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As we have ended one year and enter into a new year, I’ve been challenged by Genesis 1 to evaluate the year just gone by. On most days in Genesis chapter 1 God looks back on what he has created, evaluates it and says it is ‘good’ (v4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). Not only at the end of every day does he do this, but at the end of the week of creating, he evaluates and proclaims on the sixth day that it was ‘very good’ (v31). So, we have a God who looks back over the work he produces and evaluates it with a positive verdict. Being created in his image (v27) it is often helpful to look back over our work and evaluate it.

Doing good works is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in and through us. Jesus was a man who went around doing good (Acts 10:38), Dorcas was full of good works, we are redeemed to produce good works (Ephesians 2:10) and others should see them like a city on a hill (Matthew 5:16).

So as I look back at 2018, not just personally or as a local church, but as part of a Christian organisation I see a number of works which Waleswide has been involved in which encourage me.

Firstly, working as part of a team still encourages me immensely. To work along side others who are different ages, personalities and denominational streams, yet are united around the same vision and gospel, is rare. This is something which attracted me to Waleswide many years ago now, but it still blows my mind to see the unity and grace exercised by the team.

Secondly, meeting local church leaders and future leaders around the country, often in difficult situations and needy areas, is a privilege. This normally involves meeting in a local coffee shop to have a couple of hours together to talk about the Lord Jesus and the scriptures. We discover the leaders’ journeys and how their families are doing. We talk about the local church and their prayers and vision for the future. The time normally flies by and we part being mutually encouraged and spurred on to good works (Hebrews 10:24). To meet with these faithful leaders who do it all for the honour of Jesus, the good of his people and the eternal destiny of the lost is a joy. I love this role and the importance that Waleswide puts on it.

Thirdly, our autumn gatherings around the nation this year were beneficial. The Waleswide team travelled around the nation to meet with leaders and churches from the north to the south. We chose to do something different this year with our gatherings. Normally they are held during the day, but we decided to do them in the evening to give an opportunity for church members who are not free during the day to come. So it was really nice to meet not just the leaders of the church, but some of the precious members of our partner churches and friends. I hear a growing number of people talking about being more on the offensive with the gospel and going into needy areas to start churches and to support those that are considering it. I hear a lot more churches are open to work with other churches to get the mission complete. I hear the rumblings that our Lord is up to something new in our nation!

Finally, Waleswide finished off 2018 with an amazing prayer meeting in Dolgellau. This is a place that Waleswide has earnestly prayed for previously and has encouraged others to pray for, especially at our autumn gatherings. We had a great night of prayer in this beautiful old town, at a great venue and with lovely saints. There was a really good turnout from locals and others from further afield who all came ready to wrestle with the Lord for a blessing (Genesis 32:26 & Colossians 4:12). I believe that night and the prayers that went up during the gatherings were significant and we look with expectation to what the Lord does next!

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