Back in January the diary seemed a little fluid, but in fact it is now turning out to be quite a busy year with a visit to Cote D’Ivoire in May and a new UK team to take out to Zimbabwe in August! A new songwriting workshop and HWEC is also being discussed for October, based in a local church in Kibera (near Nairobi, Kenya) working together with WAPE and ‘Fathers Heart’ from Nakuru.
Cote D’Ivoire: May 8th – 17th 2018
This will be my first visit to French speaking West Africa, so I would really value your prayers! I have been invited to lead a songwriting workshop in Abidjian, working alongside Mamadou Kone and his HWEC team who have already been doing very valuable reconciliation work in the region among refugees and others. Cote D’Ivoire has been on the edge for a while now; divided by tribal issues and politics in a way that seems also to have deeply affected the church. So there is a real need for forgiveness and unity among Christians, and an awakening of the need for God’s people to recognise they are actually a part of God’s ‘Holy Nation’, not part of the problem! We hope the new songs will reflect some of these aspects and inspire unity and lifting up the nation in prayer at this critical time.
Mamadou has already been holding preliminary artist meetings and there seems to be a growing sense of excitement and anticipation that God will do something special. The plan will be to begin by holding a HWEC, so that each one can come to the cross for personal healing and restored vision. I fear my conversational French will not be fit for purpose, so Joseph is sending his son Louange to help me with translation from Rwanda; he is also a talented musician so we plan to put him to good use in the writing groups when the time comes! Victoria (worship singer at Hope Church, Malmesbury) has kindly given me an acoustic guitar to take as a gift; I hope to find a good home for that in due course.
Zimbabwe and South Africa: Aug 18th – Sept 6th
It’s been 3 years since I was last in Zimbabwe! I’m sure One Way Ministries has seen many changes in that time, but I did feel quite stirred towards the end of last year about the need to go and minister once more to the children, after Debbie contacted me in the summer. I’m joined this year by three very keen and capable girls – or should I say young ladies?! Jessica and Lucy are school leavers and go to Malmesbury Abbey so I know them and their families well. Rachel is graduating from Leeds University this summer and I met her through my involvement with Kemble Parish church and their youth worship ministry. For the childrens conference we will be joined by Greg and Sophie Sanguine who will actually be leading this year; they plan to return early from a break in the UK to continue running One Way School next September. One thing I’d especially value prayer for; I have felt quite strongly stirred to run a short Youth Conference for older teens at OWM. I’ve been told there is a strong need for these young ones to find their own voice as young Christians who are called to follow Him faithfully. But at present there are various hurdles. We have to find a new venue as OWM’s ‘Prayer Mountain’ game lodge has been forcibly taken over by the Zimbabean government; so far without compensation. Then there are financial and practical organizational needs to be met. If you feel stirred to help in any way – please do get in touch!
Worship in the Cotswolds…
It’s been a particular joy to lead worship this year. For a while there’s been a sense of the increase of Holy Spirit presence among God’s people gathered at certain times; I imagine I’m not alone in experiencing this. Our March Filling Station with Tim Hughes speaking was a powerful time; people came with a high expectation and desire to worship. It was quite overwhelming just to be at the front! We have also experienced an increase in the Abbey at times as well; someone recently likened it to the ankle deep water flowing out from the temple in Ezekiel 47. Not overwhelming, but deeply encouraging none the less. My involvement with Abbey worship has grown since last year and we are enjoying a new sense of togetherness as a team; now looking forward to our new minister, Oliver Ross, who arrives in July. On June 3rd, Emily will be speaking at the Abbey on her new Rwanda reconciliation book – another thing I’m very much looking forward to!
GDPR data deadline…
I guess we all want our digital data handled responsibly. In common with many Christian organisations, we’ve already sent you all our request for your agreement to continue receiving these newsletters. More than 50 of you responded very quickly, so thankyou! But if you didn’t respond, this may be the last newsletter you receive from us, as we shall be removing those email addresses from our mailing list. So please do get in touch – and we can stay in touch!!
Family holiday at Easter…
It was so great to be together as a family over the Easter break! The mountains in the Mont Blanc region around Megeve are so beautiful and we were blessed with some lovely sunshine and plenty of snow. Not sure my ski skills are in any way improved but it’s always good exercise trying to keep up with Joel and Nathan! Faith is not quite ready for the slopes yet at 20 months, but she enjoyed the chalet, the new toys that Grandma brought for her, and especially loved walking outside in her snowsuit! Joel, Emily and Faith are planning to join us in Brittany in early August for a week of sun, sand and sea – so we look forward to that!
DIARY DATES – SPRING 2018
- May 1st – 3rd Rhiannon’s oversight group in N. Wales
- May 6th ‘Source’ service at Kemble Parish
- May 8th – 17th Visit to Abidjian, Cote D’Ivoire
- May 20th Leading worship at Malmesbury Abbey
- June 3rd Emily Bankhead speaking at Malmesbury Abbey
- June 20th Leading worship at FS, Cirencester
- July 1st ‘Source’ service at Kemble Parish
- July 14th Zimbabwe Mission Team training day
- July 18th Leading worship at FS, Cirencester
Love from Dave & Jean
With special thanks to The Crossroads Trust.
The Crossroads Trust is a Registered Charitable Trust, set up in 1987 with the following aims: to assist in the encouragement of missionary activity designed to foster the spread of the Christian faith; to promote better education between and within diverse cultural settings, and to provide relief for the poor and needy in society. Since 2005, the Trust has focussed solely on supporting the reconciliation ministry of Dave Bankhead and ‘We are One!’ Trustees include; John Jenkins (Chairman) and Simon Shaw. Registered Charitable Trust No: XN74834