Jon Swales (Curate) and Hannah Robb (Local Mission Intern) currently run a number of projects in our city including Bridge Cafe, Alpha and Big Questions courses, and encourage others to reach out to those in need. They have seen the opportunity to start a new Network for vulnerable members of society, who may have been marginalized for reasons of: addiction, mental health, prison, homelessness etc. They share the vision and invite us to pray for them as Lighthouse Network begins this week.
"Our hope is that St George’s will be excited and engaging with the Lighthouse Network; praying for it, coming along to it and offering support."
What's the Vision? For those we're reaching to encounter God’s love and experience His Kingdom in a safe and familiar environment. A place where fellowship and discipleship is found, in order for God’s Kingdom to continue to grow and bear fruit in the lives of His disciples on the streets and in their homes.
What's God been doing so far? Jon and I were outside the Crypt last week, chatting to a friend when a young man asked if we knew Jesus. We shared in the knowledge of Jesus as Lord and ended up both receiving and giving prayer with this man. His prayer over us has remained with us; we hope that he will attend Lighthouse Gather in January!
Paul (the man whose poem featured at Contemporary Carols in December) will be joining us at Lighthouse. His verve and love for Jesus is continually apparent: we found out this week that he is currently half way through the New Testament and bowled over by the truths that it is speaking into his life!
A young man that is currently at Betel, a Christian rehabilitation centre, will be joining the Network when he leaves Betel in the summer. His journey has been incredible: after leaving the city of Leeds covered in his own excrement, his life has been redeemed by God! He has discovered his sense of worth and identity in the gospel and is desperate to share it with others. He is a continual encouragement and blessing to both of us, we look forward to having him back in Leeds.
What's the plan? To create an established Network that not only reaches out to vulnerable individuals but enables and equips them in discipleship and fellowship through two weekly meetings. For 'Lighthouse' to grow and flourish and to see God’s work influence and transform the lives and communities of vulnerable people in Leeds.
The network will be run initially with 2 meetings a week; Gather and Foundations.
The Sunday Service will be called 'Gather', beginning in St George's Crypt at 1.30pm until 3pm, with the opportunity for lunch and community with the crypt clients between 12.30pm and 1pm.
There will also be a Wednesday meeting at Wrangthorn Church in Hyde Park at 4pm which will be called 'Foundations', aimed at challenging and encouraging disciples of Christ in a small group setting.
Aside from this, Lighthouse will be supporting those who wish to enter into recovery from addiction by helping them get to Betel, a rehabilitation centre. We will be setting up mentors and support systems for vulnerable individuals who may need a coffee and some friendly support throughout the week.
What can StG's pray? Pray for the creation and foundation of the project. That it would be built solely on Jesus, and that it would quickly serve the needs of many. Pray for volunteers to come forward and for safety and protection from evil as the Network is established.
If any of this is something you feel you would like to be involved with or praying for: please contact Jon Swales or Hannah Robb as soon as possible. To receive regular updates on the Lighthouse Network follow them on twitter!