Well, another month passes and I find myself reviewing the activity of the last few weeks, and once again trying to work out what on earth is going on! It seems so much changes, we get so many updates with figures and graphs, which seem to then attract a counter argument within minutes, that many of us, I’m sure, find the whole thing just too confusing. I shall attempt to explain where we are at SSW, reflecting on the work we’ve been able to do through October, and to look forward to what God has in store for us this month. However, as we constantly need to remind ourselves, His plans are not ours, and we need to seek Him in prayer and deed so that our ‘activity’ isn’t just a clanging cymbal. Firstly, I’ll look at the prayer requests I made of you last month….
Schools to open up even more, and teachers to actively seek us out to book in.
We’ve been delighted by the number of schools that have done so. A core group has invited Abby in to run ‘live’ class based assemblies, and she has been able to deliver to 5 so far. Several schools continue to show our weekly videos to their children, and this has enabled the message of the Gospel to reach far more children than we used to. Instead of hearing a Christian in an assembly twice a term, many children are now hearing that voice once a week. Praise God! We have finished our series in Cheam High, and been invited back in to deliver the year 10 Healthy Relationships workshop, and also to consider providing a Knife Crime seminar to the Sixth Form. Unfortunately, no other schools are making this kind of commitment. We thank God for these opportunities and pray for more…..
Finances to remain strong.
This area is one for concern. Our individual supporters have wonderfully and generously raised more than we would normally receive by this time, and we thank both them and God for this provision. However, we’ve certainly begun to see a significant reduction in the contribution from churches, and none of our schools have contributed anything so far, apart from Cheam High. Wonderfully, God prepared us in advance for this in that we have been able to create a reserve over the last couple of years and are able to continue to operate for now, but we would seek inspiration and divine intervention to enable us to plan to do so in the medium to long term.
New people to hear God’s voice.
Given the fact that so many more primary children are hearing a Gospel message delivered in support of the RE curriculum, and on a much more regular basis, this would seem to be a significant benefit of the current situation. Our videos appear to have hit on a need, and we have been delighted with many of the responses sent in to the office. It also seems we have reached far and wide, as we received an email this week from a school in Northern Ireland who have found these videos and are using them within their own classes every week. We have committed ourselves to developing this side of our delivery even more, and open up to even more children and young people. Again, praise God for this unexpected provision!
New developments – It is with a lot of sadness that we have to announce that we will not be able to deliver any Easter Experience performances next year. We simply cannot commit to all the planning for this, asking people to come forward when there are so many unknowns, many of whom may actually be vulnerable and therefore unable to contribute anyway. It is better to make that call now, when it is the wisest and most prudent decision, than start planning and ultimately find ourselves with nothing to show for it. Instead, we have decided to work on a video style delivery, where one SSW worker visits a school, and works through the Easter story using the video and interacting within the classroom setting. We believe this will actually enable us to reach far more children, as previously we could only involve schools that could travel easily to the nearest presentation, and thus eliminated many who wished to come. Please pray for this new venture, that it may be the start of greater things to come perhaps!?
We have finalised our Discover Christmas video, and I would like to thank all our volunteers who have taken part, and we’re looking forward to getting into Year 2 classes soon to deliver this. I hope to bring good news of its success in the next two prayer updates.
I would finish off by thanking you all once again for your prayers. We know many people around Sutton pray for our work, and value it above all other contributions, as it underpins everything we do. One thing we’ve missed over the last few months is our twice termly prayer gathering, where some of our supporters meet to seek God’s power and guidance. Knowing how important this is, I wish to create a Zoom prayer meeting for everyone, and hope even more may join us as it avoids the need to travel a distance. Please put this date and time in your diary and join us by simply logging in at the relevant time using the details below. ZOOM Sutton Schools Work Prayer Monday November 23rd 2020 at 11.30am Meeting ID 717 2035 2236 Password 9Kj6Fe
We shall send out a reminder a few days before and again that morning. Please join us as we seek Him.
Once again, thank you so much for your support. Please continue to pray for the work of SSW to enable the children and young people of this borough to hear His voice through all the chaos surrounding us……
In His Name Simon Ellingham Director
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Primary Prayer Requests
1. Live Assemblies - We are so grateful to God for twenty-four live assemblies booked in six primary schools this half term! Please pray for protection for the school communities and that God’s love and truth would be shared 2. Christmas Assemblies - This half term we will be putting out Christmas themed online assemblies, please pray that schools can find them a useful tool in teaching about Christmas and what it means for Christians
Secondary Prayer Requests
1. Christmas Unwrapped: We have been working on a Christmas Video to be made available to all Secondary Schools in Sutton (on YouTube Channel). Please pray the clear message will be heard and young people will recognise the true message of Christmas!
2. Upcoming Bookings: Please pray for bookings we have coming up, that the School will have wisdom. Particularly as we have entered this lockdown, prayers that students & teachers will feel safe and will have a sense of peace during this new term.