Friday, 21 May 2010

Time for TEAM

I realise I haven't said much about my job. It is a job worth waiting for. Although I got to the point of applying for any admin jobs I've been blessed with a job I've been searching for. To understand why I'm saying it's such a blessing we need to go back a few years. I think back to around December 2006.

I used to work as an administrator for NSPCC in Norwich. For a couple of reasons I had to leave that job. It was a hard thing to walk away from but at the time I felt I had to do that. In December 2006 I applied for a similar role at Sure Start in Norwich. I had a great interview and felt very positive only to have a phone call that evening to say that I hadn't been successful. But what a phone call that was - it was the best job rejection I have ever, and since, had. I was told if they hadn't had a temp doing the job I would have been offered the job and not to give up as I was exactly what a children's charity needs and to keep looking.
So I did start looking.

Being in Norfolk was very limiting. Either charities didn't have offices in Norfolk or there weren't any vacancies. So I broadened the search area. I searched England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I wasn't hopeful with Northern Ireland but thought I'd give it a go. Wow, there were options for roles in Belfast. I sat there with a sense of being directed there. I was trying hard to ignore it and became more and more thoughtful. I came to the conclusion and prayer that if it was a God-calling it would have to be much more than getting a job in Belfast.

I pushed that thought to the back of my mind as I had got another job for another 18 months or so.

In September 2007 started my adventures in Serbia. I cannot remember when Trish and David said they were called to church planting in Belfast but I know it put me in a bit of confusion. I still felt I had to spend time in Serbia but felt a buzz in me about Belfast. When I first heard it was a bit scary being reminded of the jobs in Belfast.

So Belfast first came on my radar because of jobs with children's charity. After many months and numerous applications I lost track of what jobs I had applied for. I started to get interviews which was a way forward. One of the jobs was at Belfast Metropolitan College for the Prince's Trust TEAM Programme. It didn't dawn on me until I received the offer letter that this wasn't just an admin job in a college. It was working for a charity with youth and felt much more than just an administration role.

Looking back at the interview I realise how God had directed and guided me. This was the second interview I had with the college but at a different campus. When I walked in I recognised 2 of the panel - they had been at the first interview. I felt that as I hadn't got the previous job I wasn't going to get this one either so I relaxed completely. The answers were quick in coming and in detail as I didn't really think about the answers first.

So you know how I got the job but not much about the job. This is the fun part. The TEAM Programme is a 12-week personal development plan for 16-25 year olds out of education, not working. A chance for them to get motivated into finding jobs, next course and to gain some qualifications.

It was amazing to be part of TEAM 11 and get to know them. Because I spend 4 days a week at Central I got to know the guys better than on the other sites. It was a weird start - I felt I was sitting back and observing how things went for quite a few weeks and even after getting to know some of the team of I still held back a bit. In a way I'm glad I did as I found it really hard when they left.

It is so amazing to see the difference in the finishers to how they started. I'm with my second team and they are so different again. I'm really pleased that the "admin" role is not in some remote office with no contact with TEAM members. OK, I don't have much contact with them but part of that is me not getting too close to them as I don't want to take on too much.

It is an eye opener working with these TEAM's. It's so easy to blinkered about the problems some of the youth have. I feel I am getting a better understanding from a small group. Not that everyone on the programme has problems but on some of the TEAM's there are some with the stereotypical attitudes.

For years I always felt I would work with small children but again I'm being challenged to communicate with young adults - the group I would cross the road to avoid a few years ago. Who knows where this is going to lead - but you know what, even if I stay as the Administrator at the mo I can see myself happy with that.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

What love

I give only one of my sins
and leave it at the cross
One of many I could chose from
If we all did that imagine the pain and anguish
at the cross
on the cross

Yet, Jesus Christ didn't only take one of my sins
He took all my sin
He took all mankind's sins
I cannot imagine the pain and anguish
the suffering He felt that day
He knew what He must endure
and the reason He must endure
From the beginning of time
He knew what was to come
He saw the bigger picture
He felt the betrayal
He felt every lash from the whip
He felt every fist, every foot beating Him
He felt every thorn thrust upon His head
He felt the weight of the cross
as He carried it to Golgotha
He felt every time the three stakes were hit
To pierce His wrists, His feet
Each bang on the stakes
We hit them
With our sin
because of our sin
He felt His Heavenly Father's wrath
Obedient to death
God's Will to be done
What love He had-He has for us
To endure that for us
For me
(c) Caf Mowbs 2010

How long has it been?
I cannot believe I've been in Belfast for 10 months. The time has flown by. So what have I been up to? Well during that time quite a bit – where to start?...

We had our regional weekend away during August Bank Holiday weekend in a field in somewhere in Yorkshire – believe nearest place was Yarm. What an amazing time away together. There were 20 of us (including 4 children). It was so powerful and such a great time strategically. As a church plant the following week we were embarking on a new strategy to build community and moving Citygroup (our mid-week meeting) to a new venue. This was a valuable time away. There were many healings, physically and spiritually in our group, let alone the rest of the people attending.

“Take the ring off. It is not the wedding ring I have given you. It is an unhealthy link to your past and needs to be broken. Take it off”

My mind was racing. I knew I had to be obedient but on the other hand could I cope without it? (silly question!). I worshipped some more, then took it off. A few days after returning from North I felt I had to go a step further. I didn't want to lose the ring so I had put it into my purse – meaning most of the time it was near me. It's now in a safe place with the rest of my jewellery.

It has been years since I've been camping – I did a night in a trailer tent a few years ago but not much since then. It was absolutely freezing. This year I'm definitely bringing my thermals. It's the nights. I couldn't sleep because I was so cold – I've never had to put more clothes on to go to bed before – until now running out of oil, but that's another story!

I haven't had a weekend filled with so much laughter and tears. By the end of it I was relieved as my stomach muscles were hurting so much. But what a release there was. We all felt touched and ready for Redeemers next step.

It was such a special time away with Redeemer but also being able to spend some more time with Coleraine church and Leeds.

I was bursting with words when I came back from North full of praise and wonder at God's Glory and power. Regeneration, rejuvenation, reconciliation, redemption for the city of Belfast and the nation of Ireland.

Can you feel it rising? The power and the Glory of our Lord?
God is a loving and living God
The streets of Belfast will be filled with Your people
Living in Your fullness once more
Re-generation, re-juvenation, re-conciliation, re-demption
This city will tremble at the sound of Your name
Your church will stand firm forevermore
Your wonder and Glory will be known throughout the land
No words can declare how great You are.

I have never experienced God with such intensity and time span. I felt the spirit on me the whole weekend. I felt God released me from quite alot of things that weekend and He also revealed how some of my behaviours have a bad affect on me. One example, although may seem quite an insignificant thing has brought me such freedom. For quite a while I wore a family members wedding ring on my thumb. I cannot remember who's it was but it was a link to all the departed members. When I was stressed or concerned I used to hold on to my thumb and play with my ring, not sure if you've ever seen me doing that? I didn't realise I was doing that during one of the worship times, didn't really take too much notice. Looking back in my journal it was an emotional time of worship – sometimes I don't know if it's a happy emotion or releasing something! Then God spoke to me in such a clear way – not in a booming voice like you see in Hollywood films but I knew it was Him.