There are times in our lives where we just want something a little different. It may that we’ve had the same breakfast cereal for a while and fancy an alternative. It could be that the morning commute to work is getting a bit samey (in my case walking down the stairs) and we try a different route. In the case of the current climate, it may well be anything other than being stuck at home – please persevere.
For this month’s wePRAY I thought I’d ask Clare Samson, east to west’s Head of Schools and Relational Support Worker at Matthew Arnold to step in and share some insights…
Stay safe and if there are things you’d like prayer for, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
wePRAY – May 2020
Having had lots of lovely weather, the morning I sit to write this, the weather has changed, but what are these wet droplets coming from the sky?
My Dad has always claimed he could smell when it was going to rain. I have a great memory of my Mum asking him to go out into the back garden and stand on the hedge, turn his nose skywards and smell if it was going to rain before she put the washing out. I always thought it was a joke, but I’ve learnt today that it is actually a thing!
Before the rain begins one of the first odours is a sweet zing in your nostrils as the aroma of oxygen travels on the wind. What comes next is Petrichor which is the scent of rainfall, it comes from the Greek word Petra meaning stone and ichor meaning the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods.
So science tells us that there are two stages – the first is that we can anticipate rain is coming, we can prepare and the second is the smell of the rain penetrating the earth, feeding the soil and releasing molecules into the air.
Where am I going with this, I hear you cry?
east to west’s work is often dominated by preparing children, young people and families for what is to come. We anticipate issues, help them get ready for their future or plan for next steps. We can see the clouds building and smell the upcoming rain. The fragrance of petrichor is the fruits of our labour, the sweet smell of action, the results of weeks, months and years of preparation. It is seeing a young person cope with lock down, watch a family bond through this time of adversity or understand just how much they value our support.
Rain is referred to as a blessing after a drought, a symbol of God’s love and teachings to spread over the world. In Isaiah 55:10 it says; As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seeds for the sower and bread for the eater.
As we move into another week of lock down and remote working let’s think about where we can be rain for all those we work with.
This month we’re praying for Caz (Caroline) Case, Relational Support Worker at Thomas Knyvett College, and Head of Volunteers. Caz has been with east to west since the Autumn of 2015, and has taken on and grown the role at TKC massively in her near 5 years in post. Caz married Matt over the Summer and have recently added a cat to their growing family. Please pray for Caz (and Matt) over the next few weeks. If you’d like to contact her directly, you can email her on email@example.com
Please continue to pray for God’s protection on the NHS, and for all key workers.
Pray that anyone who is required to work at this time is kept safe, and that they’d find peace in this storm and times of rest.
Pray for courage and mental resilience for NHS teams facing traumatic shifts every day – that their mental health is strong, and they find strength each day.
Pray that God would comfort all those who have lost or are losing loved ones, and be present in the grief.
For teacher of our schools and across the country setting work, teaching virtually, checking in with students – Give them wisdom and help them embrace a slower way of life.
Pray for GCSE and A level result to accurately reflect students work and efforts so they don’t feel more disappointments.
For our students to stay safe, motivated and to seek help if they are struggling.
I pray for families to use this time to grow stronger and to laugh and have fun together.
For Parents to feel peace over home schooling, financial worries and tensions of work.
east to west:
Please be praying for east to west and the amazing work we do. For the relational support workers and counsellors to know they are enough no matter their current work capacity, and for creativity in new and fun ways to support our students in this strange time.
For ongoing financial provisions to keep us secure and safe for next year.
For me personally, on the whole I am actually doing well, I sound surprised because I am!! I am an extrovert so being in lock down doesn't always work for me - please pray for my husband Matt’s patience! There are odd days where I want to hit re-set or skip to tomorrow, but thankfully those days aren't often.
I'd appreciate prayers to continue to keep my routine and motivation as I can easily be distracted working from home. I'm finding myself fairly tired due to all the change Covid-19 has caused and the amount of time in front of a screen on video calls, or answering emails - it's all good, just draining.
For my husband who is on furlough to stay happy with less purpose and for continued financial provision.
For the health of both families, to stay protected from illness, especially 91-year-old grandparents, our parents and two of my sisters-in-law who are both pregnant (due in July). Pray that it’s a smooth journey up till their due dates.
Thank you so much for your prayers, I and all at east to west are so grateful.