I'm thankful for the last year in so many ways.
Outside of 'work' I'm thankful for my Saviour who has kept me and shown me fresh depths of his love for me.
I'm thankful for the family our local church and the mission that he's called us into in our city. I'm thankful for our friends in the church, and outside of the church.
I'm thankful for my family. A year in which our first son has learned to talk and our second son has been born.
Considering the work I've been doing with UCCF, the first sphere of my work is with the South West team:
- I'm thankful for Cat who (re)joined us last August after a year of student mission in Peru. Her first year has been outstanding, she's a deeply theological, gifted apologist whose work I'm thrilled with, and whose heart for the Lord is great to see.
- I'm thankful for Hannah and Jim's final years on the team. They've been wonderful partners in the gospel, trusted friends who haven't been afraid to challenge me. I'm going to miss working with them, but excited for their next steps in God's work.
- I'm thankful for Jo and Brian who have both had strong second years.
- Jo is brilliantly relational, with a teachable heart and a great appetite for the gospel in the Scriptures.
- Brian is a thoughtful and reliable minister of the word who has stepped up to the plate this year, preached Christ and seen fruitfulness in his two years in Exeter.
- I love that I've had the opportunity to work with these five gospel ministers, and for the way that Christ is winning their hearts day by day. I'm thankful for our adventures together with Richard Sibbes, and in the pages of Genesis and Exodus. I love their diligence with God's word and God's people. They would probably hate that I'm writing about them here, but I want to honour them.
- I'm also thankful for the eight Relay interns we were entrusted with this year. The quality of their faith impresses me, combined with the mentoring of the five staff has resulted in progress and joy.
- I'm thankful that though we've had hard times to face, and still do, God is still God and the gospel is still true.
- I'm thankful for the wider ministry of the UCCF family that I've been privileged to be part of - for the churches who partner with us, for the ministry of greats like John Stott who have shaped us. I'm thankful for those who have come alongside us to serve us this year.
- I'm thankful for those who have given sacrificially so we can be set apart for the church to do this work.
- And I'm thankful for those who pray.
- I'm thankful for those who've given so I could attend Newfrontiers Leadership Training this year.
- I'm thankful for the students in the South West who have followed Jesus and made him known to those around them. I'm thankful for the way they've shared their lives with other students, eating and drinking with them, and opening up God's word with them.
- I'm thankful for the students I've worked with outside the South West this year in Cardiff, Oxford and at the Forum conference - for their responsiveness to Christ. I'm thankful for our fourth Transformission conference, for Mike Reeves' teaching and for those who came and met with Christ.
- I'm also thankful for the 30+ churches who partner with us in the South West, who are our church families and who send us and pray for us. I pray we've done a little to see those churches built up in strength and number through our mission this year. I'm thankful for the encouraging meetings I've with the men and women who lead churches in the region.
- I'm thankful for Alex Banfield Hicks, John and Sue Hosier, Jim Walford, Pete Greasley, Mike Kendall, Ron Frost and Peter Mead for teaching us God's word. And in advance for the men and women who have agreed to serve us next year.