Dreams Coming True
Thanks to all who have stood with us. It feels like we have turned a corner and started to move beyond survival mode into new ways of sustainable impact. We would especially value your prayers and partnership as we build foundations for two new entities based in Winson Green.
Newbigin House Community Trust: God is bringing our neighbours together around the agenda of Isaiah 61:1-4 to dream of people and places being renewed, restored and rebuild. Could Newbigin House become like a seedbed for urban change, enabling opportunities for neighbours to express gifts, passions and dreams as a basis for renewing our common life together in Winson Green and Handsworth. We have appointed local trustees and sent application forms into the Charity Commission for this entity. We moved our family into the Newbigin House building, a 7 bedroom former Vicarage in the heart of the neighbourhood, and already over 300 people have come together for meals, meetings and mayhem, not to mention enjoying the alpacas! The dreams, plans and actions together have more than begun!
Newbigin School for Urban Leadership: Though also based from Winson Green, we hope this vehicle will enable us to take up opportunities where ever we are invited to develop urban leaders. This dream has taken many forms over the years, but investing deeply in diverse urban Christian leaders needs to be our focus now. Over the next few decades, could we help identify, develop and equip Christian leaders who could seriously shape our new urban world from the ground up? As well as discernment retreats, immersion courses, practical research and advocacy networks, we are specifically praying for 32 emerging urban leaders to join our new pilot programs ‘Change Makers UK’ (for 20 emerging leaders nominated from around the UK) and ‘Newbigin Associates’ (community formation program based in Winson Green) from October 2016. Please pray too and nominate some urban leaders here!
Ash and Anji Barker
PS. So very grateful for the providence of God through so many generous friends, families and communities. Transitioning back to faith support has not been easy, but we are so conscious of Hudson Taylor’s encouragement that ‘God’s work done in God’s ways will not lack God’s resources.’ Thanks friends for standing with us as this adventure unfolds. Giving is possible.. via Stewardship UK; GMP in OZ; CMF in USA.