Last time we checked in Russell Godward was out searching for houses of peace in Gisambi, Kenya. Now he’s out in Essex looking for people of peace with Dapo.
Here’s the latest from his newsletter:
I’m discipling a young friend, Dapo, in the photo above. Each week we head out into the same part of town to connect with people. We headed down to the Barber's shop to meet a young guy we had been discipling. We meet him on his break each week and share with him at the cafe. We've done this every week now for a couple of months, but today he doesn't show and we can't get hold of him on his mobile. We're disappointed and a little concerned. It's getting dark and cold, so we head around the area to prayer walk before heading home.
As we head back to the car a guy calls across to us. A young friend of Dapo's. Like many 19 year old lads with some street cred, he's full of chat and bravado. We greet and talk a little and then it's time to leave. Before we leave Dapo turns to the guy and does what we've trained him to do - he asks if we can pray for him. At that moment the guy changes, the bravado falls away and he visibly warms to the idea of prayer. I ask him if we can pray for anything specific? He looks me in the eye and says "Yes, 2 years ago this week my older brother at age 21 committed suicide in prison. I miss him and just want to know he's okay". So there on the High Street, as the cold and dark press in on us, we pray for him and his family in Jesus' name.
He looks up and there are tears rolling down his face. We share some comforting words with him and ask after his mum and the family. He needs to leave, but before he does Dapo asks him if we can meet again to share some more? He says yes and we plan a time to meet in the next couple of days. Then he gives us the biggest 'man hug' ever and we head home, encouraged.
Two days later we are waiting in the cafe. He arrives on time, we greet and catch up briefly over a mug of tea. We begin to share more with him; we ask if he feels near or far from God and he talks a little about this. Dapo shares his story, how he came near to God. I share the 3 Circles on a notepad, a simple 'gospel' conversation we use regularly.
I then ask him 3 questions;
- Where are you? He describes his life as being 'broken'.
- Where would you like to be? He'd like to live in God's plan for his life.
- Is there anything stopping you turning and believing today? He says 'no'.
So there in that cafe an amazing miracle happens. We pray together as a young 19 year old guy turns his life over to following Jesus, and we make plans to start meeting to disciple him!
Discipling people like this will be hard work, fraught with difficulty and challenges. Broken people are not put back together overnight, but why would you want to do anything else?
This is what we do on Monday's now!
We are seeking and learning to live like this every day, sent to connect and share with the 'unreached' people of our town and area.
We are offering to serve the church of Thurrock in order to equip and train local believers and churches to share in this way.
We are travelling and training churches and groups across the UK with the MOVE team.
We now exist to multiply new disciples & churches - everywhere!
If you want your Mondays to be different maybe we could come and train with you, your church or a group of churches in your town?
Russell has become our first British born MOVE UK team member. Send me an email if you’d like connect with him and find out more.