FREEDOM IN CHRIST

Wow, isn’t God amazing? My natural gift of hospitality has come into its own. My love for people and for life is fulfilled each day. Most off all, I am most grateful to see how God has  blessed  and transformed so many lives as we have ‘opened the doors wide open’ to the Manor.

I have often prayed ‘come Lord Jesus….do your thing’. I pray that the incumbent will continue to do that; allowing our Heavenly Father to heal and restore broken people.

Isn’t it wonderful watching God’s church unite? The volunteer and staff community day by day have much to achieve. Often the workers are few, but my, do we witness the great harvest. What a privilege to serve with such beautiful persons. Thank you to all, both resident and non-resident team members.

There have been many challenges, not least how the original vision of WHOP can and should be endorsed. I long for the day when all God’s people are united to the cause of delivering the vision for the building of Brunel Manor. The building and estate are really important part of the ministry here, but it is what is going on in the house that matters. Unlike church buildings in the community, Brunel Manor has no hurdles to jump as it is ecumenical (no denominations) and does embrace all. I recognise too that we are mere mortals with our own thoughts and actions. I have taken risks and stood up for them, I have invited the unloved of society, those who are set apart in the world and given them hope and perhaps taste of the Kingdom…..what a privilege.

My greatest wish for all is that we learn to love all God’s people. Isn’t this what Jesus said? Love the Lord your God and then love your neighbour? This means loving when you really don’t feel like it and when the system says you cannot!

There is a continued need for those that are called to steward this house to stand united and to worship and pray together, seeking God’s will for the future. Do pray for them as their role is not easy, especially as they have needed to manage me in the last 5 years! Do pray too that the right persons are called to serve in this capacity and that they are God fearing persons with no selfish ambition.

After speaking to many, visitors to the tea room, flower festival and Christmas market exhibitors, Christian artists and musicians, supplier representatives, speakers, team members, guests and many more, I know that their inner most desire is to ‘draw close to God’. They are so very grateful that WHOP(BM) has been a facilitator in this. To all who remain and are faithful to the cause “don’t give up”….keep running the race until the day of completion.

The journey here has been one steep learning curve, my tenacity, perseverance and a little stubbornness has been essential to deliver very necessary and important changes to both ‘back of house’ and ‘front of house’ zones. The greatest of these achievements I believe, is to go through the heartache of a team restructure both in people and building terms, managing change is always the toughest.  This however has been essential to safeguard the well-being of those that serve here and to support the trustees and directors of the charity. This restructure has empowered and honoured team members and has created learning opportunities for growth for all who live and serve at the centre.

Reflecting on my journey has made me realise that ‘such a time as this’ was my calling. My serving days here has been to steady the ship, support vacant positions within the team and help carry the load of those in in varying roles. I thank God that I have had the ability, skills, gifts and character to deliver day to day operations and long may it continue as Andy and I move to the ‘Surrey hills’. Some would question our motives and calling, but who dares to stand in the way of those who have heard God’s call? We are moving to pastures new, we would not necessarily choose to live in what some call ‘jag and gin’ territory, but our mission remains the same, to reach the unsaved and for God to transform brokenness.

It is time to step off the ‘Brunel steam engine’, it’s time for us to stand on a platform and wait for the next train to come in. Do pray that whatever train Andy and I catch in the future that it is fired by Holy Fire and is kept on the rails of Christian discipline and a focus of a Kingdom adventure.

So…it is time to be obedient and responsive to that ‘still small voice’, to walk the walk and talk the talk, for surely the path that God has ordained for us enables us to have FREEDOM IN CHRIST.

With much love and affection,

Caroline

 

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