Well I have been in the USA for almost three months, the days are rolling by fast and I am enjoying every minute of it so far. Things have been really busy recently, from coaching to ministry I am regularly travelling to and from schools, church and the Fenn household to try and get some sleep. Staying with the Fenn's has been a real blessing to me, they have truly opened there home for me to use as my own, and for that I am grateful. On top of that I am practically living with one of the best Chefs in the state of Louisiana. For someone who loves food as much as me, all I can say is that I hit the jackpot on living arrangements for my time here.
Football has been fantastic, West Monroe High School have an incredible set up with facilities that rival some college programs, as well a coaching staff who's number one priority is for the boys to grow into good young men and achieve their potential both on and off the field. The Rebels are looking good this year, my Freshman team are undefeated with a key final game against local rivals Ouachita coming up (Try saying that one as fast as you can). The Varsity (Main team) are also undefeated and looking very strong with the likelihood of a strong play off push for a state championship. It's crazy that we are almost halfway through the season, but I am excited to see what going to happen with this talented team this year. Please pray for relationships to grow and that God can continue to use me as a mentor for these kids, there is a lot of pressure within the local community for them to achieve success on the football field. On top of that they have the normal stresses of being a kid and growing up.
One of the best things about working in First West is the fact that their are loads of opportunities for you to develop your gifts and talents. Despite being a confident and outgoing person, I have always hated speaking in front of lots of people, however I felt it was an important step to overcome. First West has a annual Transform conference focusing on Missions. Led by Mark Fenn, the conference brings a host of speakers, missionaries and people from across the globe to speak to the church about life on mission and seeing to it that no one misses the grace of God. On the last Sunday of Transform I was asked to speak in front of the congregation about my story and the effect that the mission had on me and my family. I really felt that despite my fears, it was important for the congregation of First West to hear my story and the impact that the mission has and is having on our church and the people of Bridgend in general. If your interested in listening to the full video of me being interviewed have a look at the link below:
On a Wednesday we have our student weekly event called Mid-Week. I had the opportunity to preach during the sermon series of pre-game. I was quite nervous but people said it went really well and I am excited to get more opportunities to develop this skill and use it to help further the kingdom of God. I spoke from Ephesians 6, and the importance of preparing ourselves to ensure that we can get through the day to day trials that we face.
It really is awesome to see how God is using me being here to further the kingdom, as I have now been here a while I have really started to develop some good relationships with kids and give them regular advice about how to live as a Christian, despite the temptations we face everyday. The team within the student ministry are awesome. They have really helped me settle in. People often say student ministry is a easy job, you take part in activities, go on camps, play sports and other things are those that people see student ministers do, however what is not seen are the difficult conversations with students in a closed environment, countless hours of preparation and logistics work or just being available for students. Ministry is a full time 365 days a year job as the main thing is that your available for those that you are ministering. It can get tired and stressful but the rewards of seeing people's lives changed for the good of the kingdom is worth it. I think this year is going to be a big year for the Wales Mission and Days of Hope, I am excited to be able to help organise from this side of the pond to help reach as many people as possible so we can keep reaching the rest of our nation.
As I finish up this post, please pray for me and that God keeps using me to help those within the West Monroe community, please pray for strength and energy as sometimes between both roles and the early and late mornings and evenings energy levels can be low on some days. Also please pray for those within the West Monroe community and the Staff here at First West. Thank you all for your prayers and support!