The month was spent mainly out of England. Two weeks were spent in Kenya (click here for some reflections on that trip), and then I had a week's holiday in Belfast with Cathy, which was really fun and very relaxing. Thanks for your prayers for both of these trips, and there's much to give thanks for on the back of them.
May is much more normal! This month I'm back in to the usual routine of ministry. Let me mention a couple of specific things you could be praying for.
- This Sunday evening I'm preaching on John 21:1-14. I'm struggling to get to grips with exactly why John included this in his gospel - there are a few ideas out there! Please pray that I'd have clarity and that God would speak through me to the congregation here at Woody Road.
- There's a possibility of me speaking at a Christian holiday in Switzerland this August. If that goes ahead, then I'll be going away on a training weekend from 19th-21st May, so please pray for that.
- I'm leading the Sunday morning service on 22nd May, which is a baptism service for one of the youth group. Leading services is still one of the areas that I feel least comfortable with, so please pray that I'd know how best to lead that, to point people to Jesus.
- At the beginning of April I began a new one to one with a recent graduate, and I'm hoping to start a couple more - one with a CU College Rep who comes to Woody Road, and one with a PhD student here. Please pray that they'd all go well, and that I won't have bitten off more that I can chew! Please also pray for the other one to ones that I'm doing at the moment, that they'd be beneficial for all involved in helping one another fix our eyes on Jesus and continue to grow to maturity in the faith.
- Please continue to pray for the other things I do through the week - the student gathering, YL (youth group), SCMTC training course and staff meetings. Particularly, please pray that as I do these things I would be seeking to bring glory to God and honour him, and wouldn't have bad motivations in ministry.
- You may remember that back when I started here in Oxford I attended a course entitled 'Can we do without God?'. It was great to build up some relationships there, but since then it went quiet. Well, it looks promising that the book club that I tried to set up on the back of that course might actually happen - please pray that it does, and that the relationships that I began to develop there would deepen.
- Finally, at the moment I do a locum Optometry day each Saturday. Well, it's looking likely that I'm going to be offered a contract position for Mondays instead of Saturdays, which will really help with job security and it'll also be much more convenient for married life to have Saturdays as my day off. Please thank God that this seems to be going ahead, and please pray that it does. It will mean moving stores, however (still in Oxford centre), so please pray as I build up new relationships there.
Lots to be praying for there - if you get time to pray for any of them, that would be really appreciated!