January Reflection

As the first post after a few months of absence I’m going to look back on a great start to the year. But first let me back up a bit.

Last July I started work with Christian Vision for Men in England, moving back from the US where I was previously working with YWAM. I came on board working closely with Carl and was immediately thrust into the world of UK evangelism and training, clocking up thousands of miles on the roads (which I’ve actually acquired a taste for – beats plane travel for ease and minimal fuss). I’ve visited dozens of churches, been involved in several regional days and one national conference.

I also put my hand to the website, creating a blog, worked on some videos, set up some online booking/purchasing stuff, and made copious cups of tea.

In the middle of all that I moved from Bath to Derbyshire as the offices relocated to the middle of the country.

There’s been scheming and dreaming, long hours and big tasks. I’ve been thrust into an environment where dreams can be realised quickly but with that comes the responsibility of following through with the idea and delivering. CVM at it’s core is small and robust, always aiming to punch above it’s weight. Many people would be surprised to see how much we accomplish with the size of team that we have. It’s a truly exciting environment, one where there is always a strong sense of purpose, direction and provision from God.

Which leads me to some of the events of January. On Friday 22nd Jan we sent out an appeal letter as we were facing the very real prospect of going under as an organisation. Thanks to the new email system we just integrated (gotta love the Chimp) I was able to track opens, clicks etc. Within minutes donations started coming in, and in, and in … An email sent out at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday generated such a strong response that we were soon heading out of the woods.

The money spoke of the dedication of the band of brothers that stretches across the UK with the same heartbeat to see men saved. But more than this it was the messages of support that caused me to catch my breath. Blokes (and lasses) were standing by us, not letting us go down. It really was very humbling. I joined CVM because I felt that they were a group of real people with a clear and purposeful calling. Apparently, hundreds of people across the UK think so too.

The lessons that I learnt in YWAM were being reinforced in CVM. Where God guides, He provides. Whether that’s $1000 for a plane ticket to a foreign mission field or £20,000 to keep a home-grown mission agency going.

The next thing to unfold was an article published on the Times Online blog by Ruth Gledhill. Picking up on an older CVM survey the article outlined some of the aims of CVM also highlighting the urgency that we face as a national church. Ruth Gledhill’s blog being well-followed as it is, was soon picked up spawning many other blog pieces, some friendly and some otherwise. Before my eyes suddenly many people who wouldn’t be talking about CVM and talking, commenting, blogging …

It was a fascinating scene to observe. My feeling is that this is the beginning of something.

That feeling is more than just some thoughts on the blog world but part of a bigger belief that this year God will use CVM is some pretty huge ways. Codelife is on the horizon as are many, many other exciting projects. Who can know where we will be in 12 months?

I’ll endeavour to keep my thoughts coming now … Stay posted!