Exactly a year ago today I went down to my knees in my then usual quiet prayer spot in my small room in Bury. There we had a lengthy time of reflection and conversation with my Heavenly Father. I had just travelled back the previous evening from Peterborough where I had been offered a Youth Minister position with the Werrington Parish Church. I was so delighted for the Lord had answered my prayers and those of my employer to be. My joy was not without a deep feeling of anxiety for I knew there would be a big transition in waiting. On one hand was the parting with the amazing people of Bury (my first ever British home and friends for 3 years) and on the other hand was the eagerness of joining the really awesome and enthusiastic people of Peterborough. Joining the people of Werrington for the Holiday Club 2014 and being able to stay with the so kind Colin and Jan was a thing that made a Mega positive impact to my transition especially when I stood at the front of the hall and got 'pied.' The height of my emotional transition however, happened when I stood in front of the Seedfield Family to bid them farewell... They say African men don't cry and so I had to shed my tears ensuring that I wasn’t crying.
There were many boxes to be ticked and many hurdles to be jumped before the job was to start and I humbly sought the Lord to see me through them all. I had travel to Kenya and propose to the most amazing girl I’ve ever known, I had to go and apply for a visa... and the list goes on and on. God was and still is faithful for by his amazing grace I was able to start my new job in September. The shoes I was to fit in felt really big but I was and still I’m confident that it is possible only with the help of the Lord and his people. It has been a year of a lot at the Lord's service and equally much other busyness all of which I remain thankful for. The youth work and the entire life experience at Peterborough continues to be tremendously awesome and I thank the Lord for every single interactions, conversations, walks, talks, fishing, fun, food and fellowships we continue to share. The support, the love, the prayers, the understanding and the acceptance has been like a sweet cake to me and the presence of passionate volunteers & superb young people has always formed the icing.
This first year in Werrington, Peterborough has been mainly one of learning the place, the people and the task plus laying a foundation and I now know how much and big the potential is for even greater things with the help of the Lord. It has not just been all smooth and fine going for there has been challenging times too. Having to combine work, distance learning and distance courting as well as wedding planning hasn't been the easiest of things. There are moments though rare, when fatigue has been written all over my face and times when I’ve felt like my body is being dragged along by my other self. Despite the normal fatigue and busyness it has been a fruitful year and one worth celebrating. I'm really glad that this far the Lord has transformed and sustained me. It has taken a God loving and caring people for me to be able to keep standing, it has taken a godly church to be so well supported, a true family to understand my times long absences and honestly a special and a godly girl to be truly in love with me to cherish and support each other though many miles apart. The list is long and it can only get longer of the many people whose input in my life over last year and indeed all my close to four years of mission work sum up what I have been able to achieve and the person who I have become in the Lord’s army.
There is so much in store and the Lord will lead us through it all here in Werrington. When I look back to this day a year ago I remain so humbled and I thank the Lord for his gracious providence. I rejoice for his many blessings and for the many people I have met and we have become great friends. I count it such a big blessing to serve him here in Werrington. When I look ahead to the years coming I'm filled with hope and I trust God for his everlasting promises never fail. I believe there will be even more growth and glory ahead. I believe God has called me to serve him amongst his people and even so has he called me with my soon to be family life with Irene. His love for the young people is what I have been communicating, sharing, and living and that shall I continue to do till he is known to the ends of the other. Join me in knowing him, sharing him and living him just as our resolve is here in Werrington Parish Church.
I wish you God’s Shalom over the summer holiday and beyond,
With much love;
Newton Gatambia Kibiringi
Youth Minister @ WPC