Alex, team leader of Eden Bow (London) shares her thoughts and feelings thinking about maternity leave and the long-term effects of Eden…
‘The photo above was taken at the first big thing that Eden Bow ran back in the summer of 2011. The boy in the Arsenal shirt and the boy sitting in the inflatable chair were in primary school at the time and came every day to our football-based project. I remember being frustrated that we didn’t connect with more teenagers and that it was these primary school children who were the ones hanging out with us.
However, what’s beautiful about Eden and the core value of ‘long term’ is that we still work with those two boys today. They have just sat their GCSEs and have both been on our leadership residentials, come to Soul Survivor with us, taken part in trips, events, sleepovers, workshops and clubs. It has been an absolute privilege to journey with these boys through their secondary school years as they have navigated what it looks like to become a teenager and then start the process of choosing colleges and career paths. Those two little boys are now taller than me and I am so thankful it was them who I got hang out with in that first summer here.
I’m now on maternity leave for 10 months, leaving the work of Eden in the more than capable hands of the team. The beauty of Eden and our core value of being local means I still get to be part of the journey.
I’m not disappearing for 10 months. Instead I get to be part of the community in a new way. I get to wander around at different times of the day and move at a slower pace with no real agenda or timetable. I get to attend groups because I want to receive not because I need to run them. I get to benefit from the wealth of parenting experience and support in this community and be held and loved by the many I’ve got to befriend over the last seven years.
Eden was never about running a youth project for me. I could have done that anywhere. Eden was about a life style choice. It was the choice to follow the call of Jesus on my life and to live deep within a community and love it come what may.
So as I move into a new part of my adventure here in Bow I’d love you to keep cheering on and praying for the team as they work out what God has called us to here on our estate and continue to love and be with the young people and their families.
Eden will be your biggest adventure! If you’re interested in joining a team visit joineden.org‘
Here is the newest member of the Eden Bow family three months on…