Beautiful baptisms from Buttershaw
Gav Humphries, team leader for Eden Buttershaw writes:
We had an amazing Baptism Sunday in July where we celebrated how God is changing lives on the Buttershaw estate. We saw seven people getting baptised at once, which was incredible. Just as exciting was that they were from a whole plethora of backgrounds and different walks of life.
Their testimonies were fantastic. We had a lady who told us how she used to say ‘You’ll never get me in church!’ and there she was, getting baptised! We had our local pharmacist and his wife who had met Jesus earlier that year and are now part of our church. We had a big Scotsman who has a history of drugs and prison but who now helps out with our youth bands, teaching drums. And we had a refugee from Iran who was raised a Muslim but who came to faith after receiving a dramatic healing.
Best of all, we got to watch two young lads who we’ve been working with on Eden tell how they have met Jesus and seen him working powerfully in their lives.
One, Thomas, started coming along to church as a young lad when his mum became a Christian. But it’s fair to say that he was a nightmare – hostile, aggressive and just hard work. On several occasions, we had to remove him from all Eden activities because he was such a liability to others and himself. People had to physically restrain him. He used to get so worked up that once he went over the edge, there was no return.
But since he’s been mentored by one of our Eden team, things have started to change. We got him along to a six-week Y Course which went through the basics of the gospel and explored what it might mean to live for Jesus. Amazingly, he took that step and we prayed for him to receive the Holy Spirit.
Although he’s not 100% perfect by any stretch, he’s a different young man. His attitude towards life is so much better. He’s calmer, he responds better to problems. God is already using him – he’s discovered that when he prays for people, they get healed.
The other lad we saw getting baptised is called Bradley. He started to come along to Trekkers, our after-school club on a Monday night. He too met Jesus on the Y course and is discovering the gifts that God has given him. He’s gentle and approachable and wants to be trained up as a young leader. What’s been beautiful to see is that Bradley is being mentored by Tony Wilkinson, who’s only been a Christian himself for a matter of months. But he’s really come alongside him as a father figure.
Both Thomas and Bradley are real stories of perseverance, and reaping the rewards of being willing to go the extra mile. But the most amazing thing is that both have had a real encounter with God. Both have powerful testimonies of heaven invading their lives and that’s totally affected the way they live.
Eden is multiplying…
Eden was born as dozens of amazing men and women followed Jesus into tough city communities, moving in and living sacrificially among these broken, vulnerable young people. The results were so dramatic – crime came down, lives were rebuilt, churches grew – that others started to hear about it and wanted to join in.
We now have 23 teams delivering transformational work in some of the UK’s toughest city neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester, London, the North East, Yorkshire, Humberside, Merseyside and, soon, Glasgow.
Over the next five years, we want to see 80 Eden teams and more reached through a growing network of associates here and around the world.
If you are interested in joining the growing Eden team family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org