Sometimes I can hardly believe that it’s a year since The Well faced its toughest challenge to date, and yet here we are at the start of another year, having experienced God’s faithfulness and provision and your encouragement.
My mum has a great expression “God hates waste, and He doesn’t waste anything.” This past year has certainly not been wasted as we have learnt afresh what it means to trust God.
Our financial position is much healthier than it was a year ago, and whilst we will never be flush, at least we can make plans to continue developing the work.
From April this year Penny MacLeod will take over as Depute Manager of The Well, she will continue her role in Bubbles – the Mother & Toddler group, and heading up the Craft group. But for a long time it has been obvious that The Well needs to have a second person to share the load of management.
This change has created a vacancy for a fund raiser, and we are delighted that we have someone who is willing to be trained in this role. Once things are finalized I will give you more information.
I have been the manager of The Well since August 2002, and have seen phenomenal growth in the numbers and diversity of folks using The Well. (Right now behind me, Vivien is speaking to someone in Romanian, there’s a Pilipino women in the reception area, and we’ve already helped Indian, Pakistani, Moroccan, Iranian, Afghanian and Slovakian today!)
We are seeing a change in the demographics of those using The Well, most of our Slovakian service users have moved away, and now we are seeing more Romanians!
We’ve not yet got the final stats for the year, but once again we are looking at around 970 service users across all activities, using The Well and other groups about 7500 times.
We’ve recently welcomed Gail, Elizabeth & Heather to the volunteer team, and our Monday openings will restart this coming Monday. (We spent January doing training, and this Monday had to be cancelled due to the weather.)
I am very grateful that the Board agreed that I should have a Sabbatical this year, and so after my holidays at the end of March, I plan to be on sabbatical from 1st April until 30th June. I am hoping to be able to do some language and cultural study in the Middle East, providing I can get my visa! I would appreciate prayer for that!
In our last news letter we introduced Ellen. For me it’s been thrilling to see how God has always provided the right person for us. When Margaret Menzies retired we had no idea how we would replace someone who fitted so well into the family here. God gave us Christine! Christine was very different to Margaret and brought a whole different set of skills, but equally fitted into our family very quickly. When Christine was returning to Australia, we once again thought “how are we going to replace Christine?” It’s obvious God has once again been a step ahead of us, and given us Ellen. Ellen is already very much at home here, and making the job her own. It just feels like the family keeps on growing.
Another part of the work which is developing is our Cross Cultural Awareness Training. Here’s some comments from recent courses:
“It’s difficult to get my head around the honour /shame culture and all the implications of that – but it’s been great to have been made more aware.”
“It was powerful how you showed that Jesus balanced perfectly honour and truth. Thanks for that.”
The English Classes are as busy and popular as ever, and once again God has provided great teachers.
We do need someone to help out at our Craft Group on a Tuesday afternoon – maybe you know a woman who would like to be involved in that?
As ever we are very grateful for your prayers and support which make this work possible.