There & Back Again (A Smith’s Tale)
After a wonderful trip home to the United States, our family is back Cornwall, England.
The two-week visit ‘home’ in August was such a blessing for us. We were able to spend some time with precious family and friends and were able to share a little bit about what God has been doing with many who so faithfully and lovingly support our ministry through encouragement, prayer and financial giving.
While back we were blessed to travel to Tulsa, OK for a weekend to visit Pastor Orlando and Kim Jaurez and The Bridge church. What a warm welcome we received! It was a great honour to share and minister during all three of their weekend services and then spend a special evening with the students who came here to Camelford on a mission trip last July and their parents. It was so encouraging to hear all of the stories and feedback from the parents about how their teen’s lives had been affected by their experiences in England. Many are already actively saving so that they can come again!
THANK YOU, Pastor Orlando, Kim and all of your church family for your amazing hospitality and great enthusiasm over what God is doing through UKFJ. At our home church The Crossing in The Woodlands, Texas, we hosted a casual reception for friends, family and supporters to come hear an in-person ministry report. THANK YOU so much to those who were able to join us. It was so great to see your faces, hug your necks and share an update on our God-journey with you. Your ongoing prayer and financial support is making an eternal difference here every single day!
Back here in Cornwall, we have picked up right up where we left off with the numerous day-to-day tasks of service and support that we provide to Pastor David Flanders and the ministry of Souls Harbour Church. We have some exciting things on the horizon and appreciate your prayers as we continue to labour for the Kingdom in this rural Cornish community.
L.E.D @ Local Secondary School: Sept 24-28 (THIS WEEK!) You might recall that last year (July 2011) we supported an outreach into the school where nearly 30 teens made a decision for God. Over a year later, some of those teens are still being discipled in our church, were recently baptized, and are now actively involved in outreach ministry. PRAISE THE LORD! The school has invited L.E.D (which stands for ‘Let Everyone Decide’) in again and this time Trevor and I will be joining them in a much greater capacity, ministering with them from the stage through music and testimony. Please be in prayer for this week-long event. L.E.D spends an entire week in the school teaching lessons on moral topics (during the period for “religious education” required by the national curriculum), leading assemblies, hanging out with the kids and building relationships with them. The lessons include topics like sanctity of life, identity, sex and relationships and so on. Then on Friday night, all the students are invited to a huge concert where they hear the Gospel and are given an opportunity to get more information about God and becoming a Christian. The local church (Souls Harbour) is involved to support follow-up and discipleship for new believers, which we help facilitate through our ongoing work with the teen ministry of Souls Harbour.
(Above: LED teaching a lesson to Year 8 Students on “Identity”)
Creative Arts Training Trevor and I are each taking on students for music (singing and instruments) and multimedia arts (graphics and video). Some of these students and their families are not really involved in church in any other way. Not only do we want to help these teens and kids explore their talents for their own benefit, but we are teaching them about the One who created them and put these talents and dreams within them and how they can be used to bring God glory and share Him with others. These lessons and classes are provided essentially free-of-charge as an outreach and discipleship ministry of UKFJ and Souls Harbour.
Worship & Outreach We are honored to be asked on occasion to join additional ministry organizations for events in the area. Aside from our weekly involvement with organizing and leading the worship ministry of Souls Harbour, we regularly rotate in to lead worship at an area-wide Sunday night youth meeting called Re:Charge as well as other special events. God has been using our recent worship music recording in cool and unexpected ways. (Click here to listen to our 6 song mini-album “Glorious Wonder”.) Two of the songs were featured for our summer children’s holiday club (similar to VBS), so the children (many who have never been in church) learned them and sang them every day for the entire week. The holiday club’s theme carried over to our next term of Xbi Kid’s club, so the songs continue to be used with the children each week. Additionally, when Pastor David recently traveled to Norway for youth ministry, he utilized the music before each service and during the alter ministry time at the end of each service. We’ve also been asked to do a worship concert as part of an outreach event with a nearby church and hope to see that happen sometime in November.
A few personal prayer points:
Brooklyn in School: Our daughter (4) has started ‘big school’ in the local primary school (9am-3pm, M-F) and is enjoying every minute. Please pray for protection for her and wisdom for us as we continuously seek God’s best for our family and Brooklyn’s education while we are here in this community.
Finances: We faced a large, unexpected expense when my elderly laptop finally passed on to ‘technology heaven’ this week. Thankfully, we do have some funds in reserve that we were able to use for this; however, it does then diminish our emergency reserve. But we are at rest remembering that God is our Source and Provider, and we know that as long as we continue to live fully surrendered to Him, He will guide our steps and provide for our needs.
Life in full-time ministry can be just like any other occupation. Sometimes it’s full of new and exciting things and other times, it’s primarily focused on tackling the day-to-day tasks… the practical things that ‘need doing’. As we serve diligently in the everyday things and follow God’s leading into new things, we greatly appreciate your continued prayer and support.
Blessings and more to come soon,
- Connie, Trevor & Brooklyn