There has been many encouraging stories throughout our church community over these past summer weeks…
- Simon and Esther have been leading our KLG kids life group sessions for kids in years 5&6 by having lots of fun together mixed in with times of learning more about God and building one another up. The Youth enjoyed a music making and composition session Lesley Davy led.
- Amy has rounded off our most recent Gateway Parenting course where a number of us enjoyed coming together each session for an informal time with space to be able to talk freely and honestly with chances to pray. There was some really helpful advice given with practical and accessible ideas each week to take away and implement.
- The Gateway Giveaway was a big success with many of our Foodbank clients and individuals from the local community grateful to be taking away big bags of free clothes along with big smiles!
- The community payback team who work at St Mark’s every Wednesday have been doing a sterling job by making a big different to the grounds around the church – thank you to Bethan for coordinating this.
- Recently we were very excited by a successful grant application which Esther Davy worked on – this money will go towards our youthwork and engagement.
- Lastly we wanted to share a very encouraging testimony of prayer, perseverance and patience from a dear family in our church Lazurus, Reena, Mark and Jonah. See below…
Lazarus Fernandes came to Leeds from India in June 2014. He found work, moved into a house in Little London in November and joined Gateway Church.
In January 2019, his wife Reena and their sons Mark (now 14) and Jonah (now 12) joined him. They all lived in Little London, together with Lazarus’ brother Agnelo and his wife Julie. This was quite crowded, with Lazarus, Reena and the boys all sharing one room.
Lazarus applied for council housing, but despite bidding for properties every week had no success because his priority was too low. In March 2022, after Councillor Abigail Marshall-Kautung wrote to the housing office on his behalf; his priority was increased. On May 19 he received the keys for a council house in Quarry Street, Woodhouse, very convenient for work, school and church. The housing officer said it was very surprising that such a property became available for them exactly where they needed it, but they saw it as a gift from God
This was a great encouragement after a long time in difficult conditions, but it was not the end of the story. Lazarus and Reena needed to find kitchen appliances and furniture for the whole house, as well as decorating and getting carpets, a massive task in a short time. Here’s where they received more provisions from the Lord. Their boss offered them most of the furniture they needed and a fridge freezer; at the market, a stall-holder gave them a superb deal on a new cooker and washing machine when he discovered they were Christians; a Gateway family anonymously gave a generous financial gift; their Life Group rallied round to help with the many things that had to be done quickly; a friend introduced them to a carpet company who offered an excellent deal. With all these blessings, they moved in to their new house on June 15.
The whole family are very much part of Gateway. They are very grateful to the many friends who have supported them through this time, especially members of the Life Group who have helped in so many ways and prayed. Most of all, they thank God who has shown himself yet again to be faithful!