The Bear Church
The Shaftesbury Christian Centre has now fully merged with the Bear Church. We can really praise God that the merger went really smoothly. Everyone at the Shaftesbury has found a place at the Bear Church. Originally we were meeting mainly at the Bear Church but the Bear has had return their building on Deptford High Street back to Icthus so we now meet at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre building on Frankham Street.
Both of us are involved in the children’s work at the Bear. We both help on a Thursday afternoons with the toddler group, Bear Cubs. We also involved in the Sunday School on Sunday mornings at least once a month. Karen works with the 3-4 year olds and Dale works with 8-11 year olds. This means he has both Keliah and Michael in his group.
Dale is one of the regular preachers at the Bear. He is currently doing a series on Worship in the book of Revelation when it his turn to preach. Karen has had the opportunity to preach a couple times.
We continue to run a home group in our home on Wednesday evenings. Our house group made up of those of us who were in the Shaftesbury and some new members who have come to us from the Bear Church. We have recently finished a really good DVD series by John Stott on the Bible. We are currently doing a series on the Kings of the Old Testament.
Dale also helps run the Bear Bible and Theology classes. This means he gives teachings on different theological issues as varied and different as “The Problem of Evil”, “Church History”, and “Women and the Church”.
During the last couple of years God has really answered our prayers in respect to our housing. We have managed to move out of the flat at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre into rented accommodation. This was made possible by the generosity of friend from church who gave us an interest free loan of the deposit. We were also able to pay off this loan within 6 months. We have been truly blessed by God. Currently, we are living in lovely 3 bedroom house in Brockley.
Danielle and Keliah have a big enough room that they have their own beds and their own space in it! All three children also have new desks supposedly for doing their homework but they are already cluttered with DS paraphernalia!
God’s blessings on our family do not stop with houses. God blessed us this summer with a lovely Chrysler Voyager after someone did a hit and run back-ender on our parked Citroen. Dale found the Voyager online. It has only had one previous owner. The seller could have probably asked for a £1000 more than we paid for it. We have been saving for a new car to buy at the end of the year. We got the Chrysler for just about what we had saved. Our mechanic says it is a beautiful car and we got a really good deal. We really see the hand of God in all this.
God continues to use Dale’s Bible teaching gift. He continues to preach not only at the Bear but also at Thamesmead Christian Fellowship and Canbury Park Church in Kingston. Some months he can be away from the Bear Church 3 out of 4 Sundays. Fortunately, our Pastor, Paul Addlington is very supportive and so it is not a problem. In past year Dale has also had the privilege of preaching at an African Church which meets in Sydenham. The Pastor, Charles, is the dad of one Danielle’s friends from her class at St Stephen’s School.
Dale continues to take assemblies at St Stephen’s school on a regular basis. Just recently, Danielle helped Dale with an assembly on the Parable of the Talents. There was also a guest appearance by Gerry and Fiona the puppets from Children’s week. Michael and Keliah like it when Daddy does assemblies. It seems that their friends also like it when Dale comes in too as he is not boring.
One of the highlights of Dale’s year is a 2 week teaching trip to New Zealand. He teaches on a Youth With A Mission Bible school, on the Books of Ezra, Daniel and Revelation.
Dale has recently expanded the Vorster family partnership with Thamesmead Christian Fellowship by becoming one their Trustees.
Karen continues to enjoy her work at St Stephen’s Nursery School. She works part time but every day. Her job is varied from washing paint pots, putting plasters on scrapped knees to teaching music and taking Key stage 1 assemblies.
For Karen a big highlight of the year is the Thamesmead Christian Fellowship children’s week. This year Karen once again worked with the 5 year olds. She also had a close working relationship with Gerry the puppet. Danielle, Keliah and Michael will tell you that Mummy IS Gerry!!
Karen’s involvement with Thamesmead Christian Fellowship doesn’t end with children’s week – she is also part of the C.L.A.Y. Praise Party Team.
Danielle, Keliah and Michael
It has been a big year for Danielle. We were really thrilled when we learned earlier this year that Danielle had a place at the Grey Coat Hospital School. She is now confidently going into school and back on the train. Dale went with her for the first 2 days but now she is meeting friends at Lewisham and travels into school with them.
Keliah and Michael continue to enjoy their school, St Stephen’s. We were very pleased with their reports. They have really good relationships with their teachers.
All of the children are taking music lessons. Danielle took her grade 1 piano exam and passed with a Merit, Keliah is going to take her Prep Test later this year and Michael loves learning to play the guitar. He boasts that he doesn’t need to practice as he is the best in his class even without practicing!!