is totally a faith mission and ministry. Do get in touch if you are interested.

Know and Grow Training

Please look at the dates in the blue box to find out what we shall be doing, where and when. Book in with us (£15 per person) or pass details to those who might be interested in developing ministry with adults with learning disabilities and making their local church more accessible. If there is nothing suitable, let’s discuss putting on an additional day that can then be opened up to others.

Prayer points

  • Preparations for Christine’s dad’s funeral in October
  • Give thanks for financial provision and pray please for future planning. We could already use additional workers in a variety of ways.
  • A relaxing holiday!

Looking ahead: 

Please follow and like us:

Count Everyone In will be at:


Know & Grow (advanced), Chessington, Surrey            3 November 2018
Know & Grow (basic), Harpenden, Herts            10 November 2018
Know & Grow (basic), Crowborough, East Sussex            19 January 2019
Word Alive, Prestatyn            13-18 April 2019
CEI at Cranham Baptist Church            29-30 May 2019
Le Pas Opton, Spring Harvest Holidays, France            3-10 June 2019
Keswick Convention (week 2)             20-26 July 2019  

How about joining us? Get in touch for further information and to book for training counteveryonein@gmail.com


 

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Love and blessings,

Pete & Christine

 

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