A brief news from Mike and Helen Stark. Check out Laura's testimony and baptism video. Growing team. Exciting evangelistic young women's bible study - read on...

MIKE STARK'S PRAYER NEWS


Supporter, thanks for your interest in the Youth and Children's Work at Niddrie Community Church. We really appreciate your support and prayers, so here's some up to date information...

 

WORK NEWS:

Before Christmas we had a couple of baptismal services, with 4 or 5 people being baptised at each. On Sunday 9 December, we were thrilled to see Laura (the first young person in Niddrie to give her life to Jesus) getting baptised along with her mum and 2 others. In her testimony, she talks about the role that our work in Castlebrae and the Youth Café played in her coming to hear the Gospel. The short video of her testimony and baptism is a massive encouragement in this difficult work, and can be found on our website at: www.niddrie.org/news 

After a couple of weeks off over Christmas and New Year, we're back with fresh enthusiasm, focus and drive. Having demonstrated aptitude and ability in youth work over the past few months, Ricky, one of the James Ramsay House boys, has recently joined the 
Children's and Youth Work core team (Mike, Tasha and Daniel).  Last weekend, the team (along with Helen) attended Deep Impact, Scotland's national Christian youth work conference in Aviemore. This was an encouraging weekend of fellowship with one another, and with other Christians, united around the Word. It's exciting for me as team leader to observe how the core team is growing and taking initiative, driving the work forward.

The efforts to save Castlebrae Community High School continue, and we will know for sure the outcome of the public consultation in March. We still pray that a solution can be found whereby the school might stay open, and the Gospel witness in our local high school can continue. In the meantime we're pressing on, developing the work within the school and entrusting the outcome to God as we await the Council's decision. The SU group has been encouraging with a consistent core of about 4 and an average attendance of about 5-6 young people. We're currently doing a short series on John 3:16, splitting that well known (but as it turns out, not so in the group!) verse into 4 components. Please pray for us as we meet every Tuesday lunchtime.


Niddrie Juniors Football Club is gaining momentum every Friday afternoon, with Daniel driving that on. We've settled with a group of around 12 regulars, boys and girls who are growing in their football abilities and hearing the Gospel each week. Sometimes we'll have a little Gospel talk, sometimes testimonies - we had a short Christmas series in December in the run up to the holidays. Please continue to pray for the children that come, and for Kev and Dan, our non-Christian coaches. We're hosting another team from the same church in Kentucky as last year over the Easter holidays. One of their focuses will be a 4 day Football Academy/Holiday Club for the kids involved in NJFC. Please pray for the organisation of this trip.

The development that I'm probably most excited about is a little bible study group for young women (for non-Christians and new believers in the community) that has started up on Monday nights through the initiative of Tasha, herself a new believer and from this community. The group is made up of 3 or 4 Christians and 3 or 4 of their non-Christian friends who want to know what all the 'fuss' is about! This girls group has been studying Mark's Gospel and getting opportunities to answer many of these unbelievers questions. It's really exciting! I'm hoping to start something similar for some young guys from our Youth Drop-in who have expressed an interest in the Gospel. Please join us in praying for both these ventures.

Another thing that is occupying a lot of my time just now is applying to various trusts and grant making bodies for funding to be able to continue working in Niddrie beyond September this year, when my 3 years of partial funding from Charlotte Chapel will have run it's course. Charlotte's contributions currently make up about half of what I need to raise, so this will be a great loss come September, when Helen will also be - God-willing - on maternity leave and we'll have another little mouth to feed. I'm profoundly grateful to Charlotte Chapel for all that they've invested in me and the youth work development in Niddrie. I'm also exceedingly grateful for the handful of families and individuals who support me regularly. We're praising God that in the past 2 months I've had a few people contact me offering ongoing support. Grants are helpful, and they do meet a real need, but I'm much more interested in support (in smaller amounts) from individuals and families who will partner with me in this Gospel work. Please pray that I can continue to grow my support base and that some of these grant applications would be successful. Please also consider whether or not you could commit to giving a small amount each month. You can find out how by contacting me, or visiting the church website: www.niddrie.org/supportmike

PERSONAL NEWS:

We spent Christmas at home this year, cooking dinner for around 20 people on Christmas Day after the morning service at Niddrie, spending the rest of the day with my mum and dad in Edinburgh. At New Year, we were pleased to have Helen's mum, dad and sister over from Northern Ireland for a week or so, including a short break in a lodge for a few nights up north.

Thank you for your prayers for Helen's health in pregnancy. After a tough few months of sickness, she's feeling a lot better and is nearly eating normally now. We've had out 20 week scan and as far as they can see, everything seems normal. We don't want to know the gender so we're very excited to find out when the baby arrives. We have a few names put aside and are enjoying starting to nest. Please continue to pray for the baby and mum. Please also join us in praying that we'll be good parents to any children God blesses us with and that we would point them to Christ by bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.


PRAISE POINTS:

  • Give thanks for Laura's baptism, for her friends and family who came along and heard the Gospel.
  • Praise God for the core team: Tasha, Daniel, Ricky and me, for our unity and fellowship.
  • For the SU group and the ongoing opportunities to be in Castlebrae. And for the 12 or so kids at the football club.
  • Praise Him for what He's doing among the young women in Niddrie, and for Tasha's Bible study group.
  • Praise God for the few individuals and families who have committed to regular financial support. 


PRAYER POINTS:

  • That we'd keep our eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus and remember why we are here.
  • Pray for the situation at Castlebrae, that the school would stay open and that the Gospel opportunities would continue to develop.
  • Pray that many young people would put their trust in Jesus this coming year, that the clubs and activities would be fruitful.
  • Thank God for Helen's health in pregnancy and pray that God would continue to bless and protect both mother and baby.
  • Pray for the fundraising efforts, that I'd be able to find new financial supporters and be successful in grant applications.
  • Pray for the Kentucky team coming in the Easter holidays and especially the planning of our Football Academy.
Copyright © 2013 Mike Stark, All rights reserved.

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