Summer is coming! We’ve already had a good few weeks of sunshine, which seems to make everything feel so much better. Running weekend retreats and camps is so much easier with good weather as we can simply enjoy being with our guests in the beautiful countryside playing games and generally relaxing. We’ve been through our busiest run of groups ever in the last three months, which has been fantastic but also pretty tiring. There were times when it felt like we were struggling to catch our breath, but God got us through and kept us healthy. It is such a privilege to welcome guests through our front door and then spend the weekend teaching them about Jesus, so please pray for us that our focus remains on the great news of the Gospel in all that we do, even in our weariness.
Praise God too that so many groups want to come to Gaines, and that many return year on year. There are always times when we occasionally question what God is doing, but the number of guests that are coming to us has been a great confirmation that this is God’s work we’re doing, however hard it is. We moved into Gaines almost seven years ago, and whilst we are still at the pioneering stage of re-developing the ministry here, God has moved us forward to the point where we are becoming an established entity. We’re so grateful to so many people who have helped us along the way with their prayers, their finances and their encouragements – which includes you if you’re still reading at this point!
There is still much to do! We’d love to be able to welcome more groups, we’d love to train more Gap Team, and we’d love to run more holiday camps. To do this, we need two things:
Currently we have three full time members of staff (Brendan, Ben, Emily) and four Gap Team. We need to increase the number of people working here if we are to cope with the increasing demand over the next few years. We are now at a size where the appointment of an administrator to run the office is becoming increasingly crucial. We have no idea where to look for such a person, so please could you be our mouthpiece and let it be known that we are looking! Into the future we will also be looking for a kitchen manager and someone to look after the maintenance of the building. Please pray that God will provide us with the right people at the right time to fill these roles.
We also need to keep the numbers high on our Gap Team. Without them running all the events is simply not possible in terms of workforce. Again, please please pass on our details to anyone who might be interested in a year here.
Unsurprisingly we will continue to rely on donations to improve the buildings and grounds. An increased number of groups brings in more revenue, but also increased costs. There is also a significant amount of work to do to renovate parts of the building. We’ve mentioned about our brick scheme before – if you don’t already could you consider buying a brick for £10 per month to help us with our ongoing costs (see below for details). God has been so good in keeping us going financially and materially, so praise him for that, but also pray that he would continue to provide.
Thank you once again for your support – let me again extend an invitation to you to come and visit us whenever you can, we’d love to welcome you here.
Ben and the Team