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January Jottings...

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Dear Prayer Partners,

It has to be said that January has been a very busy and exciting month! What began as two weeks of laid back cleaning out of closets, between Christmas and New Year, has picked up a bit! As you will see from our praises and prayer God has been moving in our church and He continues to stretch and grow us.

> cession has had heaps of visitors over the holidays with 8 new people deciding that they would like to make cession their new church home!

>There has been a renewed enthusiasm and interest in people wanting to become part of cession small groups. Each week Brett receives more inquiries into the different groups we have. There is the potential to start at least 4 new groups this year.

> God has sent us a very special gift in the form of Melva. Melva has come to us from Hamilton (about an hour and a half south of Auckland) and has experience in training and administration of small group leaders. Just what we needed for 2005! Already Melva has set up training days for small group leaders and is working her way around all the new groups.

> Rachel has been coming to cession since our last café. She has been previously “burned” by the church and has spent the last few years walking away from her faith. As she told Kristen this past Monday, “I don’t know why I keep coming back to cession. It’s funny but it (cession) really feels like coming home.”

> Mel and Tyrone have been coming along off and on since striking up a friendship with Peter and Antoinette. At Pete’s birthday party early in Jan. they came along and really connected with everyone in the community. They haven’t missed a Sunday night since. Mel is very eager to get involved in the community and wants to be a part of bringing supper (a NZ term for snacks) on Sunday night. This has been a huge help to Juanita, who previously only had 2 or 3 people helping with this ministry. Tyrone, has seemed to hold back a bit, asking lots of questions. Last Sunday night, Tyrone, took the first steps towards Christ by responding to the message.

> Brett is greatly enjoying being a “one job” man. It is great to see his dream of being in full time ministry coming true.

> KFC is gearing up for a new year with new programs in place that have the kids and their leaders very excited.

> Most of the teaching team has come back with a few more raising their hands to be involved in KFC.

> This year we have added a 2 &3 year old class and it is already fully staffed!

> We had 7 kids “graduate” from KFC and they will be heading off to JAM. I’m already praising God for the new children and families He will send to us this year.

> One of our “toughies” gave his heart to Christ two weeks ago through KFC. This young man, who is going on up to JAM this year, has always been too cool to do anything remotely “childish” (which is what he thought about KFC). As his mother said to me when she told me he had asked Christ to be his Saviour, “All those times we thought he wasn’t listening and he was just soaking it all in!”

I’m so thankful that I got to be a part of teaching him about God this year, I could already see a difference in him a week later. What he used to goof off during he sat and listened and participated. Truly a wonderful praise to report!

Prayer Requests:

Church needs

> Please pray that Rachel will continue to find cession home and that she will have the strength to grow and change the things that God is laying on her heart.

> Pray for Mel and Tyrone, that they will keep seeking after God.

> Pray for our new life groups as they minister and grow our community.

> Pray for Melva as she leads this new ministry. Pray also that she will gain many new friends and that Auckland will continue to grow to feel like “home” to her.

> Pray that God will continue to meet our needs in all of our different ministries. When cession core met last, we were reminded of the amount of work that needs to be done and the need to recruit more people to share the load. I was reminded of Mat. 9:37 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Please pray that we will trust God to provide for the harvest and that He will give us the strength to get the work done, as He provided completely last year.

> Pray that KFC 2005 will be a roaring success in bringing new children and families to ECW. Pray that the new programming and advertising will be successful in bringing people in.

> Pray that the lives of the children in KFC will be changed and that they will grow in their walks with Jesus this year.

> Pray for the areas in which we need more leaders. Administration Team Leader, Small group guides, nursery workers.

Personal needs

> Please pray that we can keep our walk close to God as we become increasingly busy

> Pray that Kristen can get all of the systems in place that she needs to before going on “maternity leave”

> Pray for Kristen’s back. As the baby get bigger, it is becoming very hard to sit still in one place for very long. This doesn’t make it very convenient for getting work done.

Thank you so much for your support - we are very optimistic about the year ahead and the awesome potential that God has entrusted to us - thanks for your part in his plan being unfolded here in New Zealand.

Brett and Kristen

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