One year on! – May 2018
Lord, you make me glad by your deeds. I sing for joy about what you have done. 
Lord, how great are the things you do! How wise your thoughts are!   Psalm 92:4-5 (NIrV)
Happy birthday Count Everyone In – one year old on 1st May!
Who could have believed that in just twelve months so much would have happened? As we often find ourselves saying, God is on the move!
  • We’ve run programmes at 3 festivals so far, plus 3 new opportunities added this year
  • Brand new basic and advanced Know and Grow training days delivered once each so far, with more dates coming up:
    • Harpenden, Herts to be confirmed (basic)
    • Long Stratton, Norfolk 30 June (basic)
    • Surrey 3 November (advanced)
    • Crowborough, E Sussex 19 Jan 2019 (basic)
  • Spoken at three conferences – Methodist, Baptist and European Disability Network
  • Ten churches/groups have become Friends with Count Everyone In
  • More than 40 volunteers have signed up to serve on CEI teams at festivals

CEI has a website, Facebook page and Twitter presence. We realise that our skills and time are limited in these areas but maybe you know someone who could help us – please think, pray and put us in touch!

Thank you for praying for our week at Word Alive – a great team, responsive guests and so much joy! Two highlights too good to miss :

  • The unexpected arrival for our final morning of 15 people with learning disabilities and 8 staff from a local authority day centre. We’d commented that very morning that it was a shame we never seem to reach beyond the core guests who come each year; we didn’t pray but God acted! They loved the morning and want to return every day next year. The manager has emailed to thank us.
  • We were all moved to hear a disabled young man who struggles to sit still or to speak say most emphatically “I know Jesus loves me!”

The SEBA (South Eastern Baptist Association) disability awareness conference at Reigate Baptist Church provided a dinner opportunity with good friends, pastor Mike, his wife Rachel who worked with us in France a few years ago and their two lovely, lively little girls. It was fascinating to hear at the conference about the challenges of being the first ordained deaf Baptist pastor, as well as from speakers representing Torch and Through the Roof. An attentive and interested audience listened as we spoke about making church more welcoming and accessible to people with learning disabilities.

As we prepare this newsletter we are concentrating on getting ready to leave for the European Disability Network conference in Riga, Latvia. This is an adventure for us, especially as we are each limited to 8kg total in luggage to last from Thursday until Monday! We may be back by the time you read this and no doubt you will read about it next month.

Our trip to Northern Ireland in a couple of weeks has a fluid agenda at present. It’s not too late to put us in touch with individuals or churches that have, or are considering, ministry with people with learning disabilities, including those that were linked with Prospects.

We have a day of celebrations plus a seminar to lead at the Catalyst (New Frontiers) festival and are also preparing for the annual week with Spring Harvest Holidays in France but, apart from those we are keeping May as clear as possible as we hope very much to be moving house. Contracts have yet to be exchanged and there are a few hitches with our vendor’s purchase but we are praying for a quick resolution to the difficulties so that we can actually complete and move in the small window of dates that are available. Thankfully we have a God with whom nothing is impossible and who is capable of redirecting our paths if necessary!

Looking ahead: 
2018 Count Everyone In will be at:
Catalyst Festival, Stoneleigh            27 May
Spring Harvest Holidays, France            4-11 June
Keswick Convention            23-27 July
Creation Fest, Cornwall          4-10 August
Westpoint Event, Exeter            24-26 AugustHow about joining us?

Diary dates for May:
Tuesday 1st
Day off
Wednesday 2nd
Visit Dad in St Albans
Friday 4th
Meeting about Creationfest
Wednesday 16th
Visit Dad in St Albans
Thursday 17th
Fly to Northern Ireland; meeting with Biblica
Friday 18th – Monday 21st
Meetings with churches and groups in N.I.
Thursday 22nd
Meeting with group leader, visit Dad and attend a regional get-together of group leaders, Stevenage
Thursday 24th
Newcastle-under-Lyne – planning for Methodist Additional Needs Conference
Sunday 27th
Catalyst Festival, Stoneleigh – meetings morning and afternoon for people with learning disabilities – contact us if interested
Wednesday 30th
Visit Dad

Prayer points

  • Give thanks for the surprise visitors at Word Alive
  • Thank God for good connections at the SEBA conference
  • Pray for our involvement at the EDN conference, Latvia (if reading this before we go)
  • Pray that our trip to Northern Ireland will be fruitful
  • Pray for preparations for the week in France
  • Pray about our move
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Good news! On a personal note, you may not know but we have been attending Slimming World for the last 6 months and we have each lost about 2½ stone so far. Apart from feeling fitter and healthier, Pete has been taken off statins and is hoping to reduce other medication in due course.

So here we are, one year into the life of Count Everyone In. We feel humbled at the ways in which God has led, guided and blessed us. Pray that for transformation in lives and in churches through CEI as the workload increases and we seek God for those will join in and take this work forward. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer, financial giving and interest. We couldn’t do it without you!

With love in Jesus,
Pete & Christine
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