If you’d like to pray for the work of east to west then here are all our latest prayer requests and things we’re keen to thank God for.
My kids are a constant source of wonder, joy, angst, frustration and amazement for my wife and I, and that’s before breakfast! Jokes aside, I had a moment recently where being with my kids made me revisit the world with childlike eyes.
east to west hosted their fundraising Burns Night ball in late January and with all these things, there is lots and lots of hard work which you pray will pay off, and in this case it did. The consequence of this hard work is that you’re left tired and weary. A couple of days later, I left work early to collect my kids from school and on the way to picking them up, the heavens opened with a mucky sleety rain. The damp got everywhere and by the time I arrived to collect them, I was soaked, cold and miserable. Having picked up my son first, we wandered around to my daughter’s classroom, where we waited. Whilst we waited, Joe noticed the rain had stopped and only the snow continued to fall. Watching the excitement on his face and then my daughter's, as she emerged from her classroom and they realised it was snowing was infectious. As we walked home the flakes got gradually larger until it seemed like there was foam falling from the sky, not snow.
On the journey home, we stopped and turned our faces to the sky and watched the snow fall slowly, laughing as big flakes landed on eyebrows and noses making us look funny. In that moment I forgot about what was going on for me – the cold, the damp clothes and tiredness. I didn’t think about whether the car would need de-icing later or how treacherous it may be underfoot. I wasn’t concerned about my weariness or joining the queues in Tesco as panic buying hit due to ½ a centimetre of snow on the ground. I simply stopped and looked at the sky and marvelled that each and every snow flake I could see was individual and unique and would never be replicated ever again. When I shared this with my kids, Millie reminded me that the same was true about us. We are all individuals, unique and will never be replicated ever again.
The phrase ‘snowflake’ generation is becoming more commonly used, often in a negative light – young people with an inflated sense of their own uniqueness – but I’d argue that we’re all snowflakes, because we are unique individuals who will never be replicated… and for this we must thank God, the creator of each of us and snowflakes (both the ones that fall from the sky and young people)!
TIME TO PRAY
This month we’re praying for Alisa Whiteland. Alisa is the Family Link Worker at three first schools in Windsor: Homer; Clewer Green and Trinity St. Stephens. Having joined east to west in September, she’s quickly settled and become a massively important part of the pastoral care in each of these three projects, and a valued part of our east to west team. Whilst we’d ask you to pray for her projects, the past few weeks have been tough for Alisa, so we’d ask you to pray specifically for these areas:
· Firstly, I have my parents who aren’t in the best of health. My mum overcame breast cancer 4 years ago, but unfortunately, during her treatment she had a mini stroke and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This has put pressure on my dad who is having knee and back trouble. He had a heart by-pass a few years ago. We’re worried about him as he is quite low emotionally and won’t take anti-depressants.
· My husband, Colin, isn’t in the best of health at present due to needing an appendectomy in late January. He suffered from a brain aneurysm 11 years ago, leading to 2 surgeries and a mini stroke. The result was a loss of memory and a reduced movement on his left side.
· My oldest daughter is thankfully recovering from depression and anxiety but needs support emotionally.
· As a result, I feel I am supporting everyone in my home. I worry about my Dad supporting me with school runs for my children as Colin can’t currently drive. My dad is also helping look after the kids whilst Colin works, mainly acting as a taxi.
· Financially over the last 5 years, it’s been a challenge. I’ve been studying, and Colin was made redundant not long after his brain surgery. He’s now working but having had to take a pay cut in another job – but we’re getting there.
· The main thing is that I need strength and for my oldest girl to get better emotionally.