Jo’s July Jottings

June 30th, 2016

Jo Birkby writes: I haittakesavillageve been privileged to be in my role as Children & Families Worker in our church for almost six years and I’m becoming more and more excited about how God has been challenging me recently about what it means to effectively minister to the families in our church. With the African Proverb resounding in my head ‘It takes a whole Village to raise a child’, I’ve been studying the first century model of the church. They placed great emphasis on the role of parents, and particularly fathers, in the formation of Christian faith in their children, partnered by those in the wider community of faith, i.e. the church – not simply the leadership of the church but every member of the church family: the young and not-so-young, mums, dads, singles, couples, other kids, grandparents etc.  It’s in this partnering that discipleship can be most effective, with every generation all learning from each other. There is a huge emphasis at the moment on equipping parents to be able to talk about faith at home; and also for churches to engage whole families in worshipping together.  Grasping the vision of what it means to belong, with each feeling a sense of purpose and being part of God’s plan for our growing community, can only be achieved in an atmosphere where each one of us feels they are cared for and have the opportunity to serve and worship together, mentoring, modelling and growing.  As we reflect upon June’s sermon on the Call to Servanthood from Romans 12:1-6, also consider: how are we as a church helping (or hindering) each other with our programmes, worship and events? What needs to be changed, developed or abandoned in order for us to be the people God longs for us to be? We all need to work together to truly model what it means to be the Body of Christ and I look forward to the future that God is about to unfold before us as we enter a new era with a new vicar! Be excited, look up and keep your eyes focused upon our amazing God as we face the challenge to step out of the boat onto new waters.

Engage Mission Focus

Engage LogoCurrently the Primary school assembly team are visiting 30 schools across Woking with their summer assembly.  Please pray for their energy levels and for a good reception from the children and their teachers.  As always there will be a number of staff changes in schools over the summer and as we look to plan in assemblies for the next academic year we pray that the welcome extended by schools to us continues.  Helen, our new Secondary schools work has settled in well and will, along with the youth workers, be visiting a number of Primary schools to meet with Year 6 students due to move up to local Secondary schools next year.  Our wish is that these sessions help ease any anxiety or stress amongst the children moving up and are the start of relationships between students and youth workers that will grow and continue through out their time at Secondary school.

For more news and prayer pointers, please see the Summer Newsletter and Prayer Card or visit


Rocking the new Sunrise Breakfast Club t-shirts.

Colin Jackson writes…

  • We’ve just learnt that our National Director has resigned which is therefore very major news. This means that I will be standing in as Director of the organisation when I get back – and in fact there will be quite a bit to do from Cape Town in the meantime as well. I’ll need a lot of prayer for wisdom in decisions that will be needed regarding the direction of the organisation. One major one will be the future of the Nairobi office where the ND has been based. We just don’t have funds to operate the office currently (and no funds to take on a new Director) so it is likely we’ll need to close it temporarily.
  • Funding is also a major concern as we have had to lay of staff and send others on unpaid leave until such time as we can raise the necessary funds. This is going to be my key priority when we return to Kenya – doing the rounds of possible donors in Nairobi and writing a myriad of proposals. Do pray that we will be led to the right donors who will understand our work and how we operate and be willing to fund our core costs as well as the more ‘exciting’ project costs. Pray for me as I’ll be meeting and talking with people in various organisations that I’ll meet the right individuals and know what to say – and also for focus to be able to write all the follow-up documentation that is so critical in the fund-raising process!
  • One of our long-term Board members has just resigned. Most of the others have in fact stayed well beyond the term set for Board members and are likely to want to step down as well. We therefore need prayer for new board members to join us – people who are godly, humble, wise, passionate about Jesus and about A Rocha and who have a real interest in the organisation and the staff within it – but who overall are committed to hearing the Lord’s leading and his voice to guide and direct us where he wants us to go and not where we want to.
  • pray for the team on the ground – Carol & Stanley in particular who are stepping into key leadership positions while we are still not back in Kenya. Pray for encouragement, for the Lord’s grace and wisdom and for strength to keep going.
  • This will be a challenging time but also hugely exciting to see how the Lord is going to lead us forwards and into new things as A Rocha Kenya. I know he has got good plans for us and we’re looking forward to being a part of them…For further information see:

Praise God

  • despite the challenges the team have been through, three quarters of the New Testament translation has now been completed
  • the team report that Scripture distribution is bearing fruit. Many people call to share that they have read a story or listened to an audio version, and are impressed with what the Bible teaches.
  • many members of the community are engaged in the work, and appreciate what is being done
  • Morokani School sponsor officially took over the school in March and they are in charge of all the school activities

Pray for

  • good health for the team and their families especially Fatuma and family; that the Lord will give her strength amidst several challenges like children’s sicknesses which result in financial constraint
  • protection from the schemes of the devil
  • increased community engagement through the literacy programme
  • strength and wisdom as the translators continue drafting the New Testament and consultant-checking of 2 Corinthians and James
  • God’s love to be shown through a medical camp being held this month
  • salvation of Hassan (one of the translators)