We all live in anticipation of something. It may be an exciting event that’s happening like a wedding, a planned trip abroad or to relatives or the tension of exams or starting a new job/school. But it can also be the (relatively) smaller things that we can also be excited about. That first visit the hairdressers post easing of lockdown restrictions, being allowed to sit in someone else’s home for the first time in 16 months or knowing that you’ll be sharing a curry with friends on a Friday night. Some of you may also have been waiting in anticipation of this month’s wePRAY!?
But for all these positives, anticipation can also have negative connotations. That moment when you’ve done something wrong at work and are waiting for the reaction from colleagues or bosses. The last few days before moving to a new home when everything must be resolved, and your stress levels are on the up. That time when you’re visiting terminally ill friends or relatives and wondering whether this will be the last time you see them. Anticipation can bring both excitement and anxiety and the same anticipation can bring these two extremes of feeling in different people.
You’ll know (if you’ve been following our newsletters and social media output) that in September we’ll start delivering support for young people across 16 schools as part of our role within the Surrey Wellbeing Partnership. At present this looks like 4 people covering 4 schools each. Add to this the ongoing conversations we’re having with new schools (at least 3 at present, with more conversations to be had!), and the natural turnover of team – more about that later – and we’re anticipating new team members at east to west taking us from 18 paid team to around 25! Whilst this is hugely exciting, it raises questions about helping our new team members understand who east to west are, our ethos, our working practices and beliefs, and integrating them within the existing team and their new projects.
The same anticipation but felt differently.
So what’s the solution? Do we:
a) Bury our head in the sands and hope that it all works out?
b) Carry on regardless confident in the knowledge that we’re a great organisation and the right people will simply arrive out of the woodwork?
c) Throw the net far and wide and put all our energies into recruitment and training determined to gather from the finest of the world’s Relational Support Workers? (I appreciate this last one sounds a little flippant!)
If I may, I’d suggest a more pragmatic approach – one that involves you… our supporters.
There is a great deal of trust or faith included within anticipation. We trust that what we’re anticipating (positively) will be good. We have faith that it will be good for us and whilst it may be hard, we’ll learn and grow through it. If we’re believers, we trust that God is with us in the uncertainty and challenge. We are reminded: ‘For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jeremiah 29:11)
So as east to west heads into this time of anticipation, we’d like to ask you to continue to pray for us as an organisation. Pray that God will bring the right people across east to west’s path – people who will add to the work we do in ‘bringing hope to young lives’, and who will bring their skills, talents and gifts to help us grow as an organisation. Pray that as we grow, we have the wisdom to structure our teams in a way that gives them the help and support they need to thrive. Pray that God would provide the resources needed as we grow, to put in place everything we need to fulfil our mission to serve. And pray that we’d remain centred in Christ, creating an expanded community of selfless, devoted people who provide an integrity filled compassionate care and support – and who have a lot of fun doing it.
This month we’re praying for Paige, Relational Support Worker at St. Paul’s. Sadly (for east to west), Paige left east to west at the end of May (to join another local charity Eikon). We felt that it was important that we still pray for Paige, especially as she moves on from east to west.
Pray for all the students struggling to cope with the uncertainty of their future due to COVID.
Pray for all the teachers and staff who are putting themselves on the frontline and are working so hard to help our students.
Please pray for Rob Lewis (the new RSW at school) as he settles in and meets the students and staff.
Please pray for my family, especially my Dad, as we come to term with the loss of our Grandad.
Please pray for my Nana, who lives so far away and is struggling to cope with living on her own without my Grandad.
Please pray for my Dad, who has taken on lots of responsibilities since my Grandad has passed, despite all the worry and sadness it must cause him.
Please pray for my brother, Kristian, and his girlfriend, Neyra, as they move into their new house.
Please pray for myself and my boyfriend, Dan, as we move into Kristian’s old flat!
Finally, please pray for my Mum and Dad, as they are both amazing people who work hard to look after us and they always put other people first!