Five hundred urban missionaries deployed

Our 500th Eden team member has just joined our 50th Eden team in Rochdale. We caught up with our latest recruit as well as our first ever Eden worker from 20 years ago. 

Dave Nuttall was the very first person to join Eden and he’s still living in the same house in Wythenshawe. Dave has been involved with The Message Trust right from the beginning – his wife was a dancer with the World Wide Message Tribe. So when they first got married they just knew they needed to be part of Eden.

‘We were aware that Eden was starting when we got married and already had a desire to live in Wythenshawe. It made sense for us to position ourselves in such a way that we were part of the first Eden team.

‘We lived in Wythenshawe for almost a year before Eden started, with a family from our church living next door. At times, it was hard, getting to know people, waiting for others to move in and join Eden as well as trying to settle into our new life.

‘We were broken into and sometimes we did wonder if we were doing the right thing. As people started to move in and join Eden, life did become easier. It was great to get to know like-minded people, be excited about what we wanted to see and share so much together. The team was very big, with over 30 people in it. We were all very young and perhaps often naïve. The journey was eventful and exciting, but also sometimes difficult. We made lots of mistakes, but learnt lots of things too.

‘Living in Wythenshawe was only a challenge when we saw life as a project. Once we saw every day as real life and became part of the community, it was different. There have been so many highlights. In some ways, the real highlights are now meeting people we have known for twenty years and sharing stories, as well as seeing the impact of something that we did many years ago.

‘It’s great that there are so many Eden teams and team members across the world now. I’ll always be glad to have been part of Eden. It’s had a big impact on my life.’

Hannah Moss, who’s married to Eden Falinge team leader James, says it was a wonderful surprise to be the 500th urban missionary sent by Eden.

‘My husband, James, and I heard about Eden through working on the Higher Tour last year. Because we’ve lived in Rochdale as youth workers for four years previously we’ve got great relationships with the local schools and churches. So, we’re able to build on that.

‘We really want to make a difference to help overcome some of the challenges in the community including poverty, unemployment, addictions and many people living in isolation.

‘I’m so excited to be where the people are in the shops and on the streets as we get to interact with them. At the moment, we’re still trusting God to open the way for us to be able to move onto the estate. We’re nervous but also expectant, literally as I’m due to have our first baby in May. We’re applying and chatting to local housing councillors and that seems to be moving forward quite a bit.

‘We need to recruit team members as well. There are some people in the church interested in joining us, so it’s a time of vision casting, looking at how we can be light in the Falinge estate and live a life that reflects God there.

‘It’s a privilege and an honour to be part of something that’s been going for such a long time, and to know that there are hundreds of other also following the same call.’

Find out more about joining Eden today: joineden.org