Merry Christmas to my family and friends!
As you know, I moved to Bridgend in August of 2022, and it has been a whirlwind since the moment I stepped foot on the ground. God is so good, and I am so thankful for His goodness, strength, and faithfulness as we have moved through this season. Just in these past few months I have seen God’s hand at work in our church and this community through answered prayers, God encounters, and long-awaited journeys beginning. I am excited to share some of this with you!
When I arrived, I was able to step into roles in both our worship ministry team and our youth ministry team. In addition, I was asked to step into a role on our church leadership team to help serve the greater vision of our church body. This itself is such an answer to prayer for me as I have prayed for years that God would bring me back to a place where I could serve in the local church. I believe, and have seen it here, that the local church is the backbone for the Gospel reaching into a community. This is where we can see people meet God, but it’s also the place where we see people grow in the Lord. I do not think there is anything more beautiful than witnessing someone discover the Lord and begin to walk in the life God created for them. In the few months that I have been here, we have seen five new believers and seven baptisms!
The Welsh have been musical people throughout history, and it is amazing to see how that manifests in their worship. There is such beauty and power when these people worship. Stepping into this team and getting to join them as they wage war in the spirit through their praise and worship has been such an encouraging and challenging experience. There is a special anointing on the worship. We take time, we soak, and we come expectant for God to move.
I will be honest; youth ministry is not something I had ever really anticipated doing before coming here. However, I have grown to love working with these kids so, so much. It is shocking to consider how much they face every day in schools and through social media. For most of them, they are one of maybe three Christians in their class. Some of them are the only believers in their class at all. Choosing to follow the Lord and pursue a relationship with Him is a battle these kids fight every day, and I am so beyond proud of them. Compassion Youth has grown to be a group of between 10-16 teenagers. We meet weekly and try to create a space where they are free to ask questions, where we get into the Bible, and where we help encourage them and strengthen them in the Lord and in relationships with other believers!
The thing that has taken (and continues to take) most of my attention is The Link Coffee House. A little bit of history into the fulfillment of dreams that this place is: when I first came to visit Bridgend in 2018, Compassion had just gained ownership of this building. It used to be a youth center for the community, organized by the churches of Bridgend to create a safe place for the youth to gather. I remember coming here with Lemuel Turner back in 2018, while it was still covered in dust and full of junk, and both of us just brainstorming all the ways that God could use this place to serve the community. Over the past several years there have been several people who have come into this space and poured their time, efforts, and prayers into this building. I started working here in September, painting and renovating to get it ready to open. As of November 15, we are a fully functioning coffee shop! It is truly such a humbling experience to be here today and see it open and serving the community! God is faithful!
Ways to Pray
We are a small youth group but have a lot of dreams to see this group grow and flourish; however, we need funding. We don’t really have space for them, and they are bursting out of our little fellowship hall. We have looked into other buildings in the area, but they cost money to rent out. Additionally, we have plans to take our group to youth camp and youth retreats with other youth groups in our area of Wales in the coming months, however, they cost money. We have some fundraising ideas on the horizon, but please be in prayer with us that those funds will come in!
The Link Coffee House
We are still a new business and we have had people coming in, but we want to grow! We would love for this place to be full of people from the community. Our goal is to be in a place financially to substantially sow into Compassion Youth, the Hope Center, and another local charity every month! We would also like to be in a place where we can hire other staff to give others the opportunity to work and gain experience.
I cannot close this out without taking the time to thank you all! These past few months on the field have been such an answer to prayer, but they have also been times of huge transition. I have felt every prayer, cherished every encouraging word, and am humbled by every dollar sown in by each of you. I say this often, but I am reminded of it all the time; I could not be here without your faithfulness. The Lord calls me and equips me, but you all make it possible for me to walk in the calling He set before me. You are a part of every moment here. Every victory, every life touched, every dream fulfilled; you are a part of it! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!