It’s been a few weeks since we last looked back and reflected on some of the activity and encouraging moments taking place in church life so we can thank God and others in our community.
- Starting with our BIG birthday party held this month and all the fun we had celebrating together 21 years of Gateway Church; it was a joy seeing so many children and adults there dancing into the evening, chatting and eating together. A massive thank you to Bethan who put in so much hardwork making St Mark’s look fabulous and to others who helped out including our community service guys setting up beforehand and our friends from Harrogate church who were such a blessing on the day serving behind the scenes.
- The 4pm Gathering had a fantastic and exciting time the other Sunday when they welcomed a visiting worship leader from Amazing life church in Hunslet and enjoyed a vibrant time of praising and lifting up Jesus together.
- The 11.30am Gathering had a brilliant outreach time one Sunday at the end of May where they headed out into the Woodhouse area to connect with the community by prayer walking, door knocking, handing out flyers and worshipping on the street!
- Chris has been busy recently visiting a number of different churches including speaking at the Liverpool freedom church weekend away and serving in York and Harrogate.
- Over the past few months we have been involved with a big special offering effort to support churches in Ukraine and to give a very encouraging update… Newfrontiers has now raised over £1.1M for Ukrainian support, included in that figure is over £110,000 that we have raised within ChristCentral. Praise God!
- Sam, Chris and David as they have been visiting and speaking at each gathering over the past few months have found different flavours and a sense of God’s presence and wanted to give an encouragement to all that we are growing in diversity with a number of new people and visitors each week.
- Finally we have received an email from from Kapampa Mwape a lady in our church community about her marriage and how Gateway was such a key part of healing and discipling her. (with permission to share you can read her message below.)
I hope you’re doing well. I realise that I left Leeds and didn’t really keep in touch very well. I apologise for that. My communication skills across continents still need some work. Please know that the Gateway family has remained in my heart though I left nearly three years ago. I attribute the majority of my spiritual growth to the principles taught and applied at Gateway church. I also still watch some of the Youtube videos, just to see all your faces. My short time there impacted and continues to impact me to this day. I cannot wait to return there at some point. The pandemic hindered one such visit already. I won’t let that happen again. This is already gearing up to be a very long email. Bear with me if it turns out that wayI really just wanted to update you and the church family on what’s been going on with me, though I feel you may have already heard one or two things from Pip or Kirsty. I don’t really know. Anyway, before I digress, the biggest piece of news is that I’m getting married this year!It’s very exciting to say that. I never thought it would come this soon, but I’m not complaining either. It’s a short piece of news, but loaded with so much behind it. One day, I’ll come and share the testimony in person of how gracious God has been to me, but here’s the short version:When I left Gateway, I was struggling with mental health after a bad break up and general final year stress, so when I came home, I just wanted two things: rest and a break from men, and I got just that, until I went to creative writing school and met this guy who wouldn’t leave me alone (In the best way possible) lol. I struggled to let him in due to a much deeper history I can’t get into right now, but Heather Cole and Leslie Davy know all about it and counselled me through a large chunk of the healing process. Regardless, it still remained up to me to accept and live in that healed state. The concept of ‘accepting healing’ is still funny to me even now. I thought God just healed and that was it, but sometimes we can be released from slavery, but the slavery mindset remains with us, and that’s the battle I was fighting after Gateway. Here was this wonderful man trying to be a part of my life and I was rejecting him out of fear and, well, just fear. That verse about perfect love casting out fear became a lifeline for me. I could not accept his love without first accepting that perfect love of God. That was the only way I was able to say that first yes, and then the second, and now this one and all the yesses to follow. I owe it all to Father God, Brother Jesus and my bestie, the Holy Spirit for holding my heart and hands through it all.The road to our wedding has been interesting. There are a lot of traditional lessons and ceremonies we have to get through before the actual wedding day. It can be a bit overwhelming, but we’re having fun in the process. I’ve attached some pictures of the first part of the traditional wedding. There were two other small events preceding this, but I’d have to explain those in person because they are a bit complicated. For this one, known as ‘ichilanga mulilo’ which literally means ‘to show fire’, my side of the family cook’s for the groom to show him the kind of food we eat in our part of the country (the North) and to welcome him into the family as well. It’s a bit deeper than that, but that’s the simplest explanation. It turned out to be quite a big event because we have large families who are both incredibly happy about the wedding!I’m happy to answer any questions people have about all this. They can send them to this email address or find me on instagram @kp_pampsPlease pass my regards to the church family. I miss you all so much and cannot wait to visit. I’ll be sure to bring my husband along with me when that day comes so that he can meet all you wonderful people.Much love always, and God bless,Kapampa Mwape