On 13th September, a large group from Refuge arrived at the new Scripture Union property Gowanbank in beautiful Ayrshire.
On Saturday, 31 August, the women of Refuge met together for another Coffee Morning. These mornings are always full of laughter, encouragement and way too much cake. There is something really special about gathering a group of women—all at varying ages and life stages—together for a morning centred on God’s Word and fellowship with one another. The women of Refuge hold deep friendships with one another and it’s always lovely to come together as one big group.
This month we had the great privilege of welcoming Patricia from Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida as our speaker. Patricia taught through the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. As she walked through the passage verse by verse, we were reminded what a great privilege it is to pray to God as our Father. He is not a distant God. He is near and wants to converse and commune with His people. We learned what it means to hallow, or set apart, God’s name as holy. We were reminded of the surrender that must follow the words “Your kingdom come, Your will be done”:
The primary goal of a daily quiet time is for me to search my heart to determine who is on the throne of my life.
Without surrender in our prayers, our relationship with God is merely academic.
From there we discussed prayer for our daily needs, forgiveness and protection. Our women really
connected with this talk and it gave us great food for thought as we broke into small groups to discuss what we had learned. We closed our time together with prayer for one another and of course, more cake!
Our next Coffee Morning will be Saturday 30th November and we will be delving more deeply into the topic of forgiveness. Rachel will be sharing more of her story and how forgiveness changed her life. Please plan to join us as we discuss how God’s extravagant forgiveness leads us to be a forgiving people. Hope to see you there!
Our missionary to Bologne, Colin White, has been with us at Refuge for part of the summer, and this week has set off for pastures new. He shares some reflections of his time in Italy with us, as well as looking forward to what the year ahead will look like for him.
Refuge will continue to support Colin in prayer and financially, and we pray the Lord’s blessing upon him in his studies and in his ministries.
After 4 years in Bologna Italy, I’m transitioning to a new chapter of ministry in Reading, England with Carey Baptist Church.
I’m so thankful for how the Lord has shaped me in the past 4 years through joys and trials to be a more effective and compassionate gospel minister. Some of the highlights in Bologna have certainly been watching young people grow in Christ through our after school program called Rock Solid. As the director of Youth For Christ Bologna, I was thankful to invest both in Italians and in young refugees who arrived from Africa as I sought to share the hope that Jesus brings. Some declared faith in Jesus and for others they were seeking to know more but our role is to sow seed and it is the Lord that makes it grow.
Outwith work with Youth For Christ, I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to preach the Word of God many times in Italian. It was a great encouragement to serve the local church in Italy and look for opportunities to grow more and more. Alongside ministering to young people and preaching in the local church, I’ve also had the chance to continue in seminary studies through a program called Crosslands. Through that study it has shaped my heart more and more to desire to grow in affections for Christ. I will continue in my studies as I look to transition to Reading to serve in the local church there as I look to focus towards pastoral training.
I will be participating in a ministry traineeship with Carey Baptist Church, and will be shadowing a pastor. My main responsibilities will be preaching and teaching primarily on a Sunday but also during the week. Additionally, within the church, I will gain further experience in pastoral care with children, young adults, families and the elderly. In terms of outreach, I will have engagements in local schools and with a local football ministry for young men each Tuesday evening.
Through close weekly mentorship and monthly reviews, my 12-month commitment with Carey will give me greater confidence and clarity as I seek the Lord’s face for a full-time pastoral role. This would ideally be as a pastoral assistant or a youth pastor. Alongside the traineeship, I will be continuing in my studies with the Crosslands seminary program. The course has recently been accredited through The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which Lording willing, will award me a Masters in Christian Theology, by September 2020. I pray that my studies will help me to minster better, as I serve the saints and reach the lost, with a mind that is theologically clear and a heart that has been shaped and transformed by the gospel.
Overall, I look back to Italy with thankfulness and look forward to England with great hope; the wonderful hope that only Jesus brings as he brings joy to our hearts and rest to our souls.
Prayers for the transition:
Prayers of thanks:
I have passed my third year of Crosslands seminary study after completing 3 pieces of work at the start of August. :)
I had a great time of rest and holiday in the USA from August 7-21 seeing dear friends. I feel very rested and ready for the next season of ministry.
For the great encouragement of seeing friends and family here in Scotland after being away in Italy for so long.
For the continual financial partnerships that allow me to go to Reading and focus on the ministry and not worry about financial issues.
Transition into a new church setting and role—that the Lord would give me the grace as I transition into what will be a much faster pace of ministry and life in Reading.
For opportunities to grow in grace and holiness in the year ahead.
For continual financial partnerships throughout the year to sustain the ministry.
To build good friendships with people of different ages and demographics in and out with the church.
For opportunities to meet non believers outside of the church community.
To grow in pastoral gifting as I look for opportunities to minister to people in that aspect.
For clarity beyond the next 12 months as to where the Lord will lead me
Additionally I would ask for prayer as to which role that will be; whether it is in working with youth or in associate pastor role.
During the week of the 15th of July, Refuge hosted ‘In the Wild’ Holiday Club for primary aged children in the Pollokshaws community.
We rounded a corner and my breath caught in my throat. Here were the castle ruins where God had so clearly spoken to me, calling me to Scotland to join Him in the work of planting Refuge Church.
Following our preaching series on church membership, everybody at Refuge was given the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns in an anonymous survey, which were subsequently addressed during a q&a session…
We had a full house at Refuge for Easter and it was great to see friends who’d been away for a while—we considered the resurrection from John’s gospel.
This past Sunday we gathered around a table after the service and shared the Lord’s Supper before a beautiful meal and rich, hearty fellowship.