We’ve been at Gaines for over 3 months now – and it’s been super busy!
We’ve hosted 10 groups since we arrived in September: 7 youth groups, 1 school group and 2 University Christian Unions. It’s been so good to interact with people at different ages and stages of life and get alongside them in their walks of faith and their mission fields. We’ve run a variety of teaching programmes with these groups; spent time in Nehemiah, Ephesians, Revelation, Hebrews, Colossians and 1 Peter – lots of areas of the Bible which we’ve enjoyed going in to deeper in our own preparations as well as then sharing with the groups. We’ve also been journeying through Acts for our morning team devotions too. It’s great to be able to spend so much time in the Bible here!
Our Tuesdays at the Midlands Ministry Training Course in Birmingham each week have been insightful. We’ve completed a Bible Overview and done a series on the Doctrine of Christ – which begs more questions than it answers! But the more we study the more we realise quite how much we don’t know about God, His sovereignty, and His amazing plan for us – He is too far beyond our understanding! Nevertheless it’s great to be able to get to grips with studying the Bible and seeing God’s plan unfold throughout. We are now getting stuck into teaching 1 Thessalonians, and with that goes the new thing of starting to get feedback on how we would interpret and teach a passage, and improve our skills. This is great training for us when it comes to leading Bible studies with our weekend guests.
But its not just study here! We’ve been up to loads more: spending a few days with other Christian activity centres down in Devon, deep cleaning different rooms of the house and lots of work out in the grounds – which has now stopped for the winter (to the relief of several!).
However, coming indoors for the winter can only mean one thing: maintenance!
Our main project at the moment is redoing the boys sleeping accommodation on the first floor – we’re splitting one of the large dormitories in two, then re-carpeting and re-painting the whole lot. This has meant a LOT of scraping very old wallpaper off the walls (most of which seems very keen to remain firmly on the walls) and lots of sanding down of surfaces ready for painting. And we’ve been knocking down walls too in order to create the new entryway to the newly created dorm. That was a lot of fun… and an even greater lot of mess! There’s lots more to do still, so this will surely keep us occupied until we finish it all with a complete repaint in the new year.
As we write we’re just about finished with the preparations for our annual New Year’s House Party, and so ready for a good Christmas break.
We’ll be back refreshed for the New Year – and looking forward with excitement to sharing the great news of Jesus with lots more visiting groups.