This article was published in the September to December 2018 issue of Rapport magazine.
Mission chaplain Nick Haigh and a team from Lee Abbey join in with what God is doing
For ten days last May, a team of nine Lee Abbey Community members went on a mission trip to work with the ten churches of the St Catwg Ministry Area, Crickhowell. The themes of ‘Mission Together 2018’ are Prayer, People and Projects.
Rev. Rana Khan, a missionary to Wales from Pakistan, currently Rector of Crickhowell, Cwmdu and Tretower, and leader of the St Catwg Ministry Area, contacted us to explore the possibility of working in partnership in mission.
Rana says, ‘Ten days of mission from Ascension Day to the Pentecost Sunday in Crickhowell have left a very positive impression on our congregations and the wider communities. Things that we do alone, even after a lot of planning may not succeed, but initiatives that are a result of our prayers never fail.’
Together we committed to pray in and for the St Catwg Ministry Area, and encourage the wider community to pray. One resource used to encourage prayer came from trypraying (www.trypraying.co.uk). In the run up to the mission, over 100 church members committed to using the trypraying 7-day prayer guide, before giving it away to a friend or family member to encourage them to pray. These people became the evangelists.
Another encouraging aspect of the prayer focus was the Devon Community and Lee Abbey Friends committing to pray for us whilst we were away.
People and Projects
The people of the St Catwg Ministry Area churches and the Team from Lee Abbey worked together in mission becoming one team in sharing God’s love. Some of the project highlights were speaking to over 600 young people in schools and a youth group about prayer, giving away over 500 free gifts to the shoppers of Crickhowell at a Royal Wedding Street Party, and sharing testimonies at 25 different events. Lee Abbey Team member Tracy Smith says, ‘I found that going on mission to Crickhowell opened up opportunities for me to step out and do new things I would never usually do or feel I have the confidence to do.’
How much time do we commit to seeking God and His kingdom in our missionary endeavours? It is so easy to go ahead and plan what we think is the right way to reach people. However, Jesus is the one who seeks and saves the lost. We are called to follow Him. How is He calling you and me to share the good news of God’s love with the people He has put us amongst?
Many of us long for God to grow us spiritually or to break into our circumstances. For many this growth may only come when we step out in loving those around us in the way God is calling us to, instead of waiting for Him to do something new in our lives.
Discipleship is a three-way process: living in relationship with Him (UP), living in relationship with our community (IN) and living out God’s love for the world (OUT). How is God challenging me and you to step out, that we might see our relationship with God and our community grow and change?
When planning our missionary endeavours, it is key to never assume anything of anyone and keep communication clear in order that that many can hear the message of God’s love, and not just the few. Andy Wooding Jones (SMC Advocate) certainly found this to be true. He says, ‘A mission full of surprises for me – I didn’t ever expect to find myself talking at length about issues of faith with a young couple from Brighton on a walking holiday, and a couple from Belgium having an extended weekend visiting places of interest in England and Wales, and who both responded to invitations to the Ceilidh!’
Mission Together 2018 was exciting, challenging, stimulating, hard work and involved sacrifice to make it happen. We are thankful for all that God did in and through this season, and look forward to how God may build on the good relationships built between Lee Abbey and the St Catwg Ministry Area.
Mission Chaplain, Lee Abbey Devon