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.
I recently got to experience something I’ve never done before! I attended the London Marathon, not as a runner – those who know me will know I’m built for comfort not speed! – but as a supporter of Matt, fiancée of Caz, the Relational Support Worker at Thomas Knyvett College. A small group of us tracked Matt around the course, from Surrey Quays, to Bermondsey. From Canary Wharf all the way to the finish line on the Mall. At each point we waited to cheer him on, and 4hr, 45mins and 37seconds later he crossed the line.
As I watched the thousands upon thousands of runner’s stream past, with a ready mix of costumes (including Rhino’s, superheroes, adult babies and even Big Ben!) something struck me which made me feel quite emotional. Each and every one of them had a reason for taking part; they all had a story of motivation to tell. Whether it be the NHS nurse collapsing on the line trying to qualify for the world championships, the Eastenders actors running to raise funds for Dementia research or multitudes running in memory of loved ones, every step they took was about self-discovery and achieving a purpose. It’s about courage and determination. Jake Sudworth, a former east to west volunteer (and son of past team member Nicki), was taking part and suffered a knee injury after 21 miles. The last 5 miles took him over 90 minutes, but he persevered and crossed the line in 6hr 14mins.
Just like the 42,549 Marathon runners, those that east to west support all have their own unique stories. Stories which speak of sadness, loneliness and sorrow, of excitement, renewal, a brighter future and ultimately hope. Stories where dedication and perseverance are crucial and where limping and hobbling to the line are just as effective as a sprint finish. As the old adage goes, it doesn’t matter how you finish, it just matters that you finish.
Matt’s story was about fulfilling a dream, supporting the charity his fiancée loves working for and bringing hope to young lives. In all likelihood, Matt will never meet the children, young people and families his fundraising efforts (nearly £4,000) have supported. They may never know that the Relational Support Worker, Counsellor, Emerge Volunteer or Family Link Worker helping them have been funded by the mile upon mile of Matt’s dedication and determination to succeed, but what has happened, is two stories have met – Matt’s and those his efforts have helped and in that meeting, hope has been found.
TIME TO PRAY
This month we’re praying for Laura Jewell. You may recall, Laura joined east to west in January, taking over the Relational Support Work role at Bishop Wand, created by Dawn’s relocation to the US. Please pray for Laura over the coming weeks and months.
· My husband has recently been made redundant from his role. He’s originally from Canada and his work visa is tied to his role. Sadly, this means we’ll be moving back to Canada in early July. Please pray as we prepare for this move and both our emotional well-being during this touch time.
· Please pray for my husband. He's been extremely stressed and feeling burnt-out for a long time. I honestly think being made redundant is a blessing from God, and now he gets to rest and figure himself out. Pray he does get the rest he needs and pray he figures out what he's doing next!
· I'm applying for a degree in Child and Youth Care Counselling.... all because of east to west! Please pray my application is successful! I’m hoping to qualify to work as a counsellor in a school as well as with young offenders who need support going into court etc. Pray that I would know what direction to take with my career.
· Please pray for my school Bishop Wand as they come to terms with my leaving and their third RSW in a short time. Whilst it is not a planned or deliberate thing, they’re having to come to term with some big changes of personnel re east to west in their school
· Pray that God would find for the right person to take over the role.
· Pray for the students I’ve built relationships with. It’s always hard to trust and get to know someone, and when there is change this can be really hard, especially to start building relationships again. In particular pray for a couple of my students who’ve become quite attached to me and find change a real struggle.
Although my time with east to west was for a shorter period than planned, I can clearly see that God really wanted me here at east to west. Being in my role here has confirmed what I want to do with my life, and I can't thank God and you enough for that!