MAY 2021 
Hello! And thank you for subscribing to receive regular prayer updates on our plans to grow a church for Eyres Monsell. We’re excited about progress here on the estate, even though at times it seems slow. We’re confident the Lord is working here, and confident that people here both need and want to learn about Jesus. 

The Team

As a team we’ve recently finished a series studying The Gospel – making sure we are able to explain the Gospel simply but fully when we need to. We also need to know it to be reminded of the foundation of our entire mission, and our interactions with each other. Since then, we’ve started the ‘When Helping Hurts Small Group Experience’, which is making us think about what poverty is and what it isn’t, as well as ways we could potentially do more harm than good when we try and minister to people here. Please pray that this would be really helpful for us going forward and give us a good grounding to build on. 

Please also pray for Dave and Hannah – they’re still waiting for their house move to be completed, and this feels like it’s really dragging on! It would be brilliant to have them living here as soon as possible, so please pray for patience for them (and us!) as we wait. 

Would you also pray that, as a team, we’d grow in our unity and friendship? All of our meetings have had to be on Zoom, and it would be brilliant to be able to bond more face-to-face, and do studies as a whole team physically together as soon as possible. There are good friendships growing, but please pray for more of that in these strange times. 

Please also pray for us as a team as we begin to navigate and process some of the emotional and relational costs of this kind of mission. Please pray that we’d do that sensitively, wisely, gently and with real unity. Pray for Avenue Church too as they process the costs of sending us too. 

Also, there’s still uncertainty about future housing for Joel & Hannah and Abi – so please continue to commit that and them to God too!

Local Outreach
Over Easter, Avenue Community Church (our sending church) had an online Holiday Bible Club which Aoife invited some of her friends to, and 2 of them came! On the back of that, Jamie organised an Easter Egg Hunt on Good Friday for some of her friends, and at the end we gave away some gift bags with some gospel books in for children and adults. That was a really good time, and everyone seemed open to hearing about the real meaning of Easter – so thank God for that and please pray for fruit from those conversations and books. 

One big change since last prayer letter is that Avenue Community Church have been homeless since the pandemic started, but last Sunday we began meeting in one of the primary schools in Eyres Monsell, and it’s now going to be our home until the end of August. This gives us a great opportunity to invite people to church, as well as simply being a presence on the estate. Please pray that we’d be a good witness during the time we’re here.
Some of the girls on the Easter egg hunt
What they all received in their Easter packs
We’ve been massively encouraged by some contacts we’re growing in on the estate – here are a few initials to pray for.
J – We asked for prayer for her last prayer letter. She’s continued reading the Bible with Jamie, and is incredibly excited to be learning about Jesus and all he’s done for her. Last Sunday, she came to church for the first time with her daughter (another J!) and she loved it. As England comes out of restrictions, her job will resume and some of her shifts could begin to clash with church – please pray that this wouldn’t be the case and that she can continue to grow in knowledge and love for God, and that she would soon come to know him as Saviour and Lord. 

R R is one of the Dad’s from the school gates. R and I (Dan) had been chatting a lot about football and sport and life, and I learned he was a barber. He’s since given me 2 haircuts, and during those times we’ve had some excellent chats. I was able to ask a lot about his religious beliefs, and he shared a little about it. On the back of that, I sent him a sermon I preached on Palm Sunday, which he listened to and said he found challenging. Last week he told me that he’s “beginning to near the point where he'd want to read the bible with someone”, and I told him I’d love to do that with him when he is ready. He’s also open to coming to church in the next few weeks, so I’m hoping to invite him to come hear some of the preaching series I’m about to start. 

T T is a lady Emma has got to know through faithfully going to a local café on the estate for the last few months. Through their friendship, T has told Emma about some of the struggles she faces, and Emma and her have begun a good friendship. Please pray for more contact between Emma and T, perhaps away from the café, and for opportunities for Emma to share the gospel with her as well as continuing to show it. 
James Family
As for us as a family, we’re really thankful for prayers and support. There have been ups and downs the last few weeks, but we’re thankful for each other and for God’s leading so far. Jamie’s health has been a little wobbly – please pray for some and answers there. She still finds some of the loneliness of pastoral ministry quite difficult, but is also thankful for the friends she has got. 

Aoife continues to love school and is a cracking Evangelist. Every morning, the lollypop lady asks Aoife to make sure it’s nice weather that afternoon or the next day, and every day she replies “I can’t do that - only God can do that!” 

And I’m enjoying the work and reading I’m doing. I’m preaching a series through Haggai beginning the end of May, and I’m looking forward to working through that and – especially with that being preached in the school in Eyres Monsell – thinking about how I might need to adapt how I preach for this area. Which is a good challenge to face!

We remain convinced that God has ‘many people in this city’ (Acts 18v10), so thank you so much for partnering with us in prayer for this estate.

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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