Those of you who know me well will be aware that my life rarely has a discernible pattern. Flitting between leading outreaches, gigging with Straws, various church services and the odd bit of sessional work is the norm. But even amid the constant change, 2016 promises to be a year that will blow my somewhat scatty rhythm out of the water! Family & Home My Dad is getting married - Whoop - big party, drinks all around & a cheese wedding cake(?) - yeah, I’m not sold on that idea either. But hey ho, great news for both him and Linda and the start of a new exciting chapter in their lives; I’m looking forward to seeing how the Lord continues to use them in growing the kingdom together with their gifts of pastoral leadership and evangelism. This means that they’ll be selling their houses and getting a new place, which means I need to find somewhere to live, arrrrrrgh! OK, so there is no massive panic. Grandma is pretty keen to have me and several friends have offered their sofas for a time if really needed. I’ll come back to this a little later. Alongside this excitement, there are some pretty bleak things going on at the moment in my family which are all extremely draining. Relational difficulties, court cases, illness etc, you know, the usual ‘life’ stuff but its all gotten rather tense, rather quick. So please do pray for me and for my family as we head into this new year.
My Dad, Bob and Wife to be, Linda
Community Living It seems the Lord is stirring in me, again, the desire to be living ‘in community’. The prophetic words have also started popping up again to coincide with the desire in my heart. But, seemingly, its not only on my heart but the hearts of a few people around and about; in my local community and people who are part of the KKi/WildFire movement around Europe. The vision in my mind is a collection of small houses or one big house, either built new out of sustainable materials or a revamped abandoned building making use of low carbon materials - something along the lines of a bail house (straw bails and lime plaster construction) or an up-cycled storage container or two. People living together in close proximity, living simply(ish) and modelling kingdom together in the way that we steward resources, welcome refugees, care for the homeless and by simply being ‘good news’ to our neighbours and town (wherever that may be). It may be that we try a prototype house out to begin with which could also double as a place for me, initially, to live. We have a few 'handy' people around to help with the design and build, we just need some land and money ('just', he says - but for millenia The Lord has been providing land, milk and honey for his people... hmm, I do like milk and honey).
A bail house - one of the possibilities we musing over for the physical part of a sustainable kingdom community.
Work & Finances The business is still limping along, this combined with gifts from speaking and other sessional work covers my basic needs. There may be an opportunity for a new partnership between my circus skills business and a free running/meditation/mindfulness programme which we would then pitch to schools. Clutching At Straws, the band, has had a tough year, trying to rebuild momentum after Tom’s illness has been tough but we’re hoping to relaunch ourselves in the new year with the release of some singles and music videos etc. This will hopefully contribute towards my living, especially if the cost of living increases through rent/bills or the need to buy an old shipping container! (NB - anyone who has a spare container knocking around…) I just had a couple approach me to ask if they could support me financially for missions work and provide some more accountability which is a real answer to prayer as all my missions work has, thus far, been funded by one off gifts and a sizeable dent into what I earn to cover basic needs. Obviously funding ministry like this is not sustainable with the changes ahead and the constant increase in ministry and kingdom opportunities…
Learning about free-running/parkour on the way back from our KKi Eropean gathering in Lisbon.
Mission & Ministry If you’ve been keeping up with things out in the Philippines you’ll see that opportunities out there are constantly growing and this has led to more people wanting to partner with WildFire and get involved. This means a lot more time actually out in the Philippines as well as time to build relationships & dream kingdom with these new partners (such as a radical bunch of free runners from around the world who I’ll be spending some time with in Holland just after Christmas and who have also invited me to head out to South America to teach and impart some of what I carry - there is an amazing move of God going on in and through the free-running community around the world). The WildFire ministry here in the UK s growing, with more people wanting to be trained and invested in, we’re even planning a national conference next year to host all of the people interested in journeying with us as a movement & catching what we carry. All this means a lot more time needed to be going into admin, prep, teaching materials, logistic etc. Pray that our team continues to grow; in number, depth, capacity, vision! Pray that I can learn how to do some of these things better and more efficiently! Ministry at my home church will also have new look in 2016, with 3 morning services. I’ll be part of the team hosting one of these (The earliest morning one… eesh!) as well as the usual wider ministry ‘stuff’ and continuing to run the evening event twice a month. Pray for us all as we grow, learn and discern where daddy is leading this coming year.
Left: Ate Jackie, part of the sewing co-operative now earning up to 2000 PHP (£30) a day, a decent living wage and a huge amout more than the 450 PHP miniumum wage which is often not fully paid. Right: Greetings cards produced by young people, helpting to pay their own way through high school and uni).
Ok, that’s probably way more than enough for most of you now so I’ll leave you with some prayer points:
Pray for the family shenanigans: Dad & Linda’s new adventure and the craziness occurring in other areas of family and the disruption & stress this causes. Pray that I’d have the wisdom to bring life into these situations.
Pray for continued vision, connections, opportunities and resource for the dream of sustainable, tight-knit, kingdom community.
Pray for new opportunities in business/increase in sessional work and for a better start to this year for Clutching At Straws.
Pray for continued expansion of ministry opportunities here at home and around the world and for the provision (financial and the wisdom/power to bring the fullness of the kingdom so far as it depends on me).
Thanks for reading , I love you all!