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July 2021 
Hello all! Thank you for praying for us and our plans to grow a church for Eyres Monsell. The Lord is clearly working here and the soil definitely appears to be being prepared for gospel seed. As a team, we’re excited about what the future holds and what God has planned for us. 

The Team

Since our last prayer letter, we’ve seen lots of prayers answered. Most excitingly, Dave and Hannah finally completed and moved in to their new house on the estate. It had been a long wait for them, but the house is now theirs and they’re in. Please pray for them as they begin to make it their own, and as they settle into life in a new place. Pray for contact with their neighbours and with other places on the estate. They particularly want to get involved with the Eyres Monsell Centre for Young People (EMCYP), as it feels like a great place to get involved in on the estate. 

Along with that, Joel and Hannah have also confirmed their date to move onto the estate! On Saturday the 14th August, they will move into their new rented house which is just 5 minutes’ walk from both Dave and Hannah and Josh and Emma. Pray for them with all the practicalities of moving, and for their girls to settle into the new house quickly too. 

That means that in just 1 year, the number of known Christians living on the estate has grown from just Jamie and me, to 8! Not including children! This is a huge answer to prayer, so please thank God for that. But we don’t want to just live here, we want to reach out with the hope of the gospel, so please pray for all of us to be bold and confident in the power of the gospel and to not let our own weaknesses and fears stop us from being obedient. As a team we’re reading through the book “Stay Salt” by Rebecca Manley Pippert, and this line from it has leapt out at me as very true:

 

“Evangelism is still easier than we think and harder than we imagine: it is both exciting and deadly serious.”


We need your prayers.

 

Both Josh and Emma start new jobs over the next month, and they would really appreciate your prayers with all the changes that will bring. Pray for their son, Robin, who turns 1 in August, that he’d adapt well too. And please pray for safety for them all – Josh is in a very public-interacting job, and that means he’s potentially exposed to the virus on a daily basis. 

Abi’s future remains a little uncertain at the moment. There is a possibility of her job being confirmed in Leicester for the foreseeable, so please pray that that would happen and that she’d be able to put down roots on the estate with an increased certainty. 

Before the summer, we finished the ‘When Helping Hurts Smallgroup Experience’ – which has encouraged us to think about what poverty is, as well as what it isn’t. It’s helped us see our own poverty, as well as helping us think about what real poverty alleviation is: restoring our relationship with God. Through those studies, we’ve been encouraged by the truth from Colossians 1 that through Christ, God is pleased “to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” And that includes our small estate in Leicester. God is in the business of reconciling all things, and we get to be a part of that. 

Dave and Hannah with the keys to their new house!
Contacts 
 
We continue to get to know people here on the estate, and we are so aware of people’s desire and need for the gospel to impact their lives. As I mentioned last prayer letter, Avenue Church has been meeting at a school on the estate for a few months. This has made it much easier to invite people to “taste” what church is all about, and we’re excited that some people have come! Others have booked on to come, and then been unable to, but have then watched on the live stream. Please pray that Sundays would be a welcoming time for people on the estate, and that people would come and hear the gospel over the summer. In September, Avenue will God-willing be returning to its usual venue, so church-access won’t be as easy for people here until we grow one, so please pray that we’d take the opportunities God gives us. 

Here are a few specific initials to pray for:

T – This is a lady Emma has been getting to know – please pray for chances for Emma to spend time with her and develop the friendship to the point where Emma can share something about God. 

B B is a lady Jamie and I have bumped into at the school gates as her son is in Aoife’s class. She also works at the EMCYP, and when I visited it a month ago, she headed straight for me and told me that she’s been meaning to talk to me for ages about God, as the pandemic has given her real fear about what happens after we die. We had a little chat then, and exchanged numbers. She’s booked on to church, but hasn’t yet been, and is also keen to read the Bible with someone. Please pray for her and for opportunities to do that!

D&P – These are our neighbours, and a few years ago D did the Christianity Explored course and found it really engaging. However, P is fairly cynical and agnostic, and that’s proved fairly challenging for D. However, recently, D and Jamie have begun reading through a gospel together, and D seems to be growing in her faith and trust in the bible and the gospel. Please pray for Jamie and her as they meet together regularly, pray for D’s growth in faith, and pray for her husband P – him and I often chat about things on the street. He has legitimate questions and I want to be able to answer them well – but the only thing that will do any lasting good is the spirit’s work in his heart. So please pray for that!

Z – Another friend from the school gates – we mentioned her in our first letter. She’s come to church a few times, and watched the live stream. Please pray for opportunities to speak with her more. 

E E is a lady we have known for a number of years, but recently we were able to get her in touch with Emma as they have similar-aged children! Emma and her have hung out and got on, so please pray for that potential gospel opportunity too.

J – We’ve asked you to pray for J every letter so far, and please continue to! She’s still in good contact with Jamie, but since restrictions have begun to lift has been significantly busier, and hasn’t been to church for a while. Please pray that her interest in God wouldn’t be choked by the weeds around her, and that the seed planted in her would grow healthily!
James Family
 
We really value your prayers for us as a family. In truth, we’ve gone through a season of significant discouragement and exhaustion in the last few months, but we’re thankful to God for keeping us through it and keeping us as a unit. We managed to have a good week away together last week, and are thankful for a less-manic summer time to try and rest and energise. Please pray that this summer time would do both of those things, and that we’d all love God more wholeheartedly by the end of it. 

Please pray for me (Dan) in particularly. I feel my weakness as a leader really keenly, so would value your prayers for that. I’m also aware of the truth of this article by Andy Prime, and would really love an ‘Old Donkey’ to join the team here, so can I ask you to pray specifically for that too?

I’ve also got an informal meeting lined up with the manager of the EMCYP - Louise - later this summer, with the hope of somehow using their building in the future, as well as partnering with them in other ways. This is an exciting prospect, but - as I've said a lot in this letter - your prayers are very needed!

However, in all the ups and downs, we remain convinced that God has ‘many people in this city’ (Acts 18v10), so please keep praying with us and for them, that they would know they are his people soon. 

Dan, Jamie & Aoife 
          
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A Church for Eyres Monsell · 58 Sonning Way · Glen Parva · Leicester, Leicestershire LE2 9RU · United Kingdom

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