Equipping for Life for a better future

Letters and Reports 2021
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February 16th, 2021: from Brother David
Hello Brothers and Sisters.  Good to be in touch with you again.  Hope you are still coping well with lockdown.
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks.  Possibly the most important is the letter I sent to Head Teachers in the Greater Shankill area last week.  I suggested some ways in which we could help in September when we get back into schools.  They all came back immediately, thrilled at what we had to offer.  Particularly they liked the suggestion about running Homework Clubs, giving an extra team of Volunteers Tutors for each school, and giving the children the link to Bible stories on our website.
I have worked out roughly how many new VTs we would need for the Shankill.  I have come up with the figure of 50.  In addition to that we may need to replace some already serving VTs who are shielding.  Taking into consideration the number of new VTs we have gained during the pandemic we will still need to find 50 new ones between now and September. 
I am asking the help of every already serving VT to try to find at least one person each.  This should not be too difficult, if all of us are prepared to play our part.  Please take this appeal seriously.  It will require a great team effort if we are going to reach this target.
 
I have been speaking to a Head Teacher this morning about the role of helping with a Homework Club.  She said it will be mainly supervisory, going to help only if the child requests assistance.  This particular Head said that she would limit the numbers in a Homework Club to 15 - 20.  We will probably put two VTs into each school in this role.
 
Week of Prayer
This began today, Monday.  Pat tells me that more than 355 slots have been filled.  This is an excellent response.  The vast majority of people are taking a slot every day.  This is very impressive.  The ministry will be blessed.
 
New locations in which to establish EfL
There are already 4 locations booked where we will be starting up.  These are guaranteed.  It is just a matter of building them up, but I would be confident that all will be ready to start in September.
I am exploring 4 others.  One of them have accepted our offer.  One more have agreed to set up EfL, provided the school are happy.  Two others are still reflecting prayerfully.  This is a good response.  I am hopeful that the two who have not committed themselves yet will come on board.  But no pressure.  This is the Lord's ministry.  The best thing you could is pray to the Lord about these explorations.
 
Bible stories on the website
Jenny Hurst is working hard on this one.  We need to be careful about copyright.  So getting this right is taking time.  Nonetheless, we do hope that the bible stories will be on the website inside the next two weeks.
 
Prayer leaflet
I have asked Carole Sleator if she would take responsibility for the prayer leaflet, which comes out every two months, and she has kindly agreed to do so.  I am trying to share as many jobs as I can with other team members.
 
Food delivery
There was a food delivery to the Food Bank in Shankill Methodist on Wednesday, February 3.  This went very smoothly, and we are grateful to Rev. Colin Duncan for his help and co operation.  We are also grateful to the Henderson Group for giving us this food at cost price.
There will be another food delivery to Shankill Methodist on March 10.
We were given £2,400 to specifically provide food for this purpose.  The delivery on March 10 will mean that all of this money is now used.  Maybe the next time we will get the team to bring food again to Shankill Methodist, if restrictions are lifted. That was a very successful enterprise the last time we did it.
 
I thought I would finish this email by sharing two verses from Lamentations;
 
                         Because of the Lord's great love we are
                                            not consumed,
                                    for his compassions never fail.
                                     They are new every morning;
                                        great is your faithfulness.
 
May the good Lord provide you with everything you need  to remain calm and steady during this time of pandemic.
 
                                             David Jardine
 
 
 


For further information please contact:



pat@equippingforlife.org.uk
                                                                                                   

Pat Hutchinson MBE 
Development Officer
Equipping for Life
Days & Hours of work:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday ( Working from Home)
8.00 am to 3.30 pm
07889572800

Please visit our website

www.equippingforlife.org.uk

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Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday ( Working from Home)
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February 3rd, 2021: from Brother David

I have said many times that this period of restriction is an opportunity to prepare ourselves - to prepare plans for the ministry of EfL so that we are really ready when restrictions are lifted, and also to prepare ourselves spiritually.  Just on that theme I have been asking myself what it is that gives me most peace.  There are many ways of going about finding peace.  For me the best way is to take time to give myself completely to God again, and then to live in that spirit.  If there is something that is worrying me, even in the middle of the night, the best way for my peace to be restored is to give that completely to the Lord and leave it with Him.  And then in my prayers to take time to offer to the Lord the major things that are coming up in my life. As I give individual events to Him I let Him know that they are entirely His now and He is completely in control, however they turn out.  
There are many ways, even within the Christian faith, to find God's peace.  What I have described is for me the best - to surrender ourselves completely to the Lord, and then to find that there is peace in surrender.
 
New events
Exploring new areas in which to plant EfL
I have been in contact with clergy in 4 different parts of Northern Ireland, to see if they would be prepared to open a branch of EfL in their area.  Every one of them received me well.  They all asked for two weeks to pray about my suggestion.  I will ring next week to see what their decision is.
The people who will be taking EfL out will be 12 Volunteer Tutors who have agreed to become Area Development Officers.  Pat and I have begun to train them over the phone, and then when restrictions are lifted we will have 2 sessions together in the Argyle Business Centre. So things are moving.
 
Reading stories to children on the website
We are working on a plan to record VTs reading a bible story to children, which would then be put on the website.  The schools would then give parents and children the link to our website.  I have asked Jenny Hurst from Glenwood school to be in charge of this new venture.
 
Week of Prayer for EfL ( February 15 - 19 )
This is the first time that we have had a week of prayer.  The normal hours will be 8am until 8pm.  We are asking people to take half hour slots. 
What I would like, since this is the beginning of Lent, is that many people would take a half hour slot every day in that week. I hope you will be generous with your time.
 
Colin Dickenson
Colin has been working with us since September, 2019.  We are grateful for the work he has done.  I know that many Volunteers found him a nice man to work with.  Recently he has been doing good work on protocols and procedures, and that will be useful for the future.  His contract ends at the end of January.  We thank Colin for the contribution he has made to EfL and wish him well in the future.
 
Donation to the Food Bank
Volunteers brought very generous donations to the food bank in Shankill Methodist in November.  From money which has been given to us we are paying for a big delivery of food to the same food bank on February 3.  They will know the families who need this food most.
 
Outreach
We have been in touch again in the past week with Downpatrick and Warrenpoint and Rostrevor about setting up EfL in those areas.  Plans are moving well and we should be ready to open in these locations in September.
Gerry Griffin, who is in charge of work in Rostrevor gave me a good insight recently.  Rostrevor may not be a disadvantaged area, but Gerry feels that because of Covid children in every area have been disadvantaged.  A good insight.
 
Further afield
I was encouraging you in my last email to think big about where EfL could go.  I felt recently that the next place to go to outside Northern Ireland should be Scotland.  They have many disadvantaged areas also.  Indeed, as I write this it just strikes me that to go to the border counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegall would also be a possibility.  Continue to think big.
 
I came across a quotation recently which expresses well what we are about in EfL.  It comes from Proverbs 31 vs. 8 - 9
‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly.  Defend the rights of the poor and needy. '
 
May these opportunities that we have to spend time with the Lord deepen the sense of how much He cares and how He is looking after us and the children for whom He has given us responsibility.
                                                   Keep well,
                                                 David Jardine



For further information please contact:

pat@equippingforlife.org.uk
                                                                                                   
Pat Hutchinson MBE 
Development Officer
Equipping for Life
Days & Hours of work:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday ( Working from Home)
8.00 am to 3.30 pm

07889572800

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021
 Hello Brothers and Sisters

January 13th, 2021: from Brother David

Prayer leaflet Br David Jardine 13 January 2021

 
Give thanks that in spite of serious difficulties we have been able to keep EfL running over the past year.
--- that 25 new people have offered themselves as Volunteer Tutors
--- for the gifts of email, telephone, letters and zoom calls allowing us to keep in touch with our Volunteers and supporters
--- for the imaginative ways the Lord gave us over the past months to continue serving the people of the Shankill
 
Priorities
Efforts we are making to renew contact with the children on the internet
Protection of children and their families
That we will get back into schools safely in the Lord's timing
The development of work in Ballyduff in partnership with Bryson House / our ongoing relationship with Bryson House - Chief Executive Shane Logan
Supporting the Food Bank in Shankill Methodist
Finding a Regional Manager - getting the right person and the funding
 
Expansion
Plans to open in Rostrevor, Warrenpoint, Downpatrick and East Belfast
Team of 11 people being trained to take the ministry into other parts of Northern Ireland / that other towns will welcome us
That the Lord will give us other imaginative ways to serve people in areas where we are working
That people will volunteer to be involved with EfL just through reading the literature.
Finding a Director of Sport and Health on the Shankill
 
Prayer for the ministry

  • That this leaflet will be well used
  • The prayer meetings in Argyle Centre on Tuesday and Wednesdays (when allowed again)
  • Day of Prayer done at home January 15
  • Week of Prayer done at home - February 15 - 19
  • Prayer meetings on Zoom on Tuesdays (10am) and Fridays (11am)
 
Other topics
  • Restoration of family life in areas we are involved with
  • That there will be a new motivation amongst our people to take advantage of educational opportunities
  • That we will be well prepared when the lockdown is lifted
  • Trying to provide a wider selection of prayers to be used with children before we read with them
  • The Lord's guidance as to how we use £4,000 given to us to buy books for children
  • Finances - that the Lord will provide everything needed
 
Vision for the whole country
That people who have will be prepared to share with those who have not.
 
For many years I have been trying to practice the presence of God, to stay in touch with God all of my waking hours.  The biggest difficulty is a wandering mind.  But when I manage to keep focused on the Lord it is a wonderful experience.  It gives me a peace and strength, and allows me to pray for a great number of people.  Just recently I have been practising the presence in a slightly different way.  When I think of someone I pray for them by just blessing them in the name of Jesus - ' Jean, I bless you in the name of Jesus. ‘I call these arrow prayers and they only take 5 seconds.
May I make some suggestions;
1.  Turn thoughts into prayers, wherever you are.  When someone's name comes into your mind throw up an arrow prayer on their behalf.  When you think of EfL, or some part of the ministry, pray on the spot.  It only takes a moment.  If we do this we will be praying for possibly hundreds of people, situations, and aspects of the ministry in the course of the day.  What a blessing this will be to those we are praying for, and also to ourselves as it helps keep our eyes focussed on the Lord.  An additional bonus is that it takes our eyes off ourselves.
 
2.  We can pray this way when we are with someone.  I know a man who said to me, ' I could be talking to you and praying for you at the same time. '
 
3.  In the middle of the night, if we cannot get back to sleep we can pray for all the people whose names come into our minds.  I pray for a lot of people if I am struggling a bit to get back to sleep.
 
4.  Don't be afraid to let people know you are praying for them.
 
Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, for I the Lord your God am with you wherever you go.

David Jardine
 
                                         Wednesday and Friday ( Working from Home)
www.equippingforlife.org.uk

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January 5th, 2021: from Brother David

Tuesday, 5th January, 2021
 Hello Brothers and Sisters
I hope 2021 will be a good year for you and that you are managing to cope with the restrictions.  May I begin by thanking you sincerely for the way you all rose to the task when we had a few different ventures in the last few months of last year, like giving donations to the Food Bank and cakes to school staff.  You really did make a terrific contribution, and I appreciate that very much.
As we move into a new year, with all its uncertainties, may I quote a man who through his writings has taught me a great deal.  His name is Frank Laubach, an American minister who made it his big aim in life to stay as close to God as he could every minute of his waking hours.  Needless to say practising this just transformed him completely.  In his diary he recorded on 1st January, 1937  --'Heavenly Father, I want to give you every minute of this year.  I shall try to keep you in mind every moment of my waking hours.  I shall try to let my hand write what you direct.  I shall try to let you be the speaker and direct every word.  I shall try to let you direct my acts.  I shall try to learn your language as it was taught by Jesus and by all others through whom you speak......'
 
I can't speak for each of you, but this is a word for me, not just during the next year but for the rest of my life.  What is it really?  Inviting our best Friend to go with us wherever we go.  What a peace, strength and sense of confidence that gives.  As the famous old hymn says, ' Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not abide with me. '
Day of prayer on Friday, January 15
There will be a day of prayer for the ministry, done at home in half hour slots, on Friday, January 15.  The official hours are 8am until 8pm, but you can pick a slot outside those hours if you wish.  I hope everyone will take a time of prayer, and then we will begin the new year with a volume of prayer surrounding the ministry. 
Please ring Pat or send an email.
 
Please continue to pray for the children you take for reading every day.
 
Our prayer meetings in Argyle will be postponed until further notice because of the latest round of restrictions.  It seems as well that the giving out of 460 food parcels on January 12 will also have to be postponed, or done through a Food Bank.
 
May I just say, on the theme of prayer, that I still pray for every Volunteer Tutor by name every day.
 
Volunteer Tutors
 Over the course of the pandemic we have gained 25 new Volunteer Tutors.  This is terrific.  Would you think of phoning some people whom you think would be good VTs?  If we all play our part our numbers will grow and we will be in a strong position to expand.
 
Think big
 We need to be thinking well beyond just going into schools.  In years to come our activities will have expanded into many other areas.  I have a vision for the Province that people who are advantaged will share with those who are not, in all sorts of areas of life.  There are many areas of the country where great rebuilding needs to be done.  All of us have a part to play.
 
Ballyduff
We will be starting in Ballyduff estate soon, restrictions permitting.  This will be in partnership with Bryson House.  Heather Boyd and Dorothy McClean, both VTs in Glenwood School, will be spearheading this new work.  I will keep you in touch with how it is going.  Please pray that this relationship with Bryson is one which will grow and flourish.
 
Heroes of the Faith
 This is a magazine that I have been reading for a year.  They are based in Nottingham.  The magazine is absolutely terrific.  If you are interested ring them on 0115 824 0777.  We learn a lot from the stories of how other people live the Christian life.  There are 4 editions each year at a cost of about £18.

Prayer for Volunteer Tutors
 Heavenly Father, as we begin a new year of 2021, we want to thank you for calling us to bring Equipping for Life into being.  And even though we have not been able to go into schools for most of the past year we are deeply grateful that the vast majority of our Volunteers are still with us.  Lord, thank you for their willingness to answer your call, for their faithfulness in the midst of difficult circumstances, for the qualities You have given to them, and especially the love they have for children.
Lord, will you please continue to look after our Volunteer Tutors?  Keep them strong in their faith in You as the situation changes on an almost daily basis.  Protect them from the corona virus.  Help them to continue to use this period of restriction as a time of preparation for when we are able to be back with children again.  And, Lord, when that day comes, by your grace will this ministry flourish, will Volunteers be filled with your Holy Spirit, and may children be blessed in a new way, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen
 
Maybe you would think of saying this prayer every day?  And as you walk close to Him may you go into 2021 with hope and confidence.
 
                                       
David Jardine


For further information please contact:

pat@equippingforlife.org.uk
                                                                                                   
Pat Hutchinson MBE 
Development Officer
Equipping for Life
Days & Hours of work:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday ( Working from Home)
8.00 am to 3.30 pm
07889572800

Please visit our website
www.equippingforlife.org.uk

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.