Word Alive!

The new term started with stewarding at Word Alive. This is such a great opportunity to serve and I was really looking forward to it! Over 3000 people came together each of the 2 weeks, from all ages, to spend time together learning more about the almighty God that loves us and wants to know us. With Don Carson teaching from Jeremiah in the mornings to Luke being taught from a mixture of great teachers in the evenings and through all the children’s sessions, it was bound to be a good week.

I was based on the 0-5’s work, mainly letting the children and parents in and out, making sure no one escaped and no one came in that wasn’t meant to be there! I guess a bit of a bouncer on a soft play area really…

Although hanging around doing not much is definitely challenging at times, it was an absolute privilege to be a part of making this week work. It was great to see parents be able to leave their children in a safe environment then they could go off to the talks themselves. The amount of relieved faces you saw when they left the door was incredible and the conversations we had with a lot of the parents was really encouraging. You could see they were really enjoying the week and also happy that their children were realy enjoying it too. This was evident when the children ran out with the things they had made that day. One day they had made megaphones and each child ran out the room yelling ‘good news!’ down them, another day a mum was telling me how her little boy had come out the day before telling her all about ‘the story where Jesus healed a man’s leg and his heart’ and the last day they all came out wearing crowns saying ‘living for the King’. It was awesome to see 3-5 year olds really learning about Jesus and seeing how he can speak to the little ones just as much as anyone else.

I love working in teams, but it does show you a lot of your downfalls, especially when you’re tired and for me impatient and unloving at times. But it’s in these times that God teaches you even more about yourself, but also how much he loves you in all your flaws and how his strength is made perfect in our weakness.

It was a great week. I loved the team banter, being able to catch up with people and making new friends. I would definitely recommend stewarding at conference if you can. Often a free week, with food, accommodation and you even get to go to some talks! But most importantly it’s a week of serving and making a event possible for thousands of other people to come to worship and be equipped and encouraged in their own lives and to go out and make a difference where they are.

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Home.

“Home is where the heart is…”

“Home… Where our story begins”

“Home sweet home”

What is home? Where is home? Why do we even want a place to call home?

 

I woke up this morning and the sudden realisation that today was the last time I will leave Falmouth knowing I am to return, hit me slap bang in the face.

And I sobbed my heart out.

I felt like a small child, crying and crying but not knowing what to do. The only thing I could do was cry out to God asking for help. I didn’t know what I needed help with, and still don’t. But I know I couldn’t continue to feel that way.

I hate transitions. Arriving in places is fine, I know I’ll be ok. But leaving places – that doesn’t get any easier.

Now it’s not like I’ve been jet setting around the world all my life. But in that past 4 years I’ve moved about a fair amount. And even if I hadn’t, I don’t think the university to home transition gets any easier.

You’re settled, completely absorbed in one life. Then suddenly uprooted, thrown into another life. And not really sure which one is real.

Of course they’re both real, as much as you try to convince yourself that they don’t continue without you, everything is still happening, but (obviously) you can’t be in two places at once.

But why do we have this craving of ‘home’?

I think for me, home is the place I can always go back to and be welcomed. My family, my church, my friends (no matter where in the world they are). The places where things will have changed but arms are still open wide.
Yet I think the inherent desire we have for home is something more than that.

As C.S Lewis says
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

We do not belong to this earth. We are made for something – someone else.

‘But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour’ (Philippians 3:20 NLT)

Our home is found in Jesus. In the promises that one day there will be no more tears or pain or longing. We will be back where we belong. It’s in Jesus I can find my refuge. I can rest in him. I can know that wherever I go, he is upholding me, he is leading the way. And if I stray away, he will always welcome me.

‘My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’ (John 14:2-3 NIV)

Jesus is preparing an eternal home for those that are in him. A place where we can find ultimate rest. A place where we are completely, utterly and unconditionally loved. Where arms are always wide open. A place that we can forever call home.