1 Thessalonians 5:17 is such a short verse. Just two English words, but so much meaning packed in. Pray continually……
As September 2020 kicks off, and we see schools opening up in Sutton to all pupils, we are incredibly aware of the fragile nature of this new term. Local lockdowns may occur here, we may see tensions rise, children disturbed once again by massive disruptions to their education, new routines becoming established that have to be changed once more; there are so many areas of concern.
SSW workers are still not able to enter school buildings, and we have been a little frustrated with the lack of contact from some of our more active schools. Concerns about finance have been brewing below the surface for some months, and we are all too aware that many have fears about their employment. Although hospitalisation and death rates have significantly reduced, the infection rate is growing, and it appears the number of young people catching this virus has begun to rise, albeit with limited effect on their health. It would be easy to be gloomy, and feel an overwhelming sense of foreboding.
But not with God! We are the people of the Word, the faithful, the forgiven and redeemed, and, as a direct consequence, the people of HOPE. SSW is in such a privileged position; God has allowed us to access so many children and young people over the years, and we pray that, at this time, messages of hope they heard throughout those formative years may come back, and the God of peace will be sought for, and, as His word promises, He will be found. We have become keenly aware that, in times like these, those who offer light in a darkened world have the voices that need to be heard.
You, one of our faithful praying partners, have joined with us in our work, and, as I’ve expressed on many occasions, we are so thankful. Many of you follow the injunction of 1 Thess. 5:17, and you pray continually, and God responds. Therefore, would you please pray for the following?.....
Schools to be safe in this new period. The evidence suggests that it’s not the pupils who are most at risk, it’s the teachers and older relations.
Headteachers to be given wisdom in the face of so much information and advice.
School teachers to respond to our offers of engagement and to book us in for sessions.
SSW workers to find new and innovative ways of communicating the truth of the Gospel, despite the lack of personal contact with individuals.
Children to know the peace of God, that passes all understanding.
We have so many stories of years gone by, when we know God sustained, empowered and energised us. We know God is faithful, just and merciful, and we know that He will continue to pour out His Spirit on this vital work, because He has done so before, and will do it again! Bless you for your faithfulness, perseverance and generosity. One of the most remarkable aspects of this time has been the way in which the people of the word have supported us. I must confess, I did fear that we would see a reduction in finances due to the difficulties that some were bound to experience. It is my joy to confirm that, in fact, God has enabled us to have even more than we can ask or imagine! Pray continually. It works!!!!!!!! Simon Ellingham