Church Link September
This month our Church Link contributor is Reverend Barrie Dearlove, our volunteer Chaplain in Trowbridge. Barrie tells us about his own path to Alabaré through his faith, and how he embraced our work with homeless people in Trowbridge, how he supports our young people and life conversations programme. In his article he tells us how he and his wife, Dorothy, have built on our foundation work in the town, and how he believes that God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us.
'When you are not sure which way to go, stand on His promise: 'I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide... directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them - sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute' (Isaiah 42:16 MSG).'
Article by Reverend Barrie Dearlove
My life was in a mess; two failed marriages, depression, anger, unforgiveness, you name it, I had it. There was no sense of direction for me and I went through each day looking forward to going back to bed and a few hours rest but even that was denied me.
Though I believed in God (because I went to church) there was no evidence of His presence in me. Nevertheless, one day I prayed a simple prayer which was “Lord why does everything I touch go wrong, what is the root of my problems?" Into my head seemed to come a voice which said to me “Look into a mirror and you will see the problem” This was a shock as, like so many other people I blamed anyone but myself for my problems.
Sometime later I made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ after which my life began to change as I allowed Jesus to lead me. This led me to College, training for the Ministry and finally ordination.
Years later someone asked me if I would like to train for Chaplaincy with Alabaré who I knew nothing about. My wife and I eventually completed the course after which we were asked if we would become the new Chaplains at the ‘Drop in Centre’ in Trowbridge; and so for me began a journey into the unknown with Jesus leading me. The Bible says: ‘God is fair and just; He corrects the misdirected, sends them in the right direction. He gives the rejects his hand, and leads them step-by-step. From now on every road you travel will take you to God. Follow the Covenant signs; read the charted directions’ (Psalm 25:8-15). Nothing is more important in life than being led by God who has a unique plan and purpose for you. When you’re not sure which way to go, stand on His promise: ‘I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide … directing them through unknown country’.
All this (though I was unaware of it at the time) was laying the foundations for Dorothy and I to begin a work for God which was unique to us. Alabaré was the Foundation and the tool which our Lord Jesus used to get us into the place where He needed us to be; I think it would be true to say that neither of us would have chosen this work at random.
Many years ago whilst in at the College in Canada, the Lord gave me a scripture to read which was Isaiah 61:1-11.At the time though I understood the content of the message, I had no idea that the Alabaré Drop in Centre would be the fulfilling of that message so many years later. Nevertheless the work which the Lord began for us at the Alabaré Drop in Centre in Trowbridge has been the tool which has led at least three men and one woman to make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ over the time we were at the old Duke Street Site.
Within the last year Breakthrough has taken over the running of this provision, and we are grateful to staff at Alabaré for their ongoing support in sharing knowledge, systems and offering chaplaincy training. Now Dorothy and I oversee the Drop In Centre. We combine it with our role as chaplains to one of Alabaré’s homes (Young People Leaving Care) also in Trowbridge, and with the Life Conversations Spirituality programme at Alabaré. God is good. If we honour him, he will honour us. God bless you all.
God has a unique plan and purpose for you. When you are not sure which way to go, stand on His promise: 'I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide... directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them - sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute' (Isaiah 42:16 MSG).
Visit to Taté Modern
Five of our young people from The Andover Foyer went to The Tate Modern on London's South Bank. They are currently undertaking a bronze art award at The Andover Foyer Drop In and for part of their course they have to attend an arts event to review it and share their experience with others. Everyone had a great time. The trip was paid for by money raised from The National Citizen Scheme.
Sharing a Meal Together
Some of our Emmaus Learning Disability residents have been enjoying the last of the late summer evenings. They have been preparing and sharing meals and enjoying them in the surroundings of their beautiful garden.
We value the prayers and support from our readers and church congregations. We are always eager to hear your thoughts and ideas on issues and how else we can support you. Please contact us if you have any suggestions.
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The vision is to have a Christian chaplain for every home and service within Alabaré. Chaplains are ordained or lay (from member churches of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland). As an ecumenical Christian Charity, Alabaré is inclusive and welcomes people of all faiths and none. Chaplaincy is a key way in which this happens. If you have some time available on either a weekly or monthly basis, and would be interested in supporting our residents and service users on a practical, emotional and spiritual level, then please get in touch with us via Volunteer Chaplain. We have opportunities available across the South, South West England and Wales.