A Long Overdue Blog Post
It’s been a while since I last posted an update, so I’ll try to summarise.
I’m in the middle of a busy period at college. I have four essays to write over the next three weeks, one of which I’ve handed in already. People said that second year is the hardest in terms of workload, and so far that seems to be about right! Luckily, once these essays are out of the way I only have one exam and then I’ve finished second year!
That realisation is a little bittersweet though. I’m not sure I’m ready for second year to be over. My girlfriend, Annie, is in third year so she graduates this year. We’ve become used to being able to see each other all the time, so neither of us are looking forward to having to spend time apart. Still, it won’t be the end of the world! Once summer is over (4 months of it!!) I’ll be back at college for my third year and raring to go.
One thing I’m looking forward to over the summer is my placement. As part of my course I have to do a month-long block placement in a Christian organisation. I’ve chosen to do mine at Selly Oak Elim Church in Birmingham. I know Iain, the pastor there, and we get on well, so I’m excited about spending a month there. It’s a really interesting time, because Iain has just taken over the church after its previous minister retired, so he’s in the process of taking it through some changes and reshaping it for the future. I’m looking forward to being a part of that process for a month, and seeing how the church develops over that time.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer at Elim Bible Week, which is Elim’s annual conference. Initially I was just running the open mic stage, performing some music and encouraging others to get involved too. That ended up only taking up a couple of hours of my time per day, so I joined Annie in the hospitality room where she was serving. It was our job to look after Elim’s National Leadership Team, as well as any visiting speakers or guests. We served them drinks, and talked to them. It was a great experience for us to see the NLT together, just being normal people. Sometimes we can put men like them on a pedestal because of the position that they hold. This can lead us to assume that they’re more bothered about their position than about the people they represent. The good news is that that simply isn’t true. I think that ordinary people can project ideas of arrogance onto people in leadership, when they are actually incredibly humble people. My experience of the NLT was that they were gracious and cared deeply about us. They really appreciated us serving them, but didn’t insist upon it. I had a lot of respect for them already, but after serving them for a week that went up considerably! I’ve seen one or two of them since then, when they’ve been visiting college for meetings, and they’ve made a point of saying hello and asking how things are going.
This last stretch of second year is going to be long and difficult. When I allow myself to think about the months after June it’d be easy to assume that it’s going to be harder. Still, I know that I’m here for a reason, and I’m going to finish what God asked me to start. What happens after that, I don’t know, but I trust that God will reveal that to me at the right time. He has continually shown himself to be faithful, and I don’t expect that he’ll stop now.